Having spent more time with Dad these past few years has given me time to talk about the past with him, look at pictures of family, and remember the things my he taught me. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve answered the question, “How did you learn to do that?” with “My Dad taught me.”
Dad taught me
- How to throw, catch and hit a baseball.
- How to keep score at a baseball game. (We went to a game about once a year at Connie Mack stadium in Philadelphia.)
- How to drive.
- How to drive a car with manual transmission. (My first few cars had a stick.)
- How to tune up a car (When cars had distributors, points and carburetors.)
- How to do a brake job. (Again, when cars were a bit simpler to maintain yourself.)
- How to plant, weed and harvest a garden.
- How to play pinochle. And double-deck pinochle.
- How to sing and harmonize. (My mom would play piano and we would sing in harmony together. We sang a lot of parts in church, too.)
- How to hang dry wall and mud it.
- How to prep and paint walls and woodwork.
- How to wire basic electrical circuits. (Dad was an electrical engineer by trade.)
- How to solder.
- How to make Hamburger Helper. (When we got older and my mom went back to work as a nurse, she would work weekend shifts when my dad was home. We had Hamburger Helper for supper about 90% of the time on Saturdays and Sundays.)
- How to be there for all your kids’ events. (I can’t remember a concert or other event he didn’t attend.)
- How to build a fort. (When I was about 9, he bought a whole pile of scrap wood and let me and my friends build a “fort” at the bottom of the back yard.)
- How to eat Wheaties. (For most of my childhood, dad ate a bowl of Wheaties with milk for breakfast before he left for work.)
- How to eat sardines. (He always spread them on white bread.)
- Hot to tie a tie.
- How to be faithful (to God, to wife and to family.)
That’s a pretty decent start. I’ll be back to add more from time to time.