• Never let the tank get below half
    • To this day I feel as though half a tank is basically empty, and when I was driving across Saskatchewan I stopped at every gas station I saw because who knew when there would be another one.
  • Milkshakes should be thick enough that the straw stands up in the middle
  • Use the best writing implements.
    • Everything he ever wrote to me – including cheques – was done in calligraphy. Really. The lady at the bank loved it.
  • Books are great
    • Books should be read and shared.
  • Politics are important
  • History is important
    • It took Gramps a long time to talk about his time in the Navy, but he did eventually share with us. He also has a fascination with Louis Riel and read a lot on the subject.
  • Family takes care of each other
    • I have letters from the war in which his biggest concern is his youngest brother. When my parents got divorced, he and my grandmother became a second set of parents. They were always there. Always.
  • Learn how to change a tire
    • He taught me just about when he was teaching me how to drive.
  • Chocolate is good
  • A good day out includes a nice drive and ends with ice cream
  • Learn how to use tools
    • He taught me how to build things and when I left home for the first time he gave me my own toolbox with all the basics. Was my Gramps a feminist? Maybe. He had a daughter and three granddaughters and believed we could do anything.
  • Do the things you have to do to take care of your family
    • My grandfather was a gentleman of his age, he went to war, came home and got his degree and started a family and worked for 40 odd years as a public servant..
  • But, do the things you need to do for yourself
    • He also spent his life sketching, doing carpentry projects, reading Dick Francis novels – the only two people I have ever known who read Dick Francis novels are my father and my grandfather, and in his 80s he took up the mandolin again – an instrument his mother had taught him to play when he was a little boy.
  • You don’t have to tell people you love them if you’re constantly showing them.
    • My Gramps was never big on hugging and he didn’t emote much, but he never stopped telling me he was proud of me and he never stopped smiling at my daughter, and he never stopped being there when I needed him the most. I will do everything in my power to do him credit, but he would say I already am.


Me and my Gramps in Peggy’s Cove, 1990

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