I’m a Believer

…blessed is she that believed… -Luke 1:45

Things I Learned From My Dad May 27, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Laura @ 10:40 pm
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My Daddy celebrated his birthday this past Monday, so I thought it would be a good time to share some things that this unique man has taught me throughout the years.  Once you meet him you will find that he truly has the mind of a mad scientist and a heart of gold.  He is a great adventurer and a student of many things.  He always carries a pen or pencil and a notebook, a tire gauge, a pocket knife, a little plastic coin purse, and if you are really lucky, some electrical tape.  I’ve tried to learn as much as possible from this man who likes a thorough experience of life.  Here are some of the things I’ve learned:

  • Curiosity is Good! Not only is it good – it is imperative. “Curiosity killed the cat” has never deterred my daddy from anything. He has the curiosity of at least 90 cats, and he must have the 810 lives to go along with it. “I wonder…” has been the beginning of many of Dad’s great adventures. As we drove over a bridge on vacation it would suddenly become necessary that we know how the bridge holds up all that weight, how it was built, and what the bridge was made of. It has always been important that we not only understand what something is, but how and why it is the way it is. Curiosity has served my daddy well.  He is curious about everything except computers.  Although I think he and Mr. Google would quickly become fast friends!May June 2007 047
  • When you get sleepy, the grass is the best place for a nap!
  • Good snacks are important. Some of my favorite memories of my Dad involve yummy things to eat.  I remember when I was very little and he traveled in sales, we could always count on him bringing us back “Stage Plank” or “Rock N Roll” cookies (the gingerbread with the pink icing… mmmmm….).  As I got older, I was able to “help” him on jobs in the summer.  We always stopped to get a good lunch – I remember my first personal pan pizza at a Pizza Hut somewhere in Texas at lunch with my Daddy.  In recent years, he has showed up at my house with a box full of orange push up pops for my girls.  He’s even been known to travel with a brown paper bag of boudin.
  • Velcro is amazing! When my dad discovered velcro, nothing was safe from being velcroed.  The dashboard of his car was a masterpiece of velcro art.  I believe he still loves velcro, though I haven’t seen as much of it in these past few years.  Perhaps he is past his “Velcro Period.”  He also had a “Copper Period.”  (All great artists do this, right?)May June 2007 073
  • Dancing at weddings is one of life’s great joys (for Dad, if not always for his partners).  You must dance like you mean it at the weddings of those you hold dear.  From the 20-somethings to the little old ladies, no one is off limits as a partner.
  • Helping people is good. It might be difficult, but it is good to help those in need.  Dad has always been available to help family and  even the occasional stranger stranded along side the road.  He has stopped at accidents and offered encouragement to people at some of the most difficult times in their lives. He’s cared for old lonely people, he’s changed flats for strangers, and written letters of encouragement to hurting people.  The world would be a better place if we all cared for people so fearlessly.
  • Water in the back of the toilet is clean enough to drink. (No explanation available at this time)
  • When streaking (yes, that kind of streaking) always wear your shoes, and keep your undergarments in your hand. Also, when you hit 50 (years old, not MPH), you aren’t running as fast as you think you are.

  • scan0025Children are not insignificant. Dad has always been a family man. With great joy he still loves to tell of bringing me home from the hospital in a box. He was amazed at how tiny I was. (I would need a refrigerator box now!)  As I grew I remember sitting on his shoulders, rolling in the grass with him, him teaching me to ride my bicycle.  I remember him taking me & my brothers out in the boat and teaching us to swim.  I remember Dad taking us to the park when we got bored at Grandma’s house.  We could always count on him to push us the highest on the swings.  As children, we were not insignificant.  He enjoyed us, and we enjoyed him.  This is why I smile when he takes my little girls on walks to the park or to the McNeese farm:  because I know he knows they are significant.
  • You can make it through hard times and come out better. Mom & Dad did have some hard times and several challenges throughout their 41+ years of marriage.  Employment was a challenge for a few years when I was growing up, but he always did what was necessary to support the family, and when he started his own business, it gave him great freedom to be a husband and a dad, as well as a breadwinner.  He and mom were always committed to each other and to us, and they made sure that we knew it.  I felt so secure in knowing that…I still do.
  • It is a parent’s right (and responsibility) to embarrass their kids thoroughly, and often. As your children get older, it is not only a right and a responsibility, it’s downright enjoyable.  Favorite moments typifying this:
    • Dad standing in the middle of the road in front of our house waving madly and yelling “SLOW DOWN” at the “cool people” driving down my street.
    • Sitting at the table with one of my high school friends as Dad wrote her a speeding ticket for “talking too fast.”
    • Standing at McDonald’s wondering if that really is my dad walking behind the counter to turn off the French fry buzzer because it is getting on his nerves (or perhaps it’s a dream…  Nope, not a dream.)

    If you are really good at the embarrassment strategies, you will eventually embarrass your children without even trying.  As you approach your senior years, it gets even easier to embarrass the grandkids.

100_4201

Killing 2 birds with one stone - showing love & embarrassing the kids!

  • Spray paint and epoxy are AWESOME, but the greatest is love… My daddy is a man who thinks deeply, and loves even more deeply.  Many a tumultuous teenage argument ended with his assurance that he loved me.  Whether it’s sneaking an embrace from mom in the kitchen or still kissing me goodnight when we spend the night, I’ve never had any doubt of the love of my father.  I count myself privileged to be loved by him.

Happy birthday, Daddy (2 days late, of course!).  I love you & I’m glad you’re my Daddy.

I’m a Believer!

Laura

(To read about my Mommy, click here.)

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14 Responses to “Things I Learned From My Dad”

  1. […] read about my Daddy, click here. Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)Bad moms, bad moms, whatcha gonna do?Beyond Mom: […]

  2. Lois Lane II Says:

    How awesome! I LOVE this post — especially the napping on the grass and the water in the back of the toilet part. LOL! Sounds like you have one wonderful dad. =)

  3. steve devalcourt Says:

    Laura, That is an excellent article about your dad. It describes him to a “T’.
    I Love the wit and humor you bring to the page and wonder if you ever considered writing. You seem to get the details and then add the humor which really brings it to life.

    Uncle Stephen

  4. Angie Says:

    I remember your Dad always taking me to the park when we would visit Grandma. I couldn’t wait for Uncle Johnny to come visit, cuz I knew I would get to go somewhere fun! He really is the greatest and I will always have fond memories of him! I still will never forget when he took us to the dairy farm and Jamie fell in the cow patties! Good times!

  5. Ginger Says:

    What a blessing! Through a heartfelt smile and then on to laughter, I am thankfully stuck on the Mcds part. Or, was that the toilet part? Sounds like you have an awesome father and wouldn’t trade one moment, no matter how embarrassing!

    Ginger

    *Don’t forget your post. Starting The Daily Mercies on the 1st Thurs. of the month now. Would be a great kickoff!

  6. Beautifully written. All true, too, about your dad. Helps explain what is not immediately apparent: How he was able to win the heart of someone as attractive and intelligent as your mom.

  7. Laura Says:

    Here’s what my brother, Richard, sent in response to this. Sometimes I wonder if these memories are only significant to me. I guess not…

    That was great!

    My memories of the snacks are honey buns and cokes. I too have VIVID memories of the personal pan pizzas (how cool was that??), and introductions to Whataburger and I-Hop, long before they ever made it to Louisiana. (Who knew Strawberry syrup existed???) also, Mark and I ALWAYS kept track of how many Cokes he bought us…which was usually more than 4 each time.

    With regard to his curiosity, I guess I get it honest. I have realized as I get older how much I do things because of what he showed us. I’ve pulled into places that I shouldn’t – just out of curiosity…because of Dad. I even remember pulling over in a DOWN POUR in Lake Charles to help a HUGE old black man whose car was broken down. I wound up towing him down Hwy 14 and when we disconnected the cars, he gave me a hug so tight, I think he squeezed the wind out of me… both ways.

    Streaking…at MY house, in MY backyard that didn’t have a fence…yeah I remember that. I am proud to admit that I still remember the smirk on his face as he “ran” across the yard. Hopefully that’s the visual that everyone else has that witnessed it. If you have a different visual, WHY DID YOU LOOK?????

    Velcro….Dad told me just 2 days ago that he has a plan for Velcro and his new GPS. His relationship with Velcro was apparently not just a fling…

    Dancing…thank God I’m a guy. I think I’m pretty much safe, but do I remember Dad & Duane dancing? I think so but maybe it was a nightmare.

    Granted, the embarrassing moments are always possible…”Mr. Hot Head”, not being able to say “No” when asked to umpire despite not knowing anything about baseball, or entering the races as Skate City (bad enough) and then skating slowly during the race because “I’ve never had the opportunity to have the entire rink to myself”..But what’s weird is those horrid, embarrassing moments somehow turn into my fondest memories. Funny how that works.

    (By the way Laura, the French fry thing…happened to ME in Iowa with Mom and Amy…maybe Kevin too. You probably heard it in infamy, although it is entirely possible that it happened more than once.) good grief

    I agree that Dad has ALWAYS been what I would consider a romantic. Despite seeing his occasional “blue flashes”, he definitely loves the touchy feely. Part of that not being able to say “No” comes from his desire to help. I remember him hugging people in some very painful times that were full of hurt and anger. His hand written letters during the hard times mean more to you than you would ever expect . During the last few months, I’ve come closer to both Dad and Mom and realize how much they are there to love and support us, no matter what. I can only imagine how warm and fuzzy it must be for Mark and Kevin.

    -Rich

  8. Laura Says:

    Uncle Stephen & Angie – thanks for sending your memories of Dad. He’s a memorable fellow, huh? I wasn’t there for the cow pattie adventure, but I don’t doubt it for a minute! Uncle Stephen – I have considered writing, and this is where I do it! I’m glad you enjoy…:-)

    I’m enjoying keeping up with y’all on facebook! Makes Florida not seem so far…

    Love, LAURA

  9. Oh, Laura! I’ve experienced so many emotions through this post.

    I met this man, people! In those few moments of talking, I felt like I’d known him forever. He reminds me of my Dad. Maybe that intensified my emotions. I could picture him walking behind that counter at McD’s to turn off that buzzer. I could picture my Dad doing that as well. I feel so blessed for having met your Dad!

    Thanks for sharing him with us! Great Dads need to be honored.

    Rena

  10. Hey! You got a link to Blossom on possibly related posts! You’re hitting the big time.

    Your cheesecake is awesome…

  11. Laura Says:

    it’s not awesome, it’s amazing!

  12. Savannah Says:

    I got another website blog….it’s godcantdowhat.blogspot.com
    Again thanks so incredibly much for stopping by mine!! Great job keep blogging!
    -Savannah

  13. […] wife’s mother, who has been married to the same man for almost fifty years, gives this marriage advice: “If you want your marriage to work, you […]


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