Six things my dad taught me

Six things my dad taught me

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Father’s Day is Sunday—the day to celebrate our dads. Dads come in all sizes, shapes, temperaments and abilities. Dads are important. My dad taught through example.

My dad grew up the second oldest of eight. His dad farmed. His grandad farmed. He farmed and still farms his 100-acre beef farm. He is dad to four children, grandpa to13 grandchildren, and great-grandpa to one great-grandson. His life bursts with blessings, although like every person, he’s had his tough times along with his moments of joy.

My dad taught me plenty, but today, I will highlight six.

Work hard

First, my dad taught me to work hard. When I visit, he’s often busy working at something. He can fix just about anything. Once he put a Toyota truck engine in a Bobcat Skid Steer Loader. The truck rusted apart, and the skid loader went on to haul manure and snow and rocks for many more years. I remember Dad rested for a short time on Sunday to attend church, read the Sunday newspaper, and cheer on his favorite teams, which included the Green Bay Packers, of course. On a farm, one works from sunup to sundown. Even now, it’s difficult to get him to slow down.

Take risks, keep learning

Second, take risks. He moved his family across the country to try a job. Starting his own business, more than once, also showed this trait. The longest living business involved being a farm consultant for animal nutrition.

Helping other farmers to have healthier herds fed another trait—that of constant education. One never stops learning. Keep curiosity alive. I believe this thirst for knowledge keeps one’s mind healthy. That makes the third thing Dad taught: education is important.

Make healthy life choices

Fourth, make healthy life choices. Watch the nutrition of your food to stay healthy. Dad talks off anyone’s ear who cares to hear about different vitamins and minerals found in the soils and in foods. Don’t poison yourself with processed food. Take care of the land. Take care of your animals. These affect our health because animals eat what the soil grows, and we eat the animals and the plants. Other ways to stay healthy: drink clean, untainted well water (if you’ve ever tasted water from a spring-fed area and compared it to city water, you’ll know what I’m talking about), don’t smoke, don’t drink, don’t put poisonous substances into your body. God gave you one body. Take care of it for a longer, healthier life.

Don’t be wasteful

Fifth, don’t be wasteful. Fix what you can fix. Recycle what can be recycled. Don’t waste money on things you don’t really need when you already have something that will do the job.

Sixth, appreciate rural life. Dad likes to look at the sparkling night sky full of stars and the moon. Out in the country, away from city lights, one can see a whole bunch of stars. At night in the country the quietness is filled with crickets chirping, coyotes howling, cows mooing. During the early morning, a chorus of birdsong greets you. One finds pleasure taking a break on the bench to watch the neighbors plowing or planting. Walking along the country roads, you really can stop to inhale the scents of wildflowers. Freshly mown alfalfa smells wonderful. You love the bees because they make honey. You know where your food comes from and how hard earned it was to bring it to the table. When you come in from a long day of work, you know the animals depend on you, just as do people—even the people who don’t understand the job. Farmers keep us fed and clothed and a whole bunch more.

Give thanks

So, thank you, Dad, for all you’ve accomplished in your nearly eight decades here. Thanks for raising me to be the person I am today.

What are a few things you are thankful to your dad for? Have a wonderful Father’s Day. I’ll be celebrating my dad, along with my hard-working husband, who has helped raise five amazing kids.

God bless you all.

12 Replies to “Six things my dad taught me”

  1. I, too, can rejoice that my dad taught me all of these things, and he taught them by demonstrating them in his own life. However, I think the greatest thing my dad taught me, and my seven siblings, is to always be honest.

  2. That was a wonderful tribute to your dad. He is an amazing person and we have always admired him. He has been a wonderful father and faithful husband to my sister. You and you sisters and brothers are the best evidence of a life well lived. God Bless you all and especially Ed on Father’s Day

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