A Good Guide

After my dad passed a few years ago, I took possession of the family collection of photo albums and scrap books, with the solemn promise I’d keep them safe.

It was an easy promise, because I adore all the family artifacts. As a kid, I used to dive into the pages and smile at photos of my hot young mom (she was stunning!) and my young dad (he was geeky!).

My mom was a great scrapbooker so there’s great stuff to look at, including lots of artifacts from when she first moved to Albuquerque back in the 1950’s.

When my mom handed this all over to me, I realized the collection is far larger than I’d ever known, and I’m loving taking time to go through it all. Every time I dive in, I manage to find something I’ve never seen before while I’m in there.

Some of my favorite finds are the handwritten letters, which is such a lost art. You can learn a lot about relatives you never knew by reading their letters.

I have an assignment from a rather important editor (my amazing mom-in-law) to write about my paternal grandmother, and so I was in the family stacks last night doing some research.

That’s when I found this, a letter from my grandfather to my father.

The handwritten bit up in the corner says, “Read weekly, a good guide – Dad”

Here’s what it says:





* *

1. The value of time

2. The success of perseverance.

3. The pleasure of working.

4. The dignity of simplicity.

5. The worth of character.

6. The power of kindness.

7. The influence of example.

8. The obligation of duty.

9. The wisdom of economy.

10. The virtue of patience.

11. The improvement of talent.

12. The joy of originating.

Such simple words that encapsulate such very strong values. This is endearing fatherly advice to a son and it is timeless. This was written in 1949, but is just as applicable 62 years later.

Gives me much to ponder as I wade through another busy work week.

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