life lessons from my dad…

I am currently living at home. Well, I need to qualify that a little. My dad has a studio apartment over his garage and that is where I currently reside. I have my own little kitchenette (little being the operative word) and bathroom and entrance (although I do have to go through the garage). When I left Arizona in May of last year, quitting my job and renting out my house, it was under the assumption that I was getting married and would be living with my new husband. So, when I called off the wedding, I found myself homeless, jobless and in quite a bit of debt (moving across the country twice and not working for four months will do that to a person). That is how I ended up here, in my dad’s house, living over his garage.

What I’ve discovered is that, as long as I am living in Provo (which I may be for a while if I decide to go to BYU for graduate school), living at home is fantastic. It makes the most sense financially. I’m not in the house, and so I have all of the privacy I want and I don’t have to play roommate roulette, but I have all of the benefits of living in a nice, big house, because I can go in it anytime I want. Not only that, but I have really enjoyed being able to get to know my dad better. He’s really funny…which brings me to what prompted this posting.

Yesterday, I got home from running in the Rex Lee Run to find that my dad wasn’t home. I called his cell phone to see where he was and he told me he was getting his car washed (a regular Saturday activity). Well, I’m broke (more broke than I have ever been…and the question you are all asking is “How is that possible when you are living at home?”…a post for another day) and I’m out of gas, so I asked him if I could meet him down there so that he could put gas in my car. I knew what the response would be, but I thought I’d ask, just the same.

As expected, he said no, but then he told me that if I was ever in real trouble, he’d help me out. I am in real trouble, but only because of my own stupidity and explaining that to my dad would be more painful than a root canal with no anesthetic. So I was especially grateful when he followed that comment with, “If you’d like to earn some money, there’s some yard work that you can help me with.” Sweet deal. My dad’s going rate for yard work is $10 and hour. Three hours of work and I’d have enough money to fill my tank. I get to live at home, virtually rent free (I do pay a little, so he can tell his wife I’m paying rent) and my dad provides me with jobs so I can make extra money. I’m a lucky, lucky girl.

My dad could have just purchased a tank of gas for me yesterday, but what would that have taught me? He is very wise…despite his age. He does not believe in free handouts (or free loans…the going interest rate on a loan from the Bank of Nev is 7%, but I don’t qualify due to a poor credit history), not because he couldn’t give me the money or because he’s stingy, but because he knows that working for what you have makes you a much happier, more confident person, even if it is doing yard work for $10 an hour.

So today, I’m very sunburned, very sore (yard work and running), have a couple of blisters, $40 less poor and in possession of my dignity. Not to mention the QT with my dad, which I always enjoy, including (and especially) the stupid jokes he tells.

bueller?... bueller?... bueller?

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