My dad is 82 years old, a little bit nuts, and a lot stubborn. Last November he left for a 5-month backpacking trip through Australia and New Zealand (with a week in Hong Kong on the way home). Like I said, a little bit nuts.
He finally arrived home safe and sound in late April and I got to see him the first weekend in May when my brother and sister-in-law threw him a big welcome home party. Lots of people came to visit and dad made a big show of giving gifts to all the kids (aka me and my brothers) and the grandkids too. My dad isn't the best gift giver, though he has the best intentions. I got a coaster and an envelope with a little bit of New Zealand wool.
After the party, my dad sat with me on the couch and said "I have something else for you." Then he told me a story ...
He had been on a train heading towards Adelaide, Australia and saw a woman sitting across from him crafting. After a few minutes, he had to find out what she was doing, so he struck up a conversation with her. She explained what she was doing and what the end result would look like. My dad told her he had a daughter who liked to craft, and asked if she'd make a small piece for him to take home to me ... in red, his favourite colour.
It's a teeny, tiny, English paper piecing hexagon, maybe a 1/4" in size. He carried it in his wallet for months, just so he could bring it home to me.
Funny thing is, my dad had no idea that I had already learned about EPP and have a few quilts in progress (stasis is more like it to be honest). He was just really interested in the tiny piecing project this woman was working on and wanted to share it with me.
Maybe he's not such a terrible gift giver after all. :)