Friday, December 22, 2006

Dad's retirement from the sawmill and a picture at Christmas. These pictures would bring a tear to my eye. I miss him.

This is an amazing picture. I took this one I think (obviously). Down at the farm. One can sure tell Dawn is Bob's daughter in this picture.


Pretty classy looking guy to me. Of course I'm slightly biased. I don't think the world will ever see me and Bob putting Dad down. He had his faults of course. He might have been slightly cheap. We had to share tv dinners. And we may have had the worst lunch in the world when we went to school (toast with peanut butter). And we won't talk about his snuff. And he read the paper from front to back but yet he never talked about current events. He loved being in a car and watching the scenery go by.
And mom who was totally different. And they had a child every four or five years or so. Me and Bob could have had the strangest upbringing in the history of mankind. When we were down at the 'farm' we had to walk miles just to get to the nearest school bus stop. We must have loved Mom dearly. And it was tough on me because sometimes I didn't know where Bob was. It was confusing. I worried. Someone had to.
I'm not sure where my angst-ridden self comes from. I might have been adopted. In Pincher Creek it's easy to mix up babies: "Mrs. Storm, we have this child whom is threatening to jump off the hospital roof, would you take him?" "is he cute?" "a little" "is he pink?" "yes" "why is he threatening to jump?" "his pablum wasn't room temperature." "that's a problem?" "he thinks so".


I talked to Bob on the phone last night. I asked him whom the baby was and he said it's got 'Bobby' written on the back of the picture. I imagine it does.

Note the forehead. There may have been cuter children in the world at that time but I can't imagine how that is possible. There was a lineup to spoil him. Marlene and Anna were particularly bad. They didn't mind me either. The mothering instincts of those two were quite evident.

"Anna is pregnant" "I hope to gawd it's a girl" "no, it's Jim" "whom?" "Jim" "Marlene is pregnant" "it's a boy right?" "no, it's Laurie" "she is fairly cute" "fairly?" "amazingly"

We forgave Marlene and Anna until Neil and Kevin were born: "cute aren't they, why are they eyeing me with that evil stare? these two persons may not turn out well. Can we drown them and get on with life?" "they are slightly cute Uncle Don" "I suppose, but note the satanic aura around them, I can dectect me being annoyed at them quite readily, they won't amount to much, in fact they may turn out to be serial killers" "Neil and Kevin?" "it could happen, the good ones are often the bad ones although there are exceptions" "they are pink and cute, how can you tell that they might be serial killers when they are still in diapers?" "I have this anate sense" "of what" "doom"

In this picture, Dad looks like the only normal person. And at least if Bob combed his hair different and took off those glasses he would almost look normal (and be the spitting image of Neil). But the person on the right is beyond help. No wonder stray cats and miscreants didn't mind him. He's not great at coping with five days off, hopefully he'll never be allowed to retire. He broke his coffee percolator on Friday and walked through rain and sleet in the darkness to the nearest Home Hardware to buy a new one. He's cold and wet and thinking: "this is better than being at work" And of course when he gets back from buying a Black and Decker "Brew N'Go" coffee maker he doesn't read the fine print: 'even if you are the stupidest person in the history of mankind, you will remove all stickers and packing material'. He didn't and it was not a tasty first cup of coffee.

Coffee is important to me. I'm not a tea person. Believe it or not I bought some herbal tea. I'm thinking no caffeine, I'll sleep better. I bought the Rosehip and Hibiscus Flowers herbal tea. Not only did I not sleep better I had the bitter taste of herbs in my mouth throughout the night. So I gave that up. I don't know why I periodically think I should improve my lifestyle. This bod of mine is beyond repair but I never give up hope. So I haven't biked for a while now. I can see old age creeping in. Not really. I'm worried that I still feel good. I don't take feeling good for granted, it's a slippery slope between feeling okay and not feeling okay. Feeling okay is better. I pulled a muscle in my back a while back. I'm over it now but it sure gave me empathy towards Bob and Ger: "don you can't sleep in the fetal position for a while" "but I like it" "not only that, you have to sleep on your back" "and whenever you move your screams will wake the neighbourhood". I survived but it was hell. I don't know if anyone cares but my bed is surrounded by books. I have seven or eight books (a conservative estimate) on the go and sixteen or seventeen New Yorker magazine articles in the midst of being read.

I'm weird. I look forward to going to bed. I read a sentence (if I'm lucky) and I fall asleep. I have read a full paragraph but it doesn't happen often. But of course I wake up every two hours so I do have time to read. I used to fret about my sleeping habits but not any more. I've been this way since I was born so why bother. Of course my sleeping habits changed once. I visited Kev and Anita once and they confined me to a camper. I wasn't allowed to sleep in the house itself. Thank gawd I brought my guitar with me, on a bus across Canada, with two earaches. It was a cultural shock and a painful one. But anyway I slept so good and I don't think I got up before noon once. And I got to see Colin and Tyler. I don't mind them. They could be my favourite persons. Everyone is my favourite persons but they aren't bad.

Except Kevin. He is annoying. If I ever move out there, he has got to go. I don't do the 'walk softly around Kevin thing'. Hello. 'Kevin will be home for lunch at any moment, we have to be quiet' Hello. May I expound? First of all he's got the easiest job in the history of mankind. And if he drank too much the night before, too bad. So he's cute. Big deal. When I move out there his life will change drastically: I'm using this couch and your soup isn't ready and I've hogtied Anita so she can't wait on you hand and foot. In fact I may kill you. Is that a prob? "no grilled cheese sandwich?""nope" "no campbells tomato soup" "nope" "no couch to have a nap on?" "nil" And when I was out there a few years ago I contributed to his being spoiled. I made him a ham and cheese sandwich which I took great care to make while Anita was working: 'how is it?' 'not bad' 'it's not great?' 'not bad' 'do you like intense pain because I'm going to stab you".

And Kev knows how to ruin my weekend: so you write only when you have beer in hand? He actually said you are a drunk and you can't write without a beer in hand. Maybe. I don't think so. I just have so much in my mind that has to get out and having a beer helps. And I have such a good time, I don't know how anyone can put me down for that. My physical life is not that great but I think perhaps you could all take a page from my book and it wouldn't be a bad thing. I have the genes of Dad and Mom in me and I think that is greatest thing in the history of mankind. We all do. Not a family member can tell me they don't feel special. We are special.


I remember this picture being taken. Still working, always working. I remember it as if it was yesterday. Down in Goat River Bottom. She had to nap so she could get back to work for the next shift. Although not in the picture, there is a blue 1958 Chevrolet Impala not far away. Me and Bob kind of loved Mom. When one has been loved by Mom, one has been loved by the best. The numero uno. Although Grandma Darling was amazing. And Marlene was unbelievable. The three of them were on a par. Watch them with children. It was the most amazing thing I've ever seen.

Mom was the nicest person in the history of mankind. I wish I could tell you why. Some things are obvious. Honest to gawd it was tough on us. And Bob was the youngest child. To my recollection we never saw Mom that much. She was always working. But she gave me 15 cents every day in the summer to swim. She knew that was my passion. Me and Bob actually fought a lot as brothers do. We survived. I remember when Roy and Anna got married. I wanted to so bad go down for there wedding. It was tough time for me. And Gordie Wilson. And Terry, and Donna Mae. Good people. I presume they are dead by now but they sure made my life better. And Della. I enjoyed going to the Jehovah Witness gatherings. Not for a moment did I think that my soul was being saved and never will. Probably some persons like George Bush and Stephen Harper. This is where me and Bob aren't quite in sync. I don't get religion and I don't want to. Not my cup of tea to say the least. For those whom think it a is cure-all it is good thing. I don't get it but that not so bad. I'm not perfect.


That is Erling Adlebert Darling with the hat. Uncle Bert was pretty good. I do not remember seeing this picture in my life before. That is Marlene. I presume that is me and Bob. That is Nelda standing in front of Marlene. She was wierd, but okay. And as Bob has correctly pointed out, my britches were hitched pretty high. I remember thinking: I'm a nerd, I might as well look like one. I remember that tricycle. This picture of course puts to rest why Bob was spoiled. The cutest kid in the history of mankind. Even then I was thinking: "this is too idyllic, a bolt of lightning should hit us at any moment, where's my bike?, I have a headache, does anyone care?, I'm gonna climb the tallest tree and jump off it"

Uncle Don

I actually like that haircut. Those glasses have got to go.
I just have to say thank you again to Bob for sending me these pictures. Not this picture in particular but the old ones are so good. The picture with Uncle Bert in it is just beyond words. And Mom and Dad. Bob knows what I like.
I never thought the Storm Blog would amount to much. With these pictures for all to see, and with the new arrivals I think it is a good thing.