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What A Week

December 7, 2012 @ 19:36

john1.jpgThis is an e-mail I received this week. He was quoting something I had written last week.

'Welcome back. I know I've said this before, but this time I mean it. With the lousy weather having settled in, and for the moment Humble and I not doing a terrestrial radio show, I have more time on my hands.. so.. I'm going to get back to it.. I'm going to post at least one thing a day.'

Well that didn't last too long. I guess you are busy.

Fair enough Gary, I said one thing and then I did another. But I really do have an excuse.

Last Sunday, just as I was about to sit down and write, we got a call from my son in law Josh that my daughter Melanie had gone into labour. Needless to say, we jumped in the car and headed for the hospital where were waited anxiously for the next seven hours.

Then, about 8:30 eastern time, Sunday, December 5th all of our lives changed. Melanie gave birth to a beautiful seven pound, 14 ounce baby boy.

John Richard Arnold. John, because Melanie and Josh like the name, and Richard after my father who Melanie adored.

Excuse me for excusing myself Gary, but his arrival has taken up most of the week and it pushed blogging to the background again.

As much as I appreciate your concern, I can't really give a shit.

As I've said many times before, the blog is free so I don't really owe anyone anything. I appreciate that its widely read, but it's something that can easily get knocked down my priority list.

But all that aside, let me describe what a wonderful week it's been.

Baby John was expected on Monday the 3rd, so he was actually a day early, however from what we had been told about first pregnancies, we assumed he might arrive later than sooner.

But he had different plans and by Sunday night we were all rejoicing in the typical things. He had five fingers and five toes, his heart beat was strong and his breathing was perfect.

A healthy baby boy was now part of our world.

As exciting as it's been for Delyse and I as first time grandparents it's been dream come true for Melanie and Josh.

From as far back as I can remember, Melanie has always loved kids and she always looked forward to the day she would become a mother. It was so much fun to watch her and Josh prepare for the big day and when it arrived it was something I'll never forget.

Delyse and I, along with my son Danny and his girlfriend Sophia sat in the waiting room for a couple of hours wondering what the hell was going on.

It was nerve wracking.

Then the moment arrived that we were all waiting for, Josh came around the corner and said, "would you like to meet your grandson?"

That's all it took. My emotions ran wild and I tried to hold back the tears until I at least saw the kid.

And what a sight that was.

To walk in the room and to see our grandson lying on his mother's chest, just minutes after he was born was almost too much to comprehend.

My legs got rubbery and the tears started to flow. I looked at Melanie, gave her a kiss and I said hello to my grandson for the first time.

Something like, "hello little guy."

It really was surreal. From the moment we found out Melanie was pregnant I kept wondering what that first moment would be like, and so did Delyse.

Well let me tell you, it was every bit as great as I thought it would be. To look at the child of your child with assurance that everything is OK and he's healthy and he's strong is like nothing I've ever felt before.

And since then, it's only gotten better. Every night this week we've been at Melanie's house. Delyse has actually stayed there.

We've all just stood around staring at John, taking it all in and falling more and more in love with him as each minute passes.

It's hard to believe how seven measly pounds of humanity can represent so much, change so many lives and cause so much reflection and love.

Delsye and I don't know how we're going to handle it. Because John is a newborn we can be at the house every night and pitch in, we have an excuse, but that's not going to last forever and eventually we're going to have to go a day or two without seeing him.

We've got to remember he's not our son, he's our grandson and he won't be living with us. He'll be with his mom and dad, and oh what a lucky kid he is from that standpoint.

Melanie can't help but kiss him constantly and the look of pride on Josh's face is something not easily described.

These are two good people who I'm sure will raise a good child.

Last night as I held him I kept thinking about the first time he sits up, the first time he recognizes me, the first time he says Papa, the first time he walks and the first time he catches a ball.

And then I caught myself, because I've got to watch myself. I can't get too far ahead of myself because I remember how quickly my own kids grew up.

I'm going to step back, take a breath and enjoy every minute along the way. Not be in a hurry for anything because it all moves so quickly on its own.

This feeling of love is powerful. John's arrival has made me reassess everything this week.

I love Melanie more for what's she's been through, I love Josh more for what he's helped accomplish, I love Delyse more because she gave me Melanie and I love my son Danny more because he too is part of the whole wonderful package.

When I look at John I see an extension of a family I'm very proud of. He's our own flesh and blood.

It's been a great week, and I'm sure it will be the beginning of a great life.

The life of John Richard Arnold.

Category: Family

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Waiting For John

November 26, 2012 @ 17:35

Since my daughter Melanie and her husband Josh surprised us with the great news last spring that we were going to be grandparents, we've been on pins and needles.

It's hard to explain unless you've been through it. The anticipation of being a Papa is like nothing I've ever felt before.

I fathered two kids, but what got me through that was ignorance. I don't think I ever really appreciated the responsibility I was about to take on when Delyse was pregnant with Melanie, and that was probably a good thing.

If I had stopped down at the time and thought about the all the things I was about to be responsible for, I probably would have left the country.

But there were no reference points.

Other than a dog and a 1973 Ford Pinto, I had never been responsible for anything really, so I assumed it would be no big deal - and even though it was a big deal, my immaturity was very helpful.

It wasn't till long after my kids were somewhat grown that I looked back and realized what we had accomplished. And that's why the anticipation of being a grandparent is so different.

Now I do have reference points and I realize what's at stake here and I'm scared shitless, and for so many reasons, not the least of which is how this whole thing has been compounded.

Not only do I have to worry about a child that's coming into a much different world, but also I have to worry about whether he'll get here safely and what that might do to the kid who's having the kid.

By the way, we already know he's a boy and his name is John Richard.

When I see the size of Melanie's belly I wonder how on earth that bump is going to see the light of day without a whole lot of painful pushing and screeching and I hate the thought of all that painful screeching being done by my sweet Melanie.

No matter what age, you never want your kids to suffer disappointment or sadness let alone pain.

That's where I'm at right now. I'm nervous about this arrival, and although I'm sure everything is going to be alright, I'm still a little freaked out by it all, but way more freaked out than I was awaiting the arrival of my own kids.

I can't wait till we get the contractions call, and I really can't wait till John is here and I'm holding him in my arms and Melanie is fine and looking forward to the paramount job that she and Josh have in front of them.

I've already made the vow; I'm going to concentrate on John Richard like I've never concentrated on anything before. Again, when you're raising your own kids you're so busy you forget to really appreciate what you're doing and before you know it, they've grown up.

I constantly find myself looking back over Melanie and Danny's lives trying to remember certain moments only to be frustrated by my inability to do it.

The way I look at it, based on averages, I'll be lucky to have 25 years with John and even less with grand kids still to come... so I'm going to make the most of it.

When I think of the moment I first lay eyes on John I can't help but get emotional and sentimental and to some extent wistful.

It's going to be an adventure and I promise, definitely over the next few months, and hopefully over the next few years, I'll continue to write about it.

Category: Family

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The Producers

August 30, 2011 @ 08:09

One of my favourite movies of all time is "The Producers", the 1968 version not the 2005 version. The stage play I saw in New York wasn't too bad either.

The reason I bring this up is because I've got a version of "The Producers" going on in my family right now.

Both my kids decided to follow their old mans lead and pursue the media as a career, but they went to the other side.

Both work in television and both are Producers. If this sounds like a whole lot of braggin' and shit, so be it. I'm proud of the little buggers and it gives a parent a great sense of relief when their kids get on the right path.

My daughter Melanie started a new job yesterday. She's a Producer for the Steven and Chris Show on CBC. It's a great gig that's perfect for her because she's into all the stuff they talk about on the show.

Mel has done well, after a few years as a production assistant at MUCHmore Music and then a stint at Odeon Cineplex she has settled into a great situation.

As for my boy, Danny is Associate Producer / Original Content with The Score sports network.

Danny always had a keen interest in "how stuff works" so needless to say working with today's technology is the perfect place for him.

He gets to do pretty much everything at The Score and he gets to do some travellin' as well.

I'm thrilled that my kids are doing what they want to do. I spent 33 years feeling like I never really had a job and I can only hope they end up the same way.

Bragging? So what!

Category: Family

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Garden Angel

April 21, 2011 @ 23:04

Here's a great story about my dad that his former neighbour Kelly wrote. It says it all about Dickie!

When we moved to the fertile farm region of Georgian Bay, Ontario, I decided to see if I had a green thumb.

I solicited the help of my retired neighbour, Dick, who seemed to be able to grow anything well. We built 3 raised beds and added the right mixture of soil and manure. He gave me solid start up and maintenance advice and lent me his books on gardening. The best thing he did was tell me 'Don't worry, Kel, it's easy.' (more)

Category: Family

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Chirpin' About Dickie

March 29, 2011 @ 08:08

I woke up to birds chirping outside my window in Peterborough this morning and I thought of a conversation I had with my wife and son on the weekend. They love to wake up to this sound, especially in the spring and so do I.

And there's another reason I love the sound of birds in the morning. It reminds me of my dad who passed away three years ago today.

My dad was the bird king. When I was a kid he raised canaries in the basement, and then about 20 years later, he raised them again in his garage in Milton.

Dickie had all kinds of bird stuff. Bird books, bird pictures, a bird clock that chirped a different bird every hour, he made bird houses and bird feeders, and back in the 70's during the CB radio craze his handle was Scarborough Blue Jay.

The bird feeders were fascinating when Dick and June lived in Stayner. Dickie knew what to put in what feeder to attract certain kinds of birds and it was fun to sit there and enjoy the wild variety of birds that inhabit Ontario, sometimes it felt like a freakin' sanctuary.

They say that time heals, and for me it has. When my dad first died it was hard to imagine living the rest of your life without someone who meant so much to you, but as time goes on and we go about our busy lives the hurt turns into a different feeling, feelings of warmth and contentment that come through great memories, like the bird memories.

Dickie lived a great life and was a great father and we had him for close to 83 years.

Everyone should be so lucky.

By the way, for those of you who ask about Junie, and there are many of you, she's doing fine. Still lovin' and laughin and cursin' in Mississauga. She still lives on her own, she still drives and she still walks the dog a couple of times a day.

She's a multi-tasker. She does all of this while desperately missing Dickie.

Category: Family

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Fred W. Perrin

November 11, 2010 @ 10:46

Fred W. Perrin was born in 1899 and died in 1967, but thanks to the internet some 43 years after his death, I can ask the "world" not to forget.

Whenever Remembrance Day rolls around I think of my grandfather - my mother's father and the man I was named after. He died at 68 year of age, suffering with emphysema caused by an injury in World War 1.

He was only 18 years old when mustard gas was thrown into a trench along the Western Front in Europe. Only 18 years old when the poison gas caused significant damage to his lungs. He survived, but the effects of the gas would take its toll over the next few decades.

All of my memories of Papa include him gasping for air. He couldn't walk far and he had difficulty with stairs. He would be left huffing and puffing and often frustrated. In 1967 he couldn't take it anymore and passed away two days after my 11th birthday.

At the time living that long with his condition was considered surprising, but it wasn't much of an existence. My mom says his last ten years were a battle.

Ironically Papa didn't care much for Remembrance Day. As far as he was concerned what he'd been through is something he'd rather forget than remember, but that was Fred W. Perrin - one of the thousands of teenagers who went to war to preserve what we have today.

Category: Family

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Where Does The Time Go - My Kids

October 23, 2010 @ 08:32


Category: Family

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Silence Is Golden

May 4, 2010 @ 09:12

I took a couple of days off from the massive responsibility of programming what is the Corus Radio Empire in Peterborough, but let me tell you, a programmer never really rests, we are constantly spinning the radio dial analyzing the competition and comparing product.

Such was the case this morning while sitting in my Brampton office. I happened upon the HTZ-FM morning show out of St. Catherines. It's hosted by a likable fellow named Iron Mike Bennson and he was conducting an interesting poll.

"How long before it's acceptable to fart in front of your mate?" (A great topic by the way)

The calls started to pour in and as you might expect the response was lopsided. Men fart in front of women long before women do in front of men. Ultimately I don't think there was a clear consensus on a time line, but that really didn't matter because it got me to thinking about my little darlin' Delyse.

On June 28, Delyse and I will celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary but we've actually been an item for close to 36 years.

I've never heard her fart. Not once. Not a ripper not a breezer, not even an SBD.

From time to time this comes up in conversation with friends and family and they can't believe it. They can't believe that there hasn't been an incident stretched over a relationship that is now pushing four decades. But there hasn't been.

Not in her sleep, not through accident and not through sickness. I've never heard so much as a "freep" out of this woman. No pop, no poof and definitely no splat.

It's interesting to hear the reaction of people when I tell them about my non-toxic love mate. I can tell some don't believe it, especially those guys who have women who drop bombs all over the place. In some way I think they're jealous because they equate lady farts with respect.

They feel Delyse must respect me a lot more than their wives respect them because she doesn't expose me to her inner workings. Although that's a nice thought, and it plays a major part in this story, it's not the entire reason. Lifestyle is another reason.

Delyse eats well, watches her weight and has the utmost class, and if there's any part of your that thinks she's blowing off steam when I'm not around, I remind you of the sleep factor.

If it was simply a case of having a strong fart trigger, how do you explain that in 36 years not once have I heard her crease one in her sleep?

There is no explanation other than I'm married to a special person with a gastro system that is the envy of all other women. Which brings me to another point; some women get downright nasty when I tell them about Delyse and her shortage of methane.

They don't want to believe it; in fact they refuse to believe it. They intimate that there must be something wrong with her. Oh my, they can be catty.

But what can I say people? It is what it is and my sweet darlin' has never ever let go with a trouser cough in front of the Fred man. It just hasn't happened and as long as it continues I'm fine with it, although I admit it's horribly unfair because I can't make the same claim.

How long was it before I let one go in front of her?

Way back in 1974, so surprised that such a sweet and gorgeous thing would have any interest in me, the first time she kissed me I shit my pants.

Category: Family

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My Latin Lovely

January 24, 2010 @ 10:29

Miami, FLA - On a lighter note, everybody in the Miami area thinks by wife is either a Cuban or a Mexican.

Everywhere we go, people look at her a quickly begin speaking Spanish. They assume because of her sharper feaures and darker complexion that she's like them, part of the huge Latin American population in South Florida.

She's not; she was born in South Africa.

A few times yesterday we were walking around, only to have someone start talking to her in Spanish assuming she could retort.

Of course she couldn't, so I had to step in and translate. I got tired of saying it.

She a no speak a the espanyole!

I'm worldly.

Category: Family

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November 25, 2009 @ 15:42

This picture of my sweet and I showed up on Facebook, but somebody wrecked it by leaving a Blue Light case in the background. Everybody knows I drink Bud Lite!

I read your blog and wanted to help!

And how about this one from Kent.

Category: Family

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