On December 3rd, I will be participating in the 2nd Annual Hockey Helps the Homeless Winnipeg Tournament, raising awareness and funding for 3 very deserving local homelessness support agencies in Winnipeg. RAY Youth Centre, Willow Place, and Red Road Lodge.
Each player in the tournament has a minimum goal of $500 to get on to the ice. I am lucky enough to have the support of GB Agencies to help me reach my initial goal of $500 but I am pushing for $1000 total to go above and beyond. If this is something you might typically support I can tell you that all the money raised stays in Winnipeg and there is a tax receipt for all donations $25 and over.
If you’re like me, I never support these things unless the person asking has also made a donation. You won’t see my name on my list of supporters (maybe Shan’s), but I have already donated to a team member and will likely support another to reach their target.
I am very excited about the event and look forward to being out with good friends, for a great cause, playing the game we love. I can’t promise any goals on the ice, but we all get a win with your assist!
My dad used to do this thing at the dinner table that is literally burned into my memory. After supper, he would always have a cup of hot tea. He’d bring it back to the table, add a little milk and sugar, and give it a little stir. Then he would randomly pull out the burning hot teaspoon and casually rest it on my arm or hand until I noticed. I would scream and then we would all laugh. It never got old and this went on well into my adult years.
Family is everything to my dad and he would do anything for us. He used to “tuck us in” at night and if I was cold he would lie across my blankets until they warmed up and was careful not to crush me. We had meetings in the bathroom that mom and Marcy would just never understand and despite a nagging back issue I always had someone to throw the ball with. I remember being like 11 years old playing football in the front yard with my friends and my dad was returning a big kick-off. He pumped a couple of fakes, juked left when he should have juked right, and then down on the grass hard. I remember him lying there on the grass holding his knee when I heard the front window slide open and my mom pressing her face up against the screen – “yooooooou aaaaaaasshole!” she said.
I watched him like a hawk on the weekends doing yard work on that double lot we used to have on Handyside. Mowing that football field of a yard dripping sweat and then still making sure to do the Thorpes. He also did their walk in the winter and made sure the public sidewalk was clean in front of our house. He looked after people like nobody I have ever known and always put the needs of others before his own.
During my glory days, I played hardball for Glenwood CC with the likes of Riel, Clarke, Dowhy, Boychuck, and Serridilla. I used to pitch some games and my dad would find a spot tucked right behind the umpire and every time I was locked into a full count with a batter, or 2 strikes in, I could hear him yell “THAT’S THE ONE…” as soon as I launched off the mound. Didn’t matter what I threw, the batter would swing and I had so many strikeouts that year. Guys on the team always wanted to ride with us after the game because he would take us all for Slurpees! I come by that naturally.
We never had a lot of money but I don’t remember ever going without. I don’t know how many quarters he gave me growing up to play video games at George’s Burgers at the end of the street (enough to finish Double Dragon and master Karate Champ). He even took us to the Ex every year and we all know what a rip-off that can be. He replaced every hockey stick I ever broke. I sometimes found money in my jeans before school if I needed something off the grid. School supplies were sponsored by Manitoba Hydro and we had all the colors of white-out.
Relationships were his currency and friendships were gold. He would do anything for his people and it seemed like they were always there for him. The furnace is broken? He called a friend. Need a sidewalk poured? He called a friend. Need a tree cut down? The list goes on. It wasn’t until I was older and I would walk into a place to rent a tool and they would see my last name and ask if I was related to Brian Peever. “Just take it…” they would say, “your dad does a lot for us”. When I went for my driver’s test I was met by this huge man who would be taking me on my road test. When it was complete, he said I did really well and started to fill out my paperwork. “Peever?” he said. “Are you related to Brian Peever by chance?” – Then he went on to tell me about a time some guy was giving him a hard time at a pool hall and my dad stepped in. Told me he was badass back in the day and I was like “my dad?”. Sweetest guy I know!
When I say he would do anything for Marcy and me, it was almost to a fault. You almost had to watch what you said around him because he would always want to help. One time I told him I really liked his new padded toilet seat and a couple of days later I came home after work to find ours had been replaced. He would pop into our house while we were at work to “let the dogs out” he would say. Sometimes it was multiple times a day and we always came home to a tidy house with dishes put away and kitchen swept. All the poop in the yard was taken care of. In the summer he would mow the lawn and in the winter he would clear the driveway the best he could. It didn’t matter how many times we told him not to bother. One time we were heading out somewhere and we saw Papa in his car at the stop sign at the corner. We gave him a wave as we drove off and I said “I wonder where Papa is going?” and without missing a beat Ashlyn said, “he’s probably going to clean our house!”.
He would leave the girls treats and little messages. When Lexi started coming home for lunches he started bringing her McDonalds on Fridays so they could have a little visit. He loved the dogs and they loved seeing him even on weekends when he dropped in with donuts the dogs would go bonkers and he would pull something out of his pockets for them. In fact, when we were going through his things I opened up the top drawer on his dresser and there was a sock toy ready to go for them. It was just like him to leave something behind for “his puppies”.
He used to pull up in the driveway and pop his hatch and he would have all kinds of things in there. Stuff that people had given him, or things that he had for other people. It could be anything! “You need a vacuum?” and he would pull one out of the back of his car. When he would take Marcy shopping he would wait in the car and drive around the lot looking to see what people forgot in their carts. “You’d be amazed what I have found in carts…” he would tell me, “will you guys eat these pizza pops?”.
My dad was a guardian angel to so many people. If I believed in all that stuff I would say he was put on this earth to take care of people. He told me about how he used to look after his grandpa Bannister when he was battling cancer. It seemed like such a huge responsibility at such a young age. As a kid, we would go to visit my grandma Phillips and he had such great banter with her. He affectionately nicknamed her “Shorty”. When she was in the care home fighting dementia he used to visit her at least a couple of times per week and would do things like trim her nails and comb her hair. Maintained her dignity and I always thought about how special their bond was. I went with him often to visit Art and Tilley and after Art passed away he would often check in on Tilley to make sure she was doing well. He would often drive Marcy to bingo where he met Lil and he soon became a friend and caregiver for her as well. Driving her to appointments and taking her shopping became a part of his regular routine. He took care of people, that’s what he did.
He took care of my mom for many years and saw her through her aneurysm and knee surgery. Taking on the cooking and cleaning for two as she continues her battle with fibromyalgia. He loved her unconditionally through all 50+ years of blissful marriage. He would visit Marcy almost every day and would bring her coffee and take her out to run errands, buy lottery tickets, and just hang out. He was my “go-to” if I forgot my lunch or Ashlyn needed dry clothes at school because she “fell in a puddle”. He spent nights sleeping on my couch while we were away so that the dogs wouldn’t be alone overnight. He was always there and you don’t even realize how much you take that for granted.
When we realized he had cancer it was all so sudden. None of us were prepared. He put on a brave face for all of us in true dad fashion and took it head-on. He continued to make his rounds, oxygen in tow until he was physically unable to do so. His independence was everything to him because without it he felt like a burden. It was our time to take care of him and he would hardly let me drive him to his radiation appointments. His sisters and family were there for him sending love and food and he would say “you don’t have to do that.”. He never wanted people to fuss over him. The day before he passed he got in his car and drove over to Marcy’s place for a drop-in just like any other day. For some reason, this time he stayed for a couple of hours and Marcy made them both breakfast. The following night he fell asleep in his chair watching TV and never woke up. Independent to the end, just how he would have wanted it.
I found a book I gave him for fathers day 10-15 years ago and it was the kind that gives you a sentence and you have to fill in the blanks. On page 32 I found this…
In my teens, my dad used to take me to Garry’s Billiards on Pembina for some good father-son time. From what I understand he used to spend a lot of time (and money) at the pool hall in his teens and it was there he taught me how to play Snooker. One of the things he said to me while lining up a shot I will never forget. He said…
“It’s not what you take, it’s what you leave.”
Looking back now I can see this is as much about Snooker as it is about life.
Heaven is a better place today and it seems like I have been saying that a lot lately. More and more peever.org is quickly becoming my personal obituary. Maybe more of a place to remember people in my life that will always be missed.
I hardly even remember the year I met Walter Gretzky (pre kids). We were planning a trip to visit our good friends Mel and Jeff in Wellesley for New Years and Jeff promised to take me to see the house where Gretzky grew up.
I remember being really nervous for some reason too. When we first arrived Jeff pulled up to the house and parked out front and we all just stared out the window of the car. Jeff was egging me to get out so that I could get my picture taken in the front driveway. There was some hesitation but I finally got out and I think I was taking one of Shan when Walter stepped out on the front steps and politely asked “Hey whatcha doing?”
Of course, we didn’t know what to say and asked his permission to take a couple of photos in front of the house. It wasn’t cell phone days so we had the old school cameras and Jeff’s was as big as Walter’s mailbox. He must have thought we were the press!
Next thing we know Walter invites us into the house “for a visit”. It’s all a blur after that but I do recall sitting in the living room “visiting” and I tried to tell Walter the story of when I met Wayne in Toronto, in his restaurant and Walter wasn’t having any of it. “Wayne who?” he said. Then he told us all about his golf game the other day and this one drive that went for days.
He showed us around the house a little bit and introduced us to Glen who I think may have been just visiting. Glen wasn’t very happy to see us and said something like “…he does this all the time…just don’t take anything” – which is funny because Jeff and I were both eyeballing the TV guide with the Gretzky address sticker on the cover. WHAT? They were just going to throw it out anyway!
We thanked Walter for having us and insisted that we should be on our way and not take up any more of his time. Before we left he insisted that we get some photos around his Christmas tree with Santa. He orchestrated the shots for all of telling us where to stand and seemingly enjoying the whole experience. Then he suggested we finish up the pictures we started outside and posed for a couple out there.
Sidenote: Since that day I have heard all kinds of stories like this so I know I am not special. But Walter is. To say he was GREAT is an understatement.
Last night Shan called me at work to let me know that the air conditioner wasn’t working. First question I asked was “what is the temperature in the house?”
“28” she said.
I called Nolan because he always has a guy. I thought maybe one of our hockey guys might be in the business.
By the time I got home, it was 30. Seemed warmer than outside actually. I checked the breaker, the thermostat, and then I had to call someone. I called Glenn Luff from East St. Paul Mechanical. I met him when my furnace died a couple of winters ago. He came highly recommended by Scott Sullivan and did a great job sorting us out. He went as far as to show me some common things that I could do the next time my furnace was acting up. Awesome guy.
Anyway Glen ran me through a few things to see what was going on over the phone. By this time it was Friday at almost 8pm. Nothing open and nothing going to be open until Monday unless you want to pay for an emergency call. He talked me through how to test the thermostat and make sure it wasn’t that. Then he showed me how to take the thermostat off and give it a little jump start using a wire or paperclip. Still nothing. At the end of the call he said to remove the disconnect so there was no power going to the unit and check the capacitor. If it looks like a can drink in the freezer (top rounding out) then it’s blown.
He was a huge help. When I got off the phone I looked “aircon capacitor” and came across one of the best how-to video’s I ever saw. I actually had to stop what I was doing and go show Shan this video:
Opening my air conditioner I could see the capacitor was blown right away and took it out. It was already 8:35PM and by the time I hit Canadian Tire and Home Depot I was almost out of options.
In my car I Googled “Capacitor Winnipeg” and a list came up and most had a big red “Closed” by the link. Apex Heating & Air Conditioning on Berrydale came up and since it was nice and close I thought I would at least call and leave a message. Someone actually answered but was already at the lake for the weekend. He asked me to send him a picture of my capacitor and said he would get back to me. On my way home he called and said he had found one in Windsor Park that I could buy. I basically went to a guy’s house and he went out to his truck and gave me the part and even showed me how to test it.
I was really impressed at how much these companies were willing to help me fix this. None of them gained from it. I even checked if what I paid for the capacitor was what they actually cost and it was less than the ones I pulled up. It made me want to do a shout out to these guys in the game.
If you need help with your air-conditioner let me know maybe I can help. If not I can put you in touch with one of these awesome companies.
My parents came over and I got to see my dad without a mask on for the first time in about 3 months. Of course, we have been keeping our distance in the wake of Covid-19. My parents aren’t as young as they used to be and I don’t have to go too far to feel what it’s like to be missing a parent.
My dad and I sat down and looked at some old photos I have on my computer. It was great to see him get excited about some of the family shots I have from back when he was young. There were a few of my Auntie Nancy and we talked about how much we miss her. She was a wild spirit, the second youngest of his siblings, and we all had a special connection with her.
This is my favorite. Apparently this is a Peever family vacation and it just so happens my Grandpa Vic used to travel with boxing gloves in his car (go figure). I imagine Nance was always eager to get the gloves on for a little mid-morning tilt!
Things I love about this photo:
My Grandpa’s shoes, damn those are sweet kicks.
The fact that he carries boxing gloves in his car.
I love how he is right into this action like he’s scoring Tyson VS Holyfield.
My dad in the background watching like it’s just another day at the Peever house.
The smile on Nancy’s face throwing that hard left.
My dad said she mopped the floor with this kid.
Happy Father’s day to all the great parent’s out there.
I have been looking through my photos so that I could post some memories here and came across this beauty. It was taken by a digital camera with a timer because I am sure I wouldn’t set my phone on those rocks.
In this picture I was just 3 days into my marriage and coming down from one of the most incredible nights of my life. Shan and I booked a cabin at Otter Falls for a couple of days, the poor man’s honeymoon in my eyes. I still feel kind of bad for her in that regard. We had a great time, and it was exactly what we needed, but she would have loved to be on a beach somewhere tropical. A trip you could tell your girlfriends about when they get all drunky and ask “So…where did you go on your honeymoon?”.
Girls be like, Pinawa…damn!
It was a shitty little cabin, with a shitty little hot tub in it that I think pumped in water from the lake. We drank, we laughed, and we slept. Most of all we just loved hanging out together and that is a memory I want to keep around. We still love to hang out together but it’s not the same. Those were just simpler times and they are memories that I cherish. One day I will take Shan somewhere nice and even though she is paying for it I will declare it our second honeymoon! The way things are going I would settle for a little Blue Lake this summer. Fingers crossed.
PS: I still wear those dumb Elvis glasses 14 years later but my oldest just rolls her eyes at me when I do.
I should really remember more about this night because it wasn’t that long ago…was it? I know that Shan went hard to the paint planning this celebration. It was themed to be all of my favourite things and people all wrapped into one amazing night. Shan made cookies, there was a nacho bar, and everyone who showed up brought Jager or a gift card for Five Guys! It was heaven.
I remember at one point Gould and Shan did some kind of 80’s themed karaoke. I will have to search for that photo of them all dressed up and delivering the Bon Jovi! Joel and I did Humpty Dance on camera too and I remember talking to Evelina about it the next week at work! She was telling me how much she loved my friends.
Ratte came in for it and him, Al, and I went out looking for “snaps”. The day of any big night it wasn’t uncommon for us to go to Value Village and scour the racks for snaps (shirts with snap buttons). Drinking shirts basically. As you can tell by the photo on this particular day we were hugely successful. Ratte also spent like $80 on groceries to build Caesars that night. I remember they had veggies and wings hanging off them!
At the end of the night, close to when this picture was taken there was just a few of us left. Shan had taken the kids to her mom’s so it was just me and few guys. I remember she had made this Batman themed birthday cake that we devoured at 2am with our bare hands like animals.
I have gone through some photo albums in isolation and have decided that I am going to post some memories here.
I found this beauty from Ponch’s stag. I can’t even tell you the year but I do remember starting this night with BBQ, beers, and poker with friends. The rest is a little blurry.
From what I recall Drew chartered a bus (driven by his aunt) that picked us up at Ponch’s house. She took us on a bar tour and we able to drink on the bus and it was a gong show. I mean music, and guys dancing and yelling. Ponch was wearing some rubber breasts on top of his shirt. That kind of night.
This picture was taken at a bar downtown somewhere. I don’t know which one but at the time there was a salsa bar on the second floor. I know this because Tyler and I went up there and I remember dancing with a group of people up there and getting unnaturally sweaty.
I love this picture because:
Porter looks like Steve Fewster was there.
My “I love Humpday” shirt still fit.
I had a Brahama in my hand.
Timmy G, Gilles, Ponch, Tyler, Porter look as drunk as I do.
Tyler made it to this particular stop.
The last stop of the night was Teasers and I don’t remember much other than returning to the bus at closing time and realizing Tyler never even got off the bus. There he was sleeping in the idiot seat. A term I would soon come to learn as a bus driver.
See what we did there? A little Johnny Depp tribute.
So this is Joon, the latest addition to the Peever Zoo…I mean crew. She is a little boxer, sprig terrier cross we adopted from Winnipeg Giant Breed Rescue. She came to us a little bit sick so it was a bit of a rocky start but I was super impressed at how dedicated the rescue was to making sure we had everything we needed for Joon. I highly recommend WGBR to anyone looking for a new dog.
I have to admit I was dreading another puppy. It’s like having another baby in a lot of ways. Eat, sleep, poop, and constant supervision. Double the food, double the hair, double the poop. In fact Timmy D got a puppy last year and specifically told us not to do it. But when Shan sent me a picture of this one there was something telling me she belonged with us and we decided to go and see her.
We were so confident in this that we took the kids with us, which we would never do if we were on the fence. Even still we told them that we were going to look at a new couch! We said we were THINKING about buying a new couch and were just going to LOOK at it. It doesn’t mean we are coming home with it, we are just going to have a look. We went over this a couple times until the kids repeated after us “…just looking”. Curious as to why we were prepping them so hard for this couch they asked if they could see it and I showed them a picture of Joon. She arrived next week.
Except for a little tummy trouble at the beginning it’s been an awesome experience. She seemed to know to bathroom outside (mostly) and goes to the door to let us know. She can sit, shake a paw, and lie down when told. She of course walks on a leash better than Penny (not amazing). Speaking of Penny, she is love. She is so intentionally gentle and accommodating to Joon that you would think they were siblings. Whenever Penny lies down along comes Joon and snuggles right in. Sometimes right on top too!
We are working on independence. We are kennel training during the day but she won’t have it at night. We tried to let her cry it out but it’s relentless. She sleeps on her dog bed at the foot of our bed and knows she is not welcome up unless invited. I was amazed at how quickly she has adjusted to this sleeping arrangement and she is good through most nights.
Oh ya, and don’t get a puppy in the spring if your backyard is a swamp.