Our Dad, Ralph A. Moehrke, was 85 on February 18 this year. Because we’re spread out all over the U.S. we got a little creative with our celebration. My sister made the card above. Then we compiled 85 things we know or love about Dad:
- I love the stories you tell, especially the ones about family, but also the one about Squaw bury Shortcut.
- I love your heart and passion for nearly everything, the stuff that makes you cry and the stuff that makes you hollering angry.
- I admire your ability to talk to nearly everyone and your willingness to do so. I did not get this gift. And, I believe it IS a gift.
- I love love love your pocket packets and envelopes of stuff, hours of entertainment and resources at my fingertips.
- Can I just say how grateful I am that I heard on Facebook that you are visiting Debbie Alder this morning, which she is looking forward to, and that you will be talking about her Dad because it’s his birthday too, and even though he’s in heaven. This blesses her, me, and you I am sure.
- The thousands upon thousands of jokes you send me, and the three I always use on stage that kill every time.
- The purple paisley shirt we both happen to own unbeknownst to each other.
- The photo attached demonstrating our shared perfect facial structure.
- Your laugh.
- If I need anything you have five of it somewhere.
- Your fantastic hair you’ve miraculously kept over the years that I will definitely inherit.
- Your willingness to always help whomever any way you can be helpful.
- When Dad comes to Seattle he is willing to vacuum the house…shhh, I maybe should not tell you all our secrets.
- Sarah says he is the only person she knows that puts his shoes on using a shoehorn.
- He comes to the dinner table without being called twice :-)
- His favorite dish is sweet and sour pork.
- When he shares a bathroom with Sarah and Stinkey he never complains, and then if he does he replaces the shower head to a hand-held style so it is similar to his at home :-)
- I admire your ability to find and make friends from complete strangers.
- I appreciate the organization of your “collections.” I always describe it like this, “If you asked my dad for a 16-inch brown shoe lace with gold tassels, he’d know he has one filed under B or S or T. But he’d have one!”
- I sure wish I could whistle like you do!
- I admire how you can fix almost anything.
- I have always thought it was awesome that you can recite Wisconsin vehicle laws word for word.
- I was always proud of the anchor tattoos that you used to draw on my hand when we sat with you at the kitchen table, us doing homework and you doing reports…or cleaning your gun.
- My happiest memories of growing up are of you leading us in adventures, or instigating hijinks; like when we drew pictures all over the wall right before it got paneled over. Remember when Mom came home from her meeting and saw what we did?
- I love that you finally got hearing aids! Thank you, in fact.
- Nobody can make a paper towel last from breakfast through lunch to 3:00 tea…better than you!
- Your compost is like sweet black magic dust that I am glad to bring home to Kentucky by the pail full.
- Your commitment to veterans, especially serving their final honors.
- Your support of local sports teams.
- You dedicated your professional life to law and order. That’s pretty cool.
- Your live trapping skills. Just how many critters have you nabbed at 562 Park Ave?
- The pride you take in all of your children and grandchildren, domestic and abroad.
- The car rides to nowhere that seemed to end somewhere….interesting.
- Dad introduced me to Grandpa Booie, Louie Rodriguez and John McClellan to name a few.
- Dad always has some $$ in his sock drawer.
- We had some remarkable adventures with an old Plymouth and a go-cart.
- There are only two things Dad cannot do. Brain Surgery and Paint.
- I have inherited the way he bangs the car window when he points at something.
- Dad is quick to get you started collecting something and very supportive acquiring objects for that collection.
- I like the way Dad signs checks.
- The way friends and neighbors wonder when Dad will visit next, and if they can get invited over.
- You have an awesome box of hats and don’t hesitate to apply them to the head of a good-natured suitor of your grand-daughter
- You pay off your bets in creative ways (the HUGE Buffalo nickel).
- Your friend-making and story-telling abilities remind me of my father (in a good way).
- He flies the Washington State flag when we visit.
- He has given up climbing the ladder which is very smart idea!
- He has a story each morning at coffee about the Association of the number he brings.
- He draws things on the toes of his socks so he can match them after washing
- He calls the ads in the Sunday paper “the Guts” and likes to separate them from the other sections!
- He was his parents youngest, their sixth.
- Once when he was pushing the family car back into the garage after sneaking it for a ride, it suddenly was going easier and he looked up to see his dad pushing, too.
- He mesmerized a young 15-year-old girl into sticking with him for 69 years.
- He has managed to never be bored even after almost 30 years of retirement.
- Every dinner is the most delicious one he has ever had.
- He ties the best knots, especially on a clothesline.
- He will go wherever or whenever I ask him to.
- He makes a good Meals on Wheels navigator
- Ralph never needs to be called to dinner twice…I think this is wonderful…in our house the standard is once nicely, twice not so nice!
- Mystery Trips in the car on rainy days don’t bother him :-)
- And the thought he has money in his sock for pie makes these rides even better!
- Dad used to go to school with some funny sounding names of people….
- We have a second generation of Swiss youth coming to stay 3-weeks in Seattle because of a long-ago relationship with Markus Lauber.
- On more than two occasions Dad came to Seattle and built a few things…a wood shed, and a work bench for the garage, which he signed and dated when they were built.
- The cork trick is a method to talk to the prettiest girls at a wedding reception!
- Grandpa doesn’t just do something for you, he teaches you to do it yourself.
- All my friends remember him, because he is a memorable guy.
- Similarly, he is welcoming to all.
- Dad has favorite places and he wants to take you there. For instance, his favorite place to eat in San Antonio is probably The Brown Bag. It’s a tiny place, sort of ramshackle and specializing in sandwiches and homemade goods. You order and flirt with the ladies at the counter and find a seat at a kitchen style table in the back room. Good!
- Dad has lots of friends we kind of get to know through his stories. I started hearing a lot about one of his friends he met getting a haircut. It was years before I found out his name was NOT Ron DeBarber!
- Speaking of barbers…Dad read about a barber that had written a book called Barber-osophy and his barbershop was in San Antonio. So off we went to meet Terry Sumerlin and dad had a haircut. www.barberosophy.com
- “Move with authority,” is always something he told us. I used to think this meant work faster. What it really means is so much more than that!
- Dad loves big sloppy cheeseburgers!
- And well-done (gray no pink) steak.
- Dad invented peanut butter toast folded over and dunked in coffee.
- Just get dressed…a man on a flying horse will never stop to look.
- Dad met Mom at a bus stop on February 7, 1944. (He wrote this in my birthday diary.)
- Dad thinks about secondary uses for things, teaching us to be resourceful.
- Dad has dog friends that he has saved bones for and brought people to meet.
- Sling shots. Dad makes the best sling shots.
- Dad creates value sometimes where others might not see value.
- Every kid and probably grandkid got his first box or bucket of tools from Dad/Grandpa.
- When making rustic benches or other master carpenter projects, Dad will make square nails so they are more authentic.
- Each one of us is Dad’s favorite and we know it.
We love you Dad!
Robin & Bob
Kate & John
Dan & Liz
Marianne & Tom
Gail & Pete
Jill & Drew
John & Dawn