Saturday, June 15, 2013

Happy Father's Day

Well, when thinking about Father’s Day tomorrow, I can’t help thinking about my precious daddy. I am the only girl child/only child of a couple who had me late in life. Yes, I know what you must be thinking…. this girl must stink she’s so spoiled rotten. And to some degree, I’ll admit, that may be true. My Dad thought I was the best thing that ever walked this earth (after Jesus, of course). He taught me a lot of things so I thought I might share those with you all. Yes, I know this doesn't have anything to do with cooking but please allow me these personal thoughts to remember a very special man in my life.

Things my Daddy Taught Me

1. Daddy taught me to have respect for our Country. He fought in WWII and like many, was a true patriot in my book. If the National Anthem was played, I knew I better stand up, put my hand over my heart and fixate my eyes on the stars and stripes. He taught me that lots of fine men and women made the greatest sacrifice so that I could enjoy the freedoms of this Country. And not to ever, never ever, take that for granted. He taught me that even though we have problems, this is the greatest Country on earth and that to be an American was something to be proud of.

2. Daddy taught me to how to change my oil and change a tire. My Dad was trained as a mechanic in the Army so after the war was over, he came home and opened his own auto repair shop. I can remember many a day that I sat on one of those rolling thingys that he used to get up under a car and watched him pull a car apart in a million pieces and then put it back together again. Now this was before the day of the computer so you had to really know had to know what you were doing. He was well respected in his field. He probably wouldn't be too happy to know that these days I don’t change my own oil. But I betcha I could figure how to change a tire if I had to though. Some things you don’t ever forget.

3. Daddy taught me how to have fun. We had a record player that size of small car in our living room and he made sure we had all the latest records. I can remember the Johnny Cash “Ring of Fire” album; the Nancy Sinatra “These Boots are Made for Walkin' ” album and of course, Elvis’ “How Great Thou Art” album (I can still see it with the white church on the front and a picture of Elvis). He, and my mom and I would go in our living room, put on an album and dance. And believe it or not, we were Southern Baptist … dancing… right there in the daylight with the curtains open. He would dance with me and then he would dance with my mom. However, I do use the term “dance” very loosely. He really just stood in one place while Mom and I danced around him. We didn't care. We thought he was the best dancer in the world.

4. Daddy taught me the value of an education. Neither he nor my mom went to college but they were both determined that their child would have the finest education that they could afford. So I went off to college and got a Bachelor’s degree and then lo and behold, I got a Master’s degree. All because of the support and encouragement of my parents. Without them, I’m sure that would never have happened. I can remember my Daddy telling me many times that an education is something no one can ever take from you. So very true.

5. Daddy taught me about a work ethic. At 15 years old, what do you think I went out and got? A job. And what do you think I did all the way through high school and college? I worked. Yep, good old fashioned minimum wage jobs because that’s what was expected. Just a couple of my “glamorous jobs” were women’s clothing sales; accounts payable clerk at a real estate company (why they hired a 20-year-old to do that I’ll never know); campus tour guide; and two or three secretary jobs. I really wanted to work at the Dairy Queen but my dad wouldn't let me because “hoodlums” hung out at the DQ after dark. Now whether they did or not I’ll never know but every time I get a cone these days at the DQ I wonder if I could make a swirl on the top.

6. My Daddy taught me to love God. He would say, “now, girl, anybody can go to church on Sunday but not everybody walks with Jesus every day. That’s what you need to do if you’re going to a success on this planet. And by success I don’t mean money. Success is defined by what kind of heart you got for others and for the Lord.” Amen.

7. Daddy taught me about being an entrepreneur. He risked a lot of money at the time to open his own business. My mom also owned her own business, a real estate company. So I come from a rich heritage of entrepreneurs which worked out pretty well because I married into a family of entrepreneurs and eventually became one myself. I understand the philosophy of starting and growing your own business. I understand the risk involved. I understand the heartache involved when things aren't going well. And I understand the passion you must possess to continue to make it successful. Businesses that continue to survive are a result of men and women who work like crazy because they believe that what they do provides people a product or service that adds value to a community; and provides people of that community jobs so that they can in turn provide for their families. I believe entrepreneurs like my Daddy and father-in-law are the back bone of this country.

So when I look back and I think about what my Daddy taught me, I think he instilled in me some very important values. He was such a fine man. He loved God and his family. He’s been gone for over 17 years now but there’s not a day goes by that I don’t miss him.

Happy Father’s Day!

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