1. My love of reading.
    From the time I could focus my eyes, my father put a book in front of them. He colorfully read aloud to me, following with questions about the world and the characters outside the storyline, confirming for me the dimensions writers created were alive & real. As I got older, he declared I could stay up as long as I wanted as long as I was reading. My mind has always been tortuously active at night, so having page after page to occupy my darting imagination into the wee hours was a great comfort.
  2. My tenacity.
    EHLERS never quit!
  3. My love of music and my singing voice.
    Everyone I've ever met who knew my Fa in his youth goes on and on about how he "sounded just like Dean Martin!!! No! Better than Dean Martin!" It is tragic he never recorded an album. His velvety rich baritenor timbre sang me to sleep, woke me up on Saturdays, made road trips go by, made me pay attention in Church, taught me to harmonize...and these days, the sound of his singing marks the rare occasions I get to be back by his side in my hometown.
  4. My skill for debate.
  5. My knowledge of trees!
    My dad's grandfather was commissioned by the government to come and rescue national forests and shit! His official title was "national tree surgeon. " As his grandson, he can identify most trees by their barks, and he can tell you how to use them and care for them. For true.
  6. My love for meeting new people.
    Papa went to Germany for my brother's wedding last year; he made 5 new bffs. My fa doesn't speak German, and very few of them speak English.
  7. My optimism.
    Confidently assess every problem, knowing there is a solution. Eliminate failed attempts happily as steps toward the optimal outcome. Empower friends and strangers to show you their best selves--or at least find something redeemable about most people. Some friends and strangers will end up being fuckers, so disregard and move on to another person. Be the best part of someone's day; be the worst part of no one's.
  8. My passion
    If you're sweeping the floor, give your all at sweeping the floor. Focus and care and seek out people who do the same. Create something. create something meaningful. There is no "just because." We don't half-ass anything.
  9. My dismissal of the lazy
    See above. Not always resulting in proud moments
  10. My thriftiness.
  11. My love for cooking.
    If you could hold a spoon in my house, you could make scrambled eggs. Things progress from there.
  12. Restlessness and Early Rising
    I don't know if it's because I'm so much like him or because I was a youngest and never wanted to miss out on things or because I love to be productive, but the Morning time is a great time. papa and I were always up earlier than everyone else. He always made t fun; it was our time. When everyone came down to a prepared breakfast, it started their days off with smiles. I still do this for my hubby. This does not however mean I am early to bed. See #1. "What else could I be doing???"
  13. My zero tolerance policy for betrayal.
  14. My thorough communication of my ideas.
  15. My natural inclination toward teaching/mentoring.
  16. My (at times obnoxious) Pursuit of Balance
    This applies to everything. Food. Exercise. Relationships. Whether or not to give in. Spending. It's a bit annoying when it comes to decision making or side taking. My father always told me to grab onto the opposite of what you think and weigh it against your instinct. How does the opposite perspective challenge your own? What beliefs should you hold to and what should you soften? Where can you eliminate bias? Where should you lean on it? Goal: balanced, objective mind. One can dream.
  17. My love of backgammon and basketball and America.
  18. Family First
  19. Try and put the good of all before the good of self, and hopefully, eventually you'll see the good of all as the most desirable for self.
  20. My willingness to try new things.