Things I have inherited or learned from my Father:
The need for speed. Do you know how some people leisurely stroll through the mall or walk slow enough to take in the smell of each food vendor they walk by at fair or theme park? Not my Dad. My dad speed walks with his long Viking legs at a pace that always left my sister and I skipping to keep up. This is not to say that my Dad can’t take a long relaxing slow hike over hills and valleys, he can and he still does but if a place is crowded, he in on a mission. I do the same thing. I find myself 10 feet in front of whom ever I am walking with urging them to hurry up the window shopping so we can get to the shop of our destination. I can not remember a trip to the mall where my didn’t say over his shoulder to my sister and I, “If you walk any slower you will be walking backwards.” Efficient? Yes. Enjoyable for everyone with out this gene? Probably not so much.
Good socks and shoes are essential to your well-being. I will not ever mow the lawn without socks and shoes on. I never ride bike without sock and shoes. I do not walk long distances without socks and shoes on. You can wear a 10-year-old t-shirt 3 days a week but you must buy a new pair of tennis shoes at least once a year. You must always take care of your feet. Your feet take you from A to B. Buy good shoes so you can get there. Flip flops are stupid. (I disagree on this one – but I get where he is coming from)
Everyone should know how to swim. It is a life lesson and a survival skill. You need to be able to jump into the deep end of a swimming pool without plugging your nose. You should be able to be thrown from a water tube going 20 mph, skid across the water, spinning at least 720 degrees, sink underwater and be able to recover to the surface AND ask to go for another ride on the tube. Tim and I pay a fortune for swim lessons so our kids can learn the same skills.
You must know how to take care of your lawn. When you plant grass seed you cover the new grass seed with grass clippings. No matter how many odd looks you get from your neighbors as you shake grass clippings over a patch of dirt, you must keep laying the clippings or your grass will never grow.
Be a defensive driver. Do not be an offensive or aggressive driver or you are an asshole and will die in a car crash.
Restaurants are good. Going out to eat is fun occasionally but nothing beats a home cooked meal.
You don’t have to know how to cook everything. But you do need to be able to fry and scramble an egg and you need to be able to grill a good beefy, juicy burger. And in the last minute of grilling that befy burger you must add a slice of quality cheese with its four corner folded neatly on top so your cheese is doubly thick and none of it melts down the side and off your burger.
Counting Change. You will not always have a calculator and you are useless if you can not count back change correctly. You always state the sale price and then count the change back to them and then the bills. This is how you count back change. There is no other way.
Every penny counts. See above.
Do not buy cheap coats. We live in the upper midwest and we are closer to poutine eating, moose hunting Canadians than any U.S. state with residents that say “y’all.” Buy a good coat and wear a good coat or you will get sick and you will die. Same goes for sleeping bags.
When you find something you like stick with it. This goes for everything from your coffee brand to your hairstyle. If you have a good hair cut there is no need to change styles. Ever.
Small business = good. Large mega corporations = bad evil monsters. If you can get what you want from a local business, always shop there first. Small businesses are the heart of America.
Discipline can happen with just a look. When parenting a stern look of disappointment can go just as far, if not farther, than a sit down lecture. Perfect that look. Use that look to your advantage but do not over use the look. Respect the look.
Think before you speak. You are not as smart as you think you may be. If you can’t be kind, be quiet.
Lead by example. Because no one wants to listen to orders from a hypocrite.
Be involved in something. Give back to the community with your time, money and expertise. You can do this through joining a club, donating to a local charity or helping a neighbor in need. You can not complain if you are not involved in the change.
Play with your kids. Know what your kids are into and support them. Teach them to respect you, not fear you and above all make sure they know that you love them always.
Work hard. Because there is no other way to work.
Learn where you came from. Remember where you came from. Respect where you came from.
Family comes first. Always.
I love you Dad. I will always be a Daddy’s girl. Thank you for all you have taught me from all the life lessons listed above to so much more. I love you. Happy Father’s Day.