Things My Father Taught Me: Christine Mitchell
Northeast Style. It brings to mind the perpetual summer. Chalk red pants, repp stripe ties, and navy blue blazers. Lightweight seersucker dresses, classic penny loafers, and classic beauties. The Atlantic Ocean, the Appalachian Mountains, and Christine Mitchell. We have only met once, in passing at an industry event, and we nervously, excitedly shared our enthusiasm for one another’s sites, but I knew I’d found a kindred spirit. Christine is cool, and her blog reflects that. It is filled with the trappings of a life spent seeking out quality in all things, something her father must have instilled in her from an early age.
My dad is what I like to call a good ol’ New England boy. It’s a term he often endears to younger men he approves of – those who are the good, honest, respectful, and kind Gentlemen of New England. But honestly, he takes the cake on that title. And here are some of the reasons why . . .
He values the important things, like family and the gathering of family. He has an incredible imagination and fed our young minds by reading to us every night before bed and indulging in as many of our childhood fantasies as he could. He can make mean blueberry and apple pies. He knows how to be respectful of others and of himself. He encouraged us to be critical thinkers and have an opinion of our own. He took us out into the outdoors as often as possible. He listened to the best music, from Handel to Earth, Wind, and Fire. He can really cut a rug and is always the first one to the dance floor (a gift I am lucky to say I inherited). He enjoys giving gifts more than receiving them. He taught his children the true entertainment and educational value of classic films, war dramas, and the genre we call “shoot ‘em ups”. He is generous with his heart. He makes sure that we kids know he loves us and is proud of us. He will always remember the last time he said I love you to my brother before he died in an accident at age 19. My brother smiled and said, “I know dad”. He’s a truly stylish guy and never waivers from the classics and what works for him. He looks just as handsome geared up for yard work in Carhartts and a ratty white T as he does dressed up for play in a double-breasted blazer, bow tie, and white bucks. He knows his sports cars, especially British ones, and that cruising in a Jaguar XK 120 or a little MG MGB is the best way to travel. He’s a gentleman in social settings – always the gracious host or guest. He reminds us to remember Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome, “No matter where you go, there you are”. He climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro in his 50s. He is passionate about literature and the classics, a passion he taught me when I was very young (we were discussing the works of Tolstoy, Shakespeare, and Dickens by the time I hit double digits). He encourages us to travel and learn as much as we can and to always pursue our dreams. He has limitless faith in god and in the people he loves. And, to put it quite simply, he loves life.
Not only did my father teach me to adopt these qualities and help me become the woman I am today. He also taught me, his youngest daughter, how important these qualities were in the man I should hope to spend my life with. A man who should by all means be . . . a good ol’ New England boy.