The meaning of family — July 27, 2017

Grandma Anderson





Well, good good morning. It’s so nice to be open again after a few days off. Yes, yes, yes. Let’s get right to Cam’s message and then Wise Wally will be by to take your order


My friend,

There was an unbelievable feeling of pride I experienced Tuesday afternoon, just minutes after 1:30 p.m., when I was wheeled down the aisle in the Meota Community Complex as part of the Tait family gathered for the memorial service for my second cousin, Winston Tait. There were 50 of us — maybe more — who walked in together. Being pushed by my eldest nephew McLean was extra special.

We all have relatives we have disagreements with.  Those spats are often harboured into walls being built around us, and, if we are really stubborn, we don’t have any communication and the walls become taller, stronger and increasing hard to get over.

But when  we re-connect with someone we haven’t spoken to in a while, we’re reminded of their kindness, humour and compassion … and, how much we love them. It made me think of …



A bag of mixed emotions — July 24, 2017


Well, Happy Monday. We’re so glad you popped by.

Cam has a  special message today…
newcamMy heart is in my throat today: I’m heading to one of my most favourite places on the planet, Meota, Sask. It’s a town North of North Battleford where my father up.  I spent every summer there for close to 40 years; Meota borders Jackfish Lake. Hours before each trip I was so excited about going to say hello to folks…and, yes, we will do that this evening.

But there purpose of the journey is to attend the memorial service of my dad’s first cousin, Winston.

I turned to the Bible and found…d8b8aa65eb321b36ee175c523935c652--bible-verses-for-encouragement-encouraging-bible-versesSaskatchewanHighway697Map


Winston’s Wisdom – July 20, 2017 – 3 p.m. UPTAIT


Yes, yes, yes. How’s your afternoon? Here’s Cam’s column from today’s Edmonton Sun.



It’s especially timely this week as I fondly think of my favourite memory of Winston Tait and sit back and silently chuckle.

Winston is my dad’s first cousin and farmed all his life in Meota, Sask., where one of the most common four-letter names is Tait.

Dad and Winston grew up together and, even though they are cousins, their deep friendship lasted some eight decades.

They became my entertainment, absolutely. They reminisced about their eventful youth that rolled into adulthood — but their love of having fun and pulling pranks remained fresh as the cup of tea they just enjoyed.

And as they told their treasured tales, their voices rose in volume and they shared belly laughs — probably heartier and more heartfelt than the original chuckle.

Winston and Dad talked for hours. Runs in the family, I guess. After Dad retired, he and my mother shared much of their time in Meota, a good cup of coffee’s drive north of North Battleford in a cabin which, interestingly, was built by Winston’s son David.

Winston stopped for a visit many summer evenings.

“Well,” he would say, getting up from his chair in the kitchen, “I guess I really should get going.”

He’d put his cap on, grab the door handle and keep talking. And talking … and talking.

It became his signature. Winston stood at the door, in his work boots and the visit continued. One evening, when he had been standing for close to an hour, Mom dragged a chair over to the front door.

“Here, Winston,” Mom said, on more times than once. “Have a chair.”

He shook his head. “No, I really have to go,” he’d counter and then opened the door … but only halfway.

Before we knew it, Winston and Dad were entrenched in another conversation and it was another 20 minutes, if not more, before Winston left the house.

For fun, I timed his doorway discussions: the longest was 90 minutes.

There were no cellphones for distraction. Nobody was checking for emails or texts or social media updates.

The meaning of face time back then was exactly that: people shared time with each other and heard voices and saw reactions to their comments in person, rather than over a handheld device or even several keyboard characters trying — but failing, really — to show laughter and smiles.

Winston and my parents’ generation loudly embraced every opportunity to visit. They didn’t preface time shared together with coffee, or tea, or even a meal. Those were secondary.

What mattered was being in the same room with someone who made us challenge our own way of thinking, offering different points of view and, of course, sharing laughter.

I never wanted Winston to leave.

So, it’s rather fitting I hold that memory close to my heart today.

Winston, who taught me so much about life and not just conversation, passed away on the weekend at age 91.

He’s in heaven right now, having a great conversation and he won’t be in a rush to leave … a lesson we all can learn from.