My father, Peter Hugh Hufstader, who died April 19, is remembered warmly as an educator, sailor, good-government activist and friend. He was also, for many years, a dedicated single father and homemaker for my two younger sisters, Tot (Elizabeth) and Alice.

After our parents’ marriage ended, Tot and Alice stayed in Providence with Dad while my brother Chris and I went to live with Mom on the Vineyard. In the early days, my sisters were known collectively as the Little Girls, but that was soon shortened to the L.G., as in “Dad is bringing the L.G. to Woods Hole Friday so Mom can pick them up for the weekend.”

Chris and I would sometimes come home from school to see the L.G. on the Vineyard, or travel to Rhode Island to visit them and Dad. But their day-to-day life with him was a world of their own, unlike any other family we knew.

For one thing, all three went to school together — he as teacher-administrator, they as students never far from his watchful eye. Not only that, he was the only freshman English teacher at their school, meaning they both had to take his class. And while he was not about to show them the slightest favoritism on campus or in grading, vocabulary quizzes at breakfast were a common occurrence.

But there was also plenty of whimsy and joy after the schoolwork — and housework — was done. My sisters remember impromptu jug-band jam sessions with kitchen implements, singing with Dad as he played our grandfather’s old Steinway grand and listening to his dinner-table stories, so hilarious they laughed themselves out of their chairs.

The L.G. teamed up again to share this tribute at Dad’s funeral in Connecticut. Next month, we’ll all gather to spread his ashes on an outgoing tide. But we won’t forget the lessons we learned from P.H.H. This list by Alice and Tot is just a start.

Things Dad Taught Us:

Be on time.

Plan ahead.

Sing in tune.

Good writing comes from good thinking.

Embrace the plain style: Use simple words, and not too many of them, in the right order. And for heaven’s sake, get your commas and apostrophes right!

Mistakes are where the learning happens.

When making an omelet, 12 eggs is too many. Grape jelly is definitely not necessary. See mistakes and learning, above.

Be like Rudyard Kipling’s Rikki Tikki Tavi: When you’re curious about something, run and find out!

Words are fun. Sailing is fun. Music is fun. (Be sure to swing on two and four.) Family is fun.

Killer socks are key.

Grandad’s First Rule of Whittling: Always whittle AWAY from yourself!

Check the weather every day. Keep Eldridge’s Tide & Pilot Book ready to hand. And warn your family members what’s headed their way, even when you’re in Connecticut and they live in California.

When setting marks for yacht racing, favor the pin end by five degrees. It saves the committee boat’s paint.

The answer to the question “Should we reef?” is always YES.

There is power and meaning in knowing your family history.

Tell stories: the funnier the better. Sound effects and comic voices are mandatory.

Eighty-one is not too old to publish your first novel.

Remember birthdays. Share pictures. Write thank-you notes.

Be thoughtful and courteous to everyone, all the time, with no exceptions.

Finally: Always, always, always be there for the people you love.