There’s something like a line of gold thread running through a man’s words when he talks to his daughter, and gradually over the years it gets to be long enough for you to pick up in your hands and weave into a cloth that feels like love itself. (John Gregory Brown, Decorations in a Ruined Cemetery, 1994)

Each year, I struggle to meet both of my father’s rules for gift giving:

Rule #1: Don’t spend any money.

Rule #2: Don’t spend any time.

Each year, in one way or another, I fail to meet those criteria. Except this year. This year, I made my father a keepsake art book — and told him that the money I’d spent I would’ve spent anyway, and that the time I spent was such a joy, it shouldn’t count. His birthday is today.

Happy birthday Dad!

Front cover.

First page.

Second page.

Third page.

Fourth page.

Fifth page.

Sixth page.

Seventh page.

Eighth page.

Ninth page.

Tenth page.

Back cover.

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