I love telling the story about being pregnant at the same time my mom was with her last child!
We did our best to keep you safe, but one unlucky day the coffee table won and you suffered a horrible black eye. Gratefully we did not have to take you to the E.R. and subject ourselves to an investigation from Child Protective Services. I don't remember people taking about CPS back then. Happily you recovered from this and other childhood accidents.
We had our share of hampsters, cats, and dogs after Zeke went to bird heaven. You developed a love for Snoopy, the Peanuts dog, and faithfully read all Charles Schultz books ever published by the time you were in the 6th Grade.
We also tried to teach you the value of work outside, which became more miserable for you as you developed an allergy to grass when you were in high school.
Karen begged us for her own dog after we took Kasha, our Norwegian Elkhound to a farm where she could run. We all fell in love with Barney, our beloved cocker spaniel! He came to live with us in 1980 and went to doggie heaven in 1989. See the red Datsun truck in the picture? Don't tell anyone, but we let you drive it before you even had a license because you had some lawn mowing jobs and that cash was important to feed your computer habit!
I tried to find a picture of you with the Apple Computer surprise at Christmas time, 198l, but could only find a picture of your room at Stimson Hall, probably taken in 1987 or 1988.
Imagine our joy watching you in the Civic Theatre production of Oliver and watching you become a great trombone player in the CHS marching band!
Lots of things have changed since 1981....
You've taken a bride and started a family
You've become a father
You like to wear hats
And make Grandma's Christmas Cookies
And search for just the right picture
And dress up in funny costumes!
And be a kid again with the Simpsons!
And teach Colin about the magic of electricity!
And spend hours making a Minecraft Cake for Colin's 8th birthday
Your life became so much more than I imagined that Easter day 46 years ago. You are a successful computer scientist, an attentive son, and a devoted family man. You are kind and sensitive to children and your elders. You are patient with the technically challenged. You appreciate God's creation and wait for the just right picture to express what you see. I never imagined that you would be interested in family history or would try so many family recipes. I'm grateful you invite me on your family trips, hikes, and birthday celebrations. You've expressed your delight over the years when you've discovered I've saved legos, books, toys, and newspaper articles. You may have inherited some of my "saving" genes because you've saved old radios and computer equipment. Did you ever imagine you'd be teaching your son how to write code and program the Apple IIe that's now 30 years old?
It's a wonderful gift you have - the ability to teach others what you know with incredible patience!
Happy Birthday Duane