I didn't realize how good he is at dodging a camera until I needed a picture for this post. I scrounged through four years' worth of photos on my hard drive, and this is the only semi-front shot of my father-in-law that I can find. It's a shame, because he's rather good-looking, even at sixty-something and taxed as he is by DEB's antics.
His current project, sparked a bit by this stove but more likely the skyrocketing price of fuel, is researching the purchase and installation of a coal-fired furnace to replace our current oil system. While baby-sitting my kids, he's making all sorts of phone calls, taking measurements, and scouring brochures from different dealers. Once we get our desktop back online, I suspect he'll do a lot of that stuff on the Internet.
When I return home from a deposition (during which he and DEB are watching our offspring), I often find my kitchen is fairly shiny and the dishwasher is running. The trash is emptied and the cans are at the curb waiting for the next day's collection. Sometimes our grass is cut and the poop is scooped. The other week he regrouted the bathtub.
In one respect, it makes me feel horribly guilty, but I am so happy to come home and find these little (and sometimes big) things done.
In light of all this, a mere "thank you" seems so lame. The occasional dinner or DEB-sitting Saturday isn't enough. Frankly, I don't know what we'd do without him. This Father's Day, I'd really like to bless him somehow, but I'm not sure what we can do. If anyone out there has any ideas, I'd sure like to hear them.