Edited To Add:
Why did I name the post "Payson & Poker..."? We played Blackjack. Forgive me, dear readers.
Let's try this again:
There's just something about a small town that I love. Maybe it's the way everyone knows your name or that you can get from one edge of town to the other in under 10 minutes. Or maybe it's the slow pace. Whatever it is, Payson gives me that awesome small town experience.
This past weekend was no exception. With some of my mom's family in town from Chicago (my aunt, my cousin and his wife and their 18-month old son) it was a great excuse to drive up to the mountains to cool off and get outta town. My aunt who lives in Phoenix also joined along with my uncle, 3 more cousins and my cousin's boyfriend. Add in my Grammy, brother, his girlfriend, Hubs, my parents and me. Oh and my two pups and my brother's and his girlfriend's cat. There were 17 of us in total. It was hectic and crowded, and couldn't have been more fun.
On Saturday after dinner, some of us decide to make a run to the casino just outside of town. When we walked in, my Gram and aunts went for the slot machines. My dad, brother, uncle and I were going to play Blackjack. This was my first time playing (in a casino) and my dad fronted me $50 and offered to teach/help me along. How could I turn down that offer?
With me on one side of my dad and my brother on the other, we played. We had fun, we won, I learned when to hit and when to stay, when to double down and when to split your cards. At one point, we realized that it was officially Father's Day (we played until 2am Sunday!). I couldn't imagine a better way to ring in Father's Day. With my dad teaching and guiding us, having fun, staying up late with my brother and me. Such a great memory!
That's the best thing about my dad: he's always been my hero. For as long as I can remember, I've been proud of him, looked up to him, loved him with all my heart. He's the smartest, most patient, sensitive, and loving man. He taught me what a good father and husband should be. There's no way I would be the person I am today without him (literally, I'm a lot of my mom and ton of my dad, personality traits, physical ailments and all).
When they finally closed the table down on us, we cashed in our chips. My dad even let my brother and me keep what we had won (over the $50 initial investment that we repaid). I walked away with $25 in my wallet and a memory that I will cherish forever.
At my wedding, October 2005.
I did not get my dad's tall genes as you can probably tell. He stands 6'5" tall while I top out at 5'3".
Got my mom's petite genes there.
*I love you, Dad*