Category Archives: Family

Making Memories

My brother-in-law John is facing some serious health challenges and that prompted our recent trip to Ontario.  We wanted to make some memories.  As they have on so many past visits my brother-in-law and sister-in-law Paul and Shirley opened their home to us. They are so incredibly hospitable.  Two of our nephews hosted family events that were lots of fun.  We were able to make a couple quick visits to Dave’s aunts and uncles. We attended my brother-in-law John and sister-in-law Linda’s anniversary party, went to watch a great-nephew play baseball a couple of times, went to the Dairy Freez where a great-niece works, enjoyed a barbecue with steaks grilled to perfection by my brother-in-law Bill and golfed.  We also spent several hours on two days staying with John and visiting with him while Linda went out to do errands.  Our last afternoon in Ontario we went to pick up a wheelchair equipped van and took Dave’s brother John on another outing, this time to a local winery.  

During our visit to the winery this praying mantis got up close and personal with one of the wine corks

The Muscedere Winery has special memories for our family.  family photo hannah's weddingIt was while taking a family photo in the vineyard there seven years ago that our older son and his wife told us they were expecting their first child.  


My niece being led down the aisle by her Dad

My niece got married on the winery grounds in a ceremony and reception that turned out to be very memorable.  On our visit this time we enjoyed four of the Muscedere  Winery’s delicious wood fired pizzas and  two kinds of their white wines.  There was lots of visiting and reminiscing and joking and story telling.  at the winery leamingtonIt created another fine family memory. 

Other posts……..

Treking to the Tip of Canada

The Driedgers Bike Boblo Island

Driedgers Hiking in Arizona


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Back on the Course Again

golfing in leamington (1)Yesterday I golfed for the first time since I broke my wrist.  I was a little nervous about it wondering if I would feel any pain or if the break would have impacted my golf swing at all.  We were golfing in Leamington, Ontario with my brother-in-law and sister-in-law so I had to use rented clubs and it took a while to get used to them.  But by the end of the round I was hitting some decent drives and fairway shots, and my putting, if I do say so myself, was pretty darn good.  On at least five of the nine holes my playing partners were impressed with the long putts I sank. And by the end of the round my wrist didn’t even hurt.  me and paulWe celebrated my return to the game on the patio of the golf club with drinks.  It felt good to be back on the course again. 

beautiful Lake Erie

Beautiful view of Lake Erie from the golf club patio.

Other posts….

I Did the Limbo on the Golf Course

Inspiration on the Hecla Island Golf Course on the Last Days of August

Family Visit in Leamington, Ontario



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Dave The Professional Driver

My husband Dave often reminds people who venture to offer him advice when he is behind the wheel that he is after all a professional driver. Dave has a part time job as a shuttle driver for a luxury car dealership in Winnipeg.  getting john into the vanYesterday however he took his professional driving skills to a whole new level. He drove a wheel chair accessible van to transport his brother and his wife to their 36th anniversary party.

getting instructions

Dave getting a few tips over the phone from the owner of the van who wasn’t home when we went to pick it up

Dave had to learn how to operate the lift that raises the wheelchair into the van.  driving the vanHe admitted the vehicle was a bit of a boat that swayed a little from side to side as he drove but with his professional driving skills he was able to steer that ‘boat’ down the highway.  He did deign to take a few directional tips from his sister-in-law since we were navigating the roads of Essex County Ontario and there have been one or two changes to the local geography since Dave grew up there more than fifty years ago.  

john out of the van

Our nephew and my brother-in-law helped Dave lower the wheelchair out of the van when we arrived at the lake.

Dave did a great driving  job getting the anniversary couple to their party on the grounds of the hot dog stand on Lake Erie where they had their first date.

anniversary party

My sister-in-law telling the anniversary party guests a funny story about how she fell in love with her husband.

 Some fifty people had gathered to order supper at the hot dog stand, visit and enjoy champagne and cake. the anniversary coupleBefore we headed back home Dave drove the van down to the beach so the couple could take a stroll along the lake where their romance had first started.  dave and johnI was proud of Dave yesterday. He put his professional driving skills to wonderful use.

Other posts……….

The Amazing Race – Driedger Style

Old Memories in Black and White

Getting Nostalgic and Just a Little Sad


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Family Feud

Have you heard of Michal?  Michal was married to King David and in the Biblical book of  2 Samuel we read about a rather nasty fight they had.  


The Ark of the Covenant transported to Jerusalem, preceded by David dancing and playing the harp by Marc Chagall- 1956

David has been instrumental in returning the Ark of the Covenant to its rightful place in Jerusalem. He expresses his religious excitement with an exuberant dance and shares his joy by distributing bread to everyone.  What a generous spiritual man! 

michal watching David from the window by James Tissot- 1898

Michal Watching David From the Window by James Tissot -1898

Or so we’d think if we weren’t introduced to Michal who despises her husband and after watching him celebrating tells David his dancing is vulgar and shameful. David snaps a hurtful retort back at Michal. Their vicious spat can perhaps be explained by their dramatic marriage history.


Michal Helps David Escape From Her Father by Gustave Dore- 1865

Michal’s father King Saul gave her to David as a reward for killing Goliath. Later Saul tries to kill David and Michal saves David’s life.

Illustration from the Morgan BIble of Michal being taken away from Palti

David goes into hiding and Saul gives Michal to another man named Palti. He and Michal have such a good relationship that when David defeats Saul and insists on taking Michal back, her second husband is heart broken. Michal’s subsequent life in David’s harem is lonely and unhappy.  

David was a great leader but many of his family relationships, like the one with Michal, are marked by bitterness, betrayal and anger.

Family relationships can be tricky and tough. Sometimes peace and forgiveness is almost impossible. But knowing our behaviors and choices have created pain for our families can taint our other accomplishments and diminish our happiness. Nelson Mandela once said his greatest regret was that his personal life was so unstable and that the political choices he made caused great pain for his family. 

Michal and David’s hostile interaction in this 2 Samuel text is a good reminder that doing our best to heal brokenness in our families is  important. 

Other posts……..

King David Was a Rapist

Introducing Kids to Abigail

A Mother For King David.  Who Knew?

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An Artist’s Date For My Mom

Mom singing and playing the piano with my sister and me.

In the book my writers group is currently reading and discussing The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron, the author introduces an important ritual to keep your creativity flowing.  You need  to take yourself on an artist’s date at least once a week.  On an artist’s date you do something totally creative just for yourself.  It is a way to foster and stimulate your creative side. You might go to a concert or take an acting class or try ballet or sit by the seashore and sketch. 

My Mom playing the piano with her granddaughter

It struck me lately that my mother took herself on an artist’s date every Sunday afternoon.  Mom’s life was incredibly hectic, she was raising four children, cooking and cleaning and doing laundry and keeping track of all of our busy schedules, supporting us in our many music and sports  involvements.

My Mom on the piano and her grandson on the guitar

Mom was also busy with a host of volunteer things at church and in the community but on Sunday afternoons after she had cleaned up the dishes (and on Sundays she made a full course hot meal at noon) she would sit down at the piano often for an hour or more and just play. Mom played for school and church choirs and at countless weddings and funerals. She was a sought after accompanist for singers and violinists at music festivals. But ……….on those Sunday afternoons she played for her own enjoyment. She played what she loved- sonatas and etudes, minuets and gavottes, preludes and nocturnes and plenty of popular tunes from the thirties and forties.   Most of the time she played without sheet music- the memorized pieces tumbling from her head to her hands, out into the livingroom and through the house.   It was her weekly artist’s date. 

Mom on the piano with one grandson on clarinet and another on trombone. I have no photos of Mom on her Sunday afternoon artist’s dates at the piano. I wish I did.

When my mother was dying in the hospital we noticed that she was using the coverlet on her bed as a keyboard, first finding a middle C at a certain spot and then playing the pieces she loved, her fingers flying along the threads of the blankets.  

Today on my Mom’s birthday it inspires and comforts me to know that she was still in touch with her creativity till the very last days of her life. 

My Mom playing her old Heintzman piano which I had for many years

Note:  Mom owned two pianos during her married life.  The first a Heintzman upright is now at my sister’s home and has been lovingly restored. In this photo at a Christmas gathering at my sister’s my grandson and my two daughters- in- law are singing at the piano. Her beloved grand piano graces the main room of her granddaughter’s house.  Recently my niece’s partner told me it is played almost every day.  My Mom would love that!

Other posts…….

A Chicken Soup Story For Mother’s Day

Thirties Prairie Portraits

My Mom’s Birthday



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Where I’m From – Moose Lake

Moose Lake- 1960-

moose lake cottage earliestI am from skinny- dipping in the dark, gin rummy games in the glow of the kerosene lamp and six cousins up on skis behind the boat

I am from horse flies and fire flies and dragon flies and mosquitoes and the wooden table with the secret drawer

I am from the time a mouse frightened Auntie Margaret in the outdoor biffy and she ran out screaming- her bum as bare as could be

dad and kaaren at cottageI am from swimming through seaweed, the lake itch, a salt- shaker for the eels, washing and drying dishes, building forts, planting pines, swamping the Pepper and catching frogs

moose lake manitobaI’m from charades, jig saw puzzles, Monopoly, the sand pile, the tire swing and my nose in a pile of Readers Digest condensed books and old National Geographics

I’m from collecting shells and driftwood at Lake of the Woods, walking to the store for ice-cream and the stranded buck we guided to shore by the antlers

moose lake cottageI am from Segne Vater, Komm Herr Jesu, Johnny Appleseed and God is Great before meals, church at the camp on Sunday morning, and the neighbor coming to ask Dad to get the fishhook out of his hand

I’m from coffee and cake at Auntie Selma’s– “walk backwards and sing if you see a bear”- from “swords into ploughshares”- “be happy”- “wear a life jacket” -­ “let’s go to the north end”– and “it will be better by the time you’re a grandma”

sunset on moose lakeI am from hot nights and canoeing down the path of the full moon, chocolate chip cookies, Dad making eggs to order with bacon, and roasted marshmallows 

I am from Grandpa dog paddling and telling us stories of his life as a prisoner and baker in the Russian army- trying to tip the boat in a bout of rebellion, loons calling, gartner snakes writhing, fish jumping and spotting the bald eagle’s nest

moose lake cottage Hanging on the wall was the cabin journal adorned with birch bark and berries- stories from a family haven- the one constant place in my life.

Other posts……..

Lord You Have Come To the Lakeshore

Wild Flower Inspiration- Moose Lake

My Nephew!  My Hero!



Filed under Family, Nature

My Dad is…….

My Dad is …………….

dad feeds ml

My Dad feeding me while studying for his medical school classes

Someone who helped provide me with a good start in life 


My Dad examining patients in Haiti

Someone who taught me the value of sharing your gifts with others generously

mom and dad in their flower garden

My Mom and Dad in their flower garden on their former property just outside of Steinbach

Someone who modeled what it meant to be loyal to your marriage partner

dad and his sisters

My Dad with his five sisters

Someone who has shown me how important it is to maintain a supportive relationship with your siblings

dad puts in dock at moose lake

My Dad putting in the dock at our family cottage at Moose Lake

Someone who has been an inspiration to work hard

grandfather with grandsons

My Dad with two of this grandsons when they were small

Someone who has always been interested and involved in his grandchildren’s lives

school trustee

My Dad was a  school trustee for many years. Dad is far right in the first row.

Someone who modeled the importance of serving your community

dad and his tomato plants

My Dad with harvest from his tomato crop in 2006

Someone who has taught me there is value in living close to the earth


With my Dad on his 88th birthday in 2016

Someone who continues to play an important role in my life

Happy Father’s Day!

Other posts……….

My Dad Hasn’t Lost His Green Thumb

Father’s Day

Remembering my Grandpa

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