How to Enjoy Life

I learned the pursuit of happiness from my Dad.  When I was about 10, my Dad let me sip his beer, and he would take me to the tavern with him.  Sometimes he would let me sit on his lap while he was driving the car and he let me turn the wheel to steer it.  My Dad taught me how to barbecue on the grill and he would let me go camping in the back yard.  He showed me how to make mickies (Brooklyn style potatoes cooked on a stick).  He was an excellent story teller and he had lots of stories.  My Dad was different from the rest of the fathers in the neighborhood, as when he got home from work, he would immediately start playing with me and any of my friends that were around.  My Dad taught me how to play golf when I was young and he had a lot of patience.

My Dad liked landscaping and we had many trees on the boarder of my house.  My Dad had the best lawn in the entire neighborhood.  He took pride in how our yard looked and many of the people in our town would ride by to admire how well kept our yard was.  My Dad liked flowers just as much as he liked trees and grass and he lined our driveway with wax begonias.  He planted tulips and roses around many of our other bushes.  My Dad tried to teach me about plants as when we were out driving around town, he might say, “Jim what do you think of that Arborvitae shrub planted over there”, and I learned from him.  I still think about my Dad when I see certain trees and flowers that he taught me about and because of him, I am allowed me to appreciate many beautiful things.

Written for Fandango’s Provocative Question #119 which is, “What is the most valuable lesson you’ve learned in life and who did you learn it from?”

18 thoughts on “How to Enjoy Life

  1. He sounds like an amazing dad! You must miss him. What a great post and a lovely tribute to a man who knew how to parent (a life skill that many never learn as we’ve discussed elsewhere). Wonderful writing Jim!

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  2. sounds like an excellent man, Jim, and a great tribute to him.
    My dad loved gardening too – actually one of very few things both parents did – and that rubbed off on me; he always had flowers and tomatoes and things and when he retired he began to plant a lot more vegetables, put in a little pond in his backyard, went from tolerating lawn mowing to loving the time he spent out there on his lawn.
    As for the sipping beer at 10… my experience with people I know is that thoe who were able to do stuff like that or have wine with dinner when young grow up to drink more responsibly when they become adults.

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  3. I missed my dad when he passed away in his late 40s. I was fourteen and really needed him around at that time.
    I wanted to learn a lot more from his guidance, but it was never to be.

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