Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Lessons from Dad

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Lessons from Dad

Article excerpt

Father's Day is our chance to thank our dads for all they've taught us. My dad taught me to ride a bike when I was 5. He showed me how to change my own oil when I turned 16. He taught me to shoot a layup around age 8. I watched him shoot a million shots, and then he coached me on which knee should come up, where I should be looking, the exact right moment to shoot.

Now that I'm 28, I thought we were pretty much relegated to life lessons -- you know, investments, career direction and marriage advice. I thought my dad's days of teaching me physical skills were long gone.

When my husband and I bought a 113-year-old house, I got to take a step back and learn by watching my dad again. All the stuff he's taught me this year while working on the house deserves a parade instead of a Hallmark card.

Before we started on the house, we talked through the whole project in his kitchen. Dad explained the order of the jobs and which ones he did himself. He told us how he hung cabinets and tiled the backsplash. The three of us decided what could be done and what should be hired out. In dad's fashion, we pretty much did everything, except removing a wall, refinishing 100-year-old hardwoods and plumbing.

My dad's always been a handy guy; he's fixed up our house and helped friends and relatives, too. He loves bringing old lawn mowers back to life and tinkering with anything and everything. Dad never sold anything or charged anyone. His desk job for the government paid the bills, so fixing stuff wasn't about a side hustle or a second income. The guy just likes to solve problems and make things work. I think it's part of his wiring. Where lots of people would fiddle with something and then call a repairman or buy a new item, my dad will take it apart, watch a YouTube video and work his magic.

Fixing and tinkering has always been his thing, but this project gave him the opportunity to share it with me. I learned about new (to me) tools every single weekend. When I held something wrong or used too many hits with the hammer, my dad stopped me to tell me I'm an embarrassment and then showed me how it's done. …

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