In the house my father built

We celebrated his birthday in the house my father built, which sounds a lot more Biblical than it should, given the proven humanity of all involved.

Still, we honored him the best we we knew with hard work, a little American ingenuity, a big ole fire and corn popped in bacon fat.

That last delicacy was more of a nod to my Dad’s dad, a retired coal miner we called Pap, who dripped bacon fat on white bread and called it a “sammich”, but Dad would have loved it too.

In fact, I definitely recommend that everyone try bacon fat popcorn at least once in their lives.

We ate ours after spending the afternoon hauling and stacking wood at a cabin my dad designed and had built back in 1981.

In the 25 years since he died, we have honored him in a variety of ways, some extreme, like the time his high school retired his number, and some more mundane, like eating big bowls of ice cream.

Yesterday, we spent a quiet day in the woods and that felt just right.

We’re still at the cabin today, thanks to Martin Luther King Jr. Day. In honor of him, please enjoy this piece I wrote a few years ago, and this one I wrote last year.

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We’re posed here outside my dad’s cabin. This picture was taken in 1989 and I am pregnant with Katherine in it. Later that year, my Dad was inducted into the Packer Hall of Fame, which was thrilling for all of us.
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This was taken three years later. That’s my Dad in the background, Charlie in the air, and Katherine and my mom in the pool. Our cabin has given us many great memories in the 25 years since we took this picture and we’re all looking forward to all the great memories we’ll make in the future.

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