Me and my grandfather Peter Schmidt
Recently at a small dinner party the conversation between the five grandparents seated around the table turned to talk of the things we liked to do with our grandchildren. One grandfather noted that he figured the reason his grandson enjoyed spending time with him so much was because he was able to give him his undivided attention. When he and his grandson were together the grandfather focused only on the little guy. He wasn’t on his phone or his computer. He wasn’t busy with necessary household tasks or taking care of career and other family responsibilities. As a retiree he had the time and was deliberate about taking the time to really ‘be in the moment’ with his grandson, focus on him and throughly enjoy the things they did together.
I was lucky to have grandparents who I remember taking the time to give me their undivided attention and I have vivid memories of the things we did together, a grandmother patiently teaching me to embroider,a grandfather who taught me to ride a bike, a grandmother who let me help her do an oil painting, a grandfather who told me stories. I hope I can be that kind of grandparent too.
On My Grandparents’ Farm
When My Grandmother Was Twelve Years Old
My Grandmother Was A Guitarist
I spent a couple of hours at the genius bar of the Apple Store on Monday with a very nice guy named Mike who helped me free up a ton of space on my computer since it was almost out of memory.
A woman who looked to be a decade or maybe even two older than I am, sat across the table where a twenty -something Apple employee with glasses and a pony tail patiently provided answers to a long list of questions she had written down about her computer and her phone.
When he had answered every single one, she patted him on the arm and said, “You tell your mother young man that she did an excellent job of raising you. You are so polite and kind.” The Apple guy just smiled as the woman slowly and carefully slid off her chair and walked out of the store.
For some reason that exchange stuck with me and left me asking some questions.
Why didn’t the young man’s father get any credit for raising such a good kid?
How many people are there who still think parenting is primarily the mother’s task?
Do parents play the most vital role in raising successful happy kids? What roles do schools, communities, extended family and churches have?
What about the parents out there who do everything right and still raise children who are troubled or struggle through life and aren’t polite and kind like the young man in the Apple Store?
What percentage of jobs require not only technical expertise but also the ability to interact personably and politely with others?
Could I think of any bad experience I’d had with Apple?
Who’d have thought a visit to the Genius Bar could be so thought provoking?
Technology and Family Time
My husband Dave marks another year of his life today. What has been up to in the last twelve months?Cycling trip in Germany, Austria, SwitzerlandVisit to Ontario to see his brothers and their families
Two months hanging out in Portugal. Golf trip to North Dakota with his sons. Growing tomatoes. One week traveling around Iceland.
Lots of great meals with friends.Playing ball. Cycling adventures all over the city
Volunteering at the Fringe Festival
and………..celebrating Christmas with our sons and their families, busy with his part time job as a shuttle driver for a car dealership, two or three golf games a week all summer, two or three curling and/or pickle ball games a week in winter, watching our older son play in the World Ultimate Championships, a trip to Saskatoon for our youngest grandson’s second birthday, volunteering at the West End Cultural Centre, attending the great concerts our daughter-in-law is part of here in Winnipeg, going to Goldeyes games and Jets games, enjoying our theatre season tickets, having friends over for meals, going to movies, starting a new commitment at church working with six young people from Germany as they do volunteer work in Canada, a night on the roof top of the Winnipeg Art Gallery listening to the new album Wave by our son’s band Royal Canoe, exploring all kinds of Winnipeg restaurants, getting together with our small group from Grace Church in Steinbach, following the great work our daughter-in-law does on the board of directors of The Canadian Paediatric Society, going to lots of movies, making me coffee every morning and making me laugh almost everyday …………….. Dave has had a good year.
Happy Birthday Dave
Dave is Sixty Five
Happy Birthday Dave!
Dave and I are watching the second season of This is Us. I think one of the reasons I enjoy the show so much is that although it is set in the present it keeps going back to the past. This means we are given new insights each week into the lives and experiences of the main characters and so with each episode we come to know and understand them more richly.
In the last three episodes we watched, the set of triplets at the heart of the show are each facing a crisis. The show takes us back to when the three were learning to walk, when they were youngsters discovering their passions and interests, and finally the year they graduated from high school. We see many of the same scenes over in each episode but each time we see those scenes from only one of the triplet’s perspectives. It is surprising how each episode is so different.
It really makes me think about events in my own family’s life. I am sure individual family members perceived them very differently. It also makes me think about things that have happened in my past and how they may have shaped the person I became.
I suspect This is Us a popular television series because as people watch it they are thinking about their own families and wondering how is this like us?
What’s a Bonus Family?
Filed under Family, Media
“You never kill an animal just for fun,” artist Michael Massie’s grandfather taught him when he was just a boy. “You take its life only if you need it for food.”
One day when Michael was twelve or thirteen he was camping with his grandfather, cousins and siblings. While his grandfather went to get supplies the children were left alone for a time. Michael noticed a small bird called a Tom Tit, not much bigger than his thumb. He grabbed his pellet gun and shot it. The other kids told him what he’d done was wrong. Michael buried the little bird but never told his grandfather that he had killed it. He always felt badly about that. Making this sculpture was a kind of confession in stone thirty years later. Describing his art piece Michael says one hand is gloved to show how he covered up the truth the other is bare to say he is being open and confessing. He holds the little dead bird in his hand.
When I take children on a tour of the current SakKijâjuk exhibit at the Winnipeg Art Gallery this art piece is always their favourite! They love the story that goes with it. I heard it first from the exhibit curator Dr. Heather Igloliorte. I like the idea of using a piece of art to reach across time and space to confess and apologize to someone you love.
Inuit Art Isn’t Just Soapstone Carvings
Stories in Stone
A Very Personal Story
This last weekend our sons took their Dad on a golf trip. It was a gift he received from them last year for his 65th birthday. They visited three different courses in North Dakota known as The Triple Challenge.
Our younger son drew this picture in elementary school for his Dad one Father’s Day.
Golf has always played a role in our family life. When Dave and I got married he had summer employment at the John Blumberg Golf Course in Winnipeg and I bought him an old set of clubs at a garage sale so he could make use of the golf privileges that came as a perk with his job. When we moved to Steinbach a few years later Dave started golfing at the Fly In golf course there. He bought shares for himself and for each of our sons as soon as they were born. Dave participated in the mens’ league, golfed as often as he could, and served for a long time on the board of directors. Our boys both had their first jobs at the golf course and worked there for many summers during their high school and university years. I started golfing in a ladies league in Steinbach and came to enjoy the game too. Since then Dave and I have golfed in many countries around the world, met interesting people and had good times with family and friends because of the game.
Now that he is retired Dave golfs two or three times a week. Although neither of our sons has a great deal of time to play golf, busy as they are with their careers and families, they still enjoy the game, so it made for a perfect activity for the three Driedger males to do together.
Golf is a sport that is definitely on the decline but for our family it has been a good way to build relationships, get exercise and have fun together.
I Golf For the Scenery
Golfers With an Artistic Side
I Did the Limbo on the Golf Course
Back on the Course Again
Filed under Family, Sports