Thursday, November 29, 2012

Listen to your Father ... it works for me!

Welcome to Day 31 of the 31 Days series It Works for Me!

This post concludes this 31 Days series (yay!), inspired by The Nester. 
If you're not familiar with The Nesting Place blog, you can check it out
and get to know The Nester here, you'll be glad you did ... 
and if you're not familiar with the 31 Days Blog Challenge issued in October, check that and the hundreds of other participating blogs out here.
The Nesting Place is a lovely blog,
and there is a wealth of great material offered by the 31 Day Bloggers.
Although blogging (nearly) every day was a challenge, I'm immensely glad to have participated.
You can find a link to my other posts in this series here.

Technically, I should be publishing this post on October 31 to close out this series ... 
but in reality, today is November 29.

And it's my Dad's 94th birthday ...

He was born in 1918.

My dad grew up during the depression era on a farm in Oklahoma, 
in a family with eleven children.  
My grandfather passed away when Dad was 18, 
and he had to put his hopes of going to college on the back burner for a time.  

He served in the Air Force as a pilot in World War II and also during the Korean Conflict.  

 { image credit:  my sister Sandy :o) }

He graduated from Texas Tech University with a degree in Engineering and still has some of his text books on his bookshelves.  He worked in the aerospace and oil & gas industry.
He met the challenges of being laid off with a growing family more than once.
Later, when he "retired", he built a successful business buying, rehabbing and owning many rental properties.

He was always an exerciser.  

He'll tell you he's "a smoker but hasn't had a cigarette in 65 years."  
He gardened.  He could fix anything.  He had a garage that was a scaled down equivalent of Home Depot.

He has a passion for travel that even now occasionally has him contemplating trips to Europe.  

He's the King of Humorous One-Liner Responses.
He is the most consistently kind, genuinely congenial man I have ever known.
He still reads his Bible, and is a man of strong, deep, abiding, quiet faith.  

Dad taught me and my sisters and brother uncountable lessons throughout life.  
I would like to offer you one that's very basic, one that's kind of funny but true, 
and one that I hope will soothe your soul and stick with you like it did me:  

Always put things in the same place.
Did your father tell you this?  Were you in your twenties before you really and truly got it?  
It's so simple, and yet the results can be profound.  
Always put your keys in the same place.  Always put wallet in the same place.  
"Never lay them down, never take them out of your hand
if you're not putting them in the right place."
My dad always had a spot on top of his dresser for his,
and if his keys and wallet weren't in his pocket, you could find them there.
With all the complexities of life, just knowing where to find your keys and your wallet when you need them is one less thing to worry about, and it frees up your brain for more important things.  

Get to the Reunion early.
We had family reunions every summer.  
Although our family didn't go on annual vacations, we faithfully attended the family reunion, 
which was the highlight of many a long childhood summer.  
It wasn't until I was an adult that it occurred to me to wonder why we were always among the first to arrive.  Here's Dad's reasoning:  when you arrive late, 
everyone has already caught up with each other and told their best stories, 
you don't get the benefit of the first telling, and people really don't want to go through all the details again.
So if you're among the first to arrive, you don't miss anything, and you get the best of everyone's story telling.

Everything is going to be all right.
I think, by far, the most enduring bit of advice Dad has given me is an observation he made
 about life just four years ago, when he was ninety.
Here it is ... let it wash over you ... and feel the stress abate:

"Challenges do come along in life, and sometimes you feel like the bottom's dropping out.  
You worry how you're going to make it.  
But if there's one thing I've learned in all my ninety years, it's this:  
in spite of all the troubles that come ... 


going to be 

all right."

Listen to your Father ... it works for me!  

Shared joy is doubled joy ... let's double the joy for both of us - what are you most grateful for today? Click below to leave your comment. I'll go first :

  1. A recent one-liner from Dad ... The supervising nurse and I were getting Dad up so the nurse could take his vitals. She said in a loud voice (which I think really irritates him) "How are you doing Mr. Setliff?" Dad looked at her sideways and said "Fine ... but I'm getting over it."