This past Father’s Day was an eventful one. I came back with my family from a week long trip of riding and mudding in Tennessee to find out my Dad had flooded his basement while doing laundry. *sigh* It’s times like this, I really wish I weren’t an only child. Dad had to deal with this alone, plus there was no one to help me.

He had started the laundry and went outside to mow and apparently something broke and the water never stopped filling up the washer. He discovered it after he had mowed his entire yard, which I’m guessing was an hour or so. Plenty of time for it to slosh up the carpet and about half of the basement that has no sump pump.

This house was sort of my childhood home. We moved in there my freshman year of high school. So while I have memories of other homes, this one is the one I think of as “home”. It pretty much has looked the same way since I used to live there, too. With furniture changes probably once, but the wallpaper and carpet have remained. We’ve celebrated many a Father’s Day in this house.

The house is really cute, a chalet looking cedar house built into a hill with a walk out basement. Dad has lived there now for 34 years and it was Mom’s dream home. The house remains imprinted with my mom’s style everywhere even though she’s been gone going on 9 years now. I think I got my sense of style from Mom. She loved rich colors and greenery everywhere. I decorate that way myself. The rust colored carpet which she always called Paprika is now rolled up in many pieces and sitting outside.

When I arrived at the house on Father’s Day late afternoon, Dad had already cut out a small portion of the carpet after he had gone to the hardware store to get a shop vac and had tried to suck out as much water as possible with it. He had worked until he nearly collapsed. I never really think of my dad as old, but this last year I’m being reminded more often. He is 70 years old but really, he has a better social calendar than I do. He golfs a few times a week on average and meets his life long buddies that date back to Little League for lunch about once a week.

It’s sad to think about how much this is going to change the look of the house. I had to take over and cut out as much carpet as I could and drag it outside, but I had to leave to get home so my husband could get to work. I went back yesterday with my son and we cut the rest of the carpet out and scraped all the remaining pad and glue off with a flat head shovel and a really small putty knife. Prior to the removal of the carpet, I made a trip to the local Lowe’s and picked out new carpet, pad and flooring to replace the now missing soggy carpet. I also bought a dehumidifier to help dry everything out since he doesn’t even run his ac all the time. (!) Another sign of old.

Dad with Cali

Dad with Cali

The carpet I picked is nothing like the lively Paprika color he is used to. While I would love to have the rust color back in there it just isn’t the safest choice at this point. The basement is dark and so is his cat. He’s mentioned before her tripping him up because he just cannot see her. So I’ve selected a blended beige. The time has come to “elderly proof” the house, just as I once baby proofed mine. He has made peace with this. He doesn’t want to fall anymore than I want him to. I’m hoping he has his mothers longevity. Grandma lived to almost 96. I was cheated by losing Mom too early, I fully expect restitution by a long living father in good health, I hope.

It still is sad though to see the man I’ve always looked up to all my life as the strong care giver become the one who needs care if even occasionally. I gladly give all the care he needs, I love him very much and still look up to him. He’s been enjoying his retirement and I think he’s as shocked as I am that he’s not as young as he used to be and it is showing.

I couldn’t have asked for a better father. He’s often my confidant and career advisor, the one who gently tells me the truth when I need it. My dad is the reason I’m an artist. He’s the reason for my off beat humor and my fantastic taste in music. He is the reason for so much of my outlook on life and sense of fairness. His strong work ethic is not matched by many. He took care of me and Mom where we nary had a care… as provider, he made sure we didn’t do without, always extremely creative, he made paper sculptures to sell for extras for us and I remember him working on them into the wee hours of night.

He worked long hard hours as an artist for advertising agencies all his art career. He worked at Keller Crescent for years as the Creative Director in the AV department (audio visual) working grueling hours and traveling endless days as he created slideshows, synced music and ran multiple projectors for big name companies hosting huge shows back in the day before Power Point. As a child I have memories of going to work with him on Saturdays, the smell of markers is something I’ll never forget. Later, Ball Communications as Creative Director once again and doing old school paste-up with Rubylith and Amberlith, creating logos, illustrations, outdoor boards, campaigns and all things creative. He formed a successful marketing and advertising company with a lifelong friend called Courthouse Design Group when computer technology made its way into his career and he learned how to do all of that on a computer while most people his age were defiant and/or clueless. After several years of that, a new opportunity at Kitch and Schreiber (again as Creative Director) where I later came to work under him and he eventually retired. A more driven and loyal employee you’ll never find.

My mom loved him blindly. They were soulmates who were happy to just lay on the couch together and watch TV. Never did they go to bed mad and rarely did they argue. Mostly they laughed, and loved one another. I learned what a marriage is supposed to be by watching them. My dad has not only been and continues to be a fantastic father, he was a fantastic husband to my mother.

Dad trying to get Asher to laugh

Dad trying to get Asher to laugh

He was my role model and now is for my son Asher (along with his father, of course). Always there with a sense of humor and some wild, unheard of fact about whatever was going on at the moment. He was and still is the King of useless facts, ha ha… Trivial Pursuit had nothing on him. He’s truly an interesting individual with incredible creative talent I was lucky enough to be exposed to. He was my teacher growing up (still is), and he was by boss for years at an ad agency together. We got along great and he was the best boss I ever had, not just to me but to everyone who worked under him. His patience is something I still strive for but haven’t achieved yet.

On a Hilton Head vacation

Dad and myself – On a Hilton Head vacation

Dad served our country in the Army. He was drafted during the Vietnam War, luckily though he was assigned to the Pentagon and we all moved to Washington D.C. for the duration of his service. Being an artist is what saved him from going into combat. Dad was a proud Boy Scout and came from a scouting family where I hear endless entertaining stories from the past that he now re-tells to my son. The college stories from Terre Haute will have to wait until Asher is a bit older. There are plenty of them as well.

I’ve encouraged Dad to write a memoir about all of the interesting facts and crazy things that have happened to him throughout his life, as I think it would be a hysterical and wildly amusing book. I would urge to him to add this Father’s Day washing machine mishap for sure! Maybe someday. He’s just been a super fun Dad, that’s for sure. One I’m so thankful for.

So Happy Father’s Day Dad and to all the Dad’s out there.

Dad toasting camera

Cheers! Dad toasting and me watching. Circa 1972 maybe.

paintings by New Harmony, Indiana artist Jaime Haney

some of my paintings

Learn more about me on the ‘About’ page in the menu at the top. I’m an artist – a painter mostly and an avid gardener. I paint a variety of subjects including birds, koi fish, my gardens, ponds and flowers as well as anything having to do with nature especially trees and tropical scenes. I also enjoy painting abstracts and have started created more and more of them. My most favorite thing to try to achieve in my painting is is mystery.

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