My Dad had an answer for most questions asked of him. As head of household, parent, spouse, educator, intelligent person, I figured he knew when best to provide an answer to any of my questions, or not. I have always wondered what his answer was for each of three questions I had asked him during my lifetime. While my memory fades in my later years, I truly do not think I was ever given an answer to these three questions.
First: We traveled around the USA as a family one entire summer. The station wagon carried family members, our collie, and pulled a camper, which I saw the backend of each time we took a hairpin turn in the mountains. While driving through the Mohave Desert, my question to my Dad, who used to teach driver’s education, was about a driver’s responsibility. “Dad, if we arrive at a red stop light here in the middle of the desert and no other person is driving a car for miles around or stopped at the intersection in the middle of the night, do we have to wait for the light to turn green?” I always believed intelligent people can determine an outcome especially when others are not around to interfere or cause a conflict. To this day, I do not recall an answer from him. So I have been left to believe I am smart enough to do what I think is best for the moment and will someday know if I think differently when I drive in a desert in the middle of the night and have to stop at a red light.
Second: As the oldest child in my family, I was always reminded by my parents there was no handbook on how to be the perfect parent. Alas, I was to follow their rules. I just want to say, my younger siblings got away with more than me as years passed by. Fortunately with our age differences I was glad to not be around to see the inconsistencies in the house rules. I remember one day my Dad said to me, when you turn 18 years of age plan to either move out or pay rent here. Well that was an interesting comment, have they now just read a book on parenting? My question to my Dad, who I knew loved me, was “If I have to pay rent any place, why would I pay it to stay here?” I guess it seemed a rhetorical question since it was never answered. My moving out and getting on with an independent life was an accomplishment which to this day is why I am self-reliant. Okay, thank you for that.
Third: My Dad helped paint my white house as I was to move to another school district for a new job. My Dad also painted the handles of his work tools so he could identify them as his. Blue is my favorite color, so my question to him was, “Why do you always choose the color red?” I wanted the house to be white, yet he painted the shutters red convinced the house would sell faster. When I asked the buyer, they said they loved the red shutters! Wow! Also, I know which are his tools because they have red handles … honestly, I am not a fan of that color … but it never stopped me from borrowing and using his tools.
So despite not getting answers to all of my questions and my Dad having passed, I have been left with some fascinating memories. That’s life isn’t it … not always getting the whole story about everything you want when you think you should have it! Love you Dad; another lesson learned!