Can you give me a hand?

 Helping Hand Life Lessons

Can you give me a hand? This was the typical question my Dad asked of me.

That question led to numerous adventures, from helping build a house to driving up the Eastern coast to exchanging trucks and everything in between. The work was hard. My inquisitive nature combined with my Dad’s ability and willingness to teach helped me learn the value of quality, honesty, trustworthiness, integrity.

The plumb line and level became my friends. Sixteen inch centers for strength and stability, wiring gauge that exceeded code and other details that are hidden by finished walls taught me to look beyond the pretty “face”. I’ve had six houses built over the span of decades, all with solid bones. Look beyond the surface, whether it is a house, a car or people.

Demand and Capability

Helping my Dad taught me to appreciate capacity and capability. One may have the desire but may not have the knowledge, skill or ability. My Dad bought a house kit and asked me to help. He was a creative man and built a motorized lift, supports, levers and pulleys. It was time to put the roof trusses on and he asked me if I would give him a hand.

I was to hold a rope to steady the truss while he hoisted it up to the roof using one of his creations. I suddenly found myself swinging on the end of a rope, holding on for dear life! My Dad couldn’t hear me over the roar of the motor. He finally saw me swinging from the rope tied to a roof truss suspended about twenty feet in the air. Obviously I lived to tell the tale. [I also believe in guardian angels]


Build this house
Points to Ponder
  • Know upfront what you are committing to do
  • Ask and seek clarity-helps to avoid unintended consequences
  • Know your limitations

2 thoughts on “Can you give me a hand?”

  1. Tonight was filled with laughter and reflection. The pearls of wisdom shared in this blog speaks to the outward culture that we experience but also the menagerie of thoughts and stories that shape who we are as individuals. It seems to me that we the world mirrors and reflects not only who we are but where we are existentially at a given point in time. Plenty of grist for the mental mill shared within this body of work. Eileen speaks truth to power and reinforces that we choose how we react to our surroundings and how we walk through this world.

  2. These stories are great! They are so close to my own childhood relationship with my dad! Makes me smile. Never thought deeply about the lessons and qualities taught though.. nice connection!!

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