Sunday, June 19, 2011

Father’s Day 2011, and This One is For My Dad, Lyle Peterman

As I write this, my Dad is going to be 85 years old in two months. Although he complains about aches and pains, and says he can hardly move anymore, he still manages to move at a pace that would be the envy of most men his age. If the lawn needs mowing, the hedge needs trimming, or the sidewalks need edging, it’s done with an urgency comparable to that of the need to put out a wildfire.

In the winter the snow isn’t allowed to get too comfortable lying on the driveway or the sidewalks as it will be shovelled off and piled in nice neat banks well out of the way, and if the banks get too high, they will be relocated to the center of the yard for reasons twofold; to make room for more snow, and to provide even watering of the lawn when spring arrives and the piles melt.

We (family) all like to tease him about this relentlessly, but our motive aren’t critical, only that we wish he would spend a bit more of that energy enjoying himself and taking part in more activities related to recreation rather than work, but that’s just not the way he’s wired. Dad was born and raised in Saskatchewan, and through a time period where you soon learned to work hard and appreciate what you had, as that wasn’t a lot.

Life on the prairies taught you the values of hard work and that if something needed to be done, just do it. That’s what built the character of a man that not only served his family well, and passed on his values to all of us (sometimes more than we’ll admit), but made for the kind of employee that all employers desire to have. Dad worked from his young adult years through to retirement with predominately one oil company (although the company changed ownership many times). He is one of the lucky ones that enjoyed an early and long retirement, and has reaped the benefits of a pension since he was about 62 years old.

Dad is someone that can, and is able to do just about everything. He taught me everything; mechanical, plumbing, carpentry, painting, electrical work and more. His garage, along with two outbuildings (on a residential lot), are home to just about every tool or piece of equipment known to mankind. When you have something that needs repair, you drop it off to Dad. If you need a tool, he’s got it, and is willing to lend it out as long as it finds a way back. If not, rest assured he remembers who borrowed it last!

Here`s a story that epitomizes my Dad, and one that I`ll always remember. A few years ago I took an old axe to him for sharpening, and to replace the handle that was frayed and broken after a few missed swings at the chopping block. Not only was the axe sharp enough to shave with, but the handle was replaced to factory specifications, and the rusted old head of the 25 year old axe had been sanded down, cleaned, and repainted two-tone, with fireman`s red paint, transitioning to white towards the blade that is typical of the textbook axe you see in featured images.

So that paints a picture of my Dad, and a picture that I`m proud to paint of him and to show off to anyone who cares to read this. Here`s hoping for many more years to enjoy with him, and I am thankful for all the years I`ve enjoyed with him up to now. Happy Father`s Day Dad!