Happy Birthday, Dad

The handsome young man in the picture above is my Dad.  Dad is celebrating his 98th birthday today.  The picture was made in 1938 as a Christmas present for my mother.

Dad was born in Texas, but while he was still a young boy the family moved to Arkansas.  They took the train to Arkansas, which Dad still remembers.  They then rode to their new home in the Ozarks in a covered wagon.  So he has experienced life from the covered wagon to space travel.  Dad met Mom when he was in the CCC working at a state park near her hometown in southern Indiana.

What I remember most about Dad is that he could do just about everything.  He built our house in Indiana mostly by himself.  In 1963 he was one of four people that his company took with them in a move from Indiana to Tennessee.  When he got close to retirement age he felt he wouldn’t have anything to do, so he taught himself to repair small appliances.  He once got a call on Thanksgiving Day from June Carter Cash asking him to fix a stove that had quit working and was threatening to ruin the Cash family’s Thanksgiving.  Dad made a house call and saved the day.  Mom made him give up his repair business when he turned 80, but even today people will stop him to tell him how much they appreciate the work he did for them.

Dad learned to use a computer when he was 90 and used it every day until he became legally blind about a year ago.  Until that time he was still fixing the roof of his house and doing other chores that we tried to tell him he shouldn’t be doing.  He just went ahead and did things anyway.

He has had to slow down since losing most of his eyesight.  Mom is also legally blind, and although my sister Janet and I would like them to live with Janet — she’s asked them to — they want to remain in their own home.  We have to admire their independence even though we do worry about them.  We check on them by phone every day and one of us goes every week to help them out.  Young adults at their church also help them out.  I guess they are doing about as good as can be expected under the circumstances.

Mom and Dad have been married for 71 years, and although it’s not her birthday I’m including this picture of Mom since the two of them are rarely if ever seen apart.  This picture was taken in February, 1940, about three months before Mom and Dad got married.

Last night Dad said that today was ‘just another day’.  I don’t agree — I think it’s a very special day.

Happy Birthday, Dad!

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27 Responses to “Happy Birthday, Dad”

  1. Tricia Says:

    I agree, I think it’s a very special day too! I have tears in my eyes from reading this about your dad (and mom too) so HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY to him! What a grrreat man

  2. Sandra Says:

    you are so right, it is a specail day. he sounds like and amazing man to me. and to learn the computer at 90 is really amazing. both pictures are beautiful and you are blessed to still have your parents. 71 years is longer than my life span, another amazing thing and another thing to make today amazing.

  3. Mildred Says:

    A wonderful tribute to your Dad on his special day and so lovely to see your beautiful Mom too. Thank you for sharing about their lives together. What an inspiration. The story about the Cash family is priceless. Happy Birthday to your Dad.

  4. Ruth Hiebrt Says:

    Happy Birthday to Dad,a man who inspires even those,like me,who do not know him.I wish him all the best,and you George are so richly blessed to still have your parents to worry about.

  5. Kathy Ariano Says:

    What an marvelous milestone! I have chills!! You are so blessed to have both parents in your life. Happy Birthday to your dad and blessings on both of them. You come from great stock!

  6. Karin Says:

    George what a wonderful tribute to your dad! Wow, handsome man and what a lovely gal he married. Oh, I love those old photos! I love the fact that you all are honoring their desire for independence and to live out their lives as they choose, despite their challenges! What a blessing they are to you and you to them! Happy Birthday from way up north here! Have a fabulous Sunday!

  7. Carla Says:

    Wow. Beautiful post and wonderful tribute to your Dad. Love the photos. Happy Birthday to your Dad! You are so lucky to still have both of your parents.

  8. Ginny Hartzler Says:

    I hope you have a great time with your parents. What wonderful stories, George! And a fitting and loving tribute to your dad. He looks like a real charmer! Of course I’ve seen him on Betsy’s blog before, but not as a young man. Where does your sister live? It is totally amazing how long they have been married, and that he traveled in an actual covered wagon. He really should dictate his life story, did he ever keep a journal? It would be amazing.

  9. busy bee suz Says:

    George, your father (and Mother) are just amazing…71 years????? WOWZA.
    I am so glad that they are doing well, what a blessing that is.
    I love the June Carter Cash story too.
    Happy birthday Dad Adams!!!

  10. Manang Kim Says:

    Ohhh makes me teary eyed. Your so blessed George both of your parents are still alive!!! And married for 71 years???WOW!! Now I could tell please set back all you people who wrote books about how to….in marriage and all those crap. Your parents knew more of what they wrote in their books. I love listening old love stories their ups and down how they make it through the years, it’s a treasure!! Anyway, before I’d be carried away…my greetings to your DAD , A happy birthday to him and more years to come!! God bless!!

    PS. I knew why your Dad is smitten to that young lady (your mom) above she is pretty and gorgeous love that smile!!

  11. Carletta Says:

    98 years old! Oh my gosh George that is utterly wonderful! A very Happy Birthday to your Dad.
    71 years of marriage is a testament to their love for each other.
    What a story about the Cash family and on Thanksgiving. Having gone on Thanksgiving tells about your Dad as well.
    My mouth dropped when I read they traveled in a covered wagon. You must have heard some wonderful stories all these years.
    I’m going to say a little prayer for your Mom and Dad right now George.

    A note about my moss rose – Tequila Fuschia was the actual name given to that particular variety.

  12. Mary Says:

    What a wonderful tribute to your dad and mom. 98…wow! That’s a lot of years and he has lived through many changes. My dad was a lot like yours….could do anything. I thing those kind of men are “dying out” What a great story about the Cash family thanksgiving.

  13. Rajesh Says:

    Happy birthday to your father. Your parents are made for each other.

    Your father is a self-reliant, self-made man. I can not even think of working at the age of 80 and learning new stuff at the age of 90. He is a great man.

  14. Josephine Says:

    Happy Belated Birthday Dad !!
    What a wonderful gentleman, and such an inspiration. He reminds me of my own dad, could fix anything, and if he didn’t know how, he would work at it until he figured it out.
    Are there even men around who still do stuff like that ?
    It sounds like your mum and dad were the perfect pair, and God Bless them both that they are still enjoying life, and each other.
    He’s a keeper !!

  15. Jane Says:

    Hi Geroge – 71 years, that is amazing! Hope that your day had a terrific birthday!


  16. Nensa Moon Says:

    Hi George,
    Im here from Betsy’s site…
    Just wanna say Happy birthday to your dad… Your dad was so blessed to live this age (98yo…wooww!!)… Hope his birthday will filled with loves and happiness…

    sending my regards from Indonesia,

  17. Judy Says:

    Married 71 years! That is a long time! Your parents aren’t that much older than mine, then – I figured out my father will be 93 in October, and they have been married 68 years. At least your father is in better shape than mine!

  18. Jen Says:

    Great post George! Your dad is awesome.
    I think the key after retirement is to stay moving like he did.

  19. Dorothy Says:

    Your parents are a handsome couple, then and now!! It’s wonderful that they can still live at home! I’m going to my Aunt’s 100th birthday celebration next Sunday and she still lives alone, ‘gardens’ in her flower beds, and even puts up some in the freezer. Happy birthday to ‘Dad’!

  20. happyone Says:

    A very special Happy Birthday to your Dad!!
    I think it’s wonderful that your dad and mom have been together for all those years!! I say good for them for keeping their independence! What an awesome couple.

  21. Jo and Grant Hedges Says:

    Oh George, happy birthday to your wonderful dad. I did a double take when I saw he and your mum have been married 71 years. Is that not due for the Guiness Book of Records. I have never heard of anyone married this long. And it sounds as though they’re still happy. Bless you and your sister (and your spouses) for caring for your parents. Oh this was a wonderful post. Happy birthday again George’s dearest dad.

  22. connieemeraldeyes Says:

    That is so neat, that he lived back in the covered wagon days. You need to get him to tell you stories about his boy hood days and record them. I wish I had asked my father to tell me all about when he was a child. He probably did years ago, but I hardly remember them. My mom said they used to take baths with the water from the washing macine.

  23. MaryBeth Says:

    What a wonderful story about a wonderful and amazing man.
    Happy Birthday Dad Adams. And happyness to your Mom too.
    How nice that they want to be independent as they can. And so great that you and your sis and the church folk help them out—-even if they don’t ‘need’ it.
    Wonderful post, George. MB

  24. Cheryl Says:

    I enjoyed reading about your parents, George. How wonderful that they have had a long, lasting marriage. They are to be looked up to indeed! I truly admire the older generation, they are strong, capable and to be much admired. Happy belated Birthday to your dad!

  25. Tootie Says:

    What a wonderful couple your parents are George. No wonder you are such a good husband to Betsy, with such a great example. That is something they should be very proud of.

    I too, have tears in my eyes. Your Dad is one in a million, as is your Mother. I think he deserves a Happy Birthday week. 🙂

    P.S. I think you will be hard pressed to come up with a better birthday post next year. 🙂 You’d better start working on that now.

  26. SquirrelQueen Says:

    This is a great tribute to your Dad George, he is an amazing man. You are lucky to have such wonderful parents who are still with you.

    Happy Birthday to your Dad!

  27. Rose Says:

    George, I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed this post….your parents sound like people I would love to know or be neighbors with.

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