...at least for Joe Williams. When he actually was 60, he had been married for 17 years, had an almost 10 year old daughter and an 8 year old daughter. Now that he turned 80, he has two daughters in their late 20s and a precocious, curly red-headed, crystal blue-eyed granddaughter who is pushing 2. Oh, and don't forget that gorgeous wife of 35.5 years, Jeannette, 14 years his junior.

Tired of numbers?

Let's talk character: a heart of gold, unending sacrifice in service to his family, a trusted & equal partnership with his spouse, service to his country in the form of photo recon over Cuba & Vietnam (before the public knew "we" were in Vietnam) and a twinkle in his eye that appears 3.2 seconds prior to the tagline of his current joke.

Oh, sorry, I forgot we were tired of numbers....:)

So, let's not discuss that Joe Williams turned 80 almost a month ago, let's just throw a party to celebrate him and the drink he's taken from the proverbial Fountain of Youth. Because, really, does this man look 80?

Mom coordinated a beautiful event in Dad's honor the night I flew home to California last Sunday. She invited friends from all their different circles of life and we enjoyed a scrumptious steak and salmon dinner overlooking Orange County.

In the order of all things coordinator-ly, Mom and her youngest sister, Laurie, designed a very simple centerpiece and I was able to bring a little touch to them as well in the form of photos of Dad...

Our guests had a great time seeing my Dad in his different walks of life-growing up in snow-storm ridden Iowa, his military service, his wedding photos...They got to see Dad in a whole new light-through his history. (and his mustache that would make even Tom Selleck jealous)

Dad's eye-twinkle was triggered as he offered toasts to his friends and family and to "finishing strong".

I think the 4th of July is my favorite non-religious holiday. Instead of putting up a strong front, I usually get choked up at least once during the day while I think about the members of my family that have served, sacrificed and dutifully given their time to our country's safety and security. Lt. Col. Joe Williams is one of those members and I'm so thankful for him-not just as a part of our country's military, but as a forgiving & sacrificial husband, father & grandfather, and an impeccable man of character who still looks phenominally young for being...well, I won't say the number of age again.

We'll be celebrating you all year long, Dad--Happy Birthday!!

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