Sunday, June 20, 2010

To Our Two Dads - Happy Father's Day!

Hello Dave,

Hope you are reading this on father's day. I just wanted to say thank you for everything you do / have done. Thank you for being a good teacher and a hard worker and providing for our family. I am very thankful I got to go to college with you there for a few years and I appreciate all the help you gave me to get through school successfully. Thanks for teaching me basketball and how
to be careful with money. Thank you for being a good dad.


Jeffrey's dad, Dave, holding Jeff (left) and his twin, Jeremy (right)

Back row left to right: Paul, Mark, Karla, Sarah
Front row left to right: Jeffrey, Jeremy, Dave, Mary Jane, Davina

To my Dad, on Father's Day --

The Kenneth Hoose Family: Dale, Marian, Lynn, Kenneth, Gary

When I wrote on Mother's Day, I wrote about how my Mom's example influenced my education. Three things come to mind when sharing about my Dad: education, work ethic, and fun. What really comes to mind, though, is that in my Dad's life, those three words were practically one.

Gary, Lynn, Dale (high school)

So, I've heard my Dad was a good student. Certainly I know he is smart. But what really sticks out in my mind is how he would teach us in our home.

Dating Days

My Dad is the kind of guy who mixes education and life, meaning, if he was out in the garage making something cool in his "woodshop," it was just as likely we were out there with him too, as he taught us to plan a project, use tools (hand or power tools), and clean up our shavings and stained rags. If he was under the hood fixing the car, we were welcome to put our heads under too as he showed us how an engine worked.

In addition, we all spent a lot of time sitting in the family room doing homework or reading. I will always remember that occasionally he would simply ask, "Does anyone have any questions?" It wasn't meant as a lecture, and no topic was forbidden. We might ask about religion, world news, family relationships, how lightening strikes, why we couldn't stay out later with our friends, Chairman Mao, the meaning of a word, or if we could go get ice-cream. If he didn't know the answer, he would say so, and we would look it up together in our encyclopedias or our collection of National Geographic Magazines. I always enjoyed that, but I especially appreciate it now because I recognize that his fathering style was special, if not unique.

It's important to recognize that he never answered, "I don't know," without then helping us to find the answer because I suppose that directly influences the next piece of his example -- work ethic.

Dad's always been a hard worker, as early as I can remember. I wasn't born yet, but I understand he helped put himself through college as a mover, carrying sofas and bookcases up and down staircases. (I've seen pictures; he was pretty ripped.) That's certainly one aspect of hard work -- from which I've never seen him shy.

But the words I chose up top weren't "hard work" but "work ethic." By that I mean, he always does his best work, he finishes what he starts (even if it takes years), and he's honest. I could share case after work ethic case I've witnessed while I lived at home, as well as things I've been aware of since I moved out. But I'll just share one.

He might not remember this, but I remember when he taught me to wash the dishes. We didn't have a dishwasher and did everything by hand. I'm sure I was quite young. He taught me about the proper amount of soap, how to make the water next to scalding without actually burning our hands, how to properly rinse a cup by filling it part-way, spinning it at an angle, dumping it, and rapidly repeating this until all the soap was out, as well as how to place the dishes in the drying-rack for maximum air exposure. While these skills are certainly useful, the most important thing he taught is that he was willing to help me do the dishes. He taught my brothers too, and over the years, after-dinner-dishes became a family affair with everyone (properly) washing, rinsing, drying and putting away.

Although I'm not a great housekeeper, I have learned the principle (to some extent at least) of just working hard until something is complete. I'm happy to say that I also try at all times to work honestly.

The last category is fun. I thought it was fun to work in the garage with Dad, learning how to use a router, or under the hood learning about butterfly valves. Oddly enough, I also thought it was fun when we did the dishes together. You can see how education, work ethic, and fun all blend together.

But we also had a lot of straight up fun. My Dad's not a great dancer... but in the confines of our own home where no one but us could see him... we did a lot of dancing. Stupid, wild, crazy dancing. Vacations, whether it was camping, visiting family, or seeing the country/world, were always high priority. We played sports together: basketball, football, frisbee, raquetball. We played boardgames and watched old classic movies. In our teenage years, he always welcomed our friends, often (not always) until late, late, late at night.

My Dad has always treated my Mom with respect, and together (because I admit, as I think of more and more things I like about my parents, I realize what a good team they made/make, and how many cool things my Mom did with us/for us too) they kept adventure and humor and a grounding sense of stability, ability, and love in our home.

Thanks, Dad. I love you.


Lisa Merkley said...

WOW! Hair on your dad?? Really?

I think your dad is a wonderful man, too. Especially after my own dad died, I often heard about what a wonderful home teacher he was to my mom. Thanks for that, Bro. Hoose.

Tammy and Alvin said...

What a sweet post. I love your parents, too!