Sunday, June 19, 2011

About My Dad

In honor of what this day is really about, I started thinking about all of the things my daddy taught me.  Mind you, sometimes these lessons were not learned on the first go-around.  Poor dad.  I think he is probably thankful that he had only one of me.
  • How to light a fire.  And why opening the flue is important.  After i set off the fire alarm.
  • How to mow the grass.  He said it was character-building - i said it was so he could watch the race.  I'm sure it was some of both.  But now I love working in the yard.
  • How to drive a car.  On a dirt road in the middle of an orange grove, on a stick, in a Pinto.  The absolute best part - I was 12.  We kept it a secret from my mom for awhile. I can't believe we had a Pinto.
  • How to water ski.  Which, his method I'm sure, could be called into question in this day and age.  I was around 5 (he liked to start things early obviously) and I remember floating around in Lake Butler crying because I just knew an alligator was going to have me for lunch and dad said, "If you want out of the water, start skiing".
  • How to drive a boat so HE could water ski.  This, this he paid for.  One time he was standing on the dive platform on the back of the boat, trying to fish a ski out of the weeds, when he told me to inch the boat up some.  Instead, I jerked it forward and he flew off the back in the weeds.  I laughed, he did too.
  • How to shoot a gun.  We had land, so learning to shoot was on our own property.  I immediately fell in love with it.  Scared the bejeezus out of my mother.
  • How to fish.  This is without a doubt one of my favorite things to do to this day.  I love the fact that my boys love it.  Mostly, I love the quiet.  All moms love quiet.
  • How to sew. Yes, sew. Go figure.
  • How to use a nail gun without killing myself.
  • How to use a chop saw.
  • How to use a circular saw.
  • How to do minor electrical stuff, like wiring new outlets and hanging lights and ceiling fans.
  • How to refinish furniture without taking my skin off.
  • How to read blueprints.
  • How to read if a sub-contractor or a contractor, for that matter, is lying.
  • How to find my way around Home Depot.
  • How to install a garbage disposal.
  • How to use a wet saw.
  • How to lay tile.
  • Measure twice, cut once.
  • Sometimes the garage is the safest place to be, or the best place to work out anger, sadness, or overall angst. Or hide. Sometimes you have to hide.
  • Mistakes are lessons to NOT do something that way again. It's ok - it can be redone.
  • You're probably going to know more about building and fixing things than any man you date. That's ok, don't rub it in, but if he won't at least TRY - let THAT be your lesson.
  • Home Depot or Lowes CAN lower prices on stuff, JUST ASK. It's your money, you're the only one who can protect it.
  • Girls are often better than boys at this stuff because we're THOROUGH.
  • Don't ever let a tradesman talk down to you - you've learned from the best :)
  • Some jobs are better left to the professionals. Know when.
  • Get at least 3 quotes.
  • Cheapest is just that - you get what you pay for.

My dad was often teased that he wanted a boy instead of a girl because of everything he made me learn. I don't believe that's at all true, I think he just wanted to spend time with me, and i with him. I know I learned so much more than what i listed - but it's the memories of us together while learning those things that will stay with me forever. I love you Dad.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, your daddy is a handy man! This is such a great tribute to your Dad and your childhood. My Dad hides in the garage too...I never thought about it before, but you are right!