There’s so many things that I could tell you about him, and you probably wouldn’t believe it. He’s a family practice physician. While most people conjure up a certain image when they think of a doctor, I can probably guarantee you that my dad wouldn’t fit those images. Imagine a guy who jogs or rides his bike just about everywhere (in rural Indiana) and does so while wearing a white, v-neck t-shirt, blue jean shorts (or regular blue jeans if it’s cold out) with a weight-lifter’s belt, black dress socks, shoes he got from K-Mart, and a sweatband. Yep, that would be my dad.
You can bet that if something gives off the impression of money and wealth, my dad won’t be impressed. Now, you could say that our home doesn’t quite fit this anti-wealthy image – it’s a 3 storey house with a full basement, 9 bedrooms, a swimming pool, and over a hundred acres. But when you consider the fact that I’m one of 10 kids and the majority of those acres are corn or soybeans, then this just makes sense.
Another thing about my dad – he loves working on cars. He says he doesn’t, but I really think that he does. Throughout his life, he’s only bought 1 new car, and this car was promptly “broken in” after my 2 older sisters (only toddlers at the time) decided to “wash” the car with boar-bristle brushes. Oops – there goes the paint job!
Since then, it’s been one rattle-trap jalopey after another in my family. And boy, have I had some interesting experiences in these cars. For instance:
The time the tire fell off the back-passenger side of a car I was riding in. I don’t think they’re supposed to do that…
The time a piece of the floor fell out of another car that I was riding in. The only thing between my feet and the road was a piece of carpet!
The time that I had to drive a car that wouldn’t go in reverse.
The time the brakes went out while I was driving on an icy, snow-covered highway (I was able to coast onto an uphill exit ramp and stop without hitting anything, thank goodness).
The time the gas tank started leaking and my car stalled in the middle of Nowheresville, IN. This was before I had a cellphone, and I had to bum gasoline off a stranger. Yikes.
The time a piece of metal from my car broke off and was dangling onto the street. Sparks were shooting out from under me as I drove down the road, and I didn’t know about it till I was pulled over. The police officer was really nice about it and just yanked the metal off for me. I still don’t know what it was for…
The time my engine burned up while I was driving.
Let me just say that since I’ve been married, I haven’t had anything remotely like the above experiences (knock on wood). But, because of all of the crazy car things that have happened in my life, I now know a lot more about cars than your average female, or average male, for that matter. I know how to change brake pads, change spark plugs, change a tire ,jump a car, and can give a pretty good guesstimate as to what’s wrong just based on a car’s noises.
So even though I didn’t enjoy all of those car woes at the time, I’m really grateful now. And I’m happy to report that my dad is still puttering along, going from one beat-up car to another, refusing to pay for a new car when an old, used one will do just as well 🙂 I think that’s great!