What my dad taught me

Since Father’s Day is around the corner, I’m sharing a few of the many things my dad taught me over the years. He was a brick mason before and sometimes during his career as a mechanic, and he could fix just about anything. He was a nature-loving, garden-growing guy who had smile-emphasizing dimples, gave me silly nicknames, and once took me fishing in an inflatable raft. {Fish hooks + vinyl raft. Just sayin’.}

A girl never outgrows her dad. Even if he continues to call her “Squirrel.”

dad taught me

Life lessons my dad taught me:

  1. If it can’t be fixed with duct tape or WD-40, the problem is serious.
  2. Nature helps restore the soul, and we should respect it accordingly.
  3. A simple wardrobe is all you need. In his case, this was a uniform at work, and a roadrace tee + jeans + moccasins, or in later years, a Colombia long-sleeve shirt + jeans + hiking boots. And one suit in his closet for the occasional wedding or funeral.
  4. Bears will not necessarily maul you if you go outside to talk to them. Especially if you take them a bucket of buttermilk. **DON’T try this at home, friends.**
  5. Digging in the dirt reminds us where we came from, and growing a garden lets us take part in a tiny piece of Creation.
  6. Nothing tastes as good as a homegrown vegetable, especially if you grew it yourself.
  7. Outward appearances do not accurately indicate a person’s strength, physical or otherwise.
  8. “A bluejay is just a blackbird in a fancy suit.”
  9. You’re never too old to learn something new. Dad started a business at age 38, began running at almost 40, and learned how to ride a motorcycle at 50. That business was successful all the way ’til he retired, he never stopped his habit of running, and he became a devoted Harley rider until he could no longer ride.
  10. A hug says a lot when words can’t.
  11. A well-built foundation is essential for anything to remain solid and stand strong for generations to come, but it’s rarely noticed unless there’s a problem.
  12. Wile E Coyote and friends (from the old Saturday-morning cartoons) are hilarious, but even better is laughing til you can’t breathe with someone you love.

ALS took my dad from us, but it couldn’t take the life lessons he left behind. If your dad is still around, make sure to give him an extra big hug, or call and let him know something good you’ve learned from him.