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We just got home last night from our trip to Fresno (my hometown). A funeral brought us down there. Here, my kids play with their grandpa for the first time. I haven’t seen him in 8-9 years. It wasn’t a disagreement or strife that kept us apart, but geography, well mostly. I think if you want to see someone, you make the time, because time will never wait for you. It had been far to long! I was fortunate to share with him my dreams of earthships, tiny homes, shipping container homes, urban homesteading and my passion for sustainability. My dad, who is an architect by trade and a creator by blood, inspired many of my dreams. As a child, I was fascinated with the rolls of hand drawn blue prints. I remember, laying on my back staring at the recessed ceiling, and lighting up inside knowing that he thought up our home. He decided how many sq ft each room would be and where we would eat our morning breakfast. His humble beginnings and hard earned success as an architect has inspired my dreams of alternative building methods using eco-friendly material.

Everything in my dads life, works or he will fix it (or rig it) so it does. His dollar store eye glasses that have come off the hinges many times are either held up with a scrap pin or one ear (still works). I love that he has never been occupied with what others think of him. Although, he could afford to flaunt and fashion everything from his clothes to his car, only a fool does that. Everything serves it’s purpose; he despises waste. I have to admit, I did not appreciate his frugality growing up, at all! Especially as a teenage girl who wanted to shop at the mall and had to listen to long lectures of how to operate a washing machine (do not use too much detergent) and how many hours the average American would have to work at minimum wage to by the pair of jeans I just purchased without a second thought. I cringed when I heard the wise words of my father “School is not a fashion show”. Of course, he was wrong, it was a fashion show, only I was going about it all wrong. I should have been budgeting and thrifting my step down the runway.

I was never blessed to meet my grandmother but heard the story of her life as a survivor of the Armenian genocide, who grew up in an orphanage in France. She later married and moved to Mexico on a farm. And later, made her way to California. My dad was raised on a farm and spoke often against fast food and the life that is in a piece of fruit. Hard work is ingrained in every fiber of his being, it’s evident in his rough hands. More and more, as I grow older, I appreciate who my dad is and the role he played in who I have become. He comes from a culture and a generation that you don’t often see anymore. I want his beliefs and ideals to be passed on to my children. Thank you dad for teaching me the value of a dollar and encouraging new ideas and creativity.

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