Amy Artisan

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Celebration Weekend

While Artisan Dad isn’t a July 4th Birthday, his early July birthday means that our July 4th celebrations quickly morph into birthday celebrations. This year was no different – ok, it may have been a bit different because this year Artisan Dad’s birthday was even bigger…but I get ahead of myself.

I flew home to the Ville early on the 4th – the plane was very empty – so having the row to myself meant plenty of sock knitting progress. By about 10:30 AM we were leaving the airport. “On the way” back home we stopped at a ‘new to us’ organic farm in the Ville, Two Doves Farm. (Mom has joked about being jealous of my weekly farmer’s market excursions so I searched out an option for her.) We quickly filled a bag with all sorts of delicious produce that was worked into meals throughout the weekend (Big tomatoes, the cutest cherry tomatoes, beets, garlic, potatoes, blackberries – yum!).

Mom & Dad needed to get a new grill for the deck – so Dad & I picked one up before lunchtime on Friday. I was then in charge of the grill menus throughout the weekend. So to break in the grill for our July 4th dinner, I turned to a favorite CA cut of meat (the tri tip) & grilled veggies.


MondayDad’s Birthday…This year it was a “big” birthday and also marked another event – Dad was retiring after 27 1/2 years with his company (& 13 years in the Air Force). Since Dad was there to take pictures as Rebecca & I left for kindergarten all those years ago, it was only appropriate that I got up to see him off to his last day of work (& snap a picture).

The end of a routine…every morning Mom stands on the garage steps as Dad leaves…
they blow each other a kiss & flash the “I Love You” sign.
I’m glad that I captured this image of his last day!

After a few hours, Dad had turned in all his paperwork, his security badge & parking permit and was back home. Because of the security at the building, he now couldn’t go back to work if he tried. 🙂 The rest of Dad’s birthday was family time – a bit of outlet shopping, another grilled meal. The evening ended with Dad’s favorite chocolate cake.


As is always the case when I’m home in the Ville, it was quickly time to return to Chicago Tuesday afternoon. In addition to celebrating Dad, the weekend was filled with lots of other fun – dinner with a college roommate (I hadn’t seen Kelly since I was finishing up my Chattanooga assignment – umm, Oct. 2006); shopping; lots of knitting (to be shared in future posts) & just hanging out with the family.

What’s next for Dad? In short, anything & everything he wants to do. Dad has always enjoyed gardening – I think he’ll be spending more time with his hands in the dirt. As I’ve mentioned before, he is very artistic – maybe more art projects are on the horizon. He’s always had a way with words – so I’ve set up a blog for him to get writing in a new medium (hint…hint!). He & Mom will hopefully be taking more day trips and road trips.

Initially it may feel more like vacation that Dad isn’t going to work every day. He has definitely earned the right to enjoy this time. Even though I don’t live as close to the folks anymore, my routine has already changed because of his retirement – I will no longer be sending an email to the “Dad – work” email address everyday or dialing “Dad-work” on my cell phone for my early morning commutes.

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C O N G R A T U L A T I O N S   D A D ! ! !
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  1. Happy birthday and congratulations to your dad!!! I hope he enjoys every second of his retirement.

  2. What great pictures, Amy. Your Dad looks very happy. Best of luck to him in retirement.

  3. OH and HAPPY BIRTHDAY to yooooouuuuuu!!

  4. That is so cute. I love the pic you captured on your dad’s last day of the commute.

  5. Thanks for all you did to make the holiday, birthday, and retirement such a special time. It always means the most whenever we are celebrating together as a family. I am looking forward to enjoying my retirement – especially having more time in Chicago!

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