I'm a very lucky girl, because one of the perks of growing up on a family farm is having your Daddy home almost all day long almost every day. Granted, Daddy didn't really spend much time in the house during the day, but weather permitting, we children were often outside near our Daddy while he worked. We learned from his example what real work was as we watched him haul hay, clean out irrigation ditches, build barns and fences, milk and feed and doctor cows and grow a large garden of fresh vegetables every year. When we were small we mostly played nearby where he was working. As we grew older we were given chores and responsibilities, and shown how to help with the work. When I was young, much of the work was done with a team of horses, and we all learned to love and respect and care for these magnificent animals, often riding on the back of the horses holding on to the knobs of the harness while Daddy was hauling the hay for the cows on the wagon or sled.
Daddy could fix just about anything, from broken tractors and other farm equipment to broken harnesses and tools and bicycles. He and our Grandpa built their own homes and the barn. He built our playhouse in the front yard. He built bookshelves and desks, child-sized tables and chairs and doll cradles and even a bunk bed for my sister and I. Most of his grandchildren grew up with a rocking chair built by their grandpa.
As young children my siblings and I were privileged to sit down to three meals a day with both of our parents. Of course that changed once we were old enough to go to school and we were gone for the midday meal. Daddy also often rushed off to church meetings right after evening milking so didn't get his dinner until after we were in bed, but all of the other times more than made up for it. His example to us was also one of service to those in need and of responsibility to church and community. Most of all he was and still is an example of faith in a Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.
Life wasn't all work and no play. Daddy made sure that we had fun times together as a family too. Every summer when school was out we would take a road trip to visit new places and visit relatives. There were picnics up the nearby canyons, camping trips and hikes, bonfires and hotdog roasts in our own fire-pit in the yard. Every summer we had several trips to the hot-spring fed pools in the nearby town. Many Friday nights were spent at the local movie theater, and winter evenings often found us playing board games or listening to Daddy read us stories.
My Daddy isn't nearly as quick and nibble as he used to be. His eyesight doesn't allow for as much reading, and his arms and legs don't always move exactly where he wants them to move in his 10th decade of life, but in my mind and my memory, my Daddy is still the very best Daddy a girl could ever have.