My Grandpa

As you can see from the post below, Marc and I have spent the past week in Lethbridge and surrounding area. The reason for our trip was to attend my Grandpa's funeral. While the reason for our visit was sad, we had a wonderful time with both our families and everyone loved doting on Ty.

My Grandpa passed away quite suddenly on May 7 after getting a blood infection. He had been living in Lethbridge close to my mom for the past two years and was so excited to meet his new "G baby" Tyrn. Here is part of what I said at his funeral . . .

The Grandpa that Brad, Lanny, Timmy, Sam, Sarah and I grew up with was gregarious, exuberant, outgoing and full of life. He loved to BBQ, cross country ski, take long walks with his dog Misty after large turkey dinners, play jazz on the piano while my Grandma tap danced and most importantly watch HNIC in Canada on Saturday nights with a fire in the basement. All of these activities were made more exciting and fun while doing them with his Grandchildren.

With me when I was a baby
Building a fence with my brother Brad, an experience that Brad spoke eloquently about at his funeral

At my highschool grad

I had the most fun Grandpa out of all of my friends - a Grandpa who surprized me to take me out for lunch on my 16th birthday, one who decided I was taking much too long showers when I was a teenager and turned the hot water tank off on me, causing me to scream and jump out of the shower while he laughed uproariously in the background, a Grandpa who laughed and joked with my friends and played the piano for them when they were over. And of course showed his never ending love for my Grandma in the way he teased her, loved to be around her, treated her with respect and lifted her "num nums". :)

I have great memories of spending summers at Sylvan Lake with my grandparents and my grandpa tanning, tanning and more tanning. He loved the sun and spending time out in it with his grandchildren.

Giving my Grandpa a facial which he loved so much

Watching my grandpa become depressed over the past 15 years was difficult but he still was able to hold the same type of conversations, joke around occasionally with us and loved talking about hockey and when he would get G babies. His third G baby was born on March 17 and although he never got to hold Ty, he still got to meet him on skype. We enjoyed our Sunday talks with Grandpa looking at the camera and inquiring about Ty. Tyrn recently started losing the hair on the top of his head, giving him what I called the Grandpa look. Grandpa was quite concerned with his lack of hair and commented on it often. On one of our last conversations, mom was looking at the camera asking, "What do you think Tyrn?" Grandpa replied back, "I know what I think, that kid needs some hair!"
I grew up with the best Grandpa anyone could ever ask for and will always remember his wonderful smile, sparkling eyes and loving attitude. Grandpa hated to say goodbye and instead would say "So Long." So . . . So Long Grandpa, I will miss you always.


southern alberta

it has been beautiful here in lethbridge and surroundings. the outdoors have beckoned every day. above we are taking a break from frisbee to play the new instruments at henderson lake.

early in the week we spent the day in waterton with cherri and brad and raquel. the mountains were amazing with all the recent snow still sitting on them. the temperature was about 30 degrees but apparently the water was cold.

fraser had us over for a fire in his backyard and then he and i explored the coulee singletrack. this picture, at the base of the muff dive, is emblematic of the lethbridge biking that i grew up with.

my parents had a farewell dinner on the patio for my uncle morris and aunt alice the night before they left for grand rapids. uncle morris has spent the last 3 months as the interim pastor of the church i grew up in.
and finally yesterday carlynne, dan, my parents and i all journeyed to the southernest of southern alberta in order to introduce dan to the joys of free running in the hoodoos of writing on stone.

we had the full writing on stone experience in one day:
playing in the magic mud

participating in the ancient blackfoot muscle and skin toning mud bath

in keeping with the spa theme, my dad got a haircut

swimming in the lazy warm milk river
and most importantly jumping around the hoodoos. this is still one of my favourite activities, leaping from rock to rock and trying to link up multiple moves. those of you who have had the privilege of running around here know that the sandstone formations are so grippy that you can run right up steep towers and feel like spiderman.
when we were younger we would jump off progressively higher and higher rocks, necessitating army rolls and producing extreme lactic acidosis and ecchymosis the next day. these days i am a bit more cautious, but some daring leaps were still made by dan and myself.

southern alberta has so much to offer. but that doesn't mean we are going to move away from bc... sorry mom and dad.


julie and lowell

my sister julie came out to visit us with her husband lowell. they were a great help and a joy to have around. julie made dinner most nights and lowell helped me hook up our new airport express, as well as rewire our tv speakers.
it is fun to have guests that fit easily into our lifestyle. although most of our guests fit easily into our lifestyle i suppose. it's not hard to sit around drinking coffee and reading and then go for hikes.

it was great to have someone else around to hold ty and accomplish the onerous task of taking pictures of him.

we took julie and lowell to our favourite spots.

julie posted a picture of me with my mouth full when she could have used this lovely shot to showcase our pita pit picnic instead.

while julie and lowell were here a million tiny spiders were born on our deck. i found at least 4 clumps like this one.
on their last full day here, we ventured into the true alpine to get a closeup look at mt slesse.

mt rexford... a climbers paradise.
ty either loves the mountains, or is seriously bored by the mountains. the expressions are similar when the dimension of time is removed. big news! he now faces OUT in his snuggly... "a whole new woooorld..."

off to lethbridge tomorrow!


mullets and music

as seen in julie's post about their time here, tyrn has lost all the hair on the top of his head, as well as a little ring around his crown, leaving him with a little thatch on top and a sweet mullet.
he looks like a little old man. in commiseration with him i elected to give myself a similar hairstyle. however the head of the house (wrt to grooming) overruled my style decision so ty is now rocking the mullet on his own. the good news is that he seems to have a thick new crop of hair coming in already.

this week while i was grocery shopping i was in a good mood and decided to try an experiment. i wanted to see if i could pick out the entire grocery list, go through the line, pay and leave the store while singing "country roads" by john denver the entire time out loud at a reasonable volume (ie. not belting it out, but certainly not singing under my breath).

my hypothesis was that my experimental zeal could easily overrule my sense of social norms and i should be able to pull it off. barring talking to the clerk and one incident in which i met the same guy for the third time just at the beginning of the chorus (i had to stop and reset so he knew that i wasnt just singing the first lines of the chorus over and over) my hypothesis was proved correct. i am fully capable of overriding social norms and singing country roads out loud for an entire grocery trip.

an interesting serendipitous discovery was made as well. at three separate times in the grocery store, complete strangers made friendly joking remarks to me, or struck up conversations unrelated to singing. it seems as if my disregard for social norms, or perhaps my obvious good humour, made me more approachable than a hoody clad, newly shorn, wrinkly pants 30 year old man would otherwise be. the friendly overtures ranged across age and sex: a 30 year old mom with her kid, a 50 year old man and a 60 year old lady with her husband.

those who know me know that i sing all the time anyways, but maybe i should crank the volume.

dark and dusty, painted on the sky
misty taste of moonshine, teardrop in my eye...