Wednesday, April 21, 2010
ME: "Hey Dad, how are you?"
DAD: " I'm exhausted. The dog woke me up this morning at 2:36. I rolled over. He woke me up again at 3:29. Finally, I got up and let him out. Then I sat around waiting for the newspaper until 4:17. I called you at 10:55 this morning, but you never answer your phone."
My dad does NOT have the ability to round numbers off. Whether it's telling time, or recounting something he made, he ALWAYS relays the exact information. He has a memory like an elephant and feels the need to portray the event as accurately as possible. I remember the time when my dad got his first GPS unit. Having a plethora of data to process makes a man like him VERY happy. He'd come up with my mom for a visit, and as soon as he got out of the truck he'd say something like, " It's 158 miles to your house on the highway, but only 122 miles as the crow flies." I went scouting for elk with him once and he programmed the truck location into the GPS. After a few hours of walking, we stopped for a break on top of a ridge. He immediately pulled out his GPS. "We're 3.26 miles to the truck, and only 37.9 miles from your house as the crow flies." I don't know about you, but I personally never wondered how many miles it takes for a crow to fly somewhere. Yet it IS a bit interesting once someone points it out to you. When he totes along all of his instruments of accuracy, it makes his hunting pack weigh at least 50 pounds.
Yet this detailed nature is what makes him an amazing craftsman. He's spent weeks making bunk beds for my children. First he draws out rough plans on paper. Then he spends hours at Home Depot going through the lumber piles, carefully choosing only the most flawless pieces of wood. Finally, he measures each piece multiple times before cutting it to his exact specifications. The end result is a gorgeous piece of furniture that is so solidly constructed that I'd feel perfectly at ease sleeping on the bottom bunk with an elephant resting on the top level.
When the goal is to just slap something together, my dad starts to twitch a little. It bothers him on a deep level to see shoddy work. He can't be a part of it. He helped my husband to build the outside pen for our chicken coop. I thought it would take a few hours. Wrong. Two days later, every post was squared and level on approximately 18 dimensions. The fence was rolled out so that every rectangle lined up, and every wire was positioned perfectly on the post. I'm certain that a Tyrannosaurus Rex couldn't escape that pen, let alone a four pound chicken. Was it over-kill? Absolutely. But one thing's for sure, it's a thing of beauty to look at.
I have no doubt that everything my Dad has ever done for me has had an amazing amount of thought and effort put into it. No one ever expects this from him, yet he consistently goes the extra mile for people. That's just who he is. And that's just one of the million reasons I love him.