Friday, May 13, 2005


My dad turns 65 on Saturday. He is refusing to celebrate this birthday as he seems to be having an age crisis. Regardless it is his birthday. A very thoughtful man for whom I once worked, told us about this thing he does for his daughters whenever they have a birthday. He writes them a list of the things he has learned from them... and the number of items on his list corresponds with their age. I think this is a pretty cool premise - and even did this for my dear friend, RJS when she turned 30.

Again, my dad is 65. It took me a while. My dad has no idea that I have this blog, probably a good thing, I'm not sure. But I'm not ruining the surprise.

(I apologize to those of you who are here for the knitting. Yarn and other bits of yarn-related happy will return next week. Maybe. Next week is bound to be busy too. For those Haligonians in my readship - TANGLED SKEINS IS HOLDING AN ANNIVERSARY SALE NEXT WEEK, MAY 15-21. GET YOURSELVES OVER THERE AND TELL SHERYL THAT STEPHANIE SENT YOU. Ahem. If you haven't already been there - this is a good opportunity to get hooked on the good stuff while it is cheap. If you have been there, well, go and hug Sheryl and tell her how happy you are to have her supplying your drug of choice - wool, wool-silk blend, cotton, whatever. Yarn buyers of Nova Scotia, UNITE!)


In honour of your birthday (or un-birthday, whichever you prefer), I’ve compiled a list of 65 things I have learned from you. I guess it shows that I have been paying attention all along. Some things are light hearted, some are more serious. Thank you, Dad... for being such a great teacher.

1. Don’t act your age.
2. If you carry the peppermints, you won’t be left behind.
3. Even if the deer are eating your manicured shrubs, they are beautiful.
4. Shrews must eat constantly and it hurts like heck when they bite.
5. Don’t forget to check your oil.
6. Sometimes, you should plunge right into the stream.
7. Other times, it is best to take a moment to determine if the stream has become a river.
8. Whoever invented peanut butter was a bloody genius and deserves our respect and admiration.
9. 32 mph = 50 km/hr
10. Steering while sitting next to the driver is a good skill to have.
11. It takes a lot longer to stop a moving vehicle than you might think. Drive carefully.
12. A 1969 Buick with a 454 engine will burn an entire tank of gas in a week even though you only drive to school and back.
13. Aim is important when “taking out” ice chunks in a river.
14. Even more important, is making sure that your child’s boyfriend knows about that aim.
15. Uncle Buck. Enough said.
16. Keep your friends close, keep your enemies closer - is this is why Scott and Dwayne were allowed to use the garage?
17. If you’re going to dress in drag, be classy. It also doesn’t hurt to resemble Margaret Thatcher.
18. It’s not tuna fish, it’s “dirty old tuna fish”.
19. A parent will always find out if you do something stupid.
20. If your parent’s car is damaged when a truck backs into it while it is parked on the main street of your small town, your parent will know about it before you have left the store you are in.
21. Only an “Asshole” would back the aforementioned truck into that car.
22. Someone has to stay sober.
23. You aren’t too old to try new sports, like water-skiing.
24. It’s not Syd, it’s Dad, even on the telephone paging system.
25. It’s ok to make a hundred.
26. Oranges taste best when eaten while taking a break on cross country skis.
27. Fourteen is not too young to drive a truck through town.
28. When flipping bullfrogs, the key is to be very quiet while you slip your paddle under him.
29. Keep paddling, even if your shoulders hurt.
30. When someone tells you to get back into the canoe, GET BACK INTO THE CANOE.
31. The river is be shorter when you travel in a straight line.
32. Do not, under any circumstances, kick your partner under the table if they say, “Kick me if you have the Ace of Spades.”
33. The 401 is not for the faint of heart.
34. It is not “fun giant Barbie pool time” when the basement floods. It is panic and curse time.
35. Saying goodbye to a tree is like saying goodbye to an old friend and it’s ok to shed a tear or two.
36. If you’re going to use a slingshot on a squirrel, have the humanity to have good aim and the good fortune to have an audience. (with apologies to the animal rights activists in the group - this happened a long time ago).
37. A winch is a wonderful, miraculous thing.
38. Whenever you are able, stop and help a woman to change her flat tire.
39. Sometimes heroes wear half glasses and a tie.
40. If you’re going to tell a story, for Heaven’s sake, make sure you get all of the names right, no matter how long it takes to remember them.
50. Make sure your passenger is sitting down and holding on before you hit the gas on your skidoo.
51. National Geographic Explorer is NOT a boring show.
52. If your child mispronounces a word while she is learning to read, make sure that you bring it up again and again throughout her life.
53. It is sometimes worth the misery of an allergy attack to see something beautiful.
54. If something strikes you funny, really funny - don’t be afraid to laugh until you cry. (I’ve got a rash from makin’ in the bushes.)
55. When you’re on vacation - buy a stupid-looking hat and wear it proudly.
56. Stoke the fire before you go to bed. Your bunkmates may complain about the heat at first, but they’ll be reminiscing about it when they can see their breath in the morning.
57. Wear sun block and sit in the shade.
58. Chocolate is an under-valued 5th food group.
59. Act tough, but don’t be afraid to let your real feelings show.
60. Always keep your son-in-law guessing.
61. Watch out for moose.
62. Check your oil.
63. If your name isn’t on it, it’s not your fault (well, maybe not).
64. Call your kid by her nickname, even when she’s a grownup, ‘cause she still likes hearing it.
65. Carry the kid up the hill, they’re only little once.

Here’s to next year and 66 things.
With love,

Have a great weekend everyone. I'm off tomorrow morning to see my dad.


  1. What a great list, so sweet, he'll love it! My dad's nickname for me was Boo, also! Jane

  2. This is beautiful...

  3. OMG - I'm at home and just realized, I'm missing 10 items from the list! Panic!

  4. This is so cute!

    What is it about Dad's and the oil... and they are always right too. haha