Monday, June 27, 2005

Old Friends

My family and I went to a barbecue at my brother's place on Sunday. That alone would have been a fun time. My brother broils a great steak and my sister-in-law is a wonderful cook. They are both good company, as are their four children.

We pulled into the driveway at my brother's farm and didn't think anything of the strange car parked in the driveway. There are always people visiting there. My brother, his wife and the three of their kids that were at home welcomed us at the door.

Inside, a strangely familiar guy walked towards me and I realized that it was my old buddy Jerry, from my high school days. He and I skipped school together so many times, played pool, smoked cigars and talked. We talked a lot. I have no idea what we talked about any more but I know that I talked with Jerry more and in greater depth than with any of my other friends. He had a quick and sometimes caustic wit and we laughed often.

My brother had decided to have a surprise birthday party for me and decided to invite Jerry and his wife Judy to celebrate with us. The celebration was nearly a full month early, since I will be off roaming the United States with my family on my actual birthdate in July. It was my wife's birthday yesterday, so we celebrated her big day as well.

It's nice to hook up with old friends. I had seen Jerry a few times over the years and my wife and I had even been to visit him and his wife in the Niagara Peninsula, where they live. It is so easy to lose track of people over the years. We move. We develop diverging interests. We have families which demand so much of our time. We make excuses.

I have long since lost track of how often I have moved in my life, but it is in the dozens of times. I attended four public schools and two high schools. Before I went to university, I traveled around Canada and worked in many different cities. I have lost touch with so many friends over the years. I like to move around but also recognize that for kids a certain amount of stability is desirable. My wife and I are doing our best to ensure that my son graduates from the same public school he has attended since grade one. He is just finishing grade seven, so only one year to go. I hope he does a better job of staying in touch with his chums when he grows up.

I had a great time with my old friend and was very grateful that my brother looked him up and invited him.

Thanks, bro. You're a stand-up guy and a great brother!


  1. You write a comfortable "Remember the old day's type blog". This one made me recall the fact that for five days, 26 June to 1 July, my brother Bob and I are twins. Apparently my dad asked the doctor how long he would have to wait before claiming his conjugal rights after my birth. The doctor replied," It depends on whether your wife is in a private room, or a ward."

    I called my "twin" brother just the other day to wish him a happy birthday, and I asked him a personal question.

    "Bob, what if you and I were Siamese twins?"

    "We're not Siamese twins. Why would you ask such a stupid question?"

    "Play along with me. If we were Siamese twins, would you be willing to move to England with me, so that I could learn to drive?"

    Brothers are great. Too bad mine live in Medicine Hat, Belleville, and Wilton Station N.S.

    We aren't brothers Sieg, you old Atavist. but be assured, you're the guy I would like to call Bro.

  2. Thanks for the flattery, Bill. Your Czech (will Veronika Zemanova do?) is on the way.

  3. You sound like you have great friends and you're a great father. I bet your wife loves the heck out of you, too! Happy (early) Birthday!!