Mesquite trees and St. Augustine lawn. Burnt peanuts, circus peanuts, Dr Pepper. Storytelling—both true and embellished. His love for his country: the old country, Texas, and this United States of America. He loved Johnny Cash's music, along with Neil Diamond, Willie Nelson, Elvis Presley, and many more of the very best musicians. The Dallas Cowboys.
A genuine love for providing for his family, making his West Texas hot sauce every summer, and talking about how to manage finances.
Taking his family on road trips all over the country, sharing in my mother's obsession for good movies, setting a guiding example of how to treat extended family.
These things are a fraction of the things I have loved about my dad. Many of his lessons have continued to help me grow as I teach my own children. My taste in music, sports, and nature's beauty were greatly shaped by his.
Today, I have joy reflecting on the several gifts he imparted while he worked at becoming the best father he could despite never having a father figure in his life.
My joy is full this day.