If you've read last month's post, we made a tribute to our mom's for Mother's Day. We know without mom, we may not have survived childhood. However, there is a special place in our hearts for dads too. Being strong, dynamic, independent women, we owe our dads a debt of gratitude for treating us like we can (and will!) do anything we dream up. Our dads taught us how to camp, fix things, to throw and catch, and how to stay out of trouble. No matter what you call him (pops, dad, pa, paps) his job is just as important as mom's. Here are a few stories about our KK dads:
My Dad was a huge outdoor enthusiast. He loved to swim, fish, ski, ice-skate, sail and hunt—which he passed along to his 6 kids. We spent a lot of time in the woods, fishing and camping. I ended up with a career in the outdoor industry because of his influence. For some reason every time we went camping it would pour down rain. It was never just a little bit of rain—but a full on big rain. We had a big old canvas tent that was held up by 4 iron poles with a square set of iron poles in the peak. When it rained, the tent got really, really heavy and you couldn’t touch the canvas sides, or it would leak. On every camping trip that I can remember the tent would come down on us in the middle of the night from the weight of the water and somehow we managed to not get beaned in the head by the iron poles! Thank goodness tent technology and fabrics have come a long way. I miss my pop every day, and I am so thankful for all the time and fun we had in the outdoors. - Gail, Chief Operations Officer
My Dad is always active and we both find it difficult to sit still. His pride and joy is his spectacular English garden, complete with orchard, greenhouse and incredible vegetable patch. I miss shelling (and eating) peas together, picking raspberries and helping him dig up potatoes. I enjoyed being outside in my wellies “being helpful”. He encouraged my love for sports by taking me to English football matches.
Luisa being "helpful" in the garden with her dad
We went on many bike rides around the stunning Cotswolds region, and I still am at my happiest when cruising along on a bike. We spent summers hiking and adventuring in France and the Scottish Highlands. It didn’t matter what the weather, we were almost always playing outside. I truly believe my decision to make Colorado my home away from home stems from these experiences. When my parents first visited me out here they fell in love with Colorado too. Our next adventure is a trip to Japan. I’m excited to hike post roads, ride bikes around Kyoto and enjoy Japanese whiskey together. - Luisa, Sales Director
Mike, a.k.a. "Mike the Bike", a.k.a. "Mingo", a.k.a. "Dad" is soon to take on a new moniker, GrandDAD! And I'm so very excited to give him his first grandbaby. My kid will have a lot to learn from this dear ol' dad of mine. Here are just a few of the lessons that he taught me:
To love the outdoors, the flora and fauna and to protect and preserve it. From a young age, I watched him hunt, fish, and cultivate the land with reverence. As a marine biologist, Dad loves the ocean and would even teach me the scientific names of all the seashells we would find on trips to the coast of Maine. To this day, I can still recall that the slipper shell in Latin is Crepidula fornicata.
He taught me to throw like a girl. I always loved sports and I learned from him that being an athlete was more about hustle and dedication than physical ability. "You throw like a girl" was a tease, but it was also a compliment. Eye on the target, point your elbow, step, release and follow through...he was my coach and my cheerleader and throwing like a girl came to mean hard, fast and accurate. Plus, learning to keep your eye on the ball and focus on the target is just a great metaphor for life.
He taught me to explore, and that it's never too late to learn a new skill or hobby. Dad taught himself to play guitar in his thirties and took up singing with two different choral groups just a few years ago. I've watched him pursue his many passions throughout the years and it's taught me that at any age, it's okay to be open and vulnerable to new challenges and adventures. It's this same inquisitiveness that I embrace in my life and hope to instill in my kids. Love you Dad! - Alison, Customer Service Maven
When I was little, my dad would organize canoe trips. We would venture a week at a time to upcountry Maine, paddle down beautiful rivers, camp out and enjoy nature. My dad constantly gives great advice on all life's obstacles. I can't think of one piece of advice that is better than the rest. Lately, we've been having great chats about the similarities and differences in our values and opinions. I've been really grateful to be able to listen, learn and share during these talks. A few years ago, just the two of us went rappelling down a waterfall in New Hampshire's White Mountains. It was a really fun day and experience that I'm glad I was able to share with him. When my dad visits Colorado, I love to take him into the mountains and show him all the beautiful landscapes and secret places I've discovered. When I travel back to Boston, he does the same by taking me up in his Cessna to enjoy aerial views of the Atlantic coast and flying over the old seaside cities I miss. - Ellen, Product Development Manager
I'm pretty sure my dad was hoping to have a boy and disappointingly ended up with me. This actually became an advantage for me because my dad has treated me like a boy—which is to say, he thought of me as capable to do anything. Since before I can remember, he used to give my mom a break and I would sit on his lap and watch football with him on the weekends. We still talk football and when something big happens in the NFL or our favorite teams, I can't wait to talk to him about it. My dad at the beach where his heart is full.
When I was young, he definitely supported (and maybe sometimes forced) me into all kinds of athletic and outdoor endeavors. My first sport was soccer, I played on a co-ed team (thank you Title IX) his company sponsored our team and provided our uniform shorts. I ended up playing soccer through college and in high school I ran track and was the shortstop on our softball team. I am so thankful to have participated in team sports, I gained so many great skills and confidence that I have used throughout my life.
My dad was born and grew up in Hawaii and learned to live, love and respect the outdoors from a young age. He learned to fish and hunt from his uncles and spent most of his free time in the ocean swimming and surfing. He shared all of that with us, (mostly to give my mom a break and get us all out of the house) we'd go fishing, camping and on hunting trips. I now live in Colorado, and I didn't know until I moved here, how much I need water in my life. I know both of us find being near the ocean and in the water the best remedy for any problem, second best is being outside and getting a good sweat on. - Emelie, Marketing Maven
Mark's dad, Sam.
"My supervising pastor in seminary was a seasoned Southern parson named Sam Stanley. Sam pastored a little chapel in Arlington, Virginia, and people packed it to the gills every Sunday. You could easily underestimate Sam because of his laid-back style and bone-deep gentility. He wore his considerable clout like an undershirt, unconscious of it. Yet Sam was both the strongest and most subtle pastor I have ever known. Despite his determined opinions, he seldom spoke at meetings. He made himself available for appointments or counseling or coffee. He was an ace preacher; worship was memorable and moving. He and his wife Ruth ate lunch together every day." - Excerpt from a book published by his student Kendra, about Mark's Dad. Mark, Operations Manager
We hope all the dads out there have a great Father's day and get a big squeeze from your mini-me.