The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

By Patti Dobson
Religion columnist 

Faith: Got my sweet tooth and my love of walking from Dad


Last updated 8/31/2021 at 3:45pm

“You are free to choose, but you are not free from the consequences of your choice.”

— Zig Ziglar

Smart man, that Zig.

I grew up with a version of that thought, long before I ever heard of Zig Ziglar. That sentiment was woven into all of childhood and teen (angst) lessons, courtesy of The Dad. He repeated often enough, “your choice, your consequence.”

And The Dad, and Zig, are correct. I am free to choose, and boy, did those chickens, er consequences, come home to roost.

Oh, cookies, I would choose you all the time. Who knew cookies had consequences?

In my teens, 20s, 30s, even 40s, it was easier to deal with the consequences of cookies (and pie, cake, bread, ice cream - see my dilemma?). I blame my dad for this sweet tooth of mine.

Early on, The Dad taught us to appreciate the good things, simple things. It wasn’t odd at all for us to pile into the car and drive from base housing into whatever town we were close to and grab an ice cream. Some of my earliest memories center around coffee milk (yes, it’s a thing) and coffee ice cream from Newport Creamery (also a thing).

Growing up, if you visited neighbors, you took something with you because going empty-handed was unheard of in polite society. I always wondered what happened to the treats we took because when we’d pop into friends’ homes, we were served something other than what we’d brought. Other kids from the neighborhood had the same question; I’m not sure this mystery was ever solved during my childhood.

Another early lesson: Never return an empty plate (or pie dish or cake platter). So, there is a history to the Dobson sweet tooth.

Hence the consequences.

Now that I’m older, it’s harder to shake off calories and so much easier to “get fluffy.” As a roughhousing kid, calories had a hard time finding me. Fast forward a few decades, and I just breathe in the aroma of bread baking, and those suckers glue themselves to me.

In the busyness of life, it’s easy to say that I’ll exercise after I finish laundry or walk some miles with dogs when it’s cooler. And then I get caught up with laundry, or dishes, or paperwork, or a million other things. And walking miles (with or without dogs) flies out the window.

As with most things, my dad is in the center of my thoughts. Dad would have turned 84 on Aug. 31. And like decades-worth of birthdays, there will be a cake in his honor.

Like my sweet tooth, I think I got my love of walking from Dad. He would walk miles and miles each day, and his routes were incredible. He’d tell me he’d walk from the house to the trainyards, hang out on the bridge a bit and watch the trains pass through.

Then he’d head off another way and eventually head home.

Maybe I compete a bit with him and his miles-long jaunts. Or maybe it’s another way to feel connected to him since he’s left this earth: that, and cake.

Happy birthday, Dad; love you to the moon and back.

Patti Dobson writes about faith for The Eastern New Mexico News. Contact her at:

[email protected]


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