I loved getting sports equipment for my birthday and Christmas, the football was one of the highlights and I could throw a spiral pass better than most boys. I still have that ball today. When I close my eyes, and smell the leather, I’m that little girl again with pig tails playing catch with dad. Dad was my sports pal and I was his. We lived for Saturdays. We would wake up early, be the first ones on the lake for water skiing on nothing but glass, or the last ones off the mountain at Alta, Snowbird, Snow Basin, Park City, or Deer Valley. No one does hot chocolate like Deer Valley, and a Watson Burger at Alta is on the all time best burger list! If we weren’t skiing, we were off looking at boats or guns, right after we went to visit Grandma. We would leave with a bag of her frozen chocolate chip cookies, that were so nasty, we would pick the chocolate chips out of them and throw the cookie part away . . . sorry Grandma.
Dad never missed a swim meet, and I swam competitively for 12 years. He would take me to practice every morning at 5:00 AM – sit and watch in the balcony until 7:00, then drop me off back home to hurry and get ready for the bus to take me to school. My aunt or my mom would pick me up from school at 3:00 drop me off at the pool and I would swim from 4:00 to 6:00. If dad was off work soon enough, he would pick me up and take me home. We spent many weekends at swim meets and dad was the only one I could hear cheering me on above the crowd. I swam to the beat of his cheering – and quite often that was pretty fast.
Some of my most favorite memories are of our Lake Powell trips. If there is a Heaven on Earth, it’s up the San Juan River Arm, or Escalante on Lake Powell. We lived on the boat and dad put extra gas tanks on, so that we could get farther than most other boats for the most pristine camping spots you can imagine. The boat didn’t move on Sunday. We found our camping spot Saturday afternoon and it didn’t move until Monday. Sunday was spent reading your scriptures on any one of the blow up flotation devices we had acquired.
Even in High School I preferred spending my Saturday’s with dad. In college I helped him train for an Iron Man Triathlon. He was amazing. He ran the St. George Marathon numerous times, the Deseret News Marathon and many 50 milers. Just as he was there for me, I stood at the finish line for him or rode my bike along the way.
I always felt safe when I was with my dad, and that included when he traveled with me to Romania to adopt our middle child. My husband stayed home to hold the fort down and dad went with me. I wouldn’t have made it without him. Every good childhood memory I have has my dad in it.
So Dad I want you to know how much I Love You, and am grateful for all the life lessons you taught me, many while on the slopes or in the water.
Happy Father’s Day Dad, I Love You,
Your Pal Les