Father’s Day Family Things

“You don’t choose your family. They are God’s gift to you,
as you are to them.”

Desmond Tutu

Our son and grandson arrived here Saturday evening after a five-hour drive. On a trailer behind their truck they towed our 1946 Willys CJ2A Jeep which has been residing in their garage for several years. It was the start of a three-generation Father’s Day weekend, something they’d been planning since last June when they surprised my hubby by arriving from Ontario with his deceased brother’s 1930 Ford Model A. (You’ll find that story here if you missed it last year.)

With a few rattles and the odd puff of exhaust, both vehicles started up on Sunday and sedately rolled the miles to Fraser River Heritage Park in Mission, BC, where they were displayed at the annual ‘Old Car Sunday in the Park‘ event. This is advertised as “one of the largest shows of vintage, antique and collector vehicles on display in Western Canada.”

For my hubby, it was the perfect Father’s Day gift. It was a day of making and sharing precious family memories as well as checking out hundreds of very cool cars!

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I don’t really have a writing application to offer from this, unless it’s to remind you that special family dynamics can enrich both real life and that of the characters about whom you write.

Do you include such events in the settings of your stories?

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The Old and the Older

This photo of our 1946 Willys Jeep CJ2A was posted here a couple years ago. We’ve had it since the late-1970s. Before we acquired it from a family friend in BC’s backwoods, it sat unused for years in an old log garage.

For years my husband and another friend tinkered with it. One semester it was driven to school by our son, who worked on it as a project in his Auto Tech class. Another year it was driven to the same school by our eldest daughter who used it in the same Auto Tech class to learn how to fix brakes and do other such jobs. Several of our grandchildren have used it to drive to their graduations, too. The Jeep has become something of a Family Treasure.

But nothing can quite equal the treasure that arrived in our driveway last Sunday evening. A blaring Klaxton horn drew us from the house, and we assumed our son had added the novelty noise-maker to his pickup truck. But no, when we went to investigate, we found it was an original horn attached to an old Ford Model A.

This wasn’t just any old Model A. It was our brother Murray’s, and until a few days before, had been stored in his garage in rural Ontario.

For the past eight years Murray worked nine months of the year teaching at YuShan Theological Seminary in Taiwan, and would come back to Canada each summer to his cottage in Ontario’s Muskokas. During the summer he enjoyed tinkering with the Model A and would occasionally drive it to church. But, as I mentioned in an earlier post, Murray died suddenly last January.

Sometime during this spring, unknown to us, arrangements were made with his family for my hubby to have the car. Last week, while we erroneously assumed our son was away on a business trip, he and our grandson borrowed a trailer and drove a round trip of 8,000 km in less than seven days to pick up the Model A and bring it to BC.

There are no words to express what this has meant to my husband, not just because of what the vehicle is — and as a 1930 Model A it is very special — but because of whose it was, and the love that brought it here. As one of Murray’s daughters said, “I’ve got some pretty amazing cousins.”

Amazing hardly covers it.

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No writing analogy today, just a question. Have you ever received a gift that left you truly speechless?

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