A Little Ray of Sunshine

Monday, February 21, 2005

Father-Daughter gifts

My husband just walked out the door, tool box in hand. He and Dad spent much of yesterday trying to put a new computer in the old Buick. They are going to work on it some more today. Apparently the computer is in a rather inaccessible place under the dashboard, and attached by non-standard screws.
As my husband walked out, I commented "That was a great gift, wasn't it?"
He gave me a funny look, the 'What on Earth is she talking about?' look.
"The tool box. Dad gave me that." I said.
"Oh, yeah. I didn't realize it was from him."
After numerous exchanges of 'Bye-bye' and 'Luff-you-too' with Beau, he was off to work on the car. Hemi's got a nasty cough, so the boys and I are staying home, and I thought, well, for all Dad and I often don't see eye to eye, he's come up with some great gifts over the years. Most of my favorites were as a pre-teen or teen. I guess I was probably not your stereotypical teen.
The best gift, of course, was the 20 gauge shotgun. Probably after that would be the spinning rod, then the tool box, then the fly-fishing rod. The tool box has certainly been used the most over the years. Dad made sure I knew how to use the tools in it, even though I never did get the names straight! (It's a waterfall wrench? A canal wrench? Whatever--it has something to do with water! But I know how to adjust it and use it, and it's had plenty of use.) As a girl, I kept rabbits--as many as eighty at a time, during the summer, when the kit mortality rates were low. So I have the wire cutters and cage clip tool in that box, too, though I don't use them anymore.
The spinning rod has been used a lot, too. Mom and Dad have a creek in their back yard. My dad loves to fish, as does my husband, my father-in-law, my husband's best friend, my husband's younger brother, my husband's younger brother's father-in-law, well, you get the idea. Nearly everyone we know fishes, and it's a child-friendly activity when we go to a reservoir. Or have one of the three grandmas handy to watch the boys. (That would be my mom, his mom, and his younger brother's mother-in-law.) Beau likes to 'fish', too, but being two, he does it with a stick. And spending a day fishing with the inlaws got me more 'Good Daughter-in-law' points.
The shotgun has been used less--I used to hunt with my dad and mom, and assorted labs, but since Beau was born, I haven't been hunting. I'd rather not have to use it for anything other than hunting, but that's not up to me. Still, so far, it's only been used for hunting.
The fly rod hasn't been used much at all, but it probably will be used more in the future. My greatest catch so far was Dad's hat! He should've known better than to stand behind me when he was trying to teach me to cast in the driveway. It's been good for laughs, and as the boys get older, I should have more fishing time to experiment with it. I never used it much when I was at home because my folks' creek isn't suitable for fly casting.
I've also gotten lots of hunting and fishing licenses from Dad over the years, and those are always appreciated. And then, there was one year when Mom and Dad indulged my liking for physics, and gave me books, Principles of Physical Cosmology by Peebles, Black Holes and Time Warps by Thorne, and a whole pile of others. They are still scattered over my bookshelves, mixed with dictionaries and other reference material, across from the shelves that hold the Bradbury and Heinlein, and all the other science fiction, which was another gift from Dad. Mom, to this day, thinks science-fiction equals romance equals porn. I will grant that she is right about much of what goes by the name of science fiction, but there is plenty that is not. And Dad shared Verne, Wells, and all the other old greats with me. We buy each other science fiction for birthdays, now. In fact, for his most recent birthday, I gave him "The World Turned Upside Down" compiled by David Drake, Jim Baen, and Eric Flint. Much of it was a walk down memory lane for Dad.
My husband likes to say that life is about making memories, because no one can take your memories from you. That is what all the great gifts Dad has given me have in common: the memories we've made with them.


  • At 1:57 PM, February 21, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Here's a gift idea I came across a while back and started that you might enjoy too. You write down your favorite memories about you and your parents, one for each day of the year. Then you put them in a jar or a box and give it to them for Christmas (or whatever reason you wish) and everyday they pull one out and read it.



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