Dad taught me how to be self-reliant

My father is 90 going on 16. He zooms around in a red mustang and went sky diving for his 82nd birthday. Dad reminisces about his youth like it was yesterday with every minute detail. His classmates recently got together for their 72nd high school reunion.

Even though my father drags around an oxygen line 24 hours a day, he still makes daily goals and completes them. This is typical of him throughout his life. However, his list of life accomplishments are quite impressive.

Here are a few of the goals my Dad made and completed:

  • Drew the plans and built a four-level house brick by brick
  • Built a kit car that still runs today
  • Earned his pilot’s license
  • Voted Orem Businessman of the year
  • Built several remote control planes
  • Self-taught carpenter with many wood projects completed

Daddy always likes to keep himself informed on current events and reads the newspaper from cover to cover daily. His favorite gift to receive is a historical book. Even with all this wisdom, he prefers to see the humorous side of life. He is always ready with an adage or joke.

With all these positive attributes, it is difficult to choose the most important life lesson I have reaped from my father’s example.

This country currently is run on credit. We purchase homes, cars, furniture and most everything we want with a credit card. We would not be in such huge national debt if we had learned what my father has known all along, to live within your means.

My father lived through The Great Depression. My grandpa (his Dad) was the only person in town with a higher education. Each child learned to work as soon as they were able. They raised sheep and chickens so there were always chores to do. They were self-reliant and prepared for the future.

After serving our country in the Second World War, Dad met and married his sweetheart. He shares how he has been able to pay cash for almost everything he has bought through hard work and resourcefulness. Learning how to do things himself has saved him so much money. He is meticulous in keeping his financial records. If he doesn’t have the money to buy something, he waits until he does.

Many people have benefitted from my Dad’s researching and creating. All of his children own several of his handiworks in wood or metal. Often his neighbors ask him to come and help them with building projects. He is known as the fix-it guy on the block. Doctors and lawyers often seek his help for home repair or projects.

I am grateful for this valuable lesson in self-reliance and living within our means that my father has left for me.

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