My dad and mom had three daughters and I am the one with the power tools. Maybe because I was the oldest, or the only one interested, Dad showed me how to run his power tools. Imagine… a woman that knows how to operate power tools!
This was in the late 60s and I wonder if my dad ever thought of himself as a feminist! It was amazing to me that my father was willing to share this knowledge and it didn’t matter that I was a girl! He showed me how to operate the drill press, grinder, the radial arm saw (my favorite), the table, saber and skill saws.
I would help him when he needed an extra pair of hands when he was trying to fix equipment. It was important to learn the names of different wrenches so that I could hand him the proper one and size when he asked for it. He was a self employed logger in the north woods. Machines and equipment would break daily. I didn’t like getting dirty, but I treasured the time with my dad.
Later in life, there were several times when dad and I would decide to stop at Menard’s or Home Depot and “just look around.” We didn’t’ really have to be purchasing something, we just found it enjoyable to look at what was available, new tools, new supplies for building. Better than being in a candy shop as we use to say!
My dad made his transition to everlasting life this past December. I thought of him when I installed a new rack for the garden hose yesterday. I could do it because Dad taught me. He taught me that I could do the unconventional. Women could do things that had been reserved for men, in the past.
Dad taught me confidence. I could enter a male dominated school and profession, I could adopt a child, I could provide for my family. There was something powerful in learning to operate power tools. I’ll always be grateful to dear dad for his support and encouragement. ©2007