Not To Be Trusted With Knives

{March 17, 2008}   I have been remiss!

March 16 was my grandpa’s 85th birthday and I neglected to blog it!

Just think about celebrating an 85th birthday- 85 years is a long, long time! Born in 1923, he’s seen 14 of the 22 Canadian Prime Ministers¹ in his lifetime. He’s had 6 kids, 9 grandkids, 10 great grandkids and 1 great, great grandkid. And counting. When I was born, my grandpa was only 52 years old, a full 10 years *younger* than my dad is now. And am one of the youngest of his grandkids (7th of the 9). Stuff like that just blows my mind. Especially since I live so far away from my family and only get to see them every few years, I forget how much everyone has aged. When I think of my family, I picture my parents in their 40s and my grandparents in their 60s. They were considerably older than that when I left Ontario, so I have no idea why these are the ages that have stuck in my mind.

Some fun random things about my grandpa (if you can believe his tall tales and my shoddy memory):

  • one of my fondest memories from my childhood is tobogganing with my grandpa on my birthday (although it might have been my cousin’s birthday… or possibly some random, non-birthday day). He got me and all of my cousins these orange Howard Johnson toques (he worked at the HoJo at the time)
  • Grandpa is blind in one eye from bovine tuberculous, which he contracted when he was young. He wanted to fight in WWII and so he memorized the eye chart in order to pass the eye exam part of the physical. It worked, but his dad, who had fought in WWI, including at Vimy Ridge, ratted him out and so he never went to war.
  • Grandpa tells the same jokes, repeatedly. Apparently this trait is genetic, as a number of his children and grandchildren do the same thing.
  • Fortunately, longevity runs in my family. My Great Granny (my grandpa’s mom) lived to 98 years old². So I look forward to celebrating my grandpa’s birthday for at least another 13 years =)

¹Speaking of which, I haven’t forgotten this week’s installment of my prime ministerial series. It just got preempted by hockey playoff action. It will run in tomorrow’s blog and then will resume its regularly scheduled Sunday spot this weekend.
²Or was it 99?

  • Happy St. Patrick’s Day. I’m 1/2 Irish, so Erin Go Bragh!
  • Happy byelection day, if you live in Vancouver Quadra or any of the other ridings holding byelections. I cast my vote early this morning, and as of the time of my writing this blog posting (10:15 p.m.) Liberal candidate Joyce Murray is in the lead, with 36.7% of the vote (followed by “Tory” Deborah Meredith at 33.7% ) with 228 of 327 polls reporting.
  • Speaking of Deborah Meredith, in the few days leading up the byelection, her lawn signs were all adorned with big yellow stickers that said “Tackling Crime.” Seriously? Tackling crime in Dunbar? Have you ever *been* to this neighbourhood, Ms. Meredith? The average age of residents in this ‘hood is about 347 years old. There’s no crime in this neighbourhood, unless “young whipper snappers walking on my lawn” counts as a crime now.
  • In the continuing fall out of this weekend’s hockey tournament: Parts of me that hurt right now = neck, left triceps, groin. But it’s totally worth it to be a league champion and to get to go to provincials!

et cetera