Posted in Family, Parenting, Uncategorized

Building Decks With Dad

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It’s not as though me and my Dad built decks for a living or built lots of decks together.

We built one deck together. It took us a few days. And by us I mean mostly my Dad.

Up front, I’m not sure whether I was more of a help or hindrance.

I recall smashing my thumb with a hammer. Dad said, more or less, “Great, your Mom is going to kill me”, with a laugh. It was a family joke. She understood. I had suffered many injuries in the care of everyone, as well as those that happened while with friends, in school, alone. I was known as clumsy. Turns out I actually had: Epilepsy, Fibromyalgia, and Hypermobile Joint Syndrome. It’s very possible I’m also clumsy.

Why was I at the camp (some call them cottages or summer home, in Northern Ontario, they’re called camps) helping my Dad with the deck? I seemed an unlikely choice, but my older brother who was actually helpful in building situations was away at university and everyone else was working. My Dad was on vacation and we needed a deck at the camp.

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We’d work during the day and in the evening we’d have supper then ice cream, watch TV, I’d read to my Dad, or we’d both read to ourselves…and we’d talk.

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You may have noticed I refer to my father as Dad, never my father because he’s a Dad, always. Funny, smart, sweet, sometimes annoying, sometimes really annoying, kind, and fun. He loved friends and family, cars, talking about cars, looking at cars, fixing cars, driving cars, watching cars, taking pictures of cars and with cars, also, cats, beer, eating, TV, movies, working, laughing, dancing; he was a gentleman and a gentle man, hopelessly silly…and always a Dad to me and my brother.scan0010

There’s never a picture of him where that mischievous twinkle isn’t in his eye except when he had dark sunglasses on, but we know the twinkle’s still there.

I’m not sure we were always aware of how lucky we were to have a Mom & Dad, not just a Mother & Father. We did always know we were loved. Of course, look at us, we were adorable. I love my Mom & Dad today and every day.

I have lived at least six or seven lifetimes in the past 30 or so years since those days at the camp. I wish my memory was perfect or more robust, but the happiness I felt in that time has never faded in my heart.

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Enjoy the times you have because you never know until later those times were actually treasures.

Happy Dad’s Day to all those men who care enough to be Dads, not just fathers!

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Posted in Books, Movies, Music, Televison, Uncategorized

Shatner’s World: We just live in it

shatner4I don’t care what anyone says, I adore watching William Shatner, in just about anything.

Sure he’s narcissistic, but he uses his superpowers for good, not evil.

He’s also funny, silly, asinine, but always charming. If you can see this one-man show live, awesome, luckily there’s also a DVD.

Dressed casually Shatner leads us on a magical tour of memories, ours and his.

He shares very personal stories, famous encounters, ridiculous  exploits, and talks about Star Trek (of course) all in that oddly heartening, exaggerated style that’s so many have mocked over the years.

It might be his age, but in this one-man show (then again, isn’t that everything he does, really?) Shatner ponders death, those he has lost as well as his own mortality. Yet somehow it’s all comforting and poignant, not morbid. “Love is the difference between the cold light of the universe and the warmth of the human spirit and life doesn’t have to end when love is present.”

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If you’re a Shatner fan you’ll enjoy the well over an hour of Trek talk, how his kidney stone became $25,000 for Habitat For Humanity, picking out a pine casket for his father because he thought his Dad would appreciate the thriftiness, his, er, singing career, broke living in his truck, meeting Koko the signing gorilla, acting with Christopher Plummer and James Spader

If you’re not a Shatner fan, watch something else.

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“Death is the final frontier.”

The whole show was pure Shatner – eccentric, engaging, and egocentric, but with a heart as big as his head (tough to do). He makes me smile.