Today I had lunch with a dear friend who is moving back to Texas at the end of the week and the topic of conversation ended up at some point being about my Daddy. I told her about how my dad was gentle, yet firm..strict, yet lenient and one of the few "good guys" left in the world. I told her about how he taught my mom and me to fire a weapon and also to fish. He taught me how to shoot a bow and arrow as well. He (along with my mom) taught me that hard work is a good thing and how important it is to be able to look in the mirrow at the end of a work day and know you gave over 100 percent.
While I was living with an avid hunter and a man who felt that knowing how to defend one's self (as well as how to bait a hook) is very important, I was also living with Emily Post herself! Just kidding but I WAS living with a mother who believed that etiquette and class are 2 important characteristics for one to possess. We spent countless hours with her teaching me how to set a table and why there may be multiple forks on your left. I always figured that it was silly to set more than one fork at the table--seriously, why would you need more than one fork? I could eat my meal and my dessert with the same fork and that was no big deal. I could not understand why I needed to know that the fork, spoon and knife needed to be aligned along the bottom of the place setting and even more so, I could not understand why a high noon event had to be so prim and proper. Seriously, why must I wear hose and closed toed shoes in the middle of summer to a high noon wedding--nonsense. I would have rather been outside riding my dirt bike through mud puddles. But momma did not back down. I learned the finer things in life--how to shoot a bow and arrow, how to set a table, how to bait a hook and how to eat with my napkin perfectly unfolded in my lap and my left hand on top of it. Looking back, my mother must have been born with the patience of a saint to put up with my shananigans. My dad must have been born with courage to trust me with a bow and arrow. As I grew older, I realized how important these things would become. Once I married a soldier, I found myself in a world of military balls and very classy women. It is in this world that I was so happy and thankful to have a mother who took the time to nurture me and teach me these little things that would keep me from embarrassing myself. I watched so many young women at the first ball I attended as an Army wife not knowing which fork to pick up first with elbows planted firmly on the table and I was I realized that my mother really did know what she was talking about. She had taught me to behave like a lady. She had also taught me to have enough pride to WANT to behave like a lady. My dad..his steady hands taught me to fear those things which only warranted my fear but to see things clearly and not through rose colored glasses. He carefully taught me that the world was not full of white picket fences and roses but also to not let the turkey's get me down. Through the combined efforts of my parents, my brother and I learned self dependance and confidence to tackle life as it came. Granted, my brother did this with a little more grace than I but I still feel that I have been successful at this endeavor --afterall, I have not yet had a nervous breakdown nor have I packed my bags and moved back to the South since we've moved to VA. I have conquered DC traffic and although I still despise I-66 and the Beltway, it hasn't scared me away yet.
So this blog is dedicated to my parents who through steady hands and strength have taught me so many important life-skills. More than anything though, they have taught me to love myself and like the person looking back at me in the mirrow. My mother has taught me how to be a friend by being one to me. My dad has taught me to continuously look at the details and not miss a single thing! For these attributes (among many others) I am very thankful to God!