Tracks In The Dust

A Father's Advice About Learning the Mission of Life

Archive for the tag “Remembering the past”

My Father’s Drill

As a father of four children, I was never truly keen on the meaning of “Fathers Day”. It seemed like one of those days set aside to commemorate something that should be observed every day of the year. But then I recall as a child, I was not the best at  reflecting on the genuine care my dad provided to me those days.

My Fathers Drill

The old and the new.

As i got older I had very fond memories to recall. Many of them that I didn’t even realize I had absorbed at the time. But he was indeed the kind of father that I can say now I hope that I have been to my children.

He was in some ways distant like every working father would be from time to time. Busy making a “living” and trying to provide for his family. We had some great and very traditional family vacations, station-wagon packed to the windows and trips to cabins in the woods and relatives near and far. There were some personal times fishing together and spending time in the back yard at the grill.

So the movie of the younger days and  “good” times plays back in my head, along with some black and white photos and a few 8 MM films. After I got married and we moved away, we were still close enough to get “visits” from him and my mom. We would visit them too.

They worked hard to have an active retired life, but they were also there when I needed them. It has been over 20 years since he passed from this earth. I still remember all of our times together fondly.

When my wife and I got our first home, he gave me some of his tools ( a new homemaker must have tools!). One of them was a power-drill. Nothing special really, but to this day I have had it in my tool box.

It has his drivers-licence etched into the side, the label (Black and Decker I think) has fallen off. Last time I used it was recently with my son – when we were working on some kitchen cabinets. The drill worked, but it sparks were coming from the body of it. It was still a functional tool, but it had seen generations of better times. Time takes toll on everything and everyone.

So with regret I will likely now retire the drill, most likely bought at the local hardware store in my small home town in Wisconsin. Most likely with dozens upon dozens of projects for the home behind it. It will be replaced by a drill bought from Amazon (not made in the USA I am afraid) and shipped to my door. A concept my dad would have marveled at.

Or maybe I should hand the drill off to my son? Tell him to be careful with the “sparks” inside, but mind the fact that it has worked well for decades of projects meant to build on the future.


Reconnecting with Old Friends

There is something great about reconnecting with old friends. It helps to remind you of where you were. Even though you can’t go back in time and relive those days, it is nice to ground yourself once in a while.  Good for the soul.

Loves Condition

Wishing you can go back will be pretty hollow, but looking at that notch in time is a good way to evaluate your place in time- in the “now”.

There is certainly some remembrances of things you desire to forget. Those awkward times when life deals the blows that land bruises, loss of loved ones and painful experiences.

There are also things you wish you could put in a highlight reel, those things you were proud of – the accomplishments of goals and desires you have had over the years.

Then there are those very special remembrances with those genuine friends and family that if you could “bottle” the feelings of comfort and joy,  you would open that bottle frequently and drink that in.

But change is going to happen. And some of your closest friends now may be just part of the future memories you may embrace.

Have you had those  times when you’ d hope it would never end, but looking back later, it may have been the best thing? Disconnecting from people who ultimately create a negative influence can be hard to do. We may not even recognize that we are deep in the influence of friends who mean the best, but end up keeping things from happening in our lives.

So it is good to reconnect with old friends isn’t it?

Great for remembering who you were, the fabric of what you are now, and where things came to get you to today…. because still in the end there is “no day but today”.

Friends ( by Elton John and Bernie Taupin)

I hope the day will be a lighter highway
For friends are found on every road
Can you ever think of any better way
For the lost and weary travelers to go
Making friends for the world to see
Let the people know you got what you need
With a friend at hand you will see the light
If your friends are there then everything’s all right
It seems to me a crime that we should age
These fragile times should never slip us by
A time you never can or shall erase
As friends together watch their childhood fly


Passing On Stories Worth Remembering

Since I can remember I have always been interested in “stories”. I think it is fundamentally something that must be in our DNA from our ancestors. Years before there was a way to communicate in written form, wise men from tribes would pass down  to the younger members the most important stories about their history, about lessons learned.

We all have personal stories we want to pass on to others. It is the life blood of social networks and certainly of this wonderful WordPress blogging forum.  So much to tell. We all want stories in our lives that are meaningful. Sometimes they are and other times they may be less than profound. It may be that they are meaningful only because of the very perspective you have at the time, the personal eye in which events happened.

Other times they are lessons learned that we need to pass on, if only to provide others the opportunity to know about the past, or to find their own way, or to make sure they miss some of the perils that lie ahead for their own lives.  So that was my intention; to tell my kids everything I can about the things that could be important to them. To make them realize that they don’t have to make the “exact” same mistakes I did (even though they will ironically do it anyway).

So years from now, when I have succumbed to the end that faces us all, I hope and wish that my children will have stories for their children and the people around them. They will marvel that many of them were stories that had roots from their father, or that in retrospect were those things they had so passively listened to and filed away and finally they could apply.

Hopefully some of those stories stick, like one of those richly good novels that are fondly recalled. Perhaps like the story that made time stand still for even a seconds pause to be embraced by the generation ahead.

What are your stories? What are the things that you want to pass on that are worth remembering?

A song about “remembering” 🙂

Triggering Memories

Memories are a good thing. You don’t want to dwell on them every minute of every day, but they signify who you are.

Music Notes

There was a time the other day when I was listening to some music on “shuffle” on my audio system while doing some work around the house. I love the shuffle idea actually, since I have so many songs on my hard drive. I just hit the play button and it shuffles around the 23,000 songs I have.

Some times it means I am having to fish for my remote and move it ahead when something just doesn’t mix right with my mood, but more often I am surprised at what it picks and even what I own.

But there were a couple of songs in a row that truly triggered memories I had long since tucked away. Not like I was trying to suppress them ( and I am sure some psychologist would say I was), but they were just far enough in the past that they hadn’t passed my mind. Those memories were rich with things that made my adolescence a composite memory of joy and wonder

Like I said, I don’t make a chore of sitting in front of old pictures ( not that I have very many from my teen years, since we didn’t have a phone/camera in our pocket those days). I don’t have much time these days to reflect on the past very often, and have come to cherish the present and what it can bring.

But there are those times, when a smell, or something someone says, or a TV program or movie, or some picture can jog memories that have long since been filed.  Some are melancholy and some are even more painfully sad, and others are rich with thoughts of time long since passed. It’s good to know they are still “in there” somewhere- in my head.

Do you have that happen to you? Maybe I am an exception, but I think I am not alone.

You Can Never Go Back

Lately I have found myself with the chance to visit with old friends I haven’t seen in ages. It has been an absolute joy. The echoes of the remembrances are fun to hear, and I have realized they have so much importance in who I am today.

But as much fun as it is to look at the past and enjoy the things that made that time special (although it didn’t always seem that special at the time), just can’t help thinking about the adage ” You can never go back” Stairs To Climb

That isn’t a bad thing, if you did go back in time knowing what you know now, it would certainly be different. If you went back to the present day friends and haunts from the past, it wouldn’t be the same either. Yes, it is okay to visit and capture those memories and have a chance to relive some of the experience. But in the long-run you will out stay your welcome – reality comes back and you would notice you are older (but hopefully wiser) – maybe a bit more jaded and less willing to accept the things that may not have bothered you in the past.

  • So as my wife and I have said to our kids often enough, be sure to be facing forward in your life, look for the next opportunity to grow in your life, spiritual growth, and all of the things that you can reach for.
  • Don’t forget who you are either, It is that past that brought you here. You cannot discard it like it didn’t happen, you lived it and it served you as well as it could. You made good decisions, experienced bad ones, had some luck and misfortune along the way.
  • Take nothing for granted, life is short and you need to wrap yourself in all of what it is- past, present and future. But you can’t ever go back and have it be the same,.. but the future is left to be written.

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