Lessons learnt from my dad

I love these photos of my dad in his youth. They are circa 1960 I think.

My dad is from a rural area. He was brought up on a farm, the 6th of 7 children and by all accounts a precocious cheeky young lad who had all his elder siblings wrapped around his finger. There are many a family legend about his various antics as a kid on the farm and his rites of passage growing up.

These photos are before he married mum. He and mum married in their early twenties and celebrated their golden 50th year together in June 2014. They grew up together and now grow old together.

I wonder, looking at these photos, if he ever imagined the things to come, his own future, his marriage, that he would have 3 daughters and 3 beautiful grandchildren.

He has always been a hunter and gatherer and our provider. He has hunted since his youth and is a mad keen fisherman. In his 30’s, he took the gamble. gave up his job on the railways and became a commercial fisherman. Even after retiring he continued to fish and has provided us with meals fresh from the sea that are too numerous to count.

My dad was a wild young man in his youth, a drinker and a smoker. He grew into his role as a dad and family man. He has such strength of character and will power. when I was 10 he completely gave up alcohol and smoking, cold turkey, a New Year’s resolution never to be broken. from that time on we would go camping every year for a month in summer, water ski and fish with all our cousins, aunties and uncles.

dad hunt DadBoth my mum and dad are loyal, honest, and accepting people. I love how they don’t judge people on their race, creed, or sexual orientations. I remember being quite surprised once when talking to dad about a dinner date he and mum were heading off to with a good friend of theirs and her partner. This partner was a big burly bearded chap and prone to cross dressing. I asked dad how he was going to feel if this person turned up in his dress and hand bag. Dad said “doesn’t bother me, he has never done anything to hurt me and he is good to “Annie”.” I think the fella did turn up in a dress and they had a nice night out. That has always stuck with me and was a real lesson learnt, appearances don’t make a person, sexual orientation, religion or race alone are not a reason to shun a person. It is a person’s actions towards others that are important.

Another lesson my dad taught me was the value of my childhood, although I didn’t appreciate at the time! I was 15 and wanted to scuba dive. I asked dad for the money to do the course. He said he wouldn’t give it to me as if he forked it out to me he would be obliged to fork it out for my sisters too. I thought this was fair enough so told him I would get a weekend part time job. He told me he wasn’t too happy about about that as once I started working I would be working for the rest of my life. I mulled this over and asked him to pay for the course again. The answer was no so I told him I was going to do the part time job. That was fine with him, he said, it was my choice. Well sure enough he was right, I earned the money for the scuba course but could not give up the job or the money that was coming in for things like, clothes, movies and petrol for my scooter. I missed out on whole Sundays out at the lake, swimming and boating with my family as I had to work in the morning, cleaning at the hospital. That was the end of my summer camping trips as I worked the summer holidays. Yep got my first part time job at 15 and have been working ever since!

Over the years, my dad has given me sound sage advice, sometimes I have listened and taken it on board and sometimes we have agreed to disagree. But what ever happens I have always known I have a place to go home to, a place to return, a place where I am supported whether I was right or wrong, a place where I am not judged but always welcomed and loved. My parent’s open arms are my happy place.

In response to Daily Post Weekly Challenge – My Happy Place

Yoroshiku Onegai shimasuimages (1)


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