Friday, March 9, 2012

# 223 - My Dad & Clive Cussler

I have an awesome dad. His birthday is this Saturday, and we're having a gathering at our house to celebrate that afternoon. I'm sure we'll have lots of great pictures of all the wonderful family and friends who are planning to join us for our festivities. I can't wait.

My dad is an avid reader. He's a rough and tough kind of guy who happens to like to read. I guess being married to my mother for about 40 years sealed that deal for him years ago. My mother had her Masters in Education and I think dad decided he'd rather be reading than watching television because the act of reading warranted silence.

Ahhhh, the power of a book. Shhh!

My dad, Doug, and author, Clive Cussler
But, mom passed away in 2006 from breast cancer, so dad has been a single man for quite a while, at an unexpected age. A while back, my dad went to the Houston Yacht Club, near our home and met one of his favorite authors, in person. He even had him sign the latest book I'd bought for my dad. He had a great day around boats, old cars and a great author.

The shirt my dad is wearing was purchased on-line, from Clive Cussler's private collection. Not only does Mr. Cussler write about treasure hunting in the ocean depths, he actually is a bonafid treasure hunter in real life. Cussler has searched for and found over 60 lost ships, some of great historic significance.

Clive Cussler is the author or co-author of over 35 books. Dad especially likes the Dirk Pitt novels, which is a series that appears to be very enjoyable.

Now onto more fun sights at the Yacht Club.

By Sea or by Land...I'd take any of these; I'm not picky.

These cars are beautiful. It's hard to believe that we've come so far from the initial automobile days. If I get to live to see old-age, I can't even imagine what kind of vehicles we'll be using at that future time.

My dad is a sweetheart. Here he is with his youngest grandson.

Since my mom died in 2006, he's been without a wife for quite a few years, but he's determined to officially stay single. He told me that he would not be one of those men who rushed to be married after the death of his wife, and he's stuck by his word. But, I think it's because he's confident in who he is and not afraid to spend some time alone. Actually, he values his peace and quiet. And, he longs to protect his assets.

Doug, my dad, is suddenly getting a head-full of hair after my
cousin, Bo Franks puts on the magic postion.

He values being able to do things his way. His late wife (my mother) had contracted Polio as a young child and even with her severe physical limitiations due to Polio ravaging her body on a permanent level, he loved being with her and he loved their companionship. Since she's been gone, it's been very difficult for him to be with other women because he feels as if too many are complaining while not really having anything worthwhile to complain about.

After spending most of his life with a wife who battled against major obstacles, he's been faced to realize that my mom rarely complained. So, it's like a mosquito buzzing in your ear canal for him to hear someone whining and complaining when they're actually in decent health and able-bodied. He's become intolerant to whiners. That about sums it up.

In the picture: My mom, my sister and my dad.
My mom, the retired Houton teacher went with dad to help
my sister set up her first classroom before her first teaching day
at high-school begins. Such a great time. We were ALL there!
After dating several women and a few more after that, and a couple in between...he's concluded that each one would eventually drive him crazy. And he realizes that my mom, his wife, was a complicated woman, with simple needs, she demanded much, yet was easy to please, she rarely complained, but she easily spoke her mind...I know he misses her more as time passes because he is continually confronted with the awful truth of how difficult it is to find a good partner.

Here we are in his Owens Yacht - my daughters are comfy and cozy.
I guess this is when we find ourselves needing to focus on other aspects of our lives. So, this is probably the reason for his drop-by visit this past Sunday to my house.

Dad walking me down the aisle. It meant the world, even
though I was already secretly married via elopment Hes
whispering in m year, not quietly enough, that he'll get me a
new car and send me on a European vacation if I don't get married.
This is all in fun, I have been working in Houston since 16 yrs old
 to pay my own way, I pay for for my own car that I purchased.
and I even carry my own health insurance.
Yep, getting married isn't going to change much.
As for his visit to our house this past Sunday, actually, I think he enjoys playing with Howdy more than anything. They play ball, rough-house a bit and then Howdy jumps up in dad's lap and leans in against his broad chest for a good hug. My dad needs hugs, so it is sweet to see Howdy be so affectionate with dad. But, my dad draws the line at refusing Howdy a smooch; he's not into receiving any puppy kisses, but that's okay, Howdy loves him anyway.

I hope my dad continues to search for a house near my acreage. He's been looking for the perfect place. I don't think he can stand us being that far apart; he's got to move as well. He's a country-boy at heart, so it will be good for him to move out of refinery-land, which is all he's known his adult life. I'd love for him to be free of it as well. He already has a couple of houses, here in Houston and another in Austin. I hope he sells one or the other before he buys a third.

Wish I had that problem! I'm trying to juggle getting this house sold so that we can start building on our land. We've not yet reached the point he's been able to attain through years of back-breaking work and diligent savings.

Maybe there's hope for me yet. At least I am blessed to have a dad who is sweet to me. Even if he is a bit of a player...that's something that I must live with...knowing that mom is a woman who left an empty spot in his life that cannot easily be filled means that he must keep doing his best to meet lots of women and date too many at one time. Since I am over 40, I cannot keep up with the names and faces, so this could get tricky.

At least he's slowing down a bit. I think. I guess we'll celebrate his birthday this Saturday and then see what this next year has in store for dad. It will probably be books, cars and women.

I guess he's earned it.

My dad at the lake at our property, with all the grandkids.
He's a big boy.
I just hope he doesn't get burned!


LindaG said...

Happy Birthday to your dad!

Mike said...

Boats and cars! You'll probably be flying a Jetson's vehicle, surveying your land from above.

Silly me. Not knowing Clive and misreading your caption, I thought what a strange name the woman sitting next to him has. ;)

Clint Baker said...

Happy Belated! I love all the ol cars!

Clint Baker said...

Happy Belated! I love all the ol cars!


Great photos. What a nice tribute to your dad.
He looks in good shape but like you I hope he doesn't get burned.
I've been married almsost 50 years to my husband and I decided a long time ago if he is gone first I'll spend my days by myself. No way can you replace what you had.
And too many problems to contend with. I love to have peace and quiet in my life and I'm not big on taking chances.
So hope dad will be content to date and not marry! My two cents.
Blessings to you on your move, Barbara Whittington
My book VADA FAITH is free on Kindle ebook at Amazon this week end. If you don't have a kindle you can download it free to your laptop or computer.
Hope you at least give it a look! said...

Linda --- Thank you. We had an amazing time celebrating. My family is nuts!

Mike -- you'd probably like the Clive Cussler books. Go to the used book sale and get some. But, the Dirk Pitt novels have to be read in order, as a series. He's truly an incredible author. And, I've been waiting for the Jetson era to hit...I'd like to have that Maid Robot move in tomorrow.

Clint --- my dad loves old cars and motorcyles. He's instilled of love of the same in each of us kids. Fun stuff.

B. Whittington --- My dad is one of those people with great strength and endurance. I think the secret to his vitality is his zest for living and for enjoying everything he can grasp. He's a fun guy. As for the partner aspect of life, after 40 years with my mom, I think he's settled that he's not getting married again. But, I he's such an active guy that I know he misses the companionship for doing simple things, such as going to the movies, to the rodeo, etc., and we kids do things with him, but we can't keep up with his level of activity. If something happened to my husband, I'd not EVER want to date or be married to anyone else. He's set the bar SO HIGH that I'd not be able to be content with anyone else. Living with the love of your life kind of does that to us! :-) As for your book, I will be checking it out! I'm so excited! I don't have Kindle, but will as my brother-in-law to help. You must be very proud!