Gifts from my Dad, Michael W. Stoner:
-Love of learning. You taught me to be curious, to explore, to find an answer. I remember fondly playing the dictionary game at the dinner table.
-Family time. Said dinner table, vacations, Sunday hikes, drives.
-Game playing- you were teaching, entertaining, passing time and sharing time when we: passed the VT drives with the alphabet game, the hide in the back seat and guess where we were car...you loved to drive us through the alleys, the hand slapping game -not really a slap, more a tap- all about quickness. The guess what I'm drawing and you'd strategically sketch and item making it a challenge to uncover the answer.
-Appreciation for music- bluegrass in particular but also classical, classic country....you even made this into a game..."name the instrument you hear" in the concerto! You gave me my lullaby- Edelweiss. Yes this is why we danced to this at my wedding. I can't hear The Country Gentleman and not think of you.
-Great dance partner- you were the first person to dance with me and I learned to follow. Looking forward to a turn on the dance floor with you this weekend!
-A good laugh....you love to share the Rotary jokes and have quite a witty sense of humor. You taught me how to short sheet a bed!
-Love of the outdoors- picnics and hikes. Mom- thanks for taking care of Daddy today and packing a great picnic this Fathers Day- I'm sorry not to be with you. Sure I didn't always love them. My teenage years in VT were tough...but I got there. Joe and I hiked Abraham eventually!
-Love of trains.... a spike at the shooting range today made me think of all the spikes I proudly collected to show you. When I'm stopped by a train at a Railroad Crossing I smile and think of you, same goes for a train whistle and love a train ride. The NY trip was pretty special for Spring Break 2015!
-Appreciation of Quotes- the serious and classic one below, but even fun ones like Ogden Nash'- a door is what a dog is perpetually on the wrong side of!
-And as I said in my toast at your 50th Anniversary to Mom- what I love the most is the quote you love to share and have lived your life by.... the best gift a father gives his kids...to love their mother!
-You taught me to be confidant and go into the world alone- coaching me to learn to go to the movies by myself and not be afraid to introduce myself to strangers. All the places I've been a thanks to that advice and coaching. And you've always been there to hear the story, chat about the outcome...
-You took me to the SAT and told me to get good nights sleep, and took me for a good breakfast. When I had a challenge with an automotive test at Federal-Mogul you shared the same advice.... but then called me back ten minutes later with the E Encyclopedia book and we went through the engine step by step. I received a B on that exam!
Those that know me and my life on Newark-Granville Road know I love a good adventure and I thank my parents for that gift.
I'm sorry I didn't send a card this year....today on Fathers Day I know how lucky I am in my life on Newark-Granville Road to have you as my Dad. I love you.