Thursday, March 21, 2013

Entrance for meeting lodge mound at Ocmulgee National Park 
We all know that the bigger the wedding in comparison to the means of the bride and groom, the more talk occurs if the marriage fails. The gift of experience is the practical aspect of putting on such a show.

I never married. However, when I was young, I would have wanted to have a royal wedding. Age has tempered these desires. I remember buying 80 dollar shoes and my salary was $440 a month. In time, I managed my wishes with what I had to have and what I need to prepare for.

One of the biggest gifts a parent can give their child is a work ethic and the sense of responsibility. How do you teach that? Some part is luck, some part is the nature of the individual, another part is not giving a child everything they want and the last part is by example.

I learned so much from my father.

1. When they were laying off where he worked, he talked them into letting him work as a custodian until things got better. How many people do you know would never work as a custodian, maid or busboy. I learned from my dad that a job was better than begging.

2. My dad always said he had a "civil service" personality. What he meant was he did not care how big a creep a boss or co-worker was. It could be worse. Now if you make retirement anywhere, this is important to know. Working with decent individuals doesn't always happen.

One year, I had a boss to hassle me because he wanted me to quit so he could hire someone else. I didn't quit. I had worked too long to get where I was and I had no guarantee it would be better elsewhere. This is not the best thing in every situation but it worked for me.

3. Do a good job. They have to have so many that do the work. Suzie socialite may smooze her way through life but when dollars and cents are on the line, they will keep you. They may list your defects, but they will keep you.

4. Don't spend all your money. Have discipline with how you spend. A single mom working for minimum wage probably does not have this luxury.

My dad would never buy himself a soda  or hamburger away from home. He kept his purchases to a minimum. Now he would stand and feed nickels to a coke machine for me and my friends on special occasions  After a football game, show up at Krystal and buy a big tray of hamburgers for the kids to eat.

5. Just do your best and let life take care of itself. My dad would talk about living through the depression where every meal was dried beans, fat back meat and cornbread. It wasn't great but they survived. Things might not work out but people survive.

Another thing I learned about life from my dad was have a sense of humor.

My dad had the "common touch" and natural leadership. One man on his crew held on to the pocket knives they issued every year. People who did not keep up with theirs would demand he share. My dad backed the man up. No one should be penalized for taking care of their property.

My dad could take a really bad situation and have everyone looking at things with hope, be it because of knowing you had to accept the bad or making a joke to break the negativity.

I miss my dad tremendously. God Rest His Soul.

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