I think of my Dad as a Hospitality King. I’ve spoken about how my Mom has given my sisters and me the gift of hospitality, but I’d be wrong to say it all came from her. One thing I learned and saw as a little girl was not only Dad’s undying love for my Mom, and his ability to provide for his family, but also his love for God and people, and an unending sense of a hospitable spirit when it came to opening his home to others.

I’ve often written about hospitality being handed down to the next generation. Dad learned this from his own parents, as Grandma and Grandpa Friesen were the essence of hospitality.

Dad also gave me a respect for the outdoors, such as through camping, the river, rafting, and fishing. As little girls we moved into a trailer as he used his craftsmanship skills to build us a brand new house. When he designed the house, not only did he draw the plans for it, but I also got my pad and paper out and tried to duplicate his intricate detail.

Dad was very detailed and also a perfectionist, and to this day he has built some of the most well crafted homes in our valley. Dad gave me a great work ethic. He was a hard worker and he instilled that into us girls.

When we were younger Dad once brought us three girls each a baby rabbit, and even one year, baby ducks. We had cows, horses, kitties and a lot of dogs. He taught us about farm life and the importance of doing chores, as year after year we’d move irrigation pipes in our pasture on hot summer days.

(Dad hosted Abby’s 2004 American Girl-horseback-riding birthday party!)

Dad came from a very loving family. The Friesen family practiced hospitality daily. They were joyous and musical and to this day when we all get together we “sing” our family prayer before we eat a meal. It is our tradition to give thanks in this way.

God is great and God is good.
And we thank Him for our food.
By His hand must all be fed.
Give us Lord our daily bread. Amen.

Dad’s also known for his unique, tasty, “New Year’s Cookies,” a German donut that he makes every New Year’s morning. As far back as I can remember Dad has kept this tradition going, as friends come and go all day long.
I would want to believe that somewhere along Dad’s journey in life, he has given comfort to some weary souls who needed a safe place to rest, as he and Mom opened up their home. Dad has not lost the art of hospitality, and he shares that passion now with his wife, Ginny.

(Above photo of Dad and Ginny at Abby’s violin recital.)

(Dad’s recent turkey hunt)
Dad has set an example, which I think many people this day and age would have a hard time following. He sets time aside for friends and God, and the fruits of his love have helped mold me, and my family, into the people that we have become.

Not only is my Dad a great hunter and fisherman, but he’s also the best banjo player that I know!

The very top photo is from a fishing trip I took with Dad over on the Oregon coast.

Dad still enjoys inviting his friends over to the coast so that he can take them salmon fishing! And I continue to tease Dad that I was the only one in the boat that day to catch a fish!

(Dad’s great-grandson, Gavin, with my son, Elliot)

Happy Father’s Day, Dad!