Father’s Day 2016

Mike & Dad U-3 Ranch 1970's
Mike Russell and Jim Craig  U3 Ranch, Wells, NV 1970’s

Father’s Day is a very special day for me.  It is a day to honor your fathers and let them know how much they mean to you.

My dad, Jim Craig, is the best dad I could have ever hoped for.  He gave me such a wonderful childhood.  I was lucky enough to have been raised on ranches.  That means my dad was always around.  He did not leave for the office in the morning and come home at supper time.  Yes, he left for work in the morning, but if I wasn’t in school, I often left with him.  If he was irrigating, I was tagging along with him.  If he was riding horses, he saddled up my horse too. If he was cleaning out horse stalls, I had a pitchfork in my hand also.

Dad’s life was centered around family.  He would work all day, and in the evenings he would take us fishing.  We played badminton, croquet, and baseball. Sometimes we would play cards or board games.  In the winter he would take us ice skating and sledding.  We would have snowball fights and build forts.

Dad was always a hard worker, and fun-loving person to be around.  However, he took parenting serious, and we were taught to walk the line.  If we weren’t behaving at the dinner table, we would get a finger snap to the head.  He wasn’t afraid to paddle us either if we needed it!  And we needed it more than we got it!……Thank you Dad for giving us some mercy and grace!

An honest man, a fair man, a kind and loving man, a man I have always loved and looked up to, and always will…..that’s my Dad, Jim Craig.

When I think of Father’s Day, I also have to give honor to the father of my children, Mike Russell.  Shortly after we were married, we moved to the U3 ranch in Wells, NV.  My dad managed the U3.  I was lucky enough to have the two men I loved most in the world working together on the same ranch.  Those were definitely good years for me.

Mike is very much like my dad.  He is hard-working, honest, fun-loving, but a father who could give discipline when needed also.  I think my children are very lucky to have him as their father.  Mike has always been there for his kids.

Like, me, my kids were always raised on a ranch.  They helped their dad move cows, hay, clean barn stalls, and yes, Mike took them fishing too.  He taught them all how to shoot guns.  He took them all hunting.  Mike helped them all get their first deer and elk.  Their Dad was at every 4-H fair, and dress review.  He was at all their sports games.  We had baseball games in the pasture, and picnics in the hay fields. I remember Mike sitting around the kitchen table on Sundays playing monopoly with his kids, (and me) that sometimes lasted most of the day.

My father molded my life and gave me so many good memories.  My husband has shared my life in good times and bad.  They are both good men, husbands, fathers, and grandfathers.  I love, admire, and respect them both so much. I can’t thank God enough for the blessings these men have been to my life, and the lives of my children and grandchildren.

Happy Father’s Day to you both!  May God bless you with his mercy, grace, and love, forever!

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