Name: Gene

Where We Met: In the delivery room

Currently Live: Southern California

Occupation: Superintendent/Business Owner/ Mr. Fix-It

To the other half of my genetic contributor, dear ol’ dad, Gene. It’s funny to me because for most of my life I have always identified myself with my dad. Not necessarily my personality or emotional identity- always, though my physical identity. It seemed that I rarely looked like anyone in my family. . but the things I did recognize like my eye shape, skin tone, my build, they came from him or his side of the family. Now it almost seems ridiculous because the older we all get the more I see the crazy mix of genetics that we all are and we are all starting to look more and more alike! But still…… I first found myself in my dad.

Although my childhood memories are few and far between I do always remember my dad taking us camping out in the desert to ride motorcycles. Who knows how many times we actually went but I do know that because of those trips I am far more prepared for my life. It wasn’t the luxurious type of camping either… no motor homes in the beginning for us! Camping teaches you a lot of things and not just how to use the bathroom in the wilderness!!! But I truly think it instilled a love for the outdoors. To feel comfortable around the warmth of a campfire watching for shooting stars. To be comfortable with yourself, without showers or blow dryers or make up. To enjoy the quiet, the unplugged, the stillness. It’s crazy to me that some adults have never been camping in their lifetime or that some don’t enjoy it! Maybe that would have been me without my dad!

I always remember him working, inventing or building some crazy contraption. Like a hovercraft, or a home-made go-ped with no breaks, or some suped-up old motorcycle, or a bottle rocket…. or even a long board with a real parachute attached to it. He’s a little crazy and I am often surprised we are still alive without more permanent injuries!! Not to say that I don’t have any battle scars……. but my dad is crazy inventive and incredibly good with his hands, He has surely jerry-rigged almost everything possible but you gotta give the man credit! The guy is a miracle-working, mechanical engineer! Maybe it’s a little “red-neck” at times but it did set the tone for me- a man should use his hands- to build, to fix, to create!!!!

Even though we haven’t always seen eye-to-eye I have to say my dad has helped me through so many situations as I tried my hand at being an independent adult. New tires, AAA phone calls when I locked my keys in the car (multiple times), random over the phone advice whenever I have a mechanical issue, and always a place to crash when I needed a place to land. He has definitely been there to save my butt on multiple occasions. Providing for me and giving me that safety net. And for this I am forever grateful.

The main thing about my dad that has truly impacted me is his absolutely insane work ethic. This man really only has two modes: WORK or SLEEP. Sure he does know how to have fun on the weekends sometimes but outside of that he works every minute he is not asleep. Getting up at the crack of dawn everyday since before I was born, commuting to work, driving home and then working again on the house or the yard. Even to this day, as he is almost 50!!!, he still does the same. It’s either insane or absolutely incredible. Because it’s not just like he goes to some office job, sitting in the nice air conditioning until he gets to drive home again. It’s construction….. manual labor, bouncing/shaking tractors, loud noises, hot temperatures. Day in and day out for so many years. Because of his hard work, I want to work hard too. It has been instilled into me since the beginning!

My dad, has also been a HUGE help to our RV life. He has not only shared his immense amount of knowledge and experience with us, but also poured hours upon hours of labor into our little homes! He has helped with fixing leaks, painting roofs, building racks, welding, putting in floors, fixing latches and things. Always offering, always giving. We definitely wouldn’t be as nearly prepared for this lifestyle without him! Even years into it….. he still teaches us things about our RV that we probably should have figured out a long time ago! Thanks dad!!!!

I am privileged to have him as my dad and incredibly grateful for all that he has provided in the past and all that he continually gives. So here’s to the man who can fix anything, the man who gave me life, dear ol’ dad!

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