Tag Archives: Dad

Of Having And Being: Dad

I’m Dad to two young kids.  A boy and a girl, both younger than 10.  There are several things that I think I’d like to improve on, but then again, there are a number of things I excel at.

With that said, I wanna relate a story that came un-summened to my mind just now as I’m working at organizing mind bendingly boring numbers.

I grew up in Minnesota; land of 10,000 lakes.  Literally, there are more than 10,000 lakes in that place; it’s crazy.  Anyway, we often would visit these lakes in the summer, camp and stuff.  Our weekends were FILLED with camping and fishing and turtle catching and fires and …. and stuff.

I remember going to a lake that I hadn’t remembered being at before.  Of course, later it would come to be a favorite spot of ours.  But that day, THAT day, it was new.  Anyway, so, dad and my brother and I drove to this lake, what, 30 minutes from  home, and we just kinda looked around.  Great location, easy to get to, close to a store and fed by a creek.  A creek.

We walked down to that creek and walked over a bridge.  A small bridge to be sure, no more than 8 feet across and but a yard high.  A foot bridge only, nothing but people and bikes could cross.  And as we walked over that bridge we saw a creek that fed that lake FULL of fish.  And when I say full, I mean full.  Fish were fishing.  The amount of fish in that water was amazing.  And we didn’t have our poles.

I begged dad to drive all the way home, pick ’em up and drive back.  It would be SO awesome to fish that creek!

I could see it in his eyes.  He wanted too, I KNOW he did.  But he just couldn’t justify the 30 minute drive home followed by another 30 minute drive back just to fish.  Those fish lived for another day and I was left fishless.

We didn’t do anything that day.  e just drove home later and ….. and hung out.  Shit, we may have been LOOKING for stuff to do when we got back, I don’t know.  I think that whole day stuck with me.

I’ll go wildly out of my way just to let the kids “fish”.

It won’t make sense.  I’ve driven back home, 20 minutes each way, just so that my kid would have his “lovie” at day care.  I’ve made that same drive to bring in a valentine day card for a teacher.

That’s the thing about being a parent.  My folks did things and I turned out like I am.  I am happy with me.  Should I change what they did?  And if I do, do I risk raising my kids so they grow up to be not like me?



Politics Republicans Democrats and Awareness

For a long long time I resonated with a “team” more than I resonated with a concept.

I mean, I grew up pullin’ for the Vikings, so, naturally, they are the coolest team in the whole world and the Packers just suck.

And the Cowboys [Drew Pearson—shiver]

And the Steelers

And the Falcons

I digress.  Anyway, teams.

My dad liked Reagan, but not until later in life, much later, did I learn that dad was a democrat, and pretty hard core too.  We would often argue and debate and each of us left the conversation seriously considering the voting tendencies of the milkman.  I wonder how much of that was due to the fact that I grew up THINKING dad was a Republican?


I’m pretty convinced that I’m a Christian because I grew up in a Christian family in a Christian town in a Christian nation.  I think that’s pretty clear.

However, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve started to try and back away a little bit and see things…twice.  It’s an old Billy Joel song, “Things I didn’t know before I learned by doin’ twice….”

Anyway, its awareness, being able to see and focus and count the things going on around you.  Sometime they happen so fat, ya miss ’em.

Try it:  See if you can count —

See what I mean?

Sizing the Job

My dad grew up on a farm.  And I don’t think they had lot’s of money.  But they had lot’s of hard work.

So, growing up, my lesson from dad was:

Size the job, identify the tool.  Buy the one that’s one size too small.  Make up for it in working harder.

As an adult, I’ve learned that his advise is bullshit.

Here is my lesson to my son:

Size the job, identify the tool.  Buy the one that’s one size too big.  Make up for it by drinking beer spending time dreaming of better ways to do things.  Innovate!

As proof of my lesson, the crappy “one size to small” miter saw I bought 5 years ago broke.  My buddy reminded me of my own lesson and I bought a new saw today!

The larger lesson, in work in politics around the house is this:

Leverage your mind not your muscle.