Monday, February 23, 2009

What My Dad Taught Me

Yesterday was my Father's birthday.
Chronologically he is 65. But there is some debate as to what his real age is.
To look at him you might think he is only 50-55. If you watch him go you might think he was in his 20s or 30s. But there are those among us who argue that he is actually over 2000 years old.

This is a picture of him with my mom and my sons at Niagra Falls last summer.

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Regardless of his actual age, my Dad has taught me many things in my life.

Including, but certainly not limited to:

  1. The abilty and willingness to work is one of the greatest attributes a person can have.
  2. If something needs done, do it.
  3. It should not take all day to do 5 minutes work.
  4. If you look for something you will usually find it.
  5. When things are difficult complaining will not make them better. Effort usually will.
  6. As much time should be spent outdoors as possible.
  7. Be home when you say you will be.
  8. Being dependable is another one of the greatest attributes a person can have.
  9. Hard work will get you a long ways. Hard work and an education will get you even farther.
  10. Arguing rarely solves anything.
  11. True love is not based on appearances.
  12. If you can't say something nice bite your tongue.
  13. Sometimes it's okay to let people see you biting your tongue.
  14. It's sometimes fun to start rumors if you tell people that's what you are doing.
  15. Raising a family is one of the most worthy and honorable things a person can do.
  16. If you choose to have a family, (and it should be an active choice), they should be your first priority.
  17. Your commitment to your spouse should be more important to you than anything on earth.
  18. Your commitment to God should be more important to you than anything in the world.
  19. If you listen to the spirit, it will talk.
  20. You should serve others at any given opportunity. And not brag about it later.
  21. Do your chores before you play.
  22. When you give a talk, don't write it word for word. Just have your outline written on 3x5 cards and speak naturally.
  23. Our goal in this life is to earn eternal salvation. There is a whole plan for this.
  24. To appreciate nature.
  25. How to set up a tent.
  26. How to start a fire.
  27. How to dig a snow grave (for sleeping in).
  28. How to make ash cakes
  29. How to cook in a dutch oven.
  30. How to sweep a floor effectively.
  31. How to shoot a gun.
  32. How to throw a tomahawk.
  33. How to differentiate between kinds of pine trees.
  34. How to watch for and follow tracks.
  35. How to paddle a kayak.
  36. How to make a bed.
  37. You should give your spouse a good long kiss when you get home from work.
  38. You should let your children see you kiss your spouse.
  39. Don't leave the oven on during church.
  40. Sometimes the best naps are on the living room floor.
  41. There are few shows that are really worth watching on tv.
  42. Star Trek is one of them.
  43. Enjoy every minute of being outside.
  44. Find excuses to go outside.
  45. Enjoy life.
  46. Let people know you have a testimony of God.
  47. Decide how you want to live your life and do it with vigor.
  48. Don't let little things (like quadruple heart bypasses) keep you from doing the things you love.
  49. When you fall down get up and try again.
  50. Love your family with all your heart and in every way you know how.
  51. Make sure God is part of every part of your life, and you will be happy.

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That was a little longer list than I originally intended. I hope you stuck through and read them all.

I could have kept going, but 51 was enough for this year.

I am so grateful for my father. He is one of the people that I truly admire the most.

He taught me so many things (obviously), and those things have made my life better.

I wish you a happy birthday Dad.

No matter how old you really are, I hope this year is better than all the ones before it.

I love you. Thanks for being my Dad.

-Della

9 comments:

Lydia said...

you missed sticking out your tongue is part of talking in church

Living on the Spit said...

What a great and smart Dad. Please tell him I said Happy Birthday!!!! Here's to many, many more!

Dadisms are the best.

Tom and Lillie Wilkinson said...

we sure have the best Dad,
thanks dad and della for all the memories and may we and our children have many more.
Lillian

Tom and Lillie Wilkinson said...

You said it Della. -- Drew

Chuck and Nancy said...

How Blessed I am to be married to this man for almost 42 years now. Nancy/Mom/Nana

The family said...

What a wonderful post! I love it (and your dad now too)

Mike Hugo said...

He taught me that you may be born with a weakness but it does not have to rule you. It took me a couple of years of knowing him to realize he has a temper but I have never even seen him yell at anyone, not even his wife.
Niki

shrinkingme said...

I always thought growing up that your dad was perfect, honestly.. I was always in awe of him, not just because he towered over me by massive feet, but by his presence. I was so jealous that I couldn't have a dad that always seemed to have time for you, no matter what! I remember one time when we wanted to make peanut butter, he helped us. He taught me that dads didn't have to be feared, that they could be gentle and loving. I remember helping to dig out your basement, wondering when he would holler at us for getting in the way-but he never did. He taught me how to make snow icecream, and snow forts. He taught me the joy of the outdoors and tee-pees, the pain of cross country skiing. He showed such tolerance with our D&H creations when it was your turn to cook dinner! He showed me such a great example, kneeling down every night to pray with his family. Such patience when someone needed to be shown how to do something. And I only ever saw him get angry one time, but it was because he loved you and was worried about you. So, tell him happy birthday from me-I feel like I grew up right along you in your house, and the lessons you learned made you who you are, even when you didn't want to learn them! I can't recall how many times I told you I was gonna kick your butt for not appreciating them when we were teenagers, now look at you-you are just as wonderful as your parents..

Chuck and Nancy said...

Thanks for the life and the memories. For what all of you have become. I may have to copy this and save it.
Love. DAD