Sunday, February 27, 2011

The House of Hilbert

Another birthday post?  Oh, yes.
Apparently, Didi's birthday post was a hit and I couldn't think of a single thing to send my dad... so...
Happy Birthday, Dad!

Bill Hilbert - 1966

In all seriousness, I'm going to see him in a few weeks...So, this post will have to cover me until then...

Oh, the things I know about my dad.
For those of you who know me, these things should be another piece of the puzzle:

Things I know about Bill:
  • He doesn't call me by name, usually.  To Dad, I'm either Grace, Gracie or Duckie.
  • My father's isn't a tall man... he is rather short, but his voice and presence make him seem like a giant.
  • Dad looks like a cross between Sean Connery and Clint Eastwood.
Mom and Dad... not Clint/Sean-like here

  • He taught me how to pour drinks at a young age (Hey - we're Irish, gimme a break).  He was perplexed that his request for 2 fingers of scotch was pathetic, until he remembered that my fingers were so small.  He later would request 3 fingers of scotch by holding up 3 fingers sideways.  No other words were necessary.
  • My dad made all of the kids work in the house.  Really work.  We replaced the roof, added rooms, refinished cabinets and every winter we would carry 3 cords of wood behind the garage.  It was a real pisser when I was the last kid left in the house.  3 cords of wood is a lot for a 14 year old girl.
Dad starting child labor with Stacia, age 2

  • My father had an antique wheel barrel that dates back 125 years.  It has a metal wheel.  It is really awesome.  It is not so awesome when you're transferring 3 cords of wood.
  • Pneumatic tires were brought to America in 1892. (*Dad... really?  You couldn't BUY A NEW WHEELBARROW?)
  • My Dad knows everyone in every store he has ever shopped in.  In Ireland, it is called the craic.  He has the ability to have a conversation with anyone.  I think I inherited this.  I can't help myself.
Dad - Probably telling a story

  • My dad was once so bored in the military that he had a mustache growing competition with his friends.
Dad is on left... Yes, that is a real mustache.  We're so proud.

  • Dad once chased me around a Christian bookstore with a cross and made it sizzle on my forehead.
  • During a different shopping trip, my dad once walked around the Christian bookstore muttering Jewish phrases.
  • I no longer go to Christian bookstores.
  • When I was 13, my Dad woke me up at 3 am to take me to breakfast and to watch the sun rise on Galveston Island.  We later rode horses on the beach.  
  • My dad likes to do things like make shark meat sandwiches and watch a Jaws marathon.
  • My father forced us to watch "This Old House" and eat tuna sandwiches every Sunday.  I can do great impersonations of Bob Villa and... Steve.  No one likes Steve.  No, Steve... you can't try it.
  • We have Bob Villa's autograph.
  • I inherited my Dad's love of reading.
Dad holding Ana and Keira

  • Dad woke me up every Saturday by playing the 1812 overture as loud as our stereo would allow.  
  • I played a practical joke on my Dad by having my college graduation ring sent COD to his house and didn't tell him about it.  He thought it was funny enough and paid the remaining $479 dollar balance.  I think he was proud of me for playing the joke.
  • My Dad played a CD of rain and thunderstorms during a rain shower.
  • My Dad's favorite speech to all of his children starts with "This is the house of Hilbert..."  It was a speech all of us heard a thousand times.  He reminded us that family is the most important thing and that we would always have each other.
Dad and Mom with the grandchildren.  The House of Hilbert lives on.

  • We do.

I love you, Daddy.
I have your present on it's way to your house.
You'll love it.

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