This morning I went to Steinbach to pick up a bike rack that Shan had found on Kijiji. We figure it will go nice with the new camper and bring our camping game up a couple notches.
I end up at this beauty house just on the outskirts of town and end up meeting this really cool guy and his family out working in the garage. They invite me in for a little look at what they are working on and I am blown away. They make long boards under the name “Honker Boards” and the craftsmanship and branding is incredible. Just looking at the few he has in the garage immediately makes me think I am cool enough to handle one of these things. Tenfold if they are being crafted locally in Steinbach by a guy in his garage, it really doesn’t get any better!
We talked for a bit about some of the ones he is currently working on and possibilities are endless. Custom trucks, colors, wood grain, etc. Anything you would like on it basically. If you think this is something you would be interested in let me know and I will put you in touch. When I get mine we can surf some pavement like it’s 1999.
Wow this girl has done some amazing things this year. Much like she coined the phrase “Danger 4” she has has assured me that being 6 will be just a dangerous. Just last night I was swinging her on the rope swing and swung her so fast that she flew off like she was trying to clear the fence in our back yard! To add insult to injury as I tried to catch her in mid flight the swing came back and smoked her in the face. Oh what will the road to seven look like?
It’s hard to (say it’s sad but true) believe that I may have seen the Tragically Hip Live (between us) for the last time this summer (is killing me).
In an effort to truly appreciate and retain this notion Shan and I bought tickets in both Calgary and Winnipeg. It would be futile to discuss which was the better show because they were both brilliant performances. Everything from the outfits to the playlists. Both performances from the heart and genuine like only Gord and the boys could deliver.
For the Winnipeg show we had some shirts made each with our favorite quotes on them. All 20 or so of us met before the concert at a restaurant and looking around that room at my friends with these shirts on flooded my thoughts with memories of the Hip. Camping with Al, Another Roadside Attractions, looking for Gord with Timmy in the Keystone Centre, Pigeon Camera 20 times at Boston Pizza, that blizzard, the countless concerts with the boys, and skating our hearts out as Three Pistols.
Standing beside Ratte at this one when “Ahead by a Century” came on thinking about how many times I drunk dialed that song for him at concerts when we were apart. In fact I remember when the internet was still a mystery and using Ponch’s 56K modem to download that song when it was brand new so that I could play it back for Ratte over the phone. It took like 9 hours but I stayed up.
On my other side; arm in arm with Shannon swaying back and forth to “Wheat Kings” and singing along. Thoughts of our wedding and how we had to have “Are we Family” as our exit song. Tonight her shirt reads “If a song can’t save us, then nothing can” and tonight I believe that.
Watching Gord, Shan said it felt like she didn’t want to take anymore from him. Like he was giving us what we needed in spite of himself. But I also saw a man doing what he loves to do and in the process saying goodbye to the fans who truly adore him. Imagine being diagnosed with terminal cancer and deciding it was time for one more trip across Canada. It’s pretty amazing really and I’m truly richer for having seen them this summer. When Gord stayed out and waved goodbye to the crowd I felt as if I got to say goodbye too.
Hey can we get a little New Orleans is sinking for Paul Ratte? It’s his birthday!
That is what I wish I could have said to you before you left us. Before you were taken from us again. I hope that the love a person gives to others in their own life comes back to them tenfold. That way I can be sure your jar is full, that you’re taken care of. I don’t know anyone who has loved more than you. I hope you know how much your love meant to me.
The time we spent as kids at grandma’s house will be with me forever. I loved nothing more than falling asleep on your living room floor watching “Matt Houston”, “Knot’s Landing” and staying up late enough to see who shot J.R. on “Dallas”. In the morning we made cinnamon buns and drank the weird tasting orange juice you always had in the fridge. In the summer it was Pic-A-Pop and you took us to the pool and “Pete’s” for a special treat. In the winter you tied my skates and warmed me up with kid tea after a full day of hockey on the outside rink. I’m pretty sure I ate your spaghetti 1400 times over countless weekends and each time you seemed more happy to see us. Not just me…but Marcy, Tracy, Kristy, and Jody. But I was always your favorite grandson.
When Mom was sick you were there to take care of us. I remember you walking me to birthday parties and breaking up street hockey games to get me in for dinner.
Once I was old enough I started riding my bike to the Dudley house. Mostly just to get a reaction out of you and chat over tea. Not long after that I was mobile and we could go to lunch, shopping, and take in the odd movie here and there. Erin came into my life and you were like a second grandma for her. I loved seeing you with her.
Every person who came into my life got to meet you. Al especially, he loved that you always him David from “Roseanne”.
If you would have asked me what I wanted to be back when I was a little boy running around eating dandelions and turning off grandpa’s TV I probably would have said “hockey player” or something like that. Instead today I find myself helping kids working as an EA just like you did at Grosvenor School all those years ago. I’m a lot like you and for that I can’t thank you enough.
You always had a special love for Shannon and my girls. Words cannot express how grateful I am that Lexi and Ashlyn got to spend even a short time with you. They love their great granny very much.
I feel like I have been carrying so much weight these past few months. No, it’s not that Five Guys kind of weight (well that too) it’s life weight. Things revolving around work, money, the kids, my wife, my family, and the future. Lot’s of things that I feel like I can’t control…things that are controlling me. I’m working hard to take some of those things back and it’s really started with being more positive about things and distributing that life weight.
In my life, I have given a fuck about many people and many things. I have also not given a fuck about many people and many things. And those fucks I have not given have made all the difference.
The more I read, the more it made sense. As a parent I am constantly doing my best to ensure that my kids give less fucks.
What we don’t realize is that there is a fine art of non-fuck-giving. People aren’t just born not giving a fuck. In fact, we’re born giving way too many fucks. Ever watch a kid cry his eyes out because his hat is the wrong shade of blue? Exactly.
Someone took away your toy? Not what you wanted for dinner? Other kids not sharing? You got called a bad name? It seems from birth we start building or should I say tearing down the emotional intelligence to D.G.A.F.
If you are offended by the word “fuck” you may not enjoy this article. I sure did.
This weekend we got to honor the man who makes Sunday hockey what is has been for the last 22 years of my life. Without him, it doesn’t happen and without him there it isn’t the same. We have become best of friends over the years and it was a pleasure to be a part of this. Love ya buddy. Big thanks to Gavin and all the guys who were eager to contribute. It’s great to have friends like this.