Ahhh, my Dad. Anyone who knows my dad, knows why I say “Ahhhh, Charles”.
Monumental pain in the arse. A man’s man! You name it, he can fix it. Name the part, he has it. If he doesn’t, he’ll make one.
Mouthy. (Yes, I know apple falling from the tree) Genetically missing a filter. (Yes, again, apple…tree) Truth Sayer. (again) Strong, determined, tenacious.
A man with a plethora of skills with the gnarly knuckles to show for it. Ode de’ grease and Goop captures my odoriferous memories. A hunting story for every occasion. Rabid gun enthusiast. Taught himself machinist skills so he could build/fix/rebuild guns for fun. If that weren’t enough, he knows every tree/wood type in Northern America and just what type would fit your gun stock. Gruffy 7 day hunting beard every October.
A man who grew up a clapboard sided house. Bedrooms in the attic. Apple trees in the yard. The house still stands, barely. It’s smaller now. There’s less land. The enormous garden isn’t so enormous. It must be the same, though.
A hard man to grow up with, kids didn’t speak until spoken to. Make sure you had plans for Saturday, be sick, join a band, a sport, a cult. Anything, because if you didn’t, then you best get the white gloves out. YOU WERE CLEANING HOUSE. ALL DAY!
Quality time? Well, that would be shooting a Contender over a culvert in the mountains. I’m sure it was bigger than I was at 12. It was also putting in a transmission at 15. Or, him asking for help working an Algebra formula to help with reloading equipment.
Knowing what I do know about the brain, how it works, how my son’s works, how mine works, I now give him A LOT of credit. The man had learning disabilities that weren’t talked about in the 50’s and 60’s. You were labeled a trouble maker or dumb. Let me tell you, my dad is ANYTING but dumb. He made adaptations though. Barrel through. All can be solved with a stubborn spirit. He’s definitely a pro at that. However, it makes me like him a little more. Understand him a little more. Love him a lot more.
He makes me laugh. He has more than his two cents worth of advice. He’s more patient than I ever gave him credit for.
Since witnessing my brother’s heart attack and death, Dad is different. Not good. Not bad. Different. I changed my expectations. Real ones. Less ones. Loving ones.
I love you, Dad.
Niki at https://nikinowell.wordpress.com
Don at donhillson.wordpress.com
Beckie at free2b2much.blogspot.com