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Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day. This is part of a re-post from 2009:

This post is dedicated to my father. He would have been 80 this Halloween. He passed away 21 years ago. I had a very different relationship with my Father, than with my mother. (Lola's Diner - Today's Post Is Dedicated To My Mother).

I have my Father to thank for my handy, DIY skills. Whenever my Dad had a project, either in the house, or in the garage, I was his assistant. I resented that I was always his assistant, but my sister couldn’t remember the names of the tools (perhaps on purpose?) whereas, I always remembered. In the winter I froze my butt off handing him tools, bringing him beverages and basically standing around and listening to him swear. Lol! At least that was the case when he was working on the car. He insisted on doing his own oil changes. For all the aggravation he went through I always wondered if he wouldn’t be better off paying the gas station $9.95 (or whatever it was at that time). When my Dad got into a project that was over his head, he would send me across the street to get our neighbor. It was usually under the guise of borrowing a tool. Both my Dad and I knew if he sent me, the neighbor would bring it over himself and see if he needed any help.

When times were tough he always found a way to get things done, whether he did it himself or enlisted the assistance of a neighbor. I never recall him hiring a plumber. At the time I did not at all appreciate that time I spent with him in our garage. Of course now I appreciate it, having learned about tools and the time we spent together. When I got my learner's permit he had me rotate the tires on his car so I would know how to change a tire. At the time I really grumbled about it, but that lesson proved invaluable. I can't tell you how many tires I've changed flats.

I built on what my Dad taught me about tools. I think he would be incredibly impressed at my tool collection and the set of DIY mad skills I’ve learned. I still have his Circular Saw and use it often for projects. I laid ceramic tile in both bathrooms of my previous home, installed new toilets, sinks and vanities and replaced the kitchen cabinets.I've even replaced the gutters on my old garage and repaired the soffit and fascia.

When my Mother passed away my Father clearly changed. For the longest time he was just lost. He still went every Friday night to his favorite haunt and would go out to lunch at a local restaurant frequently. My Dad didn’t cook much, so since I was living at home, I started doing the cooking. During the summer he would occasionally grill out. That usually meant his famous “steak and nothing” meal. If the name isn’t obvious enough, it’s a meal of a big ass steak, and nothing else. No starch, no salad, no sides. Just steak in all of it’s glory! When my sister and I would come home from work (we worked at the same office) and smell the grill as we parked our cars, we’d look at each other and snicker “steak and nothing?” We would always be right. Today, as an homage to my Dad, we are having steak and nothing. It's a tradition I started with the kids a couple of years ago. They love it so much they ask for it often, but I only give in on Father's Day. I can't wait until they get home and ask what's for dinner and see their faces, their eyes as big as saucers.

There are times when I look at my kids and think, how much my Dad would have enjoyed this or that with them. Whenever I have projects to do around the house I do just as he did. I have one of my kids be my assistant. I'm hoping he's looking down and watching over his 2 beautiful grandchildren and proud of all the things he taught his daughter.

What do you remember most about your Father?

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