When I think about my Dad, I think about generosity. He is so very generous with his time and expertise, in addition to his finances. My parents have spent the better part of two weeks down here in Regina, because my nephew needed help with some renovations. He's done several mission trips to India, but has helped out so much more here - close to home. When Mission 6:10 first started, he provided the "expert advice" for the renovation and retrofit of the first house they worked on. It would be impossible to list the people that he's helped with their homes; new building, renovations or retrofits. I think every one of his eight children have had him come and help him numerous times on whichever home we're living in, or thinking of buying, or renovating. Dad built the front hall closet in my house for me as a Christmas present. Dad lives out his faith in concrete ways, helping others.
Although he has retired from consulting, he is still one of the foremost experts in low energy construction and building techniques. My daughter told me this winter that he was mentioned in one of her classes, and she said, "I always thought of him as Grandpa, but he's really somebody too!" Yes he is. This winter he received two awards and he's still written about, both in the press and in scholarly documents. Here's a selection of links, talking about him and his accomplishments: News story, lifetime achievement award, Superinsulated Retrofits, A Bio from Ecohome.
My Dad also models for me what I want to be like when I age - or how to age gracefully. My Dad's 30 years older than I am... which makes him 83 this year. I can tell when he gets tired now, because his one foot drags a little, and his walk becomes unsteady. Mom has restricted him from climbing on ladders, and he is to get cataract surgery in August. However, my parents still mall walk for an hour most mornings, when they're in Saskatoon. He is still very active and involved; although Mom encourages him to have a nap in the afternoon. They've got their name down on a waiting list for a senior's residence in Saskatoon - they're still planning for the future.
It's impossible to talk about my Dad without talking about Mom as well. Since he has retired, they do most things together. Mom's the one who enables Dad to do what he can. She's the one who ensures he has a nap or a break, or doesn't climb ladders, or grabs the broom and cleans up the construction debris so he doesn't have to slow down to do that.
Happy Father's Day to my Dad, Harold Orr.