Thursday, November 25, 2010

I know I am ahead of the curve, but hoping to head off any more 2010 catastrophes by wrapping things up a little early. I believe it was in her 1997 New Year’s address that Queen Elizabeth said it was a year she “would no look back upon fondly”. 2010 has been my 1997. I don’t know if it is the 20 or the 10, or the combination of the two, but good times, it was not. Sincerest hopes that it was not the 20 or this is going to be a really bad century.

My castle was not ravaged by fire, but with the loss of two uncles, a cousin and my father, let’s just say there have been brighter years on the calendar. Optimistic is a word I would use to describe myself and I try to find the silver lining wherever I can.

It has been a chance to come closer as a family and, we hope, realize that life is short so we better make the most of it. Sorting through dad’s things, I have also stumbled across a few things that have reminded me just how wonderful it was growing up in our family.

While there have been some grumblings about his pack rat ways, the man never met a tuna can he didn’t put soil in and plant a seed, we have found some treasures amongst the ‘trash’.

He kept a reel-to-reel tape recorder that would compete with any jumbo 1980’s VCR in terms of size and a few old tapes of us as children. IronGirl got her hands on it one day after I upset her, probably not justified, and after saying my name, repeatedly stated what a f**k I was. Shocking, but good for a laugh.

We have become cautious about putting things in bins for charity as we have discovered numerous books with money stuffed between the pages. A paper peso from 1945 and a Trinidad and Tobago $1 bill from 1964~ odd since the man was never in either country?

Mother sorted through a huge box of cards that yielded a couple treasures. One year for Christmas, my brother gave my Catholic mother and Presbyterian father a Happy Hanukkah card. I guess he was distracted by the glitter covered poinsettia on the front. You'd think that would have been my excuse. Now, for those that don’t use ‘that’ word in your homes (and you know who you are), skip the next paragraph.

There was a birthday card from my grandmother. It was one of those painted by what we now call a ‘handicapable’ person. But back before being PC was expected, the inscription “Happy Birthday from the retarded people” seems to have been appropriate. Maybe not, but it was in there anyway.

My favourite item to date has been a cassette tape, recorded in the 1980’s based on the boom-box it was found in, that has my dad interviewing his father. He asked him about his life and what growing up on the farm was like. The best story, in my humble opinion, was about his uncle’s prize winning sheep.

It begins with my grandfather saying that ‘motor cars’ were just starting to appear on the roads. One day, he and his brother were given the responsibility of caring for this blue ribbon winner, but as they were bringing it out of the barn, began horsing around and the door slammed on its neck and killed it.

Not wanting to get into trouble, they knocked down a piece of fence and dragged the carcass to the street so it would like the sheep had escaped and been hit by a car. It reminded me of a certain hair gel incident that got my sister into a lot of hot water, courtesy of yours truly. Maybe that was the day she made the recording.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Love this post Bob!

2:12 PM  

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