Tammy’s Top Ten (t3 report) Lessons from my Dad

It’s Father’s Day and as usual, I’m terrible about these events. I was traveling this week and although there’s a card in my office, I didn’t time it right – which is why it’s still sitting in my office. Clearly put, gifting is not my love language. In fact, when I took the Chapman survey, it’s my lowest value. But put differently, when I think about lessons as gifts, I suddenly become much more appreciative and find that I’m very willing to pass them along.

My Dad and My Grandma and the Bluebonnets of Texas

In honor of Father’s Day, here’s a look at ten things I learned from my dad:

1. God gives us a week. Give him back an hour on Sunday or whatever your designated day of worship.

2. Nothing unwinds the mind like the gentle roll of water over a favorite fishing hole. I don’t fish but my dad does and I grew up fishing. My husband and at least one of my kids enjoy it too. It’s worth a habit.

3. Stay active. Walk. Move. Do it everyday.

4. See the world. It seems that in the past 12 months my parents have gone from Panama to China to Israel. I may not have the timing right but they have built a wonderful cadre of memories.

5. The language of sports is a great equalizer. I didn’t understand this until I had kids since I’m not much of an athlete. Now regardless of where I travel with my oldest son, he knows other kids from soccer or lacrosse or baseball. And while he’s different from some of the other kids, he holds an appreciation for their RBI record, mean curve ball or amazing goalie skills.

6. Hot chiles kill germs and light up the flavor of most dishes. Yeah.

7. Work hard. I realize this isn’t nearly as sexy as the “4 hour work week” or the “working smarter” mantras. But, this is the one that I’ve figured out.

8. ┬áRemember your roots. We’re from farming stock; hard-working, dry-land farmers who put in long days in order to put food on American tables. Our family doesn’t farm any longer but we certainly have an appreciation for it.

9. Education is something that no one can take away from you. I was always encouraged to get as much education as I could and I work to pass this value along to my kids.

10. Don’t spend more than you have. Said another way, live within your means. We do and we always have and while it means that we don’t have some of the toys that others do, we’ve been able to weather the current storm pretty well.

There are more I’ve learned and there’ll be more lessons to come and I’m grateful for both. Thanks Dad!

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53 Comments

  1. Excellent thoughts and beautiful photo. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  2. iDella

     /  June 19, 2011

    Working on #4 diligently! Thanks for a great post.:-)

    Reply
  3. I’ll bet you made your Dad cry with this one… only in the best way of course!
    I love your love language analogy : )

    Reply
    • Thanks Jackie. This really wasn’t at all what I intended to post today but it worked perfectly.

      Reply
  4. I loved all of these . . .and what a great way to honor and “gift” your dad, by doing a post about what he taught you. :) You did good. So did he!

    Reply
  5. 7, 9, and 10 are lessons my parents instilled in us ~ get a good education, apply yourself in school and the workplace, play fair and work fair, and don’t spend everything you earn.

    He also spent countless hours on “our roots” ~ with his geneology research.

    Thanks, Tammy!

    Reply
  6. JR

     /  June 19, 2011

    Thank you Tammy for sharing your lessons with us.

    Reply
    • You’re welcome. This morning I shared your last higher education post with my boys to reinforce that more education can be better.

      Reply
  7. zWonderful lessons!! Agree with Debbie – this post is a gift to your dad – and to us! Thanks, Tammy!

    Reply
    • You’re welcome Diane. I know you have a special relationship with your dad too!

      Reply
  8. This was a much more personal extension of yourself than anything Hallmark could have offered up! I think your Dad did a great job and you are lucky to have each other!

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  9. Really wonderful Tammy!

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  10. How lovely! I particularly like #9.

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    • Me too Hannah. I guess I should’ve known that it would resonate with you academic types. ;-)

      Reply
  11. Some great lessons and a lovely blogging gift for your Dad, Tammy :-)

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    • Thanks Kate. Speaking of blogging and Dads, I need to head over and see what your dad is up to on his.

      Reply
  12. Love this post! Those bluebonnets are one of our favorite things to see when we travel through that way to get to Galveston. I have planted a ton of bluebonnet seed here, hoping that my acres will soon look like that. We are so dry, that only a few have popped up. Love reading this! blessings,Kathleen

    Reply
    • My parents don’t live far from Galveston so you are definitely talking about the same area.

      Reply
  13. Tammy – what greater gift to give a parent than acknowledgement of the success of their efforts and love given to you?

    I am so delighted you exist. This is so incredibly “my language” that I feel I’ve been given a new Cowboy’s Prayer.

    Reply
  14. What a beautiful photo!

    Great lessons.

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  15. Aww, this is a wonderful post again, Tammy! :)

    Reply
  16. Heather

     /  June 20, 2011

    Tammy you made my day! This is my second fathers day without my father and you made me think of one of the things I learned from my dad. He always said “If you raise a good family no one can ask for anything else”. Looks like your dad accomplished that with you! Happy Fathers Day!

    Reply
    • And same to you Heather! I’m glad this brought you a good memory and clearly, you took the lesson seriously.

      Reply
  17. Posts like this remind me how truly connected we all are. Thanks for the reminder lessons ! I especially relate to the farming bit. I think it was Ghandi who mentioned the best machines are our bodies…what does that say about us when we live lives tied down to our computers, cellphones, televisions?

    Reply
  18. Yeah, it says we need to disconnect sometimes. I do believe that. Think I’ll head to yoga just now.

    Reply
  19. Heart point 9 and working on 10. Great post Tammy…makes me want to call my parents and my grandma and tell them that i can never really thank them enough for making me what I am today. In retrospect, there are some more houseplants that I have posted in my blog, thought you’d like to check it out.

    Reply
  20. I don’t know if we have bluebonnets in Australia, but whatever they are they make a lovely display

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  21. Oh what a gorgeous post and photograph, Tammy! I’ve never seen bluebonnets before :-) Love the wisdom imparted from your Dad and enhanced by your special brand of sharing. Thank you.

    Reply
  22. What lovely lessons! It is so good to appreciate our parents, to truly think about the gifts they’ve passed down. You’ve done a good job gifting your dad with this blog, Tammy.

    Reply
    • And I’m inspired by your parenting Kathy. Clearly you’ve passed your lessons along.

      Reply
  23. I am sure that your dad would think that the list is the best gift of all. I’m sure he, like my dad, doesn’t really want or need another Thing. Love and acknowledgement —those are the greatest.

    Reply
  24. Great post – and a wonderful photo of your Dad and Grandma and the Bluebonnets!

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  25. Great lessons that some of the best things in life are not planned or forced but simply what comes naturally.

    Reply
  26. Basketball Artistry

     /  July 6, 2011

    Glad to hear there are others equally bad at gifting as me. I’ve also taken the love language test and scored very low there, while my wife scored very high there. I like how you think about lessons as gifts.

    Reply
    • Thanks for your comment Dave. I am forever challenged with the gifting concept so I have to come up with an alternative means for looking at it.

      Reply
  27. Ah, now if we could just get our governments to live within their means….

    Given the drought in Texas, 2011 was a poor year for bluebonnets, but there are other native plants that have had no trouble thriving despite the continuing lack of rain. If you’re curious, you can see some of them at

    http://portraitsofwildflowers.wordpress.com

    Reply
  1. Feelin’ the Love… « In Her Chucks

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