Tag Archives: family

Friday Link: Life Lessons From My Father

It’s Father’s Day this weekend, which means it’s time for thoughtful, well-crafted reminiscences about one’s father. Unfortunately, I’m kind of swamped at the moment. Fortunately, I’ve already written about my father…

You know the saying — that people must be ready to reinvent themselves and adapt in order to survive in these competitive times.

My father had that covered long before the concepts of “recession” and “self-publishing” were everywhere.

In his first life, he was a farmer. He grew up on a mixed cattle and grain farm in Alberta, driving tractors and combines. Old red barn, falling-down granaries, sloughs, windbreaks, fields of grain, hay bales stacked up in long rows, one-room schoolhouse, all of that. (You can see photos of the farm at McKinney Photography.) Even when he left the farm, he worked with his hands for a while, surveying, fixing cars, on his way to a blue-collar life.

Except that’s not where he ended up.

Read the rest here. And, if you can, hug your dad this weekend. My thoughts go out to those of you who can’t.

See you back here on Monday!

 

My Grandmother’s Legacy

My grandmother, my mother’s mother, was one of the strongest women I have known.

Born into a working-class family in Norway, she lost her father to drowning at a young age. After her mother remarried, the family emigrated to the Canadian prairies, into conditions just as harsh as the ones they had left behind. She didn’t speak a word of English when she arrived, and only had a Grade 8 education when she left school. Norwegianisms used to creep into her language now and again: “I hope you are keeping well,” she would say, and “Uff-da” instead of “Oh dear”.

She was working as a housemaid to Vancouver’s grand families when she met the man she would marry. Continue reading