... Of Surviving the Wilderness
My sister Lin and I grew up (ages 3-11) on our grandparents farm in North Western Alberta.
During the 1950's this area was still considered frontier land - no electricity, no running water and 30 miles to the nearest town.
or "What you might have learned even when you didn't think you were paying attention!”
We don’t always realize how we affect other people by what we say and do and we don’t always know who is paying attention and who is not. For example – Bailey (my daughter) and I have had some great conversations – ever since she was just a little person. Sometimes when I thought I was passing on some great wisdom, she had forgotten it by the next day – others times she would call me on something I had said – often as a passing comment – many years before.
A Tribute to
Uncle Paul -
..to Aunt Barbara – who openly showed affection, gave hugs with warmth and tenderness, teased with a mischievous twinkle in her eye – things my young life had not experienced before. She took the time to explain about life and how to look at things in a different way. She must have had a positive effect on Lin too, because she was always much better behaved after a trip to Stan and Barbs.
The one who, without a doubt, has been the biggest influence in my life – Uncle Paul. Here was a young man, 28 or 29, single and to my knowledge, no experience in raising kids, who woke up one morning and found a niece and nephew living with him.
Over the next few pages I offer my tribute to this extra-ordinary man as I take a fond, and sometimes humorous, look back at some of the things he taught me.
As you know, childhood is when you are most easily influenced. What you learn then very often determines what kind of person you grow up to be. When Lin and I were about 3 or 4 years old Dad took a vacation from marriage and we went to live with our Grandma and Grandpa for about 8 years.
They took good care of us. They were kind and generous, spoiled us rotten – especially Lin, she used to get away with everything. They were good people, the kind of grandparents everyone would want. But on occasion – actually most of the time – Lin would tire them out and they would seek the assistance from additional troops. These additional troops – aunts and uncles - would leave great impressions on me that I still remember today.
We meet many kinds of people all the time. They drift in and out of our lives and really don’t affect our behaviors or how we think. But every once in awhile a stranger, a mentor, a teacher, a friend, a family member or – are you ready for this – even a parent, says or does something that makes us go ‘hmm and changes how we look at things.