LeRoy Edward Anderson Jr. is not old, he is well-aged like a nice bottle of wine. He loves his family and his work, even though he gripes about the latter, he doesn't like the holiday season except for the delicious food, and he certainly doesn't like being reminded that he is getting older - unless it reinforces the fact that he can retire soon. 

I'm not going to say my dad is better than your dad, but he is pretty awesome. He took me under his wing as a wee little girl and let me into the garage at our cabin, a sacred ground, where he would watch over me when I would try to build numerous things that would soon fall apart. On duck hunting weekends he would wake me up well before dawn, hand me my pink snow pants and coat and we would ride out in the rickety white Ford pickup truck to the pond. Barbie dolls in one hand, hot chocolate in another. There, in the camouflage duck boat we sat for hours, freezing I might add. While he watched for ducks and complained about our neighbors hunting on our land I did my dolls hair and dreamed I was someplace warmer. When the beaver periodically peaked its head out from the water, I would snap back to reality and become excited, antsy to try and become friends with the big toothed animal. My dad would just smile at me, sometimes laugh, and go back to watching for ducks. I'm almost positive I was the cause of many failed shots due to my numerous questions like, "What type of duck is that, dad?" "Can we go get more hot chocolate?" "Don't shoot it if it's a female duck!" I'm surprised he didn't throw my dolls in the water. 

My dad is a funny guy too. He finds humor in sticky situations and attempts to lighten the mood by cracking a joke here and there, but if that doesn't work he tends to avoid a situation. Not the best idea in my opinion, but then again I do the same thing. Like father like daughter, I guess. 

LeRoy is a tough guy on the outside, but on the inside he is a big marshmallow - my brother takes after that, though he won't admit it. I like to think he secretly loves his birthday for the sweets, but I know he likes the day because he gets to spend it with the people he loves and who love him. That being said it's a little hard being away from Papa A on his big day, on the flip side though it makes me remember all the great memories I have had with him. So, here is a list of some of my favorite father-daughter moments. (Mom, don't cry). 

- Drinking hot chocolate and playing with Barbies while you hunted
- Learning how to check the oil in my car
- Spending time with you in the garage
- Breaking my arm by falling backwards down the stairs with my rollerblades on, you saying it is fine, mom coming home and saying it is broken. 
- Hearing all about your adventures in Africa and seeing you happy - When we're driving and you're listening to Larry the Cable Guy and I'm obviously being tortured, but secretly like how it makes you laugh
- Watching Frasier, M*A*S*H, Antiques Roadshow, RedGreen and British comedies with you
- Singing Eric Clapton and B.B. King together in the car.
- When a good photo of us is taken, and then putting it in my father-daughter picture frame from JoDee
- Eating peanut butter on saltine crackers as a midnight snack, falling asleep in your and mom's bed and then mom coming home from work and being upset that I was not sleeping in my own bed

These are just a few of many, dad! You deserve a great birthday and I know you will spend it well. Just think, it is one year closer to retirement! 

Feliz cumpleaños papá, I love ya. 
- Bugs
Elin Anderson
10/17/2012 01:36:44

Awesome thoughts and writing about Your father.. Love MOM

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