Whew the holidays were still a busy time for us this year! Since we couldn’t make our annual-ish trip up to Seattle to see family this year we decided to go for a quick little camping trip instead. While I was busy taking loads of gear from our house to the trailer to prep for the trip, I caught a glimpse of my favorite picture of you and the family on our bedroom dresser:
So many things to love in this photo!! First off, little Becky up there on the roots probably staring off at a different dog in the distance. Then there is Bri with the most epic 80’s bangs ever. She seems to be the only one aware a photo might be happening. And Bobbie with her sporty bottoms and equally awesome 80’s mom hair, telling one of the puppies to calm down because a photo is about to be taken. And you. The conductor hat and the classic plaid shirt are just oozing cool 80’s outdoor dad vibes.
Fashion awesomeness aside, the real magic happening in this photo is a moment that tells so much about the patriarch in that fantastic hat. You raised your family through play in the outdoors. You taught your daughters to be deeply connected to nature, and to respect it and leave it better then they found it.
You too, probably on many different occasions scurried around the house the night before a ski day, or prior to a camping trip to the Oregon coast – gathering gear and waxing skis – doing whatever it took to make the trip safe and a success. I know you did all of this, because I see it all in your daughter and how she too has chosen to raise her kids through play, in the outdoors.
The more days I spend as a father myself, and with each adventure I take with my own daughters on – my admiration for all you did with your daughters deepens. I can’t thank you enough for the veritable guidebook for being a cool outdoors dad you authored while raising Bri and Becky. I’ve followed your book closely, and when I catch a glimpse of my lovely three ladies gathered around a campfire on a frigid December afternoon, I sometimes feel a bit like a cool 80’s outdoor dad myself.
Another trait of yours that thankfully has been passed down to your grand-daughters is your commitment to being kind and giving to others. Indeed you lived by the golden rule, simply because the world needs more kindness. All those little bits of gear you passed to me over the years is a testament of your kind and giving nature. The climbing helmet that is above the work bench in the garage, the locking ‘biners we use on our dog leashes, and how could I not mention what is likely my most prized physical possession in the entire woooorld – Bonnie Boat.
The delight of passing along something that has brought you so much joy, so that another person can experience the joy – I don’t know if there is a greater physical gift that can be given. I found myself just the other day saying to myself “Wow you just pulled a Tim!” – when I gave an old pair of crampons to a friend. But I see your kindness living on in the girls too when this weekend they stocked up the Fairyland Treasures Mailbox with a bunch of old stuffies to share with other children in our community.
You also were so kind with your words Tim. Every time our trails crossed, one of the first things out of your mouth to me would be “You look good!”. Oh and there were times I heard that but felt far from good, like I felt like I looked horrible! But I think on those days, you likely could sense I was in a tough spot with whatever challenge parenting or life was throwing at me during that phase… you would know because you already walked that part of the trail before me. And those words – you look good – was just a subtle and kind way of saying I was doing good, doing the best I could, and I should be proud of it.
You could even say those words to me without speaking a word at all… like you did last June when you were here in Bend. I was playing a game with Teagan and you poked your head around the corner. You didn’t say a word, you just looked me in the eyes and smiled. You look good.
I’m going to remember that single smile for many years to come. Especially as my sweet little girls enter into their teen years, and I will have to reach again for the Tim Myers Guidebook and reference how to handle those times. If I recall correctly, one way you handled this phase was with humor. I love the story of how when the girls started to attract gazes from boys on the beach, that you and Bobbie would walk a little ways behind Bri and Becky, and chuckle at the passerby’s with lingering eyes. Sometimes all you can do is laugh right?
But I also think I’m going to just fully enjoy each season of life like you did Tim – they all have their distinct wonders and difficult challenges, but they are all equally beautiful and fleeting.
So those are some of the thoughts that have been flooding my head over the past few weeks Tim. We dedicated this year’s Christmas camp trip to you, because I know you would have loved nothing more then to join in on the adventure too. In proper accordance with your guidebook, I filled my phone with classics from Myers family road trips of days past like the Rocky IV Soundtrack, John Denver, and even a little ABBA.
And when we were all by the fire that last cold night of the trip, but our hearts were warm with all the love, I played one of your favorite songs out there under the stars. I know you would have said we all looked good… and maybe, just maybe – we looked just as cool as you all do in that picture on the log.