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Vantage point

10 things I learned from my dad

1. Appreciation for God’s creation. My dad taught me to appreciate everything from wildlife to majestic mountains to flowers … as creations of God.

2. Put others first. One instruction our family heard from him often was, “Think of the neighbors.” Even when leaving early for fishing, he made sure I closed the car door quietly. Other people always came first.

3. Embrace people who are different from you. Everyone was a potential friend to Dad. He learned a lot about the outdoors from friends he had made among the Northern California Indians.

4. Take pride in your family and encourage them. He did this continually.

5. Patience is a virtue. He demonstrated this his whole life.

6. Nobody’s perfect. I never heard my dad use a swear word. But I did see him get upset a time or two … momentarily.

7. The baptism in the Holy Spirit can help you do things you can’t do on your own. Dad tried many times to give up smoking … unsuccessfully. After he was filled with the Holy Spirit, he never smoked again.

8. Appreciate the experience no matter what. “We know we’re going to be successful because it’s called ‘fishing,’ not ‘catching,’ ” he would say. A day in the outdoors was great … “If we catch fish, that’s bonus.”

9. Love your spouse, unconditionally. When Alzheimer’s hit my mother, Dad kept her home as long as possible, doing everything for her even though he suffered with rheumatoid arthritis. Then he stayed at her side in the nursing home. He had always dreamed of traveling when he retired. He never got to do it because of his devotion to my mother.

10. Keep it in the middle of the fairway. Once a scratch golfer, he could still beat younger golfers when he was elderly … because his drives, though short, were always where they should be. “Don’t try to impress the crowd, just be faithful.” A great lesson for life.

Ken Horn

Read an expanded version of this column on Snapshots.

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