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  • I wouldn't exactly call Dad the silent type, but he does measure his words, thinks on them carefully and rolls them around his head before he speaks. When he does say something, I listen. I listen when he doesn't say anything, too.

    Between the two strategies, I've learned quite a bit. That when you share a recipe with someone, the last step should read "remember that I love you," for example. To always bring something delicious to a party, how to cook for the people you love, and what loyalty really looks like. How to accept an offered arm, how to gracefully decline an invitation, how to tie a double windsor knot, and the type of clothes that flatter me. To appreciate classic rock. To forgive.

    Thanks to him I know J-stroke and C-stroke and how to pilot a canoe. He's taught me how to apply for a backpacking permit, to always pack my sleeping bag at the bottom of my pack, the best ways to whistle and hold a knife, and that if you walk into the woods alone & broken you will walk out healed. That a change of plans is not a failure, and to never jump when a horn blasts as I pass in front of a car (that one never gets old). How to set up a joke, and how to take one.

    He says do what you want, the money will come and he means it, but still works hard. He meets tears with a silent hug that says more than all the words in the world. When he speaks, Dad is larger than life. And when he doesn't, too.
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