I've always heard about the daddy/daughter connection. I love my mom, no doubt. Though physically diminutive, she is a tower in spirit, a strong woman who supported and loved her family and husband humbly, but ceaselessly. Meals were colorful, healthy, nutritious, and always on time. Our house was beautifully but simply decorated, clean, organized and welcoming, a haven we were proud to call home. She and dad carved out an acre of domestication from a wilderness of scrubby pines, saw briars and honeysuckle to build a house, plant and tend a garden and establish flowing beds of azaleas and camillias that exploded with color every spring.
Although not my favorite activity, dusting was my duty and Dad made sure it was done, and done right every Saturday morning before I made other plans. Afterwards, it was my favorite to follow in his footsteps, whether to saw down a gnarly old pine or re-wire the lights in the garage. He instilled a can-do attitude in everyone around him, supporting my mom in projects that weren't always the ideal feminine standard of the day. Things like squashing dead the spittle bugs that threatened her centipede lawn or ripping the top off a bluebird box after seeing the slithering shape of a blacksnake escaping down the post.
Mom gave me roots, but it was Dad who gave me wings.