Sunday, August 18, 2013

50 Years of Family

On the August long weekend myself and all of my siblings headed to Saskatoon to celebrate a family milestone. On August 5th 1963 my parents Mary and Francis were married at Nobleville church. In appreciation of that event 50 years prior we gathered to celebrate.

My sister Monica, has already written a fantastic blog post recapping the weekend. Her photography and language skills dwarf my own and I highly recommenced you go and read it before reading the rest of my post.

Have you read it yet? I can wait.....

Alright! Pretty great huh?

Consider this a brother to the sister post where I will share some of my pictures (plus Geoff's pictures), and offer my own brief comments.

Being that all of the 'nuclear family' were present, my sisters Monica and Stephanie thought it would be a good time to formally welcome my betrothed (Christina) into the family with a Kehrig wedding shower. (Another great Monica blog post). While Chrissy was getting all of the attention I thought it would be a good time to spend some time with my brothers. With a very limited plan we headed out in a couple of cars to Humboldt Lake and Lawrence's cabin.

Geoff, Paul, and myself packed into Randy's car and headed out taking a short-cut down a gravel road. As is the case with shortcuts in Saskatchewan we soon ran into an obstacle.

A little back-tracking and a liquor board store stop later we ended up at Humboldt lake. 

The lounging and BS'ing began.

After way too many beers and way too much sun the inevitable one-upmanships and challenges started to go around. My closest brother in age and athletic hero as a child, Geoff, put it out there that he could beat me in a sprint. Egged on by Paul (and booze) we decided that there was only one way to settle it. The race was on.

The spectator judges measured out a 100 metres for us and signaled the race to begin. We both got off to strong starts with Geoff jumping out a bit ahead. Over the next couple of strides, with no shoes on to weigh me down, I found my next gear and passed him. I was ahead for quite awhile before I noticed that I couldn't feel his presence at all. Surely, the old man wasn't that slow! As I breezed past the finish line I looked back to see Geoff brushing himself off not far from the point where I passed him. Apparently while trying to find his next gear he hit a low spot in the grass and did a headfirst role into unkempt field. 

With a few scrapes and bruises to his knee, head and ego he recognized that I was the sprint champ. 

Not long after the race we headed back to Saskatoon and Stephanie's place to catch the end of Christina's shower and receive some surprise gifts.

Old Vienna hats courtesy of Paul
I received a very special, and fitting to the date, wedding gift from my family - custom made cuff links designed with my fathers distinctive signature.

Photo courtesy of Chris Parry - Bespoke Jewelry
I played it cool at the time, but really this is easily the best gift I have ever received. I can't wait to wear them on the big day and will cherish them for all time.

While everyone was assembled we got together to take some pictures. I was pretty boozy and Geoff was a little scraped up but we managed to get one or two decent pictures.

Sunday started low key for Chrissy and I consisting of a little Saskatoon sight seeing before heading back to visit with the rest of the family.

We really like the painted rocks visible along the shore from the Broadway Bridge. Very cool idea.

Back at Mom's the trampoline was the cause of much of the days excitement as the grand-kids bounced for hours on end. 

I eventually found my way inside the bouncing madhouse with the kids where my considerable weight sent them double bounced in all directions.

It didn't take much to wear me out and after about my 3rd shower of the day it was time to eat and toast Mom for all she has done and provided for us over the years.

Mom's gift was a clay replica of the Church where her and my father were married. It was constructed by Toula's House of Clay who I can't recommenced highly enough.  Photo's on Monica's blog site - which you already know as you went and read it first. Good Job!

Wrapping up the day was a trip to Dad at his marker and resting place. Mom prepared some speaking notes and we conducted our own tribute to the man who in partnership with Mom made it all possible.

It was a fitting way to end the day, together with family in a beautiful and serene location.

I can't say enough about how blessed I am to have the family that I do: The fine example and loving home provided by my parents, the camaraderie of my siblings, the acceptance with open arms to the family extended to Christina, I recognize all of this and I am truly fortunate.

Thank you to all of you.

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