As I wrote about lessons from Mom on Mother’s Day, it’s only obvious that I should share the same wisdom from Dad on Father’s Day.
Practical advice or true wisdom? You might have rolled your eyes the first hundred times you heard some of these, but now you find yourself saying the same things to the people in your life – little, and grown! The literal meanings might make you chuckle, but the deeper meanings are what get us through life:
- Use tools.
- If you need to, stop work and go get a new tool if that’s what you need to get the job done.
- Once you start the lawnmower, don’t stop until all the grass is cut. Even if it gets dark out.
- If it’s 10pm and you need gas or milk, go get it. You will still need it in the morning if you don’t.
- Read the obituaries. You don’t want to miss it if someone dies.
- If your car is leaking oil, park on the street.
- A well-aimed hose cleans up all messes.
- “I don’t know” is not an answer or a destination.
- Do as I say, not as I do.
- Stop complaining.
- Watch your mouth.
- Shut the door.
- Turn down the heat.
- Eat what’s in front of you.
- Watch old westerns and Spanish language channels – you might learn something.
- Even now, you can always find an episode of Matlock or Murder She Wrote on t.v.
- A good recliner chair beats the couch, any day.
- Take naps.
- Put out fires, no matter who starts them.
- If you’re a poor sport, you don’t get to play.
- I’m not a bank.
- You’re more likely to get something if you don’t ask.
- You’re fine.
- Don’t ride the brake.
- A little dirt won’t kill you.
- Pay attention.
- Short cuts work, until they don’t.
- Read a map and learn to follow directions so that you can get to places on your own.
- If you want to get home – drive there! [As my father advised me through the car window while I was learning to drive a stick shift, from a stop, on a hill, down the street from our house, just before he walked home and left me there. I drove home].
- A mouse trap is designed to kill mice. Don’t be so surprised when you set a trap and later find a dead mouse.
- Go ask your mother.
Some of these are spoken truths that I might have heard at a slightly higher volume than others, others are examples set and reinforced throughout childhood and adolescence.
My Dad never wore a sweater vest or sat me down for a heart-to-heart. He’s just not that kind of Dad. But he did graciously endure hideous ties, discount store wallets, and warped-dried-paste magazine collages of the foods he likes to eat.
At least now when we go out to dinners or movies, he finally doesn’t have to pay.