Holding the flashlight

I recently heard a speaker say this, “I hated holding the flashlight for my Dad.”

The speaker continued on with his perspective of this simple little task. He told how as a little boy his Dad always asked him to hold the flashlight while working on various tasks that needed just a little more light.  Fixing a blown fuse, a broken light fixture, switch, or something on the old Plymouth. What he remembers the most was when, (not if) the beam of light drifted from the work area, his Dad would snort which alerted this young man to pull the flashlight back into position. He hated doing this.

I remember these days as well.

As a youngster in the mid-1960s & ’70s, I held the flashlight and did many other simple tasks for my Dad.

I carried and fetched tools, pulled weeds, dug holes, filled holes, used a sickle, swept the shop floor, wire brushed the spots Dad welded, stuck welding rods in the holder (I was always scared I would get shocked), siphoned gasoline, sanded the wood & metal projects, washed the cars, washed engine parts in gasoline, hauled fuel oil for the furnace, scrapped paint, held pieces of metal and wood as my Dad cut them, welded nailed or glued them together, washed his truck, scrubbed the tires, planted potatoes (eyes up) and pulled the electrical wire through conduit. These are just a few of the little tasks that I did with my Dad as a child and young adult. Often as I did these and many other tedious tasks, my Dad stood watching and coaching me on how to do them right.

Back then I was not always happy doing that stuff.

Today, I appreciate that I got to do them for a couple of big reasons:

  1. I learned by watching my Dad. I learned to do electrical work, welding, gardening, plumbing, woodworking, and lots more stuff.  I learned a lot.  Today I can do all of these things myself. Not only has this saved me lots of money as I raised my own family,  I also enjoy doing these things.
  2. I learned patience, attention to detail and doing things right.  Dad was a stickler to doing it right the first time. No cutting corners or doing anything just to get it done. Do it right, or don’t do it is what I learned from my Dad.

When my girls were home I had them hold the flashlight for me. I snorted at them just a little bit when the beam of light fell away from the work area and they pulled the flashlight back into place.  I hope they learned as much from me as I learned from my Dad.

Who is holding your flashlight and are they learning from you?

Happy Fathers Day Dad. I love you and treasure the days of holding the flashlight.

My 6 Wedding Dresses

My 6 Wedding Dresses

How many other men have bought 6 Wedding Dresses

I bought my first wedding dress in 1978. It is the most beautiful wedding dress I have ever seen. It was far more beautiful because my bride was wearing it for my first wedding. I still have this dress in my closet and periodically I open the case it’s in just to see it.
 
I bought my next wedding dress in 2000. This dress was just as beautiful as my first one. I don’t remember the conversations about this dress, just that we bought it. I shed a small tear or two and was a little choked up standing beside my oldest daughter who wore this dress as she married my first son-in-law. I love this dress as much as I love my first one.
 
Six years later I bought my next wedding dress. This dress took quite some time for us to find. I’ll never forget the text message. A picture of a dress with these words, “I love this one Dad.” I had been waiting for what seemed like forever at a bookstore while the women searched for dresses. As my daughter walked towards me my wife said, “She has to have this one.” As requested, I didn’t.  Later on, as I walked my third oldest daughter, in our wedding dress, down the aisle towards her fiancé, I again choked back a few tears, especially as I pulled up her vale and hugged her before I handed her off to her husband. That was a gorgeous wedding dress.
 
Three years later we again searched for the perfect wedding dress. This search was a little more difficult. I’m not sure why, but we ended up buying two wedding dresses. I was about to ask “Why?”, when fortunately before the words jumped out of my mouth, my wife counseled me, “Don’t ask. Just smile and say OK.” Again, I did as she asked. It made sense during my youngest daughter’s wedding. She was happy and looked beautiful in our wedding dress. My baby had grown up and I was one proud daddy. If it took two wedding dresses to make her happy, so be it.
 
I bought my last wedding dress in 2012. I expected this purchase to be a tedious task of searching, fittings and more searching. However, after searching Pinterest, online stores and one shopping trip, we found the perfect dress. I was not invited to go on this trip, but I got to see lots of pictures. I remember once or twice being asked my opinion. I’m a very smart man, from my previous wedding dress purchase experiences I knew what to say, “That dress is gorgeous honey. If you like it, I love it.” As I walked with my second oldest daughter, in our wedding dress down the aisle to her soon to be husband, I found it hard to hold back the tear (or two), especially as I handed her off to the new man in her life.
 
I’m not sure how much money I spent on My 6 Wedding Dresses. It’s irrelevant.  My life has been immensely blessed from the changes buying these dresses has created in my life.
 
I got to marry the woman of my dreams and 35 years later she claims to still love me. This is great because I love her just as much today as I did the day she wore our first wedding dress.
 
I got to be a part of raising 4 beautiful daughters. They were beautiful in our wedding dresses, and even more beautiful women, wives, mothers, and people.
 
I’ve collected a stable full of stallions who are now great friends and caretakers of both my daughters and 4 or 5 of my wedding dresses.
 
And, today, I’m the proud Grandfather to seven Grandchildren. I’ll drop what I am doing at any time to go help or play with these youngsters.
 
I probably won’t buy any more wedding dresses, but I’m blessed to have bought

My 6 Wedding Dresses.

I first published this as a guest post on Moms on Triad 

Call Dad

Dad, can you fix my headlight?

Hey Dad, can you tell me how to change to grease in my muffler bearings?

Dad, I love you – will you loan me $20.  Mom said it’s OK

Dad, my boyfriend wants to get another tattoo. Can you drive him to see Floyd at the Tattoo shop?

Dad, your the best ever, what’s for dinner?

Dad, I’m out of tampons again, can you pick some up when you go get your beer and chips?

Dad, there is a really big bug in my bedroom, will you drive over hear and kill it for me, PLEASE?

I know your really busy working, but I need a ride to the mall, Please, I love you

Dad, I wrecked my car, what do I do next?

Dad, Mom said you would move my stuff out of the condo again. Can we do it during half time?

I want to watch Riding in cars with boys tonight, do you have to watch that football game?

I’m super Dad. I have four daughters and I get these calls and many others like it often.

Yet, I would have it no other way.

I’m Super Dad!