Monday, June 22, 2009

Dads lessons within the lesson

I didnt get a chance to write this blog earlier. But its only been a day so I dont feel too bad. I figured I would take a chance to give mad props to and to laugh a bit at my dad. So in a sorry attempt to celebrate what makes my dad, my dad, I will share with you just a few of the lessons I have learned from my dad... for some reason they were all outdoors!

1. The $5 lawn: Dad never let us being girls get in the way of us doing our part in the work outside. I cant count the number of times that he told us the story of a $5 lawn job. I guess back in the day, that meant you went above and beyond the basic mow. $5 isn't much these days, but in all the time spent mowing lawn, I dont think I have ever come close to achieving a $5 lawn. But the lesson was taught.... Take pride in your work. Work hard so that when you are finished you can stand back and be proud of the job you did. Do you work with the goal to achieve a $5 lawn.

2. Another 2 hours?: Growing up, we hated Saturday. Most kids loved Saturday, but not us. Saturday meant WEEDS. We hated that we had to spend most every Saturday morning pulling weeds and made sure he knew how much we hated it. His response? Another 2 hours... Our hours piled up so much faster than the weeds. And we complained all the more. We were slow to learn that it was much easier to just get the 2 hours done without complaining. But eventually, we got it. So now when faced with a job I really dont want to get done, whether at work or at home, I realize its just easier to get the job done and not spend so much time dreading it.

3. Wake up call: Being silly little girls, and having a night owl mother, we loved staying up late with mom during the summer. Poor dad hated this. He sometimes started work as early as 3 in the morning. The worst was when he happened to find us still awake when he getting up to go to work. When we were especially silly and loud, he would come in the the living room and growl at us. When this didn't work, we were taken outside. This was most effective in the winter (think Christmas vacation) He would let us know that if we couldn't be respectful of the one who worked to provide the roof over our head, we would temporarily lose it (the roof) until we understood and learned to shut up. I remember standing outside with Margie, shaking, barefoot while he explained why we needed to be quiet. We can laugh about this now.

4. Black River Tutorials: I alway love going to Black River with dad. It was one of the few times dad was super extravagant. Eating out on the way there and back. Treats when we stopped to get our fishing licenses. One on one time. Its funny how all those fishing trips were more than just fishing. Every story told (many times over), every encounter with nature, every meal prepared was a lesson. How to "set the hook", how to tie a certain knot, what to do when you come across a skunk, snake or even a bear or bear cub. I can even light a fire in pouring rain and keep it going. I can gut and fillet a fish (if I must) and I can cook it on my fire. More than that, the lessons became an overarching lesson of being self sufficient and being able to survive extreme conditions.

5. Plant a Garden: Dad always has a garden going. He always made us a part of the word somehow. Whether we helped plant or water or harvest, we were able to participate. Gardening was one of his big multi-lesson lessons. We learned to work, we got to see the rewards of hard work, we saw dad's example for following the words of the prophet, we grew up with a love for vegetables... most kids cant say they love turnips, spinach, tomatoes, broccoli.... neither can most adults.

3 comments:

greg and laurie said...

Em,
You were blessed with "goodly parents". I remember the Saturday weeding - our kids had the same job and they hated it too! If you can catch, gut and filet a fish, you've met most of the requirements Alaska men have for a spouse - can you shoot a moose or caribo too? If so, we should have no trouble finding you a man up here.

Jenn said...

Haha. I totally remember all of that stuff! (especially the late nights with you and your mom) I even remember your dad greeting us as he left for work. You do have an awesome dad. He's very much like mine. Maybe that's why he always felt like a second dad to me.

Liz said...

Your mom gave me your blog while she was out visiting. I am so glad b/c that was a fun read and a trip down momeory lane. I think a lot of Dirk and he sure did have so good lessons. When you go "private" put me on the list.