one thing my dad taught me was to always do what you say you are going to do. he taught me this primarily by his actions, not his words. i grew up watching a very patient man with an incredible amount of dignity and integrity. he always followed through with what he said he was going to do. always put things away where they should go and never, ever did he not finish a project or task unless completed perfectly. i was by his side a lot of the time, handing him tools or helping to pick up the mess of the glorious project he was working on. he has built many things for me. among them a chicken coop, or more like a walk in chicken mansion with running water and custom nesting boxes. we ate fresh eggs every day for years, and needless to say, my chickens lived in blissful luxury. he built me a wonderful arbor off of my dining room, so i could drape my favorite vine for shade. he would always involve me in the planning of the project-sitting at the kitchen table mulling over the type of wood and nails we should use-how tall, how wide. then off we went to the lumber yard. last christmas dane asked grandpa for a sword. grandpa asked, "what do you want it to look like?" dane had no idea what he would receive in the mail, a sword made exactly to his specifications. beautifully painted in the exact shade he had specified. dane asked for another sword this year. at thanksgiving grandpa and dane sat at the kitchen table designing his masterpiece. 2 weeks later, a long cylindrical package came in the mail. grandpa did what he said he was going to do. he completed his project with amazing finesse. in grandpas distinct writing the words "don't open till christmas" were splashed all over the brown tube. i knew what magic was waiting in that tube. when dane opened the package this morning, there i was in all it's glory. the older kids immediately wanted to take a closer look at the masterpiece that was before them.
and he taught me all these many wonderful things by not even uttering a single word.