Tomorrow is Father's Day.

If you are part of my generation, there's a good chance your father has already moved on to the next life. My dad died relatively young - 66. His father was a huge factor in my life as I grew up, but he died even younger. So if you are lucky enough to still have your father or grandfather here, be sure to let him know how much he means to you.

In the past few weeks, I have been noticing something that makes me smile. It started across the street from my house with a new neighbor: dads actually out playing with their kids - and enjoying it, not looking like it was something they had to do; dads walking babies in strollers; dads taking little ones for checkups at the doctor's office.

Not so very long ago, it seemed like men considered doing things like that to be demeaning.

When I was much younger, it seemed like guys were taught from very young ages not to cry, not to do "women's work," and certainly they would be laughed at grocery shopping with the kids in tow.

I think it has a lot to do with how they are raised. Things like making sure boys only played with boys' toys and girls with girls' toys.

Things were a bit unconventional in our house, and one neighbor thought it wrong that I allowed my girls to play in the dirt pile (or out in the snow) with toy trucks alongside their brothers. That's what they all did when the weather was nice. I guess it's a good thing they didn't see inside my house when it rained or we were snowbound because then the boys played with the girls with the dolls.

But I think now that it's all said and done, it was really the better way. My girls grew up able to think and fend for themselves when they needed to. And my boys? I would hold both of them up as examples of wonderful fathers (and now grandfathers!).

Ah, that thought really hits home - my sons are grandfathers. Perhaps it shouldn't seem so strange. My Jim, who turns 54 on Monday, is as white-haired as me. Tim will be 53 two days later. He has the distinction of having arrived on Father's Day.

There aren't as many activities as I had hoped this week, but sometimes emails have a way of going to Oz rather than my computer.

Today will be the last class before summer break on the 613 Commandments for Temple Beth Shalom. The class, taught by Rabbi Les Scharnberg, will be held in Brookings at the Curry Coastal Pilot building at 10 a.m.

It's almost time for the first Vacation Bible School of the summer. The Refuge Christian Fellowship has scheduled their program, "International Spy Academy" for June 23andndash;27 at the Del Norte County Fairgrounds arts and crafts building. Classes will run from 9 a.m. to noon. Everything is free, and a snack and lunch will be provided. Please call Amanda at 464-9849 to register.

New Life Community Church will hold a Father's Day potluck at Beachfront Park following the morning service. The men did a great job of it on Mother's Day. Now it's the ladies' turn. Bring a dish to share and enjoy the fellowship.

To contact Martha Williams, call 460-3000, or email