Monday, 16 June 2014

The Days of Our Fathers

  What a wonderful Fathers Day weekend I just had.  The family and I spent the weekend at our church's camp on Silver Lake...well at least during the day.  At night we retreated to the comfort of the family cottage not too far away.

It was a perfect way to pass Fathers Day as it reminded me of past times spent with my father and grandfathers.  What better way to celebrate fatherhood than to pass on similar memories to my girls.  It's like a legacy of leisure that speaks to the things that are important and enjoyed by the generations that came before me.

My father-in-law is dedicated to his family more than anything else. He likes to say that the main reason he owns the cottage is for the children and grandchildren.  It is truly a blessing to have such a wonderful place to retreat to.

We went for a hike through the woods on Saturday - which always reminds me of Grampa Gideon (paternal grandfather).  I remember hiking with him on Manitoulin Island and him often having some interesting fact to share.  Like the one time he found some wild mint leaves growing, took some sap from a tree and made himself some gum.  I kid you not.  He was born in the forest up near James Bay and grew up in them so he was savvy to the ways of the woods.   My knowledge of the woods doesn't come close to my Grampa's, if I tried to make gum I'd probably choose the wrong type of leaf and give everyone a horrible rash on their mouths - not the memories I'm going for.  So I didn't pull out any cool tricks on my hike (unless you count getting to the end without running through a bunch of poison ivy a cool trick). However my enjoyment and appreciation of the woods and nature are on par with his and I'm glad my girls also seem to have a natural bond with the woods.

My Pappa's (maternal grandfather) main priority was always bent towards faith.  To that end I'm quite proud to carry on that heritage and raise my girls in an environment, surrounded by people of faith that encourage them to grow and experience faith in their own right.

These characteristics are not exclusive to my grandfathers; my Dad embodies them and in such a way has been a conduit bringing the past into the present and hopefully to see them live on into the future. My Dad has always been a fun-loving, out-doorsy, water-loving, family man of faith and in that regards  I believe I am cut from the same cloth.  I don't think I could count the hours spent outside (or at outdoors shows) mainly on or near a lake with my Dad.

I spent Sunday the way that I think my Dad would have liked to spend it.  Most of it was spent either in or on the water.  I was planning on going for a leisurely dip but that turned into a massive water fight with a bunch of kids (yes, I was probably the biggest kid there) - my girls were loving it.  Then my family took a canoe out for a nice whip around the lake.  It was perfect.

Nap time
Oh and the driving...yes my childhood reminiscing would not be complete without thinking about all the driving we did.  My Dad was born to drive and our trips always included an element of driving...for hours.  This was before any cool devices that could placate kids for hours existed aside from the radio and eventually tape players (I think my older sister got a walkman at one point which was amazing to us).  Yes our cool technology was mainly books, magazines and the great outdoors.

  We were constantly scanning, "keeping our eyes open" for any wildlife that we might see...


Can you spot the deer?

Well in that regards my Dad would have been proud.  In our 2 hour drive (30 minutes X 4) from the cottage to the church campground we saw: 2 turtles, 2 snakes, 2 raccoons, 2 vultures, 2 deer, a butterfly, a daddy-long-legs spider and the shaggiest husky you can imagine.  In addition we saw a few blue herons, fish galore, and a playful chipmunk.  For awhile there, we were seeing two of so many kinds of animals I thought I might have to start building ourselves a boat.  It was wild.

So that was our Fathers' Day weekend.  A celebration of the legacy and heritage passed down that make us Gideons and Paavolas the type of men and fathers we are...a celebration of the past and the present with an eye to the future.  May you have had a similar time!

We stopped on an old wooden bridge to take this.


  1. Yes there is nothing like getting out in the outdoors and travelling our great province and country. Many great memories and there will be many more with all the kids and grandchildren, Family all the way. Love you all. Dad