Saturday, June 02, 2007

Daddy Dearest


My father's hobby is having hobbies. You think I'm kidding, but I'm not. In fact, I think I would say that my father's hobby has mutated in the last few years into buying things on e-bay for his hobbies. Lest you think I'm criticizing, I want to say that all of this was quite fun for us as children. Not everyone gets to use beaver skins to cover their playhouse on rainy days. Now, what my mother thinks about it....you'll just have to ask her. And Dad always shops sales, too, so the amount of money he has spent is really not at all what it could have been. I would imagine that a man who likes to golf has easily spent more money on that than my Dad has on....well, you'll see.

He was a boy scout as a youth, and all those nature/man-of-the-woods hobbies have always interested him. When he became a preacher he also worked with our churches' boy's program, which was very similar to the boy scouts, and involved many camp-outs and Frontier-man type events for the leaders. When I was little we shot bow and arrows, threw tomahawks and knives, and even helped my father tan hides; all in our backyard. Yes, the neighbors thought we were loony, thanks for asking. We had one neighbor who rushed his kids inside when we started throwing tomahawks. It was hilarious. The other kids threw with us.

When Dad was in an archery phase, there would be bowstrings, shooting gloves, extra strings...he even made his own arrows once, which means feathers, sticks, metal for arrowheads, a fletching kit...you get the picture. He also made his own outfit for the Buckskinner stuff he did, so we had bead looms, beads, leather, and a tackle-box full of leather-working tools. Not to mention all the blackpowder rifle paraphernalia. I knew how to load and shoot a blackpowder rifle before I had the slightest clue what to do with a basketball. Dad even had/has a bag made of deer skin and a real powder horn. I thought all of this was normal as a child. Explains a lot, doesn't it?

And then there's fishing. Let me just tell you about fishing gear. My father has about 17 fishing poles. That's not an exaggeration. He has tackle boxes full of spinners, bait, flies, lures. He's really into fly-fishing right, now, so I'm surprised he doesn't have tie flying kits out on the table. He probably does. It's not that he goes out to buy all these things either. It's just that when something is on clearance, he gets it. He'll also find poles and such at pawn shops or garage sales.

There's also back-packing and camping, and all the gear that would go with that. Whenever I or my friends want to go camping, we know who to ask for a stove, lantern, water purifier, survival kit...you get the idea. It fills a set of shelves in the basement.

When Dad finds a new food he likes, he does it right. For instance, Turkish coffee. My mother now has an entire shelf in her kitchen full of tiny Turkish coffee makers, little cups and all the other things required for this tiny, yet apparently very complicated, drink. Then it was rice. I think maybe it's still rice, because that's fairly recent. There's a bamboo rice steamer up in the cabinet, an automatic rice cooker (which he got for Christmas, in his defense)and the coolest little chopstick sets with special rests and dipping bowls.

And then there's books. Oh my, the books. My father cannot pass up a library sale, and his books reflect his various interests. When we were teenagers, and had begun to realize how unique my father was, we would read through the titles on just one shelf and stand in awe at the variety. Someday I'll do a Thursday Thirteen of a representative sample. Because Dad is a preacher, he also has an office full of commentaries and all sorts of reference books and such. He shops for antique books on e-bay, and has actual pages from some very, very old religious texts.

I haven't listed all of Dad's interests. Not by a long shot. Many of them can be categorized with the Buckskinning/Camping paraphernalia, but really deserve categories of their own, like the beadwork and leather work. There was also a time when Dad collected old cameras, boating kits, airplane kits, and I'm sure I'm missing things that Mom could add.

I have to add that Dad has passed his hobby jumping and mini-obsessions on to me. When I'm interested in something, I head to amazon.com and get books about it. I go to the library and research it, I go to Wal-mart and buy the gear, I get those looks from my husband...the kind Mom gave Dad. Ah well. Everybody's got to have a hobby. Right Daddy?

4 comments:

lilibeth said...

Well yes, you did miss a few: beekeeping; houseboating--and buying plans for building your own houseboat; collecting nice tools for the garage--which are used occasionally, but not enough to warrant the numbers. (Honestly, how can you use a drawer full of tape measures?);collecting ancient models--Hebrew, Roman, and Greek--of weapons, tools, and temples. And yes, he does have a nice fly-tying kit (about the size of a sewing machine) and it's not out on the table only because I keep returning it to a shelf in the closet.

Myrna said...

Oh my, do you mean that there are actually people out there who do NOT have lots of hobbies and miniature obsessions??? Just the thought of it is frightening...
:-) :-) :-)

Qtpies7 said...

My husband goes through hobbies! He was obsessed with dragons, then it was comic books, then it was paintball, drawing, hunting, video games, computer games, bow hunting, owls. As soon as he has everything he needs, he moves on. He's gone back to paint ball, by buying all the stuff, but NOT playing. The kids are into it, though. I sold his comics for a nifty little penny and funded an overseas trip for me and 3 kids!
I do rotate craft hobbies, but I think its at least all CRAFTS, you know? haha! But I gave all that up because its a pain with little kids around.

Scribbit said...

Your father reminds me of my brother Luke, he's the kind that begins to obsess about things and goes crazy then finds a new idea a little while later.