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I have a lot of fun writing about growing up on the outskirts of Big Stone City, here on the South Dakota/Minnesota border. Many of my stories include a main character - my Dad. He gives me a hard time (with a smile of course) about making him look bad once in a while. Well, that is as far from the truth as it can get. I was blessed with a great childhood and two hard-working parents that taught me many lessons about life. Some lessons were not "taught" as much as observed. Things like how to be polite, being helpful even when it benefits you in no way, and, just doing the work because it needed to be done. You can't get that from a book. So, I'd like to thank my Dad just being who he is.
Ok, so here you go, Dad... a few things that make me look "bad"...
The Snowmobile Incident/Fireworks/Fence Post
When I was a kid, we had a Massey-Ferguson 344 snowmobile for a few years which we had great fun with. One Spring, while it was cold at night, but thawed a bit during the day, I parked the sled in the driveway. The next day my grandparents were down for a weekend meal and when it was done I headed out to take a ride. I fired up the snowmobile, with everyone watching from the porch. Now, during the night, the track had frozen down and when I gave it some gas it didn't move. I had the skis turned to head down the road toward the garden, between the shed and the only tree within 75 feet of me. Well, you probably guessed it... I gave it some more throttle and it broke loose. Unfortunately, the skis didn't catch to turn and I ran it straight into the tree and bent the bumper bar almost into the hood. I got off and tried to move it, all the while getting more embarrassed as I could feel everyone's eyes on me, but finally I gave up and walked up to the house where no one could see me. Right away my Dad came down and we went out and moved it and looked at the damage - all he said was "It will be fine." He could have gotten angry or upset, but he simply reassured me that things were OK. Good words to hear from your Dad when you are a kid.
Here's another example that I may not have been the brightest kid sometimes... 4th of July, a kid's paradise in early 80's South Dakota. My friends and I would save up and then spend every penny we had on fireworks for that one magical week of the year. We were not destructive or anything, we just had a lot of fun making noise and occasionally holding a firecracker to long before tossing it - wow, I can still feel the sting in my fingers just thinking about it. One of the other things we did was pop a tuna can in the air and try to see who could catch it. I am not going into detail as to how it works, I don't want to condone improper use of fireworks, but it involves a bucket, tuna can, and water. Well, I lit a firework and waited... and waited some more... thinking it must have not lit, I peered into the bucket, just in time to see a small spark and the tuna can shoot up and hit me square in the face, breaking off half a tooth in the process... not my proudest moment.
A final example... I was helping put in fence around the garden one year and we were using those thin metal posts with the triangle-shaped piece for putting your foot on and pushing it into the ground. I think Mom went to make supper and Dad went to mow and I said I would put the rest of them in. Thinking I was smart, I figured if you used both feet instead just one, you could get them in the ground faster. So, I steadied the post, jumped up with both feet and came down on the triangle piece... almost... my left foot didn't quite get close enough to the post and the sharp edge ripped though my shoe, sock.. oh, and my skin! I, of course, didn't want to admit what I did, so limped to the bathroom, cleaned it out and bandaged it up myself and "walked" into the living room. Mom and Dad both looked up and said immediately, "what's wrong with your foot?" So much for my acting skills... I explained what happened and we cleaned it up a little more. To this day, I can still have the scar on the inside of my left foot. When you see out and about, ask me, I'll show you.
Believe it or not, I have many more stories in which I look bad... it was surprisingly easy, but I am human... just like my Dad. So Happy Father's Day, Dad... love you!
Be sure to make an extra effort to thank the "Father" in your life, whether biological or otherwise... and... it doesn't have to be just one day of the year!
Stay safe out there!
Thanks so much for reading Tidbits... we appreciate it!
Sean & Lynette Athey, publishers
Email me at... Sean@LakeAreaTidbits.com