Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Lessons I Learned from my Dad

I realize not everyone has the privilege of growing up with the world's greatest dad as I did, so in honor of this past Father's Day, I'd like to share with you some of the things I've learned from my father.  Below is a copy of the letter I wrote him as Hallmark could never relay my true sentiments.  If you are blessed with a wonderful father, thank God for him everyday.  If not, hopefully you'll learn a thing or two from my personal experiences.  (Also, if you have the great pleasure of knowing my dad personally, this list shouldn't surprise you even one tiny little bit!)   ; )

In celebration of your 34 years as my father, I’ve created a list of things I’ve either:
learned, experienced, or cherished from or because of YOU, one of my favorite and most important men in my life.  So here goes…
34.  If duct tape cannot fix it, throw it away—it is beyond repair.
33.  the unbeatable sound of a real Martin guitar—thanks for the “G” chord.
32.  the art of quoting movies in daily conversation as a result of watching them too many times to count, right, Captain Ron?
31.  that a child should grow up learning such culture as how to hit a 10-yard putt with precision from her own backyard putting green—that’s more important than learning how to swim.   ; )
30.  that whiskey cures pretty much any ailment—from a headache to a toothache to a rattlesnake bite.
29.  that it’s important to always be aware of your surroundings, thus, not an easy target for an attacker, to face the door in a public establishment and to know the exact number of airline seats to the nearest exit.
28.  that one should never “quit on a garment” simply because it’s what some would consider threadbare, worn out or ragged.  The sign of wear just adds character.  If it has a hole in the crotch area, (see item #34 on this list)—duct tape.
27.  the extensive uses of PVC pipe…everything from a golf ball catapult to the structure of a perfectly mobile and light-up UFO.  Also, science fair projects come with the territory of being a parent and thus, cannot be avoided.
26.  that a front porch is the best place for meditation, philosophizing, reflection and making good music.
25.  that you should always keep a watchful eye while cooking beans on the stove when Mom’s out of town and the smoke detector batteries are good (impromptu backyard campout, anyone?)
24.  that we don’t believe in doing things half-assed. We do big, bold, lots of color.  Honey, we don’t do natural.
23.  that everyone is a sinner in need of a loving Savior.
22.  that lying, cheating and stealing are signs of poor character and simply will not be tolerated; however, Xeroxing $100 bills for pretend “business” is completely acceptable and encouraged.
21.  that a red velvet armadillo cake is a must have for a girl’s sweet 16 birthday party.
20.  that most high school math is unnecessary in real life and that no one really cares or needs to know when the proverbial “trains A and B leave the station.”
19.  that physical affection (ie. hugs, kisses and Eskimo kisses) speaks louder than words.
18.  that one should never stay inside her comfort zone.  Talk to people on elevators, make someone smile every day and most importantly, make people LAUGH.
17.  to stand out from the crowd and always be true to yourself  (ie. simply don’t  give a rat’s ass what other people think of you).
16.  that anything (and I mean ANYthing) can be transformed with a coat of spray paint—shoes included!
15.  that growing old is inevitable, but growing up is a choice…and when it comes to picking out a Christmas tree, think like a kid—the bigger the better!
14.  that every aspiring singer needs her own spotlight-equipped stage in the backyard.
13.  that saying you’re going to do something means you’re going to do it—and if you’re going to do it, you may as well do it right the first time.
12.  that family is the most important thing in this life.
11.  to learn how to sing by spending my childhood on a backyard tree swing made out of rope and a 2x4.
10.  that a frozen TV dinner does not constitute a meal, so everyone should learn how to cook….and also, chicken can and WILL be cooked any and every way, 365 days a year during the first year while learning.
9.  that you “can’t take it with you” so you may as well enjoy your hard-earned money while you can—this means good food & wine regardless of the price tag….and if Mom never sees the receipt, it didn’t happen! (also, every girl needs to know the importance of volatizing the esters).
8.  that a fiddle contest is a perfectly good way to spend a Saturday afternoon.
7.  what REAL award-winning chili should taste like.
6.  that you can NEVER have too much toilet paper.
5.  an example of the kind of man I should marry.
4.  the importance of music and chasing my dreams, no matter how ambitious or impossible to achieve they may seem—and that I can do or be anything I want if I put my mind to it.
3.  that every man should have a perm and/or a ponytail at some point in his life.
2.  that a little girl’s dollhouse should not be anything short of a masterpiece that takes several years to complete.
And the number #1 thing I’ve learned….
1.  that no matter how old I get, I’ll always be your baby girl.

Happy 34th Father’s Day to the best daddy a girl could ever dream of having—truly.
I love you more than my Louboutins!
June 2015
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