"Live a good life, and in the end, it’s not the years in the life, it’s the life in the years."

Calling for stories about dads

By on April 23, 2018 in Columnist with 0 Comments

Mike CassidyBy Mike Cassidy

We dads are under appreciated.

We don’t get the shout-outs from the big, burly football players from the sidelines who seem to only be able to yell “Hi, Mom!” or the thoughtful presents from our kids (“Cool, a tie and slippers… again.”) or the requests for helpful parenting advice from our children now raising our grandchildren.

Not that we didn’t give great parenting lessons — my daughter reminded me this weekend I did let her drive a pick-up over fallow farmland when she was only eight and her feet couldn’t fully reach the brake pedal. I think she was saying this as a can-you-believe-that? negative, whereas I saw it — and still see it — as part of her childhood that prepared her for being bold in the world.

We dads have a tough job.

Who’s going to say: “You’re all right, walk it off,” if not us? Who’s going to say, “Those training wheels are slowing you up, let’s take them off,” if not us? And who’s going to say to a daughter, “Listen, I want you home at midnight and I don’t mean five minutes after midnight.”

  I’m not really complaining because being a dad is a ton of fun (except for when I had to be the hammer around discipline time). You get to see these little guys and girls grow and stretch into fine human beings that you are glad to give to the world — like a gift to the future of the human race.

Still, while quiet pride and the satisfaction at a job done well have their place, it would be wonderful to believe our kids do remember the fun stuff, right?

So, let’s do this: We are inviting readers to tell stories about their dads… maybe some tender moments, maybe some tough moments, maybe some outright ridiculous moments.

Send us your stories as emails… 300 to 500 words long or so. Attach a digital photo or two if you have them.

We’re looking for stories we can share with our readers in the June issue. We’ll choose one of the stories to reward with a $100 gift certificate to your choice of one of our advertisers.

Get these stories into us no later than May 7. Really, though, get writing now. Because if there is one thing this dad has learned, it’s: “I’ll do it later, Dad,” means nothing will happen.

So, in my best dad voice I’m saying: “Do it now, child.”

I was looking for stories for this issue when I thought of Lance Stegemann, who has written about running a mule train for the U.S. Forest Service and building a chicken tractor for his yard. “I wonder what he is up to?” I pondered.

A quick exchange of emails revealed he did have a story… he and his wife, Barb, have moved to Idaho.

For why in the world an outdoors guy like Lance would move from what many consider to be God’s Country around here to the rurals of Idaho, check out his story on page 14.

Dad’s advice can solve some problems and cause other problems. Use it wisely and enjoy The Good Life.

— Mike

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