Shout out to my Dad

Father’s Day, a time to celebrate our Dads. I was blessed with a good one. My parents had two daughters. With no sons you can bet we were some of the toughest most versatile girls around. We can hunt, fish, and skin a dead animal; drive a manual vehicle, operate tractors, backhoes, and skid steers; we can work harder and longer than most men, and eat, drink, and cuss with the best of them! My Dad won’t win awards for being sensitive or empathetic, and I inherited those traits from him. 🙂 Also from my Dad I inherited a strong work ethic, a desire to make things better than you found them, a loyalty to good friends and family, a willingness to help others, and an appreciation to have a good time when the occasion calls for it. So cheers to my Dad, Les!

Dad by his tractor
My Dad and one of his restoration projects.
Cutting wood
Having fun while cutting wood in the mountains to heat the house in the winter.
PhD graduation day! A running joke in my family when people asked my Dad what I was going to be when I graduated…he would say old! (in his defense, I was doing a pretty good job at the lifetime student thing). 🙂
wedding day
On my wedding day. My friend added the quote – which is perfect.

Even ranchers have birthdays!

Today is my Dad’s birthday – Happy Birthday Dad!

Ranchers and farmers usually don’t celebrate holidays or special days like other people. There is no sleeping in or no calling in sick to have a personal day. Animals are relying on ranchers and farmers to feed, water, and care for them regardless if it is Christmas morning, Easter Sunday, or your birthday.

My Dad posing for a picture in a tractor at a Christmas party.

So in celebration of my Dad’s birthday I want to share 7 valuable lessons I learned from him over the years (there are many others, these are just the ones that stuck out this morning).
1. “I can’t” is not an acceptable phrase. I can do anything I want if I put my mind to it – with hard work, determination, and grit.
2. Don’t feel sorry for yourself. Yes, there are some times things suck and your situation sucks, but it will pass and you will be ok – and you will come out stronger in the end.
3. There is more than one way to skin a cat. Just because people do things differently than you it doesn’t mean it is bad. Everyone approaches things differently, and if one way isn’t working, then find another way to do it.
4. Don’t let others run over you. You have thoughts and experiences that make your suggestions and skills valuable, share those with people for the greater good. Sometimes you may have to use a few unorthodox ways to get those messages across.
5. Be a role model. My Dad was a great role model (my Mom is too) for not only my sister and I, but also for several young men over the years who wanted to learn about ranch work and ranch life, “man things”, and other skills like vehicle and equipment maintenance, welding, fixing things, etc.
6. Girls can do just about everything boys can. Even though my parents had girls, my sister and I are pretty tough girls. We learned how to hunt, fish, camp, drive all the large equipment, the value of hard work, the joy in new life, plus we can cook and sew!
7. Work hard, play hard. Have fun! Life is to short to be serious all of the time. Value those relationships with family and friends.

A selfie – me, my sister, and our Dad!