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June 13, 2012

In his retirement, my father operated a lawnmower/small engines repair shop. A couple months after my March wedding, when the grass began to grow, he asked me if we had a decent mower. When he saw what we were attempting to cut our lawn with, he gave us one of his own creations; what I referred to as a Frankensteined machine. It may have had a Briggs & Stratton engine, on a Toro deck with Sears Craftsman wheels, but thanks to my dad, it ran perfectly.

Summer after summer, he would check with us to see if we needed any maintenance on his creation and would even make house calls for minor repairs. Life was good. One, hot summer day I was mowing the yard and I noticed smoke coming from our mower. Noting that it had never happened before, I stopped and called my dad. I told him there was some weird smoke coming from the mower and asked him if he thought there was something wrong with it. He asked me if I had checked the oil. After a heavy pause, I simply questioned, “Oil?” Let’s just say after uttering that one word, I had to hold the phone away from my ear as he educated me loudly and with unrepeatable words that every engine requires oil, a lesson I have not forgotten to this day.

My father has since passed away and we were eventually forced to buy a mower with all original parts. Now, every time I start the mower, I think first of checking the oil, and then I remember how good life was when my dad met all of our mower maintenance needs.

So, to all the men who perform acts of service for their children, which may be anything from fixing broken toys to assembling a swing set, to teaching them to drive,  you’ve enriched our lives and we love you for it. Happy Father’s Day!


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