Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Taking the long way

1) Be born early, on your brother's 3rd birthday, just because you wanted to be around for Christmas. Live in one city for 3 years, move to another just in time for your younger sister to be born.

2) Start 1st grade in one school, begin at another right after Christmas, meet the person who has been your closest friend for 37 years, settle i9n to the house where 47 years later your mother still lives. start playing hockey.

3) continue with school hockey and those type of activities until you are 13, join Air Cadets, and meet some of the people who to this day make the short list of friends that have remained. Start High school, struggle to fit in, meet the teacher who who help, listen and keep me going, even though some of us tormented the crap out him constantly.

3) In the last year of high school discover Punk music, adopt the punk style of dress, partially alienate your brother, pierce your ear, wear lots of black, graduate from High school, and realize you have no clue what to do next, decide to go back to high school for more credits.

4) Never finish that extra year, leave for basic training with 7 days left to the year, start a career that will take you away from home, move to Nova Scotia, reconnect with old friends , spend some time at sea, meet your future wife, move in with her, pack everything up and move with your now wife to Northern Alberta.

5) meet new friends, have first son 1 year after moving here, second son 19 months later, 3rd son 23 months after that. wait 10 months , have mild medical crisis with 3rd son, get through it, and then 7 months later pack up family and move to BC.

6) Get to BC fed up with career, request change, get change, 11 months after being in BC move to Ontario, begin training for new military occupation, family begins to settle into new home. Finish training, cracks begin to appear in marriage ignore, and hope for best, deploy overseas for 6 months, come back home, some things appear better, career progress nicely, accept posting to new location without consulting wife, cracks appear again.

7) Father passes away. Move to new city, tiny city , kids unhappy, wife very unhappy, F**k it nobody happy, wonder how to fix it, 1 year later, get removed from house, move into 6X8 foot room, realize that the end of marriage is nearing, try to stay in area, concession made prepare to move 4 hrs away.

8) Move away, realize marriage is truly over, miss kids terribly, lean on family for support, much chaos ensues, older brother steps in and helps, older sister helps, little sister helps, brother in law proves to be true friend, kids begin to adjust. Me not so much.

9) sign agreement, fell depressed, buy new car and begin to get better feeling about life, move on, start new life(somewhat), realize I could be all right. get out of debt. Begin over.

Any questions? If you get lost, ask I'll come find you


My friends from high school
Married their high school boyfriends
Moved into houses in the same ZIP codes
Where their parents live

But I, I could never follow
No I, I could never follow

I hit the highway in a pink RV with stars on the ceiling
Lived like a gypsy
Six strong hands on the steering wheel

I've been a long time gone now
Maybe someday, someday I'm gonna settle down
But I've always found my way somehow

By taking the long way
Taking the long way around
Taking the long way
Taking the long way around

I met the queen of whatever
Drank with the Irish and smoked with the hippies
Moved with the shakers
Wouldn't kiss all the asses that they told me to

No I, I could never follow
No I, I could never follow

It's been two long years now
Since the top of the world came crashing down
And I'm getting' it back on the road now

But I'm taking the long way
Taking the long way around
I'm taking the long way
Taking the long way around
The long
The long way around

Well, I fought with a stranger and I met myself
I opened my mouth and I heard myself
It can get pretty lonely when you show yourself
Guess I could have made it easier on myself

But I, I could never follow
No I, I could never follow

Well, I never seem to do it like anybody else
Maybe someday, someday I'm gonna settle down
If you ever want to find me I can still be found

Taking the long way
Taking the long way around
Taking the long way
Taking the long way around

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The First step

Son1 took his first step on the road to adulthood yesterday, By getting his Learner's permit. He is now able to drive, with of course, me or his mom in the passenger seat.

This day has been coming for some time now, but I find I have mixed feelings about it.

On the one hand I am proud of him, I know he has wanted this for some time, and truth be told, I believe that he will be a good and safe driver, I have no worries about him being stupid or dangerous behind the wheel. He is somewhat cautious and I think his natural tendency to be safe will keep other desires in check. I also believe that he will not succumb to any peer pressure to be stupid when he has his full license.

On the other hand, part of me resists this, he is my son, the first born, and this milestone is one that begins his journey away from us, it seems too soon, in a year he will be in college, and beginning to navigate his life away from us, and making his own way into the world.
It's not that I'm overly worried about him, It's more like I don't like change.

He and I struggled to find a relationship in the aftermath of the separation, and it took time, but we are better now, as he has gotten older, and I have lightened up, we found the common ground that kept us going and the strain between us has lessened. He is a great kid, Scratch that, he is a wonderful young man, and I see the potential in him, untapped, waiting.

Drive safe Son, But always remember, to come home.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

I Don't Think It is That Bad

There are several things that I want to get off my back, and the next couple of posts are going to tackle them.

The first thing, is not necessarily a new thing but I have read and heard about it quite a lot lately so I figured I'd get my two cents in.

Helicopter parents, you know, the ones who won't leave their child alone to do anything for even a minute because well, you know, the world is just so dangerous.

These are the same ones who look at you as if you are the worst parent in the world if you don't subscribe to the same theories that they do, whatever.

People, crime rates are actually down, and unless your child has special needs, there is no reason to constantly hover around them. If you don't let them do things on their own, and occasionally fail, they are never going to learn how to figure things out by themselves.

I know of young men and women, who have joined the military and whose parents are still trying to fix whatever they can for them. Really? I would have been pretty angry with my mom if she had called one of my instructors to see if they would ease up on us so we could get better sleep. Which has happened to a friend of mine. No seriously, a parent called him up to complain that she did not believe that her son was getting enough sleep, because her son mentioned to her that they were so busy with homework, etc that they were not getting to bed before midnight most nights. To his credit my friend handled it gracefully, and refrained from pointing out the obvious, that her son was an adult, and had to learn to handle this on his own.

I have heard and read stories of parents calling universities to complain about their kids grades. I have a news flash for you, the only one responsible for the grade is your child, either they study, and get good grades or they don't and get what they get.

On another web forum I belong to one parent said that if she was at a playground, she would ask parents of older children to stop doing things in front of her children that they couldn't do. Meaning if her kids were not old or physically developed enough to do something she didn't want kids who could to do it out of a fear that her kids would attempt to emulate the older kids. Whatever, good thing that she was never around me at a park, I would have laughed, my youngest tried to emulate his older brothers all the time, I did not try to hold him back, because I think that trying to keep up with them gave him the motivation to try things at an earlier age.

I know some parents who are so scared of the effects of sun that their son is basically covered from head to toe in some kind of full body suit at the beach, might as well stay indoors. Even the experts are saying we need some sun on us for the vitamin D.

Another thing that is getting on my nerves is the commercials for those drinks to ensure your kids are getting enough vitamins, nutrition because they are picky eaters, really, I was a bit of a picky eater when I was a kid, there was no way my mom would have just given me those drinks, I'm not saying I was forced to eat everything, but I was told that I had to try some of everything. Stop catering to the demands of your kid, and do your job as a parent. Letting a miniature tyrant control you is setting a bad precedent.

On a related note, I am tired of hearing from some media outlets about how dangerous and bad teenagers are. I have 3 and they are not bad, neither are their friends, give it a rest already.

Next time, I'll lighten it up with some tales of the goofiest dogs in the world.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


Well it has been a while now hasn't it?

Sorry to be away for so long, but I had a very busy and great summer(mostly).

The boys and I spent time camping, fishing, beaching(is that a word?, it is now) sailing and just generally hanging out.

This summer gave me the chance to reacquaint myself with old friends( HI DANA), meet new ones (HI CARMEN) and spend time with people who have known me my whole life, and who I love as much as my parents (SANDRA AND DAN< LOVE YOU BOTH).

The demons that have haunted me for the past 4 years are slowly receding, with the support of friends and family, the dawn is beginning to break, and my life is slowly becoming mine again.

Geez, that was sappy wasn't it on to more happy things.

Dana, it was so great to see you, and to feel as if the years have not passed at all, it was a pleasure to meet your wonderful daughter.

To my sons, thanks for a great summer, the fact that you willingly spent time with me , camping etc, means more to me than you know, you three are the light in my life , the pull that has kept me on the path.

To my siblings, thanks, I cannot believe sometimes, that every single time i have needed you, you have been there.

My brother in law , M, thank you, you are one of my best friends in the world, you have shared your love of sailing, and spread it to my boys as well, you have one of the most generous souls I know.

And finally to Boy1, as you are entering your last year of High School, Enjoy this year, you have grown so much, in some ways the boy is gone, the man in you shines through, and I have to say I like what I see. Stay true to your dreams and beliefs as you always have done, and I have no doubt that you will go far, and shine whatever you choose to do.

Stay tuned, and in the next few posts, I have plans to tackle helicopter parents, stupid reality TV, flying around this country, Newts on the patio, and my mom's dog.

No, not all at once.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Five Years

Five years, really, has it been that long? Doesn't seem it.

In some ways it has a been a blink of an eye, In others, time has seemed to stretch out into the distance, not really passing.

Five years ago today, We lost you, after a long fight, just like that you were gone, I remember being in my kitchen when the phone rang, way too early in the day for good news and it wasn't, or it was, depending on your point of view.

You were at differing times, so many different things to me, father, confidant, friend, even adversary, at least on a few occasions. Like all relationships, it is hard to define the parameters of ours. As I grew older, the relationship changed, more trusting(on my part) more open. I began to see that in some ways, about somethings, you were right.

I remember the look on your face as you held your first grandchild, and then to see that look again with the others as they came into your world, you were so proud, and you loved them dearly. I remember also, when boy3 was going to need surgery, and how you helped me get through some of my fears, even though, I know that you were probably as scared as me.

I will always remember the smell of your cigars, even though, as a kid, I hated being in the car with you on long trips. The memory of you smashing your ball cap repeatedly on the boards when you coached hockey will always make me smile, even when I coached boy3 and found myself doing the same.

I see parts of you in M, and even more in his son, the same crooked smile, the same walk, certain mannerisms. Because of this you will live on, at least in some form.

You were one of our biggest supporters in our activities, you played taxi driver to me and my friends, and S and her friends from cadets for years. And when you passed, many of these same people gathered with us to say goodbye. Even some of the people you coached showed up to pay their respects, it was stirring to see the lives you touched.

When you passed, a void was created, I am not sure if I can fill it, but as time has passed, the memories of you are flooding that space, and making it a little less with each passing year.

I hope you can see us from where you are, and that you can watch as your grandchildren thrive and flourish.

Miss you Dad

Monday, June 20, 2011

Father's Day

For the last few years, Father's Day has been kind of bittersweet. While I generally try to be positive about it, it hasn't always been easy.

First, nearly 5 years ago, we(being my brother and sisters) lost our Dad. After a long back and forth struggle with cancer. I do take comfort in the fact that he saw all six of his grandchildren into the world, and that his pride and love for them still fills me with comfort to this day. But on this day, marked for Father's, the loss of him is a void in me that cannot ever be filled.

Second, I am not an everyday presence in my Kid's life, as much as I want to be, it just wont be, and while I can (almost) live with this, there is a longing to be there that feels as though a part of me is gone, never again to be complete.

But, then I am with them, and the hurt is gone, and I can smile and laugh, and grin at them, these boys, two on the verge of becoming men, one just coming into the world of being a teenager, and I am amazed. When did this happen? Where did they come from, When their Mother and I separated they seemed so much younger, now, 4 years have passed, and in a blink on an eye they have been replaced by these competent, and highly intelligent beings. Way too cool.

What happens when you take four males, various camping items, uncooperative weather, wet firewood, an older tent, and the possibility of thunderstorms?

You get enough memories to make you smile for a long time.

You see, we tried to go camping, the day started out fine, overcast but not raining(yet), so we headed out, wary, but determined. we purchased extra necessary gear and items (food, and stuff to make the fire change colour, really that apparently is a "necessary" item, and headed out.

We set up camp, hmm, tent is missing a pole, no biggie, we will tie it up, hmm, hole in the floor, no biggie, we will fold it around the pegs, hmmm, not enough pegs, ah well, buy overpriced pegs at camp store, hmmmm, still raining, OK road trip for ice cream, hmmmm, back to camp, and cook dinner, hmmmm, Boy2 is trying to start fire, 4 attempts, and much paper later, fire has been started, put out, rebuilt, etc, only paper seems to burn, head to other store for dry kindling, get phone call from anxious mother, thunderstorms in area, are you gonna stay? hmmm ask boys, mutual agreement that 6.5 hrs in rain is enough, camp site packed, all agree tent shall be relegated, to garbage bin, new tent to be purchased, return to mother's, plans made for Father's Day, quick trip to McD's. Plans to start other plans in the morning.

Father's Day was good, went to some of our favourite stores, had lunch, picked up boy2's friend(not girlfriend,says he) returned home, boy3 and i go fishing much fun had catching and releasing perch, return to house and I go on my merry way back to my home. All in all a good weekend.

In closing, though my beloved Bruins won the Stanley Cup, I was dismayed to see what a relative few individuals chose to do afterwards in Vancouver. IDIOTS. To the VPD well done, I believe you did a great job in handling the situation.

And finally, Happy Father's Day to all dads out there, To my other friends whose dads are gone, I hope your day went well, and to those like me, I hope you got to spend the day with your kids. And to all soldiers , airmen and sailors from whatever country, who are deployed away from your families, I hope there were messages and cards, and maybe phone calls from your kids. And stay safe, cause everyone wants you to return home to them.

And to my Boys, remember, I am a Father because of you, Thanks!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Here goes

well. I have had this post in my head for some time now.
I didn't think I should put it out there as it is more personal than anything else I have said.

But Hey, I really do not have enough readers to worry about, at least, from checking my sitemeter, and the total lack of comments it would appear that way.

Not a day has gone by in the last 2 years that I have not thought of the 3 of you. simply put, you are my reasons for living, for going on, for pushing through, when I feel that every ounce of my strength is gone.

You 3 are the greatest gift I have ever been given, the fact that I am your father, both amazes me and freaks me out.

YOU GUYS ROCK, smart, creative, funny, charming, handsome, witty. You guys are all that and more.
I know that sometimes I seem to have no patience , it is not because, I don't want to be with you, it is because, i dread the inevitable point of leaving you, again.

You see, a part of me dies each time, and some times it hurts inside me, like me heart is being torn out, there have been 4 hour drives back to where I live, that are mostly tears, anguish and sorrow,, guilt, plays a huge part in there too, don't kid yourself, nobody beats me up like I beat me up.

basically it comes down to this:

you make me a better man

Friday, June 3, 2011


Well, not real crap, more like existential crap, or rather life crap.
I just (more or less) paid the bills, and realized how little I have left in the account for the next 2 weeks. all. Especially when I have to pay for the room I use when I visit the boys, and the $100 it costs me in gas each time(not to mention that the price of gas keeps going up), and meals etc for them when I am with them.

To add to this, I still cannot find the replacement mirror I need for my car, which is again making funny noises, so maybe I can't go up there anyway. Which will destroy me, those weekends literally are my saving grace.

I wish for once for something concerning my car or my finances to go my way, Just once.
I have even figured out that even with the car soon to be paid off, I can't afford to replace it, unless the dealership will take a kidney.

But others keep reminding me of back money I still need to pay them, even after me explaining the financial picture to them. Yet they have all sorts of expensive toys, and trips, and shit that I will probably never have, but I get guilt trips laid on me if I buy a coffee, or some other small treat for myself. I don't even have my own computer, I use the libraries, because they are free.

Just hoping for a break here.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Weekends, Floods, fish, foolishness,finality

Well that should generate some bizarre hits.

To recap the weekend.

Boy2 had a friend over Friday, and being the nice guy that I am, I agreed to drive said friend home, out in the country, to a place I am not that familiar with. Address inputted into GPS , away we go. Choosing, en route to ignore the sign that said "water on road use caution". Fools. Got 1km up the road, and had to turn around and try to make it back to drier land, car almost stalled out 3 times, visions of pushing in knee deep water not good. cursing under breath, not trusting GPS device, swear it hates me, water coming into car thru door sills, made it to dry land, let car idle for 5 minutes to dry out, steam coming out of vents, how wet did this thing get anyway?
Finally get friend home via long DRY way. Get back to room, in time too see my beloved bruins make it into Stanley Cup Final, much happiness abounds.

Saturday, wake up, joy raining.....again pick up boy3 find new fishing spot, no luck but agree may be best spot yet as actual fish were biting, notice half gnawed oak tree, worry about crazed, angry beaver attacking. HMMMMM need more coffee. Pick up older 2 go to mall, Boy2 says friend has sent him text wanting to know when we can drive thru flood covered roads again. Much fun says friend, much looniness think I. PM take boys to subway for dinner, much anger directed to incompetent staff, drive to movies, watch hangover 2, realize 3/4 thru movie that this may not be age appropriate due to things in Thailand, worry about explanation may have to give to 13 year old boy3, not to worry, says he, I got it covered. WTF think I, I did not have understanding of such things at his age, must ask ex-wife if she checks Internet browsing history. He must be getting this info somewhere.

Sunday, sun is out boy1 and boy3 request fishing expedition, agree to said trip, much enjoyment several aquatic creatures captured, photographed and released, (always have thought that catch and release fishing, must be like the rapture for them)(the fish that is not the boys).

More time spent with all three before dreaded drive back home, always hate that part.

Finality... maybe some closure for some, with the capture of Ratko Mladic, one of the worst (alleged, for now) war criminals of the past century will be brought to answer for his crimes. Maybe some poor people out there can finally close the door on a chapter of their lives.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Driving with doofuses

Is that even a word?

Yeah, yeah, I know it has been a while but I have been busy.

A short little story, this past Saturday, my younger 2 boys and I went on a short road trip, And I figured out a couple of things.

1. No matter what the volume is set to on the car sound system ( ha, a laugh, i mean cheesy factory cd player) Son2 will crank it louder almost for every song that he likes. I was not allowed to touch the volume, nor alter it from my Dad's choice of music, (country) and we had an 8-track player, (remember those?) complete with the matchbook jammed under the corner to make it work. Plus, the lyrics that are in the songs are not things I would have played around my parents either.

2. Teenage boys never stop eating, even on short car trips, there must be food.
plus, the floor of my car apparently is an appropriate place for trash.

3. Teenage boys can convince their middle-aged father to do things against his common sense, case in point, willingly jump off a 5 metre diving platform, even though the aforementioned middle aged father is scared of heights. ( I will admit that fear aside, it was kind of fun)

4. Son2 while travelling in a car needs to be occupied, or else strange things can happen.
My right hand now has no hair on the back of it, thanks to the boy and a roll of duct tape. Much to his hilarity, my physical pain was his amusement, plus the loss of hair was amusing to him as well.

maybe i should get a cop car that i can trap them in the back of when I travel with them.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

For the boys

I have been lucky enough to spend adecent amount of time with my sons lately.

It is a good feeling to see them having emerged from the train wreck that was the end of their mother and I's relationship relatively unscathed.

To see the smiles and laughter return. to have my taller than me middle son freely hug me, and tell me " love you too, Dad" when i say it to him at the end of a phone conversation. To have the oldest actually say it to me once when i said it to him ( emotion scares him, sometimes he doesn't get it, think Sheldon Cooper) to have my youngest actually engage in real conversations with me, in the car on our way to hockey, and to be able to be there to see him score his 1st goal of the season (WE HAVE THE PUCK!). well shit, those feelings of happiness and joy at all of the things over the last couple of weeks, I feel like spring has come in more ways than one.

Boys, you guys rock, seriously, the three of you are better for me than any thing else I have tried, I'm just pissed that I wasted so much time figuring that out. massive Fail on my part.

well I get it now.
Can't wait to see you this weekend.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Eat, eat , eat and a contest.

The older 2 are here for the week and It has just dawned on me, that either one of them probably consumes more calories in a day than I do in 3.

Now don't get me wrong. I remember being a teen, and I ate a ton, but, in my defense, I was always moving, to hockey, cadets, outside, whatever, we walked everywhere, and those calories were earned, burnt off, and the cycle repeated.

These 2 barely seem to move, from their perches on my couches, moving only for washroom breaks, to retrieve a power cord for some electronic device, or to head for the kitchen (again).

When we have gone out (to the Mall!,,, where i let them go on their own, cause walking around with your dad when you are a teenager is just uncool, they seem to have a gravitational pull to the food court, as if ten minutes without eating or drinking could seriously harm them.

If they could figure it out, I am sure they would eat in their sleep.

It amazes and disturbs me at the same time.

And since checking my stats, I have now noticed that some people appear to be reading me on a regular basis, leave me a comment by next Wednesday, and I will do a random draw, the lucky winner will receive one of my photos, that have been published.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Oh Snap

I just noticed I have my first follower, Ever.

I wish I could give them a prize, maybe I will.

1st post for the new year

Hmmmm, I guess it has been awhile.

Christmas was better than could be expected, had the boys longer than I had expected, and in the end we did the gift exchange with my brother's kids. Christmas night went way better than expected, my boys outshone themselves, were well behaved, and showed awesome patience with their younger cousins.

things are progressing, and as my former life switches to the new life, a lot of things have run through my mind.
I have been asked if I have any regrets, well yes, yes I do, but they are small, I regret not trying maybe that little bit harder, but then, I see the boys, and how they have, grown, adjusted moved on, and maybe, just maybe are happier now than they have been in awhile, and that one fades.

I do not regret my time with their mom, how could I? Together, we produced 3 very awesome young men, who light up my world every time they enter it, that alone is worth the heartache I have suffered.

My life is changing, for the better, as I slowly make my way to the light, I am still amazed at my family and their support, every single time I have needed them they have risen to catch me.
My brother, my sisters, my mom all have kept me sane.

My brother in law M, well what can I say? I have known him for 20 years, and I consider him one of my best friends in the world, he and I have always had the best conversations about well, everything, he makes me laugh, and he taught me to sail.

My somewhat health scare is over. back in November, i found out that i have a growth in my head, (Son2, has named him Larry), well I don't need surgery, instead i get to take medication to shrink his ass for the next while( think of it as diet pills, Larry!).

And if enough people comment I will post pictures of the Boys ( a one time deal) so If I do have any readers, you can picture who I am talking about.

Plus my only resolution is to make this a bit funnier, and possibly pull out some stories from my past. Next time I promise to tell you about me, John, Glen, and a can of paint, and what can happen when adolescent boys fail to use common sense.