Throughout our lives we will all gather many memories, most of which we will never forget, along with a few that we might not want to remember? For yours truly, the afternoon of Saturday, Sept. 1 will always have a special place in my heart, thanks to my mischievous but precious family.
It all started out as a cool windy morning, during which Joyce and I headed to Ponoka to help celebrate the 25th anniversary of our brother and sister in law, Dale and Linda Widdifield. After renewing their wedding vows in front of family, everyone enjoyed a relaxed and fun session of photos, refreshments, and great chatter and reminiscing. We were all really looking forward to my favourite supper of ham and scalloped potatoes when my dear wife quietly informed me that she wasn’t feeling well and would like to go home.
Being the good and only occasionally grumpy hubby that I am, I responded quickly, grabbing a couple of cookies, saying our goodbyes and then hitting the road. After just a few miles my best lady suddenly experienced somewhat of a miraculous recovery, suggesting that since we were all dressed up, we should go out for a romantic supper. Of course when it comes to the mention of food, I instantly agreed, but since it was only 4 p.m., she decided we should stop and stroll through the nice park down at the Lacombe Experimental Station.
With me driving and her navigating, we drove down the tree lined roads and trails, when suddenly she uttered, “Turn here!” After stopping and looking down the road I spied a bunch of people gathered there and quite firmly stressed I was not going there because we would be disturbing a wedding or some other function. After my very determined wife insisted I go there, I reluctantly ventured on, then suddenly recognized my 6-foot-plus son-in-law, Roger, and son, Kevin, after which a huge smile appeared on the face of my sneaky but well-organized spouse.
To my total shock I watched our entire family of four children (Michelle, Shauna, Kevin and Andrew) and their significant others (Rob, Tracey and Roger), as well as our four grandchildren (Jonathon, Caitlin, Jude and Pierce) come wandering out from behind the trees to greet us. Through all kinds of hugs and a few tears from yours truly, I realized they had completely pulled the wool over my eyes as they planned this pre-birthday surprise party. Needless to say it was all quite overwhelming for this old fart but I settled down and we took a whole bunch of pictures of our entire family, which hadn’t been all together like this for 12 years. Later, we all enjoyed a great supper together, during which I was pampered as always with gifts and goofy questions, then we all spent a great evening at Rob and Michelle’s home in Ponoka doing lots of reminiscing and munching.
Needless to say it will always be one of those special days I will never forget and I cannot express enough thanks to my family and friends for sharing this occasion with me. Then, to top it all off, when I was asked where I would like to be on my 70th birthday, I answered like so many others have done: “In Disneyland!”
Tired but happy, my wife and I have just returned from a hot but wonderful week with Mickey and Minnie and all the gang at the happiest place on earth, where my big day (Sept. 11) zoomed by with us acting like a couple of young kids until way past 9 p.m. Through it all I cannot express the importance for all of us to always treasure the ongoing love, support, sharing, and caring of close family and friends. I will always cherish the memories and in the meantime will strive to stay active at a slightly slower pace, to always enjoy the company of others, and to keep on writing about community and good times.
How about a few paraprosdokians? (Figures of speech with a surprise or humorous ending)
• Where there’s a will, I want to be in it.
• If I always agreed with you, we might both be wrong.
• We never really grow up; we only learn how to act in public.
• A clear conscience is usually a sign of a fuzzy memory.
• I used to be indecisive but now I’m not too sure,
• Money can’t buy happiness but it sure makes misery much easier to live with.
• Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.
• We are never too old to learn something stupid.
• War does not determine who is right —only who is left.
• They always begin the news with “good evening,” and then proceed to tell us what isn’t so good.
Don’t dig out those winter woollies yet; give Indian summer a chance, and have a great week, all of you!