Have you ever made a promise and then try to back out of the promise? It’s really hard for me as my Dad was a guy that said your name is your bind. I liked that about my Dad whether he was drinking or working, if he gave you his word you could know that it would be as he said. He didn’t take that lightly either. I mean if you say something and know that you’ll be tested it is more difficult to give your word. My problem is I like to talk and when I’m spouting off I may sometimes say something that will come back to bite me. Of course that’s only one part of being a man. If for some reason there is alcohol involved real problems could arise. Fortunately I don’t imbibe very often and I imbibe even less where I may allow my mouth to overload my … ability.
I raised my kids to understand that your word means something. It is very important to keep your word. Because if you allow your word to become worthless than what can that mean to your name? My Dad was real big on keeping your word and not lying. I cannot remember one thing my Dad ever lied about. I think I told you about the leather jacket that he let me keep even though another father had offered him twice what he had paid for it. I’m pretty sure it was because he had promised me I could have it for Christmas. He didn’t have much else to offer his boys. He worked his fingers to the bone every day. He had no education to fall back on and he had chosen to farm. We all know how hard it is to farm and this was before all the fancy stuff available today to make your job easier. I watched my Dad, crippled though he was, walk behind a big old horse named Prince and a mule that was called something else. (If you have ever tried to plow with a mule you know what I mean when I say he was called something else.) He would plow all day that way and when he came home all he wanted was to hear something nice about his family.
I have used a lot of what my Dad taught me about honor and honesty. There were times I forgot and it always cost me dearly. I told my kids a lot about my dad; about how he despised liars and cheats. I told my Dad a lie once. I didn’t have to but I did. I’ll never forget the look he gave me. I expected to be whipped but he was a smart guy he knew I knew how much I had hurt him and he just looked at me and walked away. I’m sure he forgave me before he was called by his Savior but he never said the words so I have done what I have done in life to try and get past that look.
I also told my kids how hard he worked. During most of my life with him my Dad worked for someone else. It didn’t matter if he was working for someone else or for himself. He always gave it everything he had. I have tried to convince my kids to work as hard for someone as they would work for themselves. They had to look no further than their mother to know what hard work is. My Angel goes from get up time to lay down time working and she also knows it is not honorable to lie. If my wife ever told a lie I don’t know when or what it was. She is almost incapable of lying. I think her parents did a great job with her about that.
Whatever she and I have told the kids seems to have worked. They all have full-time jobs. Our daughter works hard to raise our grandchildren up near Sacramento and my boys both work here in the Salinas Valley helping to put food on the tables of America. Now that he has completed college, my oldest was just hired full time for D’Arrigo Company and seems happy where he is. Reed is working 12 hours almost every day for The Dune company. He has one more year to finish college and he will be coming home to also work in ag. If I sound proud, it is because I am. Not of the job I did or Lorraine did but because they just seem to know how I swell up each time one of their bosses tell me how hard they work. My mom and dad did a good job of teaching their sons right from wrong. We didn’t always do the right thing but we did know what it was. I hope your children make you as happy as ours do us. I’m sure they do because look at their example. YOU!