I made the five-hour trip from Minneapolis back to my hometown in Wisconsin many times during my college career; a journey that could always be eked out on a single tank of gas.
Whenever I was about to leave home to go back to school, my dad would take my car, vacuum it, and fill up my gas tank. If I decided to leave a day early, he would rush out to make sure my car would be ready for the trip, arranging his schedule to ensure he had the time.
He always did this unceremoniously, and there have been many times I have hopped in the car to the surprise of a full tank of gas. He was always more proud of his vacuum job than of subsidizing my trip.
My appreciation for these acts isn’t about money (though who wouldn’t be psyched for free gas?). No, my appreciation is simply for having a father who has always prioritized his family, and who gets personal satisfaction from his good acts. I can tell he sees these acts not as a burden or an obligation, but as an opportunity to show his love.