I would call my father a renaissance man. He can pretty much do anything--who else starts doing Bikram Yoga in his late 70's and does it well? He went to Harvard Law, always active in church, raised horses, ran large companies, ran small companies, was President of Ballet West for a bit, managed a ranch, plays tennis, loves art, hiking, thinking, reading, a loving husband, amazing father and inspiring grandfather.
That said, when I think of my dad I think mostly of gardening and hiking. Some of my earliest memories were working in the garden with him. When I was very young he decided to plant tons and tons of bulbs in the large yard that we had at the time. I remember planting those bulbs on a cool autumn day. When I became an adult and had my own yard I bought some peat moss to remediate the soil. I opened the large pack and was immediately assaulted with a sense memory so strong it made me cry. I was taken directly back to planting those bulbs and how much I loved the soil and how I had forgotten it until that moment.
I remember when we went hiking when I was little that he would tell us the names of all the wildflowers. I still know the names of all the ones he taught me. When we would go on long hikes we were always quiet on the way up the mountain, but then on the hike down we would talk and talk. I love to hear him talk about anything--to this day he is always interesting--although not always talkative.
I feel blessed that my children know their grandparents well--on both sides and that they are all wonderful people. My mom and dad have all of us (as many as are in town), kids and grandkids alike, over almost every Sunday. There are usually about 30 of us. Who does that every week and still smiles when we arrive?