With Father’s Day coming up, I’ve been thinking about what we men inherit from our fathers.
During my growing up years my father was simultaneously the pastor of a large church congregation, the founder of a Bible College plus worked full time as a civil engineer. Most weekday nights found him in outlying towns leading bible studies or at city council meetings.
With daylight hours filled to overflowing, it was no wonder that he started the famous “Kirkpatrick 9:00 Project” hour that’s that moment when no matter how tired you are, there’s one project, repair or urgent matter you must solve before you can go to bed.
This is a family tradition I continued when I started my own family. This is how it works.
First, there is the family meal at 6 p.m. followed closely by outside projects like mowing the grass, building fences or something like that until darkness descended. Coming back into the house, I, like many of you, would be met with the frantic “do you realize 20 people are coming for dinner in 48 hours and I need that faucet replaced, the floor tiled, the sink installed or the room painted.”
A second wind would come over me and I would start working on said project until my day job required a switch in time allocation.
Injury, divorce and retirement brought an end to the Kirkpatrick 9:00 Projects years ago. Since then, I’ve spent plenty an evening fly fishing, hiking, playing my guitar and just hanging out with my tired old body. It sure felt like Nirvana for Ol’ Dutch and he doesn’t even believe in all that hocus-pocus stuff.
Now along comes Trixie. I know, it’s all my fault and if I can advise you older men out there on one thing: avoid getting involved with a younger woman.
You would be must wiser to get yourself an older widow woman who is just glad to have a man around the house. She is used to no results and no work out of a man and so if you even do a minimum will be looked upon as a hero and rewarded handsomely. Not so with younger models, let me tell you.
Recently I had worked hard outside all day and was looking forward to falling into the recliner. I took a nice hot shower and had just settled in with a good book, a blanket and a drink when suddenly Trixie decided it was time to clean and rearrange my closet.
This sudden rush to a project at the most inopportune time causes no small amount of problems between us and is what is known as “tension.”
Now normally I’d let her organize and arrange to her heart’s content as long as it would not involve Ol’ Dutch, but this was not a normal situation. While traveling across county, the rod in the closet became unhinged and scattered clothes across the closet floor. To me this didn’t represent an emergency at that exact moment in time, especially since I knew it wasn’t an easy fix.
But Trixie was not to be discouraged and with a bed piled high with clothes and her trying to use a drill, I knew peace was not in my future unless I was able to rally and fix the clothes rod.
With considerable moaning, I finally located some screws, and with only four trips out in the cold to the junk pile, was able to find some boards that would work without having to get a saw out and wake the neighbors and the dead.
Instead of having the time to do it right in normal daylight hours, I had to settle on a quick fix and got the closet back in business at least for now.
She also is learning that even though Ol’ Dutch can be cranky while the project is being done, soon it’s over, her man forgets and she goes happily on her way. She calls that “success.”
And that ladies and gentlemen is the secret to a happy life. And you thought it was the men who didn’t listen.