Heritage Handy Works is only in its infancy, however it has been in the making for many years. To get an idea of what makes me tick and has led me to start Heritage, hell even the name Heritage you have to look at my father. I’ve been following my father around for my entire life. Sometimes not a willing tag along but none the less tagging right along with him.
My father would tell you that he is not a good teacher when it comes to me. He would tell you that he always just expected me to be able to do something because I had seen him do it once, or because he had in his sometimes less than thorough way given me some cryptic instructions as to what he wanted done. There were times that even basic instructions were not provided, just pointing and grunts.
I would counter this saying that my Dad was the ultimate teacher.
First, he took me along, ALWAYS! Never did I hear the words “no you can’t come” or “you’re too little”. As I said earlier even when I got to a stage that I didn’t always want to go to the shop or hardware store I was “made” to go. Let me explain this a little further as it is such a huge part of not just how I try to be with my children but who I am to the core. This seemingly simple thing of including me in everything he did shaped me profoundly. I spoke to adults as an adult from the beginning which helped me communicate and be communicated to. I learned to listen, I learned to watch and most importantly I learned to try. I also learned what it meant to dedicate yourself to your child. In my humble opinion the single most important job we have as a parent is to dedicate ourselves to them.
Secondly, he threw me into the fray. Nothing was off limits to me. Seriously NOTHING. I learned to drive by the time I was 5 so that I could pull the truck over to where he was working. I had my own chainsaw (and the expectation that it be put to work) by the time I was 10. I ran the circular saw, drills everything and anything at a very early age. He taught me to use hand tools not just the things that make noise. He let me wire outlets, cut lumber, measure items, pound nails, tear stuff apart and put it back together. Through it all he never yelled at me for an honest mistake and never let me dwell on a failure. Scrap or save it but move on. This is also a huge part of who I am. I believe that my Dad knew that I had to learn this way instinctively, he always understood that I learned best from doing. Probably because he is the exact same way. This can be a blessing and a curse but it’s who I am thanks to him.
Thirdly, he took time to play. True our “play” changed over the years but it was and still is play to this day. Part of the reason I have such an extensive knowledge of tools is because of my father and thus my love for hardware stores. I’m not talking about the Home Depots, although the big boxes stores have a certain allure, nothing can compare to an old school hardware store with a glass counter, old tools on the wall and nails in bins. Sadly these are a dying breed but that is a topic for another time. My father purchased a hardware store in a tiny town when I was a toddler. My formative years were spent in that store. Most people understand how much time it takes to run a business, however my father would take time out and spend hours with me in the patio section of the store which magically turned into our fort when we would play Cowboys and Indians with our cap guns and Cowboy hats. Thankfully this was during a more innocent time when people would just wait for him to finish our imaginary gun fight before requesting his assistance with whatever they needed from him. This attention never wavered throughout my life. From becoming a Scoutmaster even though he had never been a Boy Scout to coaching my baseball teams to just walking through junkyards or hardware stores with me.
Fourth, he led. From having the courage to start his own business to being a sensitive and caring father in a time that did not require him to be one. To showing me it is ok to fall, just remember to stand back up. More often than not he led through actions, which as well all know speak louder than words.
I could go on and on, but fast forward to more recent times when you would think I would be taking fewer cues from him I find myself taking more and more from his teachings when it comes to being a father. So when my daughter was born and I stood there holding her for the first time I knew things needed to change, I needed more time with her, I needed to be more involved, more everything my father was for me. Sadly I missed allot of that with my sons. I try to make up for lost time with Ethan, the one son still living at home but gone forever are the days of him running up to me when I get home from work just wanting to be in my arms or to play with me a game only he understands. Not understanding how fleeting those days are is one of my biggest heartaches.
So, Erin and I have spent the last 5 years and have pushed REALLY hard the last 2 years putting our plans in motion to allow me the freedom to leave a well paying, secure job and to toss it aside and strike out on my own. True, I will probably have less money and fewer material things but one thing I will have is time to create. Time to create memories with my wife, with my children, with my parents and family and yes just to create things. No amount of money can purchase that, nor can it be taken away.
So with all of the lessons my father taught me and the support from my ultimate cheerleader and partner, my wife Erin and with my desire to lead a more rooted life, I give you Heritage Handy Works.