Peever.org

Category - People Props

Walter Gretzky

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.

Thanks for the memories Walter.


Flux Capacitor

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.

Fathers Day 2020

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.

Pinawa, damn!

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.

My 40th

This picture was taken on my 40th birthday.

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.

Ah, to be 40 again.

Brahma Beer

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.

What a great night.

Penny & Joon

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.

   Joon Photos

Sylvia Taylor

Heaven is a better place today…

I met Sylvia when I was 18 years old when I moved out from home and got a job at the North West Company. We worked together in the same department and as I was drawn to her wit and personality it was her heart and love for her family that made me feel close to her and I lovingly referred to her as my work mom.

We spent many a day in the Warehouse ticketing items for “Soft Lines” and I got her hear all about her kids and family. She spoke of them often and it didn’t take long to realize what an important part of her life they were, and how important she was to them.

Soon her daughter Amber was working in the Warehouse too and it was as if I already knew her. Woven from the same cloth some might say. Just like Sylvia she was genuine and someone I became instant friends with.

Amber wasn’t with the Company for very long but Sylvia kept me in the loop on how she was doing. When Erin was born Sylvia was glowing at work like I had never seen her before. She showed me pictures of “the baby”  like crazy and would often suggest I pop in and meet her.

Little did I know that visit would change my life forever.

I fell in love with that baby and have had the absolute pleasure of being a part of her life since she was just over a year old. During that time I was treated like family and Sylvia was a big part of that. Hanging out with Darryl and Amber made me feel like family. I used to stick around after bringing Erin home and Sylvia and I would chat and watch TV. I got to enjoy all the birthdays, the family dinners, and the holidays. I learned a lot about myself, about family, how to catch mice, how to move furniture in a truck, and Sylvia taught me how to build the best lasagna you will ever eat.

One of my favorite memories was hanging out with Erin the night Mackenzie was born. Bringing her singing and dancing to meet her baby sister. Seeing Sylvia glowing like the first time she told me about Erin.

I was lucky enough visit her in the early stages and got to see her in the hospital before she passed. I literally thanked her for my 20’s. For sharing her beautiful family with me, always sharing a laugh,  and helping us all become the people we are today.

Sylvia, you will be missed.

JD

Shan says that she always knows when her Dad was on the phone because my voice would suddenly get deeper when I was talking to him. I guess I wanted him to know that she was taken care of in that way. I think he felt like I was putting it on for him just like when we were building stuff and I would measure once and cut twice…sometimes three times!

It didn’t take long for JD to make me feel like a part of his family. It started long before Shannon and I were even dating. Well before any of that, he was “Mike’s Dad” and revered among our group of friends like a God of Thunder, or maybe it was that he was revered at the Thunderbird, I can’t recall…but… “anyhoo” as he would always say.

Back in those days he provided for our group in many ways. He coached us in roller hockey, he provided a safe place for us to gather where we always felt welcome and safe, where bathing suits were optional in the hot tub, and in turn he helped us foster the friendships I hold most dear in my life to this day. Mike’s friends came over because of the welcoming home JD provided, and they stayed for the bacon and eggs at breakfast.

JD was a master sleeper and my admiration for him magnified one day when Mike and I came home for lunch. I thought we were home alone until JD came out of his bedroom, yawning and stretching out in his office clothes (likely from Mens Furnishings at the Bay where he once worked). Told us he was just home for his lunchtime “toes up”, like that was a thing! At the lake we would chat after dinner until JD would nod off in mid sentence and just for sport Shan and the boys would compete to see what kind of things they could dangle from his mouth without waking him up.

JD was a giver. He was true and loyal, and would do anything for his friends. He joked with me that he wouldn’t let himself pass in the summer months or his Royal Lake Gang might not make it in.

JD would do anything for his kids. Mike wrecked the truck, Shan wrecked the truck, and Tim…well he still wears sandals all winter.

He would go so far in fact that this one Christmas, Shannon was away from home all the way in Thailand. JD had asked her in an email what he would like for Christmas and she said “Tom”. He had me over for dinner that week and asked me if I would go. That he would send me there on his dime because that’s what Shannon wanted most for Christmas, and that he wanted to do this for us. Not knowing how I would ever be able to pay him back I joked about having to cut his lawn for the rest of my life…to which he replied without missing a beat…

“I like mine at a 45 degree angle.”

We watched almost every single playoff game together this year and when the Jets were out we watched Ovi raise the Cup for the first time. On October 9th, just a couple weeks ago, we watched what would be our last Jet game together at Jocelyn House. At one point he took my hand and told me that I was everything he could have asked for, for his daughter. I told him that Shan and I fell in love in Thailand and that I didn’t know how I could ever repay him for the life that he helped set in motion. Especially since he had gone so many years without a lawn to cut. He said that he always knew that one day he would need me to take care of his most “special” possession, and I intend to do just that.

It would be cliche to say that JD had a great life and it’s too soon for him to be gone. But I do admire his thirst for living. I don’t know much about heaven but if there is a lake there JD has already set up the tarps and should be out in the boat by now looking for someplace calm to float on his pool noodle.

He did what made him happiest and brought much happiness to those around him. I am so blessed that Lexi and Ashlyn got to have so many great memories of a man who wore his heart on his sleeve and loved his family to the fullest.

Here’s to breakfast JD!