Saturday, June 20, 2009

Father's Day

As much as I may have denied it as a kid, I certainly inherited a good part of my personality from my dad. As I have become an adult I have come to appreciate his influences on me, and his perspective.

(Vintage Samsonite briefcase by urbanlotusboutique)

My dad has worked at the same company since before I was born. Sure, they've been bought and changed names several times, but his loyalty is a rarity nowadays. Staying in one job or company is the paradigm I grew up with, and I have already failed to do so. While I am in my second job since college, I hope that I can show the kind of loyalty in my life that my dad has shown. And he hasn't just stayed at the company, coasting along all these years. He works hard. Really hard. As a kid, I didn't think I understood why he was always at work late. But that didn't keep me from learning the value of hard work from him, and indeed I find myself emulating his dedication to getting a job done.
(Vintage pens and pencils by thevintagemode)
Even during school, I put immense pressure on myself to excel. When I took the SAT, and scored pretty darn well (if I do say so myself), I proudly brought the results to my family. Dad's reaction? "You'll do better next time." Luckily, I had the presence of mind to explain there wouldn't be a next time, and even more luckily, the score was enough to get me into the colleges I wanted to go to, because my dad was right, there actually was room for improvement.
(Vintage Flyrod by NeverTooOld)
I also appreciate that my dad exposed my brother and I to almost every sporting activity. It may not seem like an important thing, but having learned to throw a frisbee, shoot pool, and cast a fishing line turn out to be great life skills. It means you don't have to be embarrassed or spend time learning the motions, you can just enjoy spending time with friends. I learned to throw a frisbee at his company picnics, shoot pool in our basement, and cast a fishing line off of our back deck (practicing for fishing with our grandfather).
(Vintage Craftsman measuring tape by FinishWell)
Similarly, my dad is pretty handy. He built the deck on our house, he finished the basement by himself, and if something needed to be built, he would do it. As far as I can recall, we never paid someone to do something like that. It may have taken years to finish the basement, but he did it himself. That gave me the attitude that I can certainly do a lot of things myself, and it has served me well, not only home improvements but when I have a cool idea, I just give it a try, rather than worrying about whether I can do it.
Unfortunately, along with the can-do-it attitude, I also inherited my dad's demeanor during projects. Somehow, anyone else involved needs to be able to read my mind, or at least anticipate exactly what I need. And words explaining what it is that I think should happen next are absolutely unnecessary. There is a lot of nonverbal communication, such as pointing, grunting, and sighing in frustration. This is true for home improvement projects, but also during periods of time when I am having to resolve some computer problem. It's really best to just leave me alone when I am combatting spyware. I can't imagine how frustrated he must have been when he had to spend a day reinstalling the C: drive when I accidentally uninstalled it and installed The Neverhood instead.
(Vintage Agfa camera by johnnyvintage)
As a kid my dad was always the one who had a camera around his neck. His brothers would make fun of him (they still do). And while my camera is not as omnipresent as his is, I do take a lot of pictures. He will take pictures of fallen leaves, rearranging them slightly better than nature did. When I was a kid, I once took a picture of a wall of bricks, and even put it up on the bulletin board when I was Star of the Week in 6th grade. That's artsy, right?
I saw my dad for an early Father's Day celebration, and I was reminded of how great he is, and how much we are alike. And how much we aren't. Happy Father's Day, Dad! Love ya!
(I threw this bowl from Black Walnut clay and glazed it in black lapis. The bear was made with wax resist, and I was pleased with how the glaze did not run into the bear. My dad collects native American artifacts, and while I would have a hard time making him a prehistoric artifact, I was able to make a bowl for him that nodded to the bear symbol he likes.)

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