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The year was
1979, and my daughters were ages two, five and seven.
Father’s Day was approaching, and I was trying to come
up with an original gift idea. Money was tight because
we were in the process of renovating a barn into our
home while we were living in it.
Suddenly, it hit
me. “We’ll paint his tractor!” It was Tom’s first
tractor, a used one he bought when we first moved to the
northern Virginia countryside from Washington, D.C.
“Yes, a new paint job for his tractor is what we’ll give
Daddy for Father’s Day,” I told my young daughters. They
Off we went to the local
hardware store in the nearest town. A salesman
approached and asked if he could help me. “Yes,” I said.
“I’m looking for paint for my husband’s
“What color do you have in mind?” the
I looked down at my daughters and
asked each of them what color they wanted.
want pink,” my oldest daughter said.
yellow,” my middle daughter said.
“I want blue,”
my youngest daughter said.
The salesman looked at
me, barely able to hide his shock, and politely asked if
my husband knew anything about what we were
“No,” I smiled. “We’re surprising him
for Father’s Day. He’s going to be thrilled!”
hope you have a strong marriage,” the gentleman replied,
We left the hardware
store with several different colors of paint. I hired
our favorite babysitter for a few consecutive afternoons
after school to watch my youngest daughter while our
masterpiece began. We started with the hubcaps. One soon
had a big daisy in the center; another, a sunburst; the
third, a smiley face; the fourth, a star.
repainted the body of the tractor a pretty blue, and the
headlights resembled happy eyes. We painted “We love
you!” on the hood facing his seat, which we emblazoned
with a big red heart.
When our job was finished,
we were all thrilled! Father’s Day couldn’t get here
The big day finally arrived, and we
sent Tom on a mini treasure hunt. We handed him a
written clue, which led to a spot where he found another
clue, and so forth, until he eventually wound up in his
shed. There he discovered the newly painted
“Did you girls do this for me?”
Tom asked with a huge smile on his face.
girls jumped all over him, no longer able to contain
Each of them then took turns
showing their daddy which part of his tractor she had
“Look at my star!” one
“And my daisy!” another
“I love it! I love it!” he laughed,
hugging them all together. And he meant it. I knew he
We went back to the house together, and
Tom put on his long-sleeve, black T-shirt designed to
look like a tuxedo. He took an old top hat we’d stored
away in the closet for who knows how long. “Can I have a
picture taken with you girls?” he asked his daughters,
now beaming with delight.
Tom drove his tractor
closer to our house, and soon the girls were sitting on
their father’s lap or standing up next to him on his
tractor. I snapped away with my camera.
says it all: Tom, top hat, tuxedo, trio of daughters and
a tractor, all saying, “We love
(c) 2004 from Chicken Soup for the Father
and Daughter Soul
Do you have a favorite link you would like to
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AS SEEN ON CHURCH BULLETIN
"People are like tea
bags--you have to put them in hot water before you know
how strong they are."
"Dusty Bibles lead to
"God so loved the world
that He did NOT send a
"How will you spend
eternity? Smoking or Non-smoking?"
"Come work for the Lord.
The work is hard, the hours are long and the pay is low,
but the retirement benefits are out of this
"Do not wait for the
hearse to take you to church."
"Forbidden fruit creates
1/2 pounds small boiling potatoes
3 tablespoons cider
vinegar, or to taste
5 hard-boiled large eggs
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
chopped sweet onion
3 large celery ribs
potatoes. In a large saucepan cover potatoes with salted
cold water by 1 inch and simmer, covered, until just
tender, about 15 to 30 minutes, depending on size of
potatoes. In a colander drain potatoes and cool to warm.
With a sharp knife peel warm potatoes and cut into
1/3-inch-thick slices. In a bowl immediately toss
potatoes with vinegar. In a bowl mash yolks and stir in
mayonnaise, mustard, and onion. Chop whites and celery
and gently toss together with potatoes, mayonnaise
mixture, and salt and pepper to taste. Serve potato
salad chilled or at room temperature. Yield: 6
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