I often think of the people in my life that I regard as my teachers and then I try to think of the most important lesson they have taught me.
My father was an important teacher to me. I have decided that the most important lesson he taught me was to finish what you have started. When things get tough and you have started a big project it is good to have an inspirational person to think about.
I was about ten years old when I asked Anders (my dad) if I could paint the fence. It was summer holidays and I was bored. The fence consisted of maybe forty or fifty posts that were painted red with wire between them. He replied
- Of course you can paint the fence. But you have to be aware that if you start painting it I demand that you finish it today.
I was quick to get started. It was a reasonably nice day to paint a fence and it was really fun. I kept at it all day but at the end of the day I was starting to get tired. At the evening meal the job was not finished and I asked if I could continue the following day. Anders said
- I told you at the start so you knew what you were in for, so you have to go out and finish it.
I was not happy. It was really dark when I was on my knees painting the last few posts. I finished the job but never asked to be allowed to paint the fence again.
At the moment I am washing the white picket fence that Dad put up a few years before he died (2008). He sawed every piece himself and I think that even if many pieces now are half rotten we have to keep it a bit longer as a memory of him. It looks a lot better after I have scrubbed it. But I don't know if it is any point spending a lot of money on paint on this old fence. So many stumps and planks are rotting away.
Today I am so happy. The fence consists of 27 parts with 14 pickets on each and I only have three left to wash. By tomorrow the job will be done and Mum and I can have a small celebration. How long it took? Well, if I finish it tomorrow it took me altogether nine days. Feels good to finish a big job.
This is what the fence looks like after cleaning it: