Updated: Jul 25
For as long as I can remember, my dad and I have shared a close bond. He calls me Melvis the Goosehead.
As a child, I visited my dad once a week. Despite out time being somewhat limited, he always had a way of making that time rich with laughter, happiness, warmth, and comfort. Our time together was always "quality time". The hours seemed to fly by when I was with my daddyo.
Many of those hours were spent over bike rides. He taught me how to ride on a sparkly blue cruiser with a bright yellow banana seat. All my bikes were from my dad – the lavender Huffy, the forest-green Huffy, my beloved Diamond Back cruiser.
His bike has never changed: a sleek, white Peugeot. When he was in his twenties, he lived in Seattle and rode it all over the city; it has been in commission ever since.
Him and I have gone on countless bike rides. When I was young, we would ride to the pool in the Summer. He was good at bike tricks; balancing on streetcar rails for long spans and popping wheelies - I literally knew no one else who could pop a wheelie. Sometimes we’d take long trail rides. On especially hot days, we’d stop at the beach and splash in the river.
Despite being a single-father with a grueling work schedule, he always found the time for me. Now that I am a parent, I have no idea how he mustered the strength to do it. But he did. I wouldn't trade my dad for the world.
Exit Rockstar Dad, enter real-life Rockstar.
Singer, songwriter, savant on guitar – Bobby Patterson. Not many ladies can say that their dad is an award-winning musician who continues to perform and entertain audiences up and down the West Coast. Devoted to his craft; an artist at heart. Those who know him either admire and/or love him. When he plays, it’s clear that he’s far past the 10,000 mark.
When I was a kid, his life was spent traveling, performing, and seeing me in between. My mom had custody and I saw him once a week. When he was on the road, he would send letters and hand drawn cartoons. Him and I share a love for cartooning and both doodle to this day. No matter how busy he got, he managed to stay in contact.
His bachelor-pad had walls lined with guitars, mics, amps, and neatly wound cords. Despite the lack of décor, it was always clean and comfortable. We would go to laundry mat, wash and fold the clothes together. Fresh laundry, the sound of the dryers, my daddyo…it was heaven.
For dinner, I recall eating a lot of chicken and green beans, and we always sat down and ate as a family. Despite being a rock-and-roller, he’s very traditional in many ways. We can thank Grandma Dorothy for that. She was an incredible woman and her and my dad were very close. We lost her when I was 12.
It was in that apartment that I met my stepmom, Rhonda. She came over and gave me a beautiful porcelain doll. I was shocked that she had given me such a thoughtful gift. She was pretty and had 80’s hair that was about 12 inches tall. Fast forward a few months, and they were living together.
Rhonda had purchased a historic house, built in 1904, from her father years prior. The house had been split into apartments and she lived on the main floor. Rhonda oversaw all upkeep on the house and management of the tenants. She's the queen of multitasking and all things business.
My dad inadvertently became the plumber, electrician, roofer, painter, landscaper, carpet guy, etc. That beautiful, old house has always been full of surprises. We call it, “The Eighth Place” and it's dear to my heart. Growing up there fostered my love for old architecture and Spokane's South Hill.
Among the MANY great things Rhonda brought to our lives were family road trips. We went on Summer road trips when I was 8, 10, and 18 years old. We’ve taken vacations since, but those 3 experiences made the biggest impact.
Our road trips were very “Griswold”. Endless roadside monuments. Scenic stops with informative plaques. Mt. Rushmore. Yellowstone. Old Faithful. Caves. Zoos. A dinosaur exhibit in the middle of nowhere. Board paintings with head holes. Laughs, obstacles, the feeling of family. I loved everything about our family road trips.
In 2016, Kent and I drove cross-country with Jet was in my belly. I was reminded of those times with my parents. Since Jet was born, Kent and I have taken road trips every Summer with the kids. It’s a tradition we now look forward to throughout the year.
My dad and Rhonda have helped shape me in ways I did not realize until I became a parent myself. Growing up, most of my time was spent with my mom. The brain works in crazy ways. As a mother, I see their involvement in my life, in a completely different light. I value family quality time and tradition because of them.
When my dad was single, I loved my time with him. When Rhonda came into the picture, I gained the family-life I never had.
Today, dad and Rhonda are grandpa and grandma, and seeing them with our kids is the greatest gift.