Being the middle child, you may think I would get a lot of hand-me-downs. Well, thank goodness I am in between two girls. I have an older sister and a younger sister so the hand-me-downs from my older went directly to my younger sister and bypassed me all together. About the only hand-me-down I got from my older sister, was aggravation, and I got lots of that.
The hand-me-downs I received was more information that my father passed on to me. I learned quite a bit from my father and the information he passed down to me is the basics of any young man coming of age.
He taught me things by lessons and some by example. He would tell me to go put on a dirty shirt or a work shirt and I knew we were going to get our hands dirty. He taught me how to change spark plugs on all of our vehicles. I learned how to drive a stick on an old Volkswagen camper bus. The gears were on a diagonal, not straight up and down. The reverse on that bus was odd. At least it was odd for a fifteen-year-old boy... you had to push the gear shift stick down and then into Reverse. It was kind of cool.
He taught me how to change the fan belts, yes belt(S) plural, in our cars and my truck. This was a time when you have four or five belts running at one time. Now a days you have but the one serpentine belt. Did I spell that correctly? The one belt wraps around every pulley and keeps it all going. I was able to help myself if I ever was to find myself broke down on the side of the road with a busted fan belt or a flat tire. Most fathers taught their sons these little tasks when he was growing up and he passed them along to me.
I don't know if fathers do this anymore. I would like to think they, I hope they do, but if not please take some of your knowledge and skills and hand it down to your child. If that child be a girl or a boy, it matters not, teach your child some basics.
My father took me fishin' many times while I was growing up. If he had to work, my grandfather took me. I remember being in a boat with my my dad, who can't swim by the way, and he would take me in a boat out to Grassy Pond and we would go fishing. I loved those times. He taught me to love the outdoors and fishing.
Remember that old Volkswagen camper bus I told you about, the one I learned how to drive a stick in, well, he would take me camping in that bus a few times as well. I remember going to Alligator point and we spent a couple of nights. Reed Bingham State Park, in Adel, Georgia. I don't think we ever fished there, but we camped there a lot because it was so close to Valdosta.
The things he taught me by example was how to treat a lady. My father actually loves and cares deeply for my mother. I see the way he treats her, respects her, and loves here every day of my life. Both when we were younger and now. My mother knows this and appreciates it. I try to live by his example and love and respect my wife as well.
I really enjoyed those times we spent together. Take your son or daughter camping, teach them how to change the oil in a car, change the spark plugs, and the ONE fan belt. Teach them about the outdoors, fishin', huntin', campin'... or what ever your hobby is. Spend time with your children. Spend time with your dad if he is still around. Take him fishin' or just for a ride in the boat. Go buy him a beer or a Coke, or a cup of coffee. Spend time with him and tell him you appreciate and love him.
Happy Father's Day