Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Sue, Don't Forget to Check the Oil

<-----------  That's my dad!  

One of my weekly prompts suggested sharing a lesson learned from my dad that still sticks with me to this day. Wow, it's hard to think of just one. I decided to try to write a little today and see what bubbles up.

Check the oil!

My dad was a heavy duty mechanic. He worked on cars and diesel engines most of his life; that is, when he wasn't logging trees. He did other things but what I remember about him the most from those days is that he usually had a wrench in his hand, grease under his fingernails and always torn-up hands.

When I was younger, dad often had me come out to the garage and help hold something in place while he tightened a bolt, or sometimes he'd have me step on the brake when he was replacing a tail-light. He taught me how to drive a stick shift, 4x4 pickup truck. This came in very handy when I caught the eye of my first husband. I'll always remember that husband's eyes lighting up when I told him I drove my dad's Ford F150.  "And, I know how to check my own oil." A real selling point for a future ex-wife, I'm sure.  I digress .... sorry.

Oh yeah.  My dad taught me how to cuss properly, too. That's important when one is really super mad and needs to get their point across.  I never took to throwing tools across the garage floor but I can see now how useful that is for pent up frustration. Nobody ever got hurt but we knew how to scatter when things weren't going exactly as planned in the garage. Sometimes dad would let out a word when he thought my sister and I were not around.  We tried not to let him know we heard. He would actually be embarrassed when he realized we could hear him.  Oh, fudge. I do have a potty mouth but I can't really blame him for that.

We had a Honda 125 motorcycle when I was in high school and my dad taught me how to ride it. It's the one and only reason I had the courage to get on a motorcycle again in my mid 40's. When I got on that motorcycle in the endorsement class, it was as if it was yesterday that my dad had taught me how to shift gears.  Motorcycling this late in life has been a treasured gift that I've never thanked him for.  I should do that.

Dad loved to dance.  He was a great dancer and of all the things I think I've learned from him, to just let go and have fun on the dance floor is among my favorites. I still have a lot to learn about that but I'm working on it.  I'm not a great dancer but I do think of him every time I hit the dance floor and truly wish I could dance with him just one more time. He hasn't really been in the mood to dance for a while now. Vertigo has taken up residence in him and it's not fun.  I never thanked him for giving me that gift.  I should do that.

My dad taught me gazillions of things but I never really thought about much until the last year or two. Seems time is catching up to both of us and it's past time for me to tell him how much all those lessons have meant to me.  I'd better get a card made and slip it in the mail tomorrow.

What's the favorite lesson you learned from your dad or some father-figure in your life?  Tell me!

love, susan


  1. I enjoyed reading this Sue yes your dad was a great dancer so much fun, all the women loved dancing with jim for sure

  2. They are "INSECTS", not "BUGS"!!

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