Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Little Gems

I am searching for inspirational stories about father-daughter relationships, stories that share wisdom, teach moral and important life lessons, and give others insight into how to nurture and maintain a healthy, loving and fulfilling father-daughter relationship.

If you are a father or a daughter, I want to hear about your parent-child relationship experiences. For more information about submitting your story, please visit my website, www.gregoryelang.com, and click the red corner on the home page, just beneath the “Projects” tab.

I’m also collecting photos of dads and daughters to display on this blog. If you’d like to submit one, please email it to greg.lang@mindspring.com.

Now on to today’s diary entry…

Today’s photo is of another neighbor, a real sweetie who has posed for me several times. Here dad’s name is Allen Sheppard, but she is quick to point out, “he’s not the astronaut.”

Here are few more little gems I’ve received during this writing adventure:

“When I was much younger, he’d cut my hair for me. One evening I remember him cutting my bangs while we were sitting in the family room watching TV. He was sitting on the couch and I sat in front of him while he cut away. We both started to laugh and I ended up with the shortest bangs you have ever seen. I wouldn’t let him cut my hair after that!”

“When I was a little girl, Dad and I would take a brisk walk through town after supper each evening. Sometimes Dad’s friend would join us. During our walks they pretended to be playing band instruments, making all kinds of silly gestures and noises in front of my friends. Embarrassed, I pledged never to join them again, but the next evening – I walked with Dad again - because it was our time.”

“I remember being a small girl, standing at my daddy’s feet waiting for him to finish making my favorite breakfast, cheese eggs. I can still see his smile as he scooped them onto my plate, and I could not eat them fast enough. I was the luckiest girl in the world; this was the best time of my life. I was my daddy’s little tomboy.

Years have gone by and some childhood memories have faded. But looking back these are the things I can say my dad taught me: to dance to the beat of the music, always drive wearing a seatbelt, to fly a plane (we lived to tell about it), and enjoy the finest breads. I cannot go by a bread store without stopping, savoring the aroma and thinking of my dad. And he taught me to love peanut butter with cheddar cheese sandwiches at bedtime.”

Well, I guess that’s enough for today. Thanks so much for visiting my blog. Now go out and hug somebody!

Monday, July 30, 2007

Good Morning

I am searching for inspirational stories about father-daughter relationships, stories that share wisdom, teach moral and important life lessons, and give others insight into how to nurture and maintain a healthy, loving and fulfilling father-daughter relationship.

If you are a father or a daughter, I want to hear about your parent-child relationship experiences. For more information about submitting your story, please visit my website, www.gregoryelang.com, and click the red corner on the home page, just beneath the “Projects” tab.

I’m also collecting photos of dads and daughters to display on this blog. If you’d like to submit one, please email it to greg.lang@mindspring.com.

Now on to today’s diary entry…

Today’s photo is from my book Brothers and Sisters, a set of twins who argue about which looks more like their dad. Go figure.

Guess what? My latest book, Thank You, Mom, reached #113 on USAToday's 150 Top Selling Books list. Thank you!

This note just in:

“My daughter is not quite six years old. She attends kindergarten and both of her mom and I are full time professionals. To make sure we do not let our careers keep us from spending enough time with our daughter, we take turns leaving work early, greeting her at the bus stop and spending time doing homework, playing or whatever.

We usually spend my assigned afternoons together at the community pool. However, the other day we skipped the pool and decided to do arts and crafts in the driveway instead. After spending half-an-hour finger painting and drawing on the concrete, my daughter looked up at me and said, ‘Daddy, playing with you is much better than being at the pool with everyone else.’

There are times I think that leaving work early is compromising my career. But times like that, playing with my daughter in the driveway, reminds me of what is really important in my life.”

Well, I guess that’s enough for today. Thanks so much for visiting my blog. Now go out and hug somebody!

Friday, July 27, 2007

Look into my eyes...

I am searching for inspirational stories about father-daughter relationships, stories that share wisdom, teach moral and important life lessons, and give others insight into how to nurture and maintain a healthy, loving and fulfilling father-daughter relationship.

If you are a father or a daughter, I want to hear about your parent-child relationship experiences. For more information about submitting your story, please visit my website, www.gregoryelang.com, and click the red corner on the home page, just beneath the “Projects” tab.

I’m also collecting photos of dads and daughters to display on this blog. If you’d like to submit one, please email it to greg.lang@mindspring.com.

Now on to today’s diary entry…

I sent my editor 41,000 words yesterday to make sure I am writing the book she hopes to publish. Keep your fingers crossed for me as I wait for a response. Thanks so much for your support!

Today’s photo is of Kellyn, daughter of Roz, Jill’s best friend from all the way back to the second grade.

More messages from loving dads and daughters -

“I cannot thing of any more pleasurable and honorable duty as a human than raising your children in a loving and caring household. Boys show their love with their own brand of expression, and they are moments to treasure, but a daughter's hug and "I love you daddy" is something that cannot be experienced anywhere else. From carrying her in the market to watching her love her children, it is a joy beyond comparison. All of the things that make a little girl's life a joy, trick-or-treating, teaching her how to ride her bike, teaching her how to swim, teaching her how to drive and giving in to her sitting on the arm of your chair and kissing you, followed by "daddy, I need...make life worth-while.

I can't image any father not taking full advantage of the love that a daughter has to offer. It is a special relationship that has been given to us and to not foster it and love her unconditionally is to waste a God-given joy.”

“I was nine years old and my sister and I were going to school in the suburbs of Chicago. One day the principal decided to give prizes to one person in each class; my teacher had to choose the recipient for two classes because one teacher was absent that day. When the time for giving the prizes came, she picked my sister from the other class, but not me from her own class. I asked her why not and she said, ‘I would have chosen you if I were picking from one class, but because I was picking from two classes, I didn't think it a good idea to choose sisters.’

My heart was broken and I cried. I went home and told my family what happened, but they only accused me of being jealous. When my father came home and saw me sitting on the couch in tears, he asked what was wrong; I told him what my teacher had done. He patted my knee, pulled out his wallet and gave me two dollars!

Now it seems so little but back then I felt as if I had been given 2 million dollars. Once again my dad had stepped in to be my hero. I love my dad because always listened and cared about what I had to say.”

Well, I guess that’s enough for today. Thanks so much for visiting my blog. Now go out and hug somebody!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Memories

I am searching for inspirational stories about father-daughter relationships, stories that share wisdom, teach moral and important life lessons, and give others insight into how to nurture and maintain a healthy, loving and fulfilling father-daughter relationship.

If you are a father or a daughter, I want to hear about your parent-child relationship experiences. For more information about submitting your story, please visit my website, www.gregoryelang.com, and click the red corner on the home page, just beneath the “Projects” tab.

I’m also collecting photos of dads and daughters to display on this blog. If you’d like to submit one, please email it to greg.lang@mindspring.com.

Now on to today’s diary entry…

After spending time browsing through the Meagan Box one morning, I asked my readers to tell me of their favorite memories. What follows are a few of the many responses I quickly received, each too short for a stand-alone story, but together, more evidence of the power and importance of fond daddy-daughter memories:

“My dad thought that sports would make his children better people if they knew how to be a member of a team. At the age of five I began playing T- ball; Dad was my coach. I loved seeing him helping out other children while at the same time he was there to watch me play. I went on to play softball in junior high, and once again Dad was my coach. He taught me everything he knew about the game. Not only did he teach me how to play softball, but also volleyball, basketball, and football. He was always proud of me whether my team won or lost, he was just glad I did my best.”

“Sometimes days go by and I don't even think about my dad, but then something will trigger a memory and make me just want to cry. Today I heard a song he used to sing to me; I started missing him so bad that my chest ached. I remember him singing this song to me, so nasal and out of tune, but he meant every word of it.”“My Dad taught me the fun of fishing in an old row boat on a glorious, summer afternoon. He became excited as he showed me a candy bar could have five different flavors under one same wrapper. Dad introduced me to the unforgettable aroma of Mulligan Stew, and he insisted we get a puppy because a puppy would grow into a family dog who would give years of love and companionship. I could go on and on….”

“The simplest things make me smile when I remember my time spent with Dad. He taught me many things, like the importance of saving money, even if it were only a penny. Together we collected pennies for five years and when we finally rolled them all up, we had over $300. I’m now twenty-nine and completely unable to walk past a dropped penny!”

“I think the most important lesson he passed on to me was to love your children everyday not by just saying I Love You but actually doing something to show it. When I started school I had some rough days. Dad would take me on long walks in the afternoon so we could talk about my troubles. The walks always ended at a local bakery where I would have a piece of carrot cake and apple juice.”

Well, I guess that’s enough for today. Thanks so much for visiting my blog. Now go out and hug somebody!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Princess

I am searching for inspirational stories about father-daughter relationships, stories that share wisdom, teach moral and important life lessons, and give others insight into how to nurture and maintain a healthy, loving and fulfilling father-daughter relationship.

If you are a father or a daughter, I want to hear about your parent-child relationship experiences. For more information about submitting your story, please visit my website, www.gregoryelang.com, and click the red corner on the home page, just beneath the “Projects” tab.

I’m also collecting photos of dads and daughters to display on this blog. If you’d like to submit one, please email it to greg.lang@mindspring.com.

Now on to today’s diary entry…

Today’s photo is one I took of a friend of mine, Stacy Collins, during a studio photography class. Even at 30-something, she says she is still a daddy’s girl.

Yesterday I received the ceramic coffee mug Meagan made for me. She wrote “I love you Daddy” on the bottom. I’m drinking hot coffee from it right now; it is a priceless treasure to me. I love my kid!

This story was sent to me by Don:

“Early in my life with my children, I decided that, rather than spend my evenings at business meetings and trying to further my career by working many nights and weekends, I would spend them with the kids. As a means of accomplishing that goal, I became involved in the YMCA, where there were programs that involved both the kids and the parents.

I started out in Indian Guides and eventually wound up on the Board of Managers, but in the meantime, spent many summer camps, winter camps and Saturday sports events with the kids. There weren't many programs for girls, but because I spent so much time with the boys, I made it a point to spend other quality time with Susie.

One of my favorite stories was an occasion at a weekend Indian Guide campout where I, as Nation Chief, and my son were to pass the trappings of office over to the new Chief and his son. As it turned out, both of my boys were sick, so, the evening of the campout, Susie and I drove up to the lake where the camp was and I had put her beautiful puppy-dog tail hair up under the war bonnet.

At the appropriate moment, when we took our bonnets off and passed them to the incoming chief and his son, Susie's hair came down and it sounded like Santa himself had just appeared. About one hundred 6 and 7 year old boys yelled out, ‘It's a GIRL!’

I have a picture of Susie in total war bonnet and costume from that occasion and it is a treasure to me.”

Well, I guess that’s enough for today. Thanks so much for visiting my blog. Now go out and hug somebody!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Alaska

I am searching for inspirational stories about father-daughter relationships, stories that share wisdom, teach moral and important life lessons, and give others insight into how to nurture and maintain a healthy, loving and fulfilling father-daughter relationship.

If you are a father or a daughter, I want to hear about your parent-child relationship experiences. For more information about submitting your story, please visit my website, www.gregoryelang.com, and click the red corner on the home page, just beneath the “Projects” tab.

I’m also collecting photos of dads and daughters to display on this blog. If you’d like to submit one, please email it to greg.lang@mindspring.com.

Now on to today’s diary entry…

For the remainder of this week I am going to post headshots of young ladies I’ve photographed for Daddy’s Little Girl.

A semi-truck tried to eat Jill’s go-cart yesterday (second time in 14 months) so I’m going to be busy with insurance companies and body shops, as well as trying to meet a deadline on this coming Friday. Please understand the crunch, and thanks again for your support of my writing endeavors!

Here’s a story sent in by Natalie:

“This past summer my dad took us to Alaska. While we were exploring Juno my dad said he wanted to buy me a nice piece of jewelry. After searching for a couple hours, I found a loose diamond I thought was perfect for me. We decided how it should be mounted and were told it would be ready for pick up in two hours.

We then realized we had theater tickets for a show beginning at the same time we were to retrieve the diamond. Dad insisted that we could get to the jewelry store and still make it to the show on time. Unfortunately, when the time came to leave it had started raining, and worse, we missed the bus into town; we had to walk in the rain in our best shoes and outfits through the rain and mud just to get my necklace. Dad never complained, he pulled me along down the pier, over the railroad tracks, around the block and through the town of Juno, finally ending up at the jewelry store.

We quickly picked up the necklace and hurried back, making it to the show with just thirty seconds to spare.

When I think of that trip to Alaska last summer, I do not think about the brand new shiny diamond necklace Dad gave me; I remember how that simple event reminds me that my father would do anything for me. I only hope someday my own family will think the same of me.”

Well, I guess that’s enough for today. Thanks so much for visiting my blog. Now go out and hug somebody!

Monday, July 23, 2007

Lovely as a Rose

I am searching for inspirational stories about father-daughter relationships, stories that share wisdom, teach moral and important life lessons, and give others insight into how to nurture and maintain a healthy, loving and fulfilling father-daughter relationship.

If you are a father or a daughter, I want to hear about your parent-child relationship experiences. For more information about submitting your story, please visit my website, www.gregoryelang.com, and click the red corner on the home page, just beneath the “Projects” tab.

I’m also collecting photos of dads and daughters to display on this blog. If you’d like to submit one, please email it to greg.lang@mindspring.com.

Now on to today’s diary entry…

Today’s photo is of our youngest, Linley, taken last summer.

Let me share this, an insightful, transparent and sincere note from a dad who wants to be a better dad:

“Shawn calls his five year old daughter, Rachel, a miracle child. She was born to Shawn and his wife after they finally conquered their long struggle with infertility and miscarriage. The day Rachel was born was more than a dream come true for the new dad; his new baby girl was an answer to his many heartfelt prayers.

Rachel is a great source of great joy for her father. His heart melts at the slightest glint of her smile or a glance into her big brown eyes. He is proud of his precocious daughter’s vocabulary and conversational skills, and finds great pleasure in horsing around with her, making her laugh as often as he can.

Although Shawn loves his daughter dearly and tries to make his affection obvious to her, he sometimes falls short of his own measure of how a good dad should act. High-strung and quick tempered, he sometimes finds himself irritated by Rachel’s interruptions and distracting behavior. Too often, he worries, he snaps and raises his voice at her. Should he be particularly stressed by a deadline, he might overreact to a situation and then can’t easily regain his composure. He wrote to me of his concern that he has potentially damaged his relationship with Rachel.

It seems she has begun to turn away from Shawn when he reaches for her, and worse, sometimes doesn’t reciprocate when he says “I love you” before she goes to bed.

Today Shawn says a new prayer – he asks for the strength to control his temper, and he asks for guidance to treat his daughter in such a way that she will one day think herself to be a beloved daddy’s little girl.

I think we can agree that all parents shout at their children now and then; I certainly do.

I asked Shawn recently about his relationship with Rachel. I was glad to hear he thought their interactions were improving, and that he had begun to spend some more time with her. She is taking a dance class and he picks her up when she is done, making sure to arrive early enough to watch and encourage her.

A blessing from God is this - a dad’s loving kindness will transcend the wounds his imperfections and misunderstandings may make; he must show what is in his heart, as Shawn has done.”

Well, I guess that’s enough for today. Thanks so much for visiting my blog. Now go out and hug somebody!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Daddy-daughter dates

I am searching for inspirational stories about father-daughter relationships, stories that share wisdom, teach moral and important life lessons, and give others insight into how to nurture and maintain a healthy, loving and fulfilling father-daughter relationship.

If you are a father or a daughter, I want to hear about your parent-child relationship experiences. For more information about submitting your story, please visit my website, http://www.gregoryelang.com/, and click the red corner on the home page, just beneath the “Projects” tab.

I’m also collecting photos of dads and daughters to display on this blog. If you’d like to submit one, please email it to greg.lang@mindspring.com.

Now on to today’s diary entry…

Today’s photo is of (left to right) Carol, her dad and sister Carrie. Carol is the mom of Virginia, the little cutie holding her dad’s finger in the photo I posted on July 13th. You can see where Virginia gets her great looks, can’t you?

Today’s subject is daddy-daughter dates:

Where once Meagan and I had one or two date nights a week, not to mention what we would do together on weekends, now we seldom have daddy-daughter dates. She makes sure we spend time together on my birthday and Father’s Day, but other than that, our dates are rare. Now that she has a car she roams freely to visit her friends, she has a part-time job, and the homework assignments of senior high today seem more demanding than when I was in graduate school years ago.

One dad I know has three daughters attending the same school as Meagan. He has a date night with each daughter in her own turn, making sure she gets to do with him what will entertain her the most. With the oldest they catch a movie and then grab a Starbucks coffee afterward. With his middle child he goes camping when he can. When he can’t, they take a hike through some nearby woods and talk about the things going on in her life. With his youngest, he goes fishing and uses catching fish as an exercise in learning to be patient.

I also know of a dad who once while walking with his daughter through a department store found himself standing in the ladies hat section. He grabbed a hat and put it on his head. His daughter started to giggle, which only urged him on. “Put on another one daddy," she pleaded, so he did, and then another and another. When he eventually realized they were being watched by a disapproving clerk, he returned the hats to their places and then escorted his daughter to lunch. It was a date I am sure she will remember for years to come.

Dads aren’t the only ones to tell me of their favorite daddy-daughter dates. One story in particular comes to mind:

“I was about eleven-years-old and in the Girl Scouts. It was our first father-daughter dance and I was so excited. I waited for him to pick me up and see how pretty I looked in my dress, and shoes, and my hair all done up. When he came he brought me a corsage and put it on my wrist and away we went to my very first dance. As soon as we got there, I left him and went dancing with my friends instead. Soon it was time to eat; that was when he asked me to dance with him. We cleaned our plates and then moved onto the dance floor. I tried to follow him while he danced; believe me, I had two left feet. It didn’t take him long to notice I was an awkward dancer, so he put me on his feet and around in circles we went. He held me tight in his arms and I rested my head on his chest.”

I’m not sure who enjoys these dates more, dads or daughters. I do know, though, that I miss the days when Meagan couldn’t wait to go on one of our dates.


Well, I guess that’s enough for today. Thanks so much for visiting my blog. Now go out and hug somebody!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Mr. Mom

I am searching for inspirational stories about father-daughter relationships, stories that share wisdom, teach moral and important life lessons, and give others insight into how to nurture and maintain a healthy, loving and fulfilling father-daughter relationship.

If you are a father or a daughter, I want to hear about your parent-child relationship experiences. For more information about submitting your story, please visit my website, www.gregoryelang.com, and click the red corner on the home page, just beneath the “Projects” tab.

I’m also collecting photos of dads and daughters to display on this blog. If you’d like to submit one, please email it to greg.lang@mindspring.com.

Now on to today’s diary entry…

Today’s photo is from the book Thank You, Dad.

Here’s a segment of a nice email I received just the other day:

“I have taught my daughters many things over the years; I have made mistakes, and have been the "bad guy" for a period during their teen years. All the while I have kept their respect, love, and admiration as their dad.

The father-daughter relationship doesn't end when they turn eighteen, or leave home. It continues as they grow into adulthood and as they become parents. God willing, I will be around a long time and be a part of their life, someone who they can turn to when they need support and guidance.”

Here’s another chapter from the draft of Daddy’s Little Girl:

Jill leaves the house everyday around seven o’clock; she is a Special Education teacher for middle-school students and likes to arrive early to her classroom. I am the stay at home dad; I work everyday in an office over our garage, writing as much as I can between my daily chores. As the stay at home parent, I get the girls off to school, do the grocery shopping, cook the meals and take care of most of the household errands.

From time to time I chronicle on my blog my thrills and chills serving as Mr. Mom. I suppose one day one of my stories reminded Lynn of her own dad and she sent me this:

“My Dad and I were finally in charge; Mom had gone into the hospital to give birth to my youngest brother. She would be away for fourteen days.

It was the first and only time Mom would leave Dad and me in charge. There was pandemonium in our house during those two weeks.

Each morning I would wake Dad up, usually from the settee where he had sat down to read and fallen asleep the night before. He was a heavy sleeper and it would take quite a few hisses and shakes to get him into the land of the living. He drank the coffee I had made, took a shower and then we would try to make breakfast together.

Before that time my Dad, me nor my other brothers had been allowed in the kitchen; it was Mom's domain.

Dad and I quickly realized that while we were proficient in our own assigned household jobs, we knew nothing of Mom's jobs. We didn't know diddly squat, in fact. I had never cooked before and Dad couldn't boil water, much less fry an egg. My brothers discovered our ignorance when meal time came around. There were horrified shrieks and groans as they poked at the food we put in front of them. Breakfast would be fine as long as we could find cereal, milk and juice, but all other meals that required the application of heat were very stressful events for all concerned.

At dinner, we looked at one another across the table with disbelief about some of the disasters that occurred in the kitchen. We cooked up some ugly food. We tried really hard but always ended up with something either still raw or not worthy of calling it a burnt offering. Dad and I had cut or burned most of our fingers; we both just dropped dishes in the sink and the whole kitchen resembled a bomb site.

After we sent my brothers off to bed hungry, we mopped up the spills, threw stuff away, wiped down surfaces, and scrubbed the floor to the best of our abilities, all the while telling each other that we were doing a really good job. Mom wouldn't notice the little things, the broken plates, cracked mugs, burn marks on the hand towels, clothing that were no longer the same size or color, and the abundant selection of cereals in the cupboard.

On the day Mom was to come home, my brothers ran into the hospital like starving, unclean children that had been found in a small cabin in the backwoods. She looked at us and started to laugh, pointed out that we were all wearing the wrong clothes. My Dad had put on a shirt that he had taken out of a bag of clothes in the spare room; she informed him the bag held discarded cloth to be used for cleaning.

Why neither of us had noticed that both sleeves had been torn off at the shoulder, I don’t know.

That was the day my Dad took his wife and new son home from the hospital, wearing a dust cloth and dragging a scraggy, hungry bunch of kids along with him.”

Well, I guess that’s enough for today. Thanks so much for visiting my blog. Now go out and hug somebody!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Jack of all Trades

I am searching for inspirational stories about father-daughter relationships, stories that share wisdom, teach moral and important life lessons, and give others insight into how to nurture and maintain a healthy, loving and fulfilling father-daughter relationship.

If you are a father or a daughter, I want to hear about your parent-child relationship experiences. For more information about submitting your story, please visit my website, www.gregoryelang.com, and click the red corner on the home page, just beneath the “Projects” tab.

I’m also collecting photos of dads and daughters to display on this blog. If you’d like to submit one, please email it to greg.lang@mindspring.com.

Now on to today’s diary entry…

Today’s photo is of Andrea Herrin and her dad, the subjects of this story:

“There is a family of four who have posed for me several times as I’ve taken photographs to illustrate one or the other of my books. One Saturday when I arrived at their home to snap a few new pictures, I found that the wife’s parents were visiting for the weekend. Her mother was moving around in the kitchen, busying herself organizing her daughter’s countertops.

In contrast, her dad sat quietly in a reclining chair, slouching a little and watching TV with his granddaughters. As I shook his hand when we were introduced, I noticed his knuckles were thick with arthritis.

I took the photographs I had come for, and then offered to take a few extras of the family with their guests. It wasn’t until I asked the grandfather to move from the recliner that I understood he was compromised by a chronic orthopedic condition common in old age. His daughter looked at me and whispered, “It’s hard for him to move.”

I quickly thought of a new pose, her dad remained comfortably seated, and soon I finished my work and left them to continue their visit.

I guess I mentioned working on this book during my visit because a few days later I received this email:

“As my seventy-five year old dad sat in his chair, he looked out the window, furrowed his brow and sighed. ‘Jack-of-all-trades but Master of none,’ he said. I asked him what he meant.

‘I was once able to do many things, tune up our car, repair the TV, do electrical work, plumbing, and construction, but I have mastered none. All of it has passed me by.’

I thought about what he said and then I shared my point of view.

When I was young money was tight. My dad worked hard nearly every day and sometimes on Sundays and holidays. He would work an eight hour shift at a local textile mill, come home for supper, do things around the house and then assist his parents in caring for their farm. On occasion he would have to work a double shift at the mill. Some days he would cut the grass of our large yard and then go cut my grandfather’s even larger yard of grass.

He was hardly ever out of work sick and never took more than one week vacation each summer. During that vacation week we did not travel; instead, my dad made necessary repairs on our and his parents’ homes.

Even as busy as he was fulfilling his roles as husband, dad, son and an employee, he always had time for me. I wanted a go cart and he made one for me out of wood and spare parts. I wanted a skate board and he made one, once again from scrap wood and spare parts. I decided I wanted to be a gymnast so he erected a parallel bar in the back yard for me to play on. He made a teeter totter with horse head handles, and rode it with me, his only child. He also made a pair of stilts, a toy box, a bookshelf, a desk and more. Many of my toys were made and assembled by his loving hands; some of them are still around and my daughters play with them.

My dad would come home in the evening as the sun was going down, after being the Jack-of-all-trades all day long, and tuck me into bed.

After you left the other day I watched my two young daughters stay near him as he sat in his chair. His eyes danced as he read to them, and then he carefully lowered himself to the floor to show them how to shoot marbles.

Yes, my father is a Jack-of-all-trades but he is also a Master of all of them. He has shown me that through love, creativity, and careful planning that most things can be achieved. He can do it all and I know so because he did it all for me.”

Well, I guess that’s enough for today. Thanks so much for visiting my blog. Now go out and hug somebody!

Monday, July 16, 2007

30 Days Left


I am searching for inspirational stories about father-daughter relationships, stories that share wisdom, teach moral and important life lessons, and give others insight into how to nurture and maintain a healthy, loving and fulfilling father-daughter relationship.

If you are a father or a daughter, I want to hear about your parent-child relationship experiences. For more information about submitting your story, please visit my website, http://www.gregoryelang.com/, and click the red corner on the home page, just beneath the “Projects” tab.

I’m also collecting photos of dads and daughters to display on this blog. If you’d like to submit one, please email it to greg.lang@mindspring.com.

Now on to today’s diary entry…

I have two photos for you today: this first is the photo taken at the wedding mentioned in last Thursday’s post, a great candid moment; the second is of my cousin and uncle, one of the five sessions I had over the weekend. When I asked Susan, 42, if she was still a daddy’s girl, she smiled and answered, “Of course.” You can tell, can’t you?

This just in from Kim Porter of MI:

“There is a picture hanging in our hallway. On the canvas is painted a winter scene full of purples, whites and hues of blue. The letters that were carefully inscribed on the bottom spell my daughter's name. The painting is not special because of the name or bright colors, but the origin of that picture makes it a master piece in our home. It is a result of hours of work between my daughter, Hannah and her Grandpa. When I look at the painting, I can't distinguish the lines that were painted my either artist. They all blend together as each stroke painted by the younger was smoothed over by the elder. There was a lot of pride as the two handed over the picture and the love between them reminds me how much I also loved my Dad, now grandpa, as a young child.

Watching my dad as a grandfather has created a new love for him in me. As a child, I could not appreciate the time or effort my dad put into raising me. I didn't understand that he might have been too tired to play puppets or watch my newest dance I had created. I have such fond memories of dancing on my Daddy's feet or discussing long questions I just had to ask before bedtime. Now, as he spends quality time with my daughter, I have the opportunity to watch through different eyes and my heart is sincerely touched by their relationship. My dad does not seem to tire of recording long sessions of "songs" that Hannah creates, or video taping her dancing to yet another CD. He has spent hours in his workshop making wooden cars or flutes just so that the little hands that take them home can possibly pull them apart. I laugh at the times that he will call my daughter by my name, because it makes me think that perhaps his time with her also reminds him of me. As an adult, my Dad and I do not have the time together that we once did, and knowing that my children are able to be with him makes me thankful for him even more. He was not a perfect dad, and I'm sure he wouldn't always be a perfect grandfather, but in my eyes, and now my daughter's eyes, he is a wonderful man.”

OK, folks, only one month to go before the deadline of August 17th to tell me your story. Don’t hesitate any longer!

Well, I guess that’s enough for today. Thanks so much for visiting my blog. Now go out and hug somebody!


Friday, July 13, 2007

It's Date Day

Yes, today is Date Day; Jill has been so helpful to me as I've worked on this book, I've decided to take the day off and spend it with her. Movie, shopping, dinner out, whatever she wants. So be entertained with Virginia Dare "Gigi" Compton, a little sweetie in the neighborhood who has been a model for me for nearly 2 years. She's a pro, don't you think?

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Post #285

I am searching for inspirational stories about father-daughter relationships, stories that share wisdom, teach moral and important life lessons, and give others insight into how to nurture and maintain a healthy, loving and fulfilling father-daughter relationship.

If you are a father or a daughter, I want to hear about your parent-child relationship experiences. For more information about submitting your story, please visit my website, www.gregoryelang.com, and click the red corner on the home page, just beneath the “Projects” tab.

I’m also collecting photos of dads and daughters to display on this blog. If you’d like to submit one, please email it to greg.lang@mindspring.com.

Now on to today’s diary entry…

Today’s photo is of another neighbor (I’m so glad so many are willing to pose; saves me a few $$$ on gas) and his two daughters. He is a pastor and author of a number of spiritual workshop texts, and his girls adore him.

Here is an excerpt from a story I received this morning:

“After my husband and I got married, we were doing lots of wedding pictures of course. We had been posing for pictures for quite some time and my husband and I are standing side by side, when my dad suddenly jumps in behind me and is trying to push his new son-n-law out of the way and trying to pull me back to him. While he’s doing this, he is saying something like ‘NO, she’s my daughter, you can’t have her, etc!’ Again, I say that I love that my dad has a wonderful sense of humor; he knows how to have fun. Getting married can be a little mind-boggling and all the smiling and posing for the pictures can be a bit much. So I really enjoyed the moment when he lightened things up and brought me back to the fun of it all.”

I’m feeling pretty guilty about not posting much right now but when I added photography to my list of to-do’s, my workdays became twice as demanding. I’ve got eight sessions scheduled in the next week and each one usually takes three hours of time to get the one photo developed that will be in the book. I appreciate your understanding!

Well, I guess that’s enough for today. Thanks so much for visiting my blog. Now go out and hug somebody!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Quick & Easy

I am searching for inspirational stories about father-daughter relationships, stories that share wisdom, teach moral and important life lessons, and give others insight into how to nurture and maintain a healthy, loving and fulfilling father-daughter relationship.

If you are a father or a daughter, I want to hear about your parent-child relationship experiences. For more information about submitting your story, please visit my website, www.gregoryelang.com, and click the red corner on the home page, just beneath the “Projects” tab.

I’m also collecting photos of dads and daughters to display on this blog. If you’d like to submit one, please email it to greg.lang@mindspring.com.

Now on to today’s diary entry…

Today’s photo was given to me by Jennifer Curtis. Her dad is a big cut-up, and she loves it.

Not much to offer today, I have so much editing to do and photo appointments scheduled between now and late Sunday afternoon. Be patient, I’ll have more sample material to show you in the near future.

If you are thinking of sending me a story to use in Daddy’s Little Girl, please keep in mind that what I really need now are inspirational stories, something that after reading it, you would go “I wish I had thought of that” or “I’m going to try and be like that dad/daughter.” Think of an event that was either a turning point in your life or an awakening moment when you fully realized something important, and somehow your dad or daughter had a role in that moment. Our goal is to help other daughters and dads get through similar stuff if it ever enters their lives. I want to book to be entertaining, heartwarming, and instructional in a subtle kind of way.

Well, I guess that’s enough for today. Thanks so much for visiting my blog. Now go out and hug somebody!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Various Blather

I am searching for inspirational stories about father-daughter relationships, stories that share wisdom, teach moral and important life lessons, and give others insight into how to nurture and maintain a healthy, loving and fulfilling father-daughter relationship.

If you are a father or a daughter, I want to hear about your parent-child relationship experiences. For more information about submitting your story, please visit my website, www.gregoryelang.com, and click the red corner on the home page, just beneath the “Projects” tab.

I’m also collecting photos of dads and daughters to display on this blog. If you’d like to submit one, please email it to greg.lang@mindspring.com.

Now on to today’s diary entry…

Today’s photo was taken while I was working on the Hispanic version of Why a Daughter Needs a Mom. These sisters insisted on having their photo made, and of course I was glad to comply. It later appeared in my book Brothers and Sisters (which, by the way, is also the title of one of my favorite Allman Brothers albums).

The meeting with my editor went great yesterday; she is in town for a convention and we managed to have breakfast at the Ritz-Carlton (I had Eggs Benedict). We discussed the artwork and design of the book, its eventual promotion, and she enlightened me to the Harper publication process. I was delighted to get confirmation that the book will be out in April, 2008.

A few statistics: I’ve written over 43,300 words (yielding 320 double-spaced pages), have created 33 photos and have more modeling sessions scheduled (I usually take 80 – 100 photos per session to get the ONE I want for the book), and have 74 stories. I’m anticipating I’ll get closer to 100 stories and 55,000 words before I’m done, but then after I slash it when editing, who knows where I’ll end up.

I spent lots of girl time with the daughters this past weekend – we went to see Evening (loved it, don’t care what Roger Ebert said, a great flick!) and then watched The Blair Witch Project at home (had to counteract the estrogen influence of Evening), and we went bowling where I somehow managed to tell the men bowling next to us that I didn’t want to accidentally grab their balls. It might be years before they stop bringing that blooper up in front of my neighbors.

Today Meagan went to the shooting range with my father-in-law; he and I go every Tuesday. Meagan wanted to give it a shot (pardon the pun) and as it turns out, she’s a natural marksman. Now she wants to get her own handgun and practice for the Olympic women’s shooting team. She wants a pink gun, of course.

OK, I have some serious writing to do….

Well, I guess that’s enough for today. Thanks so much for visiting my blog. Now go out and hug somebody!

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Monday Monday




I am searching for inspirational stories about father-daughter relationships, stories that share wisdom, teach moral and important life lessons, and give others insight into how to nurture and maintain a healthy, loving and fulfilling father-daughter relationship.

If you are a father or a daughter, I want to hear about your parent-child relationship experiences. For more information about submitting your story, please visit my website, www.gregoryelang.com, and click the red corner on the home page, just beneath the “Projects” tab.

I’m also collecting photos of dads and daughters to display on this blog. If you’d like to submit one, please email it to greg.lang@mindspring.com.

Now on to today’s diary entry…

I am meeting with my editor Monday morning in downtown Atlanta, a two—plus hour roundtrip commute depending on weather, traffic and whether or not a ladder or sofa fell off a truck during rush hour, so I’m only taking time to post a few photos today. They are from our South Beach and Key West vacation earlier this summer.

I know there are some performance issues with my website; it was moved to a new server over the weekend and apparently didn’t make a smooth transition. If you have a story to submit and the site isn’t cooperating, just send it to me by email.

Well, I guess that’s enough for today. Thanks so much for visiting my blog. Now go out and hug somebody!



Friday, July 06, 2007

Crawdads

I am searching for inspirational stories about father-daughter relationships, stories that share wisdom, teach moral and important life lessons, and give others insight into how to nurture and maintain a healthy, loving and fulfilling father-daughter relationship.

If you are a father or a daughter, I want to hear about your parent-child relationship experiences. For more information about submitting your story, please visit my website, www.gregoryelang.com, and click the red corner on the home page, just beneath the “Projects” tab.

I’m also collecting photos of dads and daughters to display on this blog. If you’d like to submit one, please email it to greg.lang@mindspring.com.

Now on to today’s diary entry…

Today’s photo is another one from my book, Thank You, Dad. It is of yet another set of neighbors from our ‘hood, the Traynors. Great people.

This week has been busy so I haven’t posted every day. I may not be able to as often in these last two months before the deadline to turn in Daddy’s Little Girl. I’m writing as much as nine hours a day on that project, and it leaves little time for anything else. But thanks for your continued support and visits to this blog!

This is an excerpt from a chapter I’ve written about daddy-daughter adventures:

“One daughter even told me of her fond memories gutting fish and cleaning squirrels alongside her dad, but I’ll save you the nausea and skip the details. I don’t know if it is because dads transfer to daughters some of the things he might have hoped to do had he had a son, or if dads want their daughters to understand that their world isn’t limited to lace and high tea just because she’s a girl. Either way, the truth is, I’ve never received a letter from a daughter who told me of how much she hated being under the open sky with her dad.

Speaking of open skies, I also heard from a dad in Southern California who is fascinated with astronomy. In 1995 a new comet was discovered outside of Jupiter's orbit. It was the farthest comet ever discovered by amateurs and appeared 1000 times brighter than Comet Halley did at the same distance. Steve found out when and where it would be visible in his area and then planned to take his six-year-old daughter to see it as it passed through the night sky.

He told me of how they climbed to the top of a steep hill where the town’s water tower stood. It was a fall night and they waited for dusk to come, gazing to the northwest where the comet was to appear. Sure enough, as the sun went down, they saw the comet in the northwestern sky, traveling low over the hills on the outskirts of Pasadena.

The celestial event lasted only moments, but the memories will last a lifetime. Now, a dozen years later, they still talk about that comet and the night they shared a once in a lifetime experience.

I wondered what natural wonder I may have introduced Meagan and Linley to that they might remember for years to come. A vacation a few summers ago came to mind.

We stopped in the Arcadia National Forest in Maine to climb to the top of a rock formation and look out over the bay – there was the city of Bar Harbor below, Nova Scotia on the horizon, and the Atlantic Ocean for as far as you could see. Jill and I marveled.

I looked over my shoulder, certain I would see that the girls were as impressed with the view as we were. I spotted Meagan busy sending a text-message from her phone and Linley holding the portable DVD player, taking care not to miss a single scene of Moulin Rouge.

Determined to make sure we left Maine with at least one worthwhile memory, I took the family to eat just-out-of-the-ocean lobster on the fisherman’s pier. You should have seen the waitress when I asked her to show the kids how to crack lobster, explaining that as southerners we were well versed in the fine cuisine of fried “coon and ‘possum,” with biscuits and milk gravy, but we knew nothing about eatin’ giant crawdads.”

Well, I guess that’s enough for today. Thanks so much for visiting my blog. Now go out and hug somebody!

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Daddy's Little Girls


I am searching for inspirational stories about father-daughter relationships, stories that share wisdom, teach moral and important life lessons, and give others insight into how to nurture and maintain a healthy, loving and fulfilling father-daughter relationship.

If you are a father or a daughter, I want to hear about your parent-child relationship experiences. For more information about submitting your story, please visit my website, www.gregoryelang.com, and click the red corner on the home page, just beneath the “Projects” tab.

I’m also collecting photos of dads and daughters to display on this blog. If you’d like to submit one, please email it to greg.lang@mindspring.com.

Now on to today’s diary entry…

Today’s photos were sent to me by Anitra; they were taken at a recent family reunion. This is a family of eleven children! In the story I wrote about Anitra and her father (based on what she had sent to me), I included the following statement:

“She began to realize how fragile life really is; there was no time to waste being distant from her father, a man with a heart big enough to raise eleven children, a man who called each child his favorite and could make them all feel as though they were.”

Well, her sister sent me an email yesterday that included this footnote:

“I think Anitra may have said this, that she is my dad's favorite? Well, actually, I am his favorite, I know this because he has told me so.”

How cool is that, a father who can make all his daughters feel that special!

I recently enjoyed a long walk with a neighbor who shared with me her thoughts on the balance dads must reach between spoiling their daughters and assuring their appreciation and perspective about what is important in life.

We were on this subject because we had just agreed with one another that the show “My Super Sweet Sixteen” was perhaps the greatest disservice and injustice to the average parent to ever hit television.

It was that program that “showed” me every girl should get a limited edition Bentley on her 16th birthday, to be delivered by a Chippendale model posing as a valet at the Waldorf-Astoria, right after dinner at the opulent Egyptian-themed party for 1200 that was catered by Mr. Wolfgang Puck himself. Did I mention the monogrammed Versace dinner napkins for each and every guest?

My neighbor suggested I never give the girls anything or take them any place fancy, theorizing that then when I finally did indulge them in some way, they would be overcome with joy.

I thanked her for her effort to help me, but thought it was a little too late to implement her plan.

Sometimes I wish I had begun writing this book years ago; some of the things I’ve learned other fathers have done might have led me to indulge my girls not less, but differently.

One of my favorite stories about a dad teaching his daughter to be appreciative and compassionate involves a homeless man. This dad is a successful Thoroughbred breeder; his daughter enjoys many fine things. Yet her dad is cognizant of making sure she doesn’t grow up a spoiled princess, he makes sure she takes nothing for granted.

Gil has lived on the streets and generosity of the locals for nearly twenty-years. This father takes his twelve year old daughter with him as he buys food, a winter coat, or a blanket and then sets out in search of Gill. Upon finding him, they sit and talk with him even though he never remembers them from their last such visit, and a few dollars are placed in his hand when the visit comes to an end.

The dad shared with me his daughter has told her friends about Gil, and has recruited them to help her take care of him. They all now call out to him when they see him, and the number of families who now extend their generosity to Gil has increased remarkably, thanks to one little girl. A support network has grown from the one seed a dad planted in his daughter’s imagination.

Well, I guess that’s enough for today. Thanks so much for visiting my blog. Now go out and hug somebody!