Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Dear Ol' Dad

This weekend at the farm we'll have a small get-together to celebrate Dad's 62nd birthday. 

Dear ol' Dad. 

I have not always understood each of Dad's philosophies, but I've always - always - respected them. 

Dad intimidated every boy that walked through our front door to see one of us Bowman sisters by keeping two rifles next to the door. 
He told me the boy who wasn't intimidated by the accessible guns was the one he could trust with his daughter. 
And Dad was right. 

Dad may have missed my 6th grade graduation and about 98% of my cheerleading obligations (at what age will I let that go?), but he made up for it by sitting on the end of my bed and trying to console me with logic as I sobbed over a boy. 
He told me this wouldn't be the last time. And each time would hurt. 
And Dad was right. 

Dad enjoyed dinners with a lesson while we were growing up. The "Word of the Day" game, where we found one word out of the dictionary, defined it and each used it in a sentence, lasted about 9 days. His science lessons about how much sugar was in one can of pop worked; rarely do I crave a Coke. 
Dad told us some of the most important parts of our childhood would take place around the dining room table when the five of us were all together. 
And Dad was right. 

Dad taught us we would learn more by keeping our mouth shut and our ears open. 
And Dad was right. 

Dad told us one day we would appreciate firm handshakes, medium-rare prepared steak, hard work, early mornings, late nights and  full-bodied beer. 
And Dad was right. 

Perhaps two of the best things Dad has ever taught us deal with confidence and frugality. 

Dad also taught the three of us how to be confident in ourselves and our choices. He's never apologized for making us tuck our shirts in (Luke even had to tuck in his Shawn Kemp jersey - I so wish I could have found photos), wear belts every day or abide by the earliest curfews known to mankind. Because of that, all three of us have done things our own way, on our own time, in our own style. 
Dad used to preach that what is popular doesn't matter; rather, what matters is character. 
And Dad was right. 

Over the years, Dad has also taught us a lot about saving money (If It's Free, Take Two) and utilizing our resources. We smashed cans growing up and took thousands of them to the recycling center. And if any one of Dad's "Lucky Charms" can be recycled, you better believe he will. Because of these frugal (TIGHT!) ways, he allowed Momma to be a homemaker, sent three kids to college and continues to own one of the largest purebred Shorthorn operations in the United States. 
Dad promised himself one day he would do things right. 
And Dad has. 

But time passes. 

Dad and I teaching Laura and Luke how to work. 

Kids grow up. 
Herds grow. 
Parents age. 
Things change. 

Last week my brother sent me a video that confirmed something: in a time where change is beyond each turn, a few things will always remain the same. 

Dad will - without fail - load his 1964 Ford Camper Special (when I was in junior high, I could look through the floorboard and see the road pass beneath my boots) as full as he can possibly get it and drive it (ON PUBLIC ROADS) 15 miles to Richmond and cash in on each of his "lucky charms" at the recycling center.

The second truck was hauling Dad's aluminum cans...

He doesn't care what anyone thinks. 
He cares that those lucky charms just paid a truck payment. 
Or, at least for lunch on the way home from town...

Cheers to another year with dear ol' Dad and his unique ways. 
His lessons. 
The empire of integrity he has built. 

Happy Birthday, Daddio!

1 comment:

  1. LOVE it! My Mister always has his shirt tucked in, a belt on and sometimes a hanky with him. And our Little Mister dresses the same. And you always say Pleas, Thank You and Yes Sir and Yes Maam. Some things should never change! :)