Ginger's dad in the garden with his grandson picking green beansSunday, June 20, is Father’s Day. As I was thinking about what I would say for my Father’s Day blog, I began thinking about my own dad. He died a couple of weeks after Father’s Day two years ago. Even though my dad only went to school through the 8th grade, I consider him to have been one of the smartest and wisest men I’ve ever known. This Father’s Day I wanted to share some of the things I learned from my dad.

I heard my father say, on more than one occasion, “If you’re gonna look up a sow’s rear… don’t expect a purty view.” In other words, Dad felt that if he chose to look at things in life expecting to see the ugly or the bad, that is exactly what he would see. He felt that looking for the negative in life took so much more energy, so he might as well try to see the good in things (both in people and in life events), and hope for the <a href=””>best.

My dad was mostly a quiet man, although he could slip into story mode and tell the funniest stories. As a little girl, I was a total chatterbox. Dad would advise me, “Sometimes if you just sit patiently, don’t talk, just listen and observe, you will learn the most amazing things.” Dad grew up in the country, in the hills outside of Dubuque, Iowa. He hunted, fished, farmed, and he grew up learning to listen to the land. He was quite skilled at
understanding nature and working with nature. He said the ability to listen and quietly observe doesn’t just work with nature, it would also teach me a lot about people. He was right.

My dad was a “do-it-yourselfer.” He rarely paid anyone to do home projects. Dad was an electrician by trade, but he was also a very capable plumber, and an all around handy-man. If he didn’t have the skill set he needed, he would go learn it. He always felt, “If you can do it yourself, you will save yourself money and at the end of the project you will be rewarded with that feeling of great achievement.” I took this philosophy as my own. I try to do many of my own home projects. His philosophy taught me to be self-reliant, it gave me a lot of confidence, and a strong belief that I can do anything, if I put my mind to it.

These are just a few of the things I learned from Dad. He had such a huge impact on my life. I am the person that I am today, because he was in my life. I want to give all of you the opportunity to share lessons from your fathers. Please take the time to drop me a line and share your stories.