Happy Father’s Day to all the dads throughout the world…Crossing the road in Kruger and more…

Crocs aren’t necessarily pleasing to the eye, but they’re an essential player in the food chain.

“Sighting of the Day in the Bush”

Bushbaby heaven. Six on the pedestal with their nightly cup of fruity yogurt. Next, we’ll try for seven.
I often think of the two dads I lost many years ago; my biological father, who passed away when I was 12 years old from a horrifying accident at work, and my “second” dad, who passed from cancer in 1983. 

Both were remarkable men, husbands, and fathers whom I think of every year at this time and frequently throughout the year. When I realize it’s been 35 years since I’ve had a dad, it’s been a very long time.

One giraffe, crossing the road.

When thinking of dads in my life today, I think of my son Greg, stepson TJ, who are great dads, and of course, my dear husband, Tom. Often it’s assumed spouses don’t celebrate Mother and Father’s Day when they aren’t “their” parent, but somehow I’ve always attempted to make it a special day for Tom, as he’s done for me.

So, today, for all the fathers, grandfathers, and stepdads, we wish every one of you a wonderful day filled with love, and we hope your loved ones take a few minutes to make it memorable.

There’s something special about elephants crossing a road.

Tom reminded me this morning that the most amount of “collect” calls made in years past was on Father’s Day.  From this site:
“More collect telephone calls are made on Fathers Day than on any other day of the year. Fathers Day was the brainchild of Sonora Smart Dodd of Spokane, Washington. His father, Civil War veteran William Smart, was a single parent who raised six children after his wife died during childbirth. Listening to a passionate Mother’s Day sermon in 1909, Sonora felt that a day was needed to honor his father and other father’s like his. So, he settled on June 19th (his father’s birthday), and the world’s first official Fathers Day was celebrated on June 19th, 1910.”

Once he reached the other side (yes, please note, it is a “he”), he wasn’t pleased to see us. At an opportune moment, we zoomed past him.

A simple phone call, preferably not collect (and not necessary these days with free calling), is all a dad needs to feel loved, remembered, and appreciated.  

What am I doing to make this day memorable for my husband? We don’t have room in our luggage for gifts and besides, what would I buy for him?  He doesn’t need a power washer, tools, a GPS for his car, or a putter for his golf clubs.  

A parade of elephants grazing in a lush green area.

There was no point in finding him a shirt, swimwear, or pair of shorts here in Africa. Traveling the world as we do, now for almost six years, we have no home, no car, and no sports equipment in this lifestyle. We’re trying to make the clothing we have now last until our next trip to the USA, where we’ll replace many of the few items we possess at that time.

Hmmm…this sounds like a typical day! Instead, I’ll work extra hard to make this day special by fussing over him a little more than usual, making a special romantic dinner for tonight’s time on the veranda, and attending to his every whim. Then again, he does the same for me.

Fish eagles are often spotted in Kruger National Park.

Last night, around 5:00 pm, we had a two-hour power outage. Since we usually start preparing dinner around 6:30, part of which we often cook on the braai (grill), we got out the candles and did as much as we could before dark around 5:45.

We haven’t seen Scar-Face in weeks and look forward to his return. Now, we have a particular affinity for Tusker, who’s very shy but practically swoons when I talk to him in a goofy high pitched voice, you know, the voice some of us use when talking to pets and babies.

Earlier in the day, I’d chopped and diced everything we needed for the meal, which proved to have been a good decision. By 6:00 pm, in the dark, we scrambled around in the dark kitchen with one candle burning, quickly pulling out everything from the refrigerator that we’d need for the meal.

Luckily, we had salad left from the previous night’s dinner party and vegetables, which we wrapped in tinfoil to make “vegetable packs” for the grill. Tom grilled his steak in the dark while I cooked fish on the gas stove.

A few bites of vegetation on a sunny morning in Kruger.

By 6:45, we were situated at the big table on the veranda, enjoying our meal and, of course, wondering if we’d be without power all night. Without light, we couldn’t see the considerable activity in the yard.

Rhinos aren’t the cutest animals globally, but it sure is fun to see them in the wild.

We heard a lot of snorting, rustling around in the dirt and the bush, and a wide array of sounds we didn’t recognize. We laughed out loud.  Here we were in Africa, outside in the dark with wild animals all around us, unable to see a thing yet having the time of our lives. Much to our delight and surprise, a few hours later, the power returned.

That’s life in Africa!

Happy Father’s Day to all!

Photo from one year ago today, June 17, 2017:

Granddaughter Maisie and Tom in front of Cost Cutters in Minnetonka, Minnesota. We arrived at 10:30 am but had to wait for the late-arriving employee. For more photos, please click here.

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