Some of the very best things about my father, Robert L. Schmidt Sr. have come through in me in the last half of my life when he was not here.
His love for gardening; flowers, trees, and feeding birds. These are among the small things. His personality was complex and subtle, but easy to enjoy. His concern for his children and his spouse manifested in hard work, plenty of play time, and a beautiful sense of humor.
He had no dad to learn from, no one to guide him through his transition from boy to man, but he did have the boy scouts, and they taught him many things he wanted me to learn. To scouting we took, like a fish to water, and in it we found camaraderie of others, challenges to our physical and mental strengths, and a place to grow in our love of the outdoors and our love for each other.
We climbed the tallest mountain in the contiguous United States together, we spent a week at a time living in the sierras from just what we carried on our backs. we built, and planted, and planned and celebrated the creativity and silliness that we both possessed. I hope that I was as good for him as he was for me. He urged me to finish strong, by getting my eagle scout rank, and I did, perhaps mostly for him ( he had missed his by a few merit badges). I look at that medal now, and know that I made him proud, and that I did something worth doing, and that it changed me for the better.
Thank you, father, for the path you led us on, and for letting us go on beyond where you could not accompany us, knowing that we were well trained and well equipped. It has been an amazing journey and when I look down at my hands doing, or my feet hiking a dusty trail, when my mind churns through a dozen design options, know that he is with me.