Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Memories of Daddy

When I think of my childhood, my Dad plays an important part in my memories. While Mom was the fun and games, Daddy was the one who instilled the value of working for what you want and earning what you get. The value of a dollar. Don't ask for a handout if you can acheive it on you own. Respect yourself and others. Or else. Although he had little education, my Dad is one of the smartest and wisest men I have ever known. He taught us the value of a hard days work and the honor of a job well done. His was the hand wielding the big stick whenever we crossed the line. And we often did. He expected us to give 100% to whatever we were attempting, be it in school or hauling hay or just playing in the yard.But, on the other side of the coin, I remember stripping second gear out of Daddy's black Ford truck learning to drive across the pasture because my legs were too short to mash the clutch all the way in and roasting wienies on the big flat rock at the edge of our woods on a hot summer Saturday afternoon. Or nights so dark and quiet as you slipped through the fields rabbit hunting with their eyes glowing red in the glare of a flashlight. Learning to load and shoot a gun and hitting what you aimed at. Slippin down to the pond in the summer with a tote sack in your hand and Daddy leading the way with his spotlight on his head and a frog gig in his hand. He taught all of us girl to check the oil and change a tire before we were allowed to drive. We learned to fix fences and run cows, milk goats and which tools were which and what they were used for. Probably the most important lesson he ever taught us was to believe in what you were and to stand up for what you believed in. We may not have been rich, with flashy clothes, a big fine home, or fancy cars, but we were loved. I think us Waters girls, all five of us, turned out just fine.