Under the Influence of Chris

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“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”This famous quote by Maya Angelou speaks to the impact that human beings have on one another. My uncle, Chris, is someone who has had a big impact on my life. I feel that he is the measure of what a human being should be because those who know him best always benefit from being around him. He is able to problem solve, have fun while staying in good health, and get down to work when the time arises. Overall, he is the type of person who is willing to share his knowledge with others, and hopes people will make better decisions or improve because of his positive influence.

One positive quality Chris possesses is the ability to solve problems and repair items that are broken. Over the past few years, I have broken many things – some big and some small. Luckily, Chris has been there to repair those things. For instance, he has fixed my bike several times, he fixed my dad’s car, fixed my snowmobile, and much, much more. Chris is always prepared for something to happen; especially when you are in the middle of nowhere. He brings his tool bag plus other various “fixer” items everywhere he goes. He even carries tools when he travels to see customers; just in case they need their equipment repaired. Whenever he is putting something together or he is repairing an object, he lets me come over and help. Obviously, these are some of my favorite times.

Equally important, Chris has a great love and passion for the outdoors. There is never a day when he doesn’t want to be either mountain biking, running the Whitefish Trail or preparing for the next triathlon. Every time I go to his house, he is outside with his two girls, C and K, riding bikes, or showing them how to do tricks on the trampoline, which he calls “Trampoline Olympics”. Every once in awhile, I drive up to Big Mountain with him and ride bikes down the mountain for a few hours. Sometimes in the winter, we go snowmobiling from our house to the summit at Big Mountain. He wants to go wherever the machines will take us. Clearly, some of these activities are dangerous, but I know that my uncle is always prepared.

Finally, I admire the fact that Chris knows when to take things seriously and when to have fun. He spends his weekdays running the production at Total Label USA, LLC. During work hours, he can be found cleaning the floors, running one of the presses, or calling on customers. He wears many different hats when he is in “serious” mode, and no job is beneath him. At work, he takes the time to show any employee that will listen how to run the machines and how to repair them. However, when the business closes for the evening, you can find him racing home, usually on his 4-wheeler or snowmobile, to eat dinner and play outside. Sometimes I think he has more energy than I do. Assuredly, he doesn’t know I’m watching him tackle each day as if it is the best day of his life, but I’m taking mental notes on how to “have it all” when I get older.

Even though I am only fourteen, I don’t know what people do without someone like Chris in their lives. I am lucky enough to have my uncle next door at all times; he lives next door and works across the field from my house. Often, when we are together, we have so much fun that I forget that he is 37 years old. He is that person that I don’t want to let down. He is my mentor and my friend, and he probably doesn’t know it. The things that come naturally to him are important life lessons for me. He continually displays his coolness and meticulousness to me, and I am in awe. It is to my amazement that we share the same name: Farris. It’s my first and his last. It is a name to be proud of.





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