Let me start off today by saying men can seem odd to most women (and not just because we often act like we never left 7th grade either…). We like cars, trucks, fishing, hunting, BBQ, action movies, and, some, even tractors.
I suppose that’s a good thing because I certainly am not a big fan of quilting, sewing, skin care, soap operas, and having conversations about how I feel. Just saying!
My dad would fall into the category of men who love tractors. Raised in the country, he’s the oldest of four brothers and had the responsibility of getting everyone to work on the Clawson Farm when he grew up.
He learned early on to have a schedule and to stick to it no matter what. To this day, Dad is up early in the morning out in the workshop on his property getting the day started off with a cup of coffee and some toast & peanut butter.
Having worked on the farm most of his youth, the tractor was a critical piece of equipment in his life. After high school, he worked in the local Chevy dealership as a mechanic and put himself through trade school in Kalamazoo (a long drive back then). Within a few years, he landed an apprentice position at GM and from there he was on his way.
He spent more than twenty years at GM, as well as an axil company for several years after that, before retiring. He became a master at everything he put is mind to.
Tractors were always a part of his life from the earliest years I can remember. He could take a pile of rusted old tractor parts, clean them up, build an engine out of them, and produce a tractor that looked like new.
The photo today I had printed and framed for him because he has been a huge John Deere fan. For me, I enjoyed the hunt of finding the tractor in the photo and creating an image he could enjoy.
He and I may not have the love for mechanics and tractors in common, but Dad has taught me that attention to detail, hard work, and being willing to get your hands dirty, can produce some great things.
We didn’t see Dad often, but he was always there for us when we needed it. Later in life, he helped both my sister and me to pay off part of our school loans. He helped me by selling one of his tractors. I’ll always appreciate that sacrifice!
Today, I make it a point to call him every Sunday. He’s not a big talker, but we share about our lives that week, the weather, and sometimes just make some corny jokes that we both laugh at. At 79, he’s still going strong even with very poor eyesight due to monocular degeneration. I’ll post a recent photo of him below. You can probably tell the resemblance.
Tonight, here’s to you dad! Here’s to all the times you helped us out when we needed it. Here’s to teaching me the value of hard work and attention to detail. Here’s to your sense of humor I’ve inherited. And, here’s to just being my dad… I love you!
Happy Father’s Day my fellow dads!