“It’s hard to forget someone who gave you so much to remember.” —Unknown

The 1979 Canadian federal election was held on May 22, 1979, to elect members of the House of Commons of Canada of the 31st Parliament of Canada. It resulted in the defeat of the Liberal Party of Canada after 11 years in power under Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau. Joe Clark led the Progressive Conservative Party to power but with only a minority of seats in the House of Commons.

Early in the summer of 1979, we decided to take three weeks off which was very unusual for us as I was still in charge of around the clock operations in the company and since joining the company I had only taken holidays one week at a time.  Lynda thought it would be nice to drive to Fredericton via American states and come back via Quebec so that kids can enjoy the road trip.  We decided to spend a week to drive to Fredericton, stay one week in Fredericton, and take a week to drive back home.       

Weather was just great and we didn’t rush, just took it easy to drive through Vermont and Maine to get to Fredericton.  While traveling there we stayed in the motels and hotels where they had swimming pools which helped Maxine and Adam to spend some time in the swimming pools.

When we got to Fredericton, It was Friday evening and Margret and Gord with Melody and Stephany were waiting for us.  We had nice meal with the family and went to bed little early as we were tired.  The next day, they took us to show the downtown and drive around for a little while.  Gord took us to see his mother. Dorothy was living in a nice apartment not too far from where Gord and his family was living. Lynda always liked Dorothy and she was really pleased to see her.

After supper on Saturday and after watching little bit TV, everybody went to bed and Gord asked me if I would like to have a drink and chat. I said I love to. We sat in his nice living room and I started telling him what was going on in Beaver Lumber. He asked if George’s making any progress on the plans he left behind. I remember saying to Gord, you know George better than anybody. He’s a nice guy to talk to but he’s an incompetent twit. I wasn’t being disrespectful to George just stating the fact. He said I know that. I said in George’s defence, he didn’t ask for that job. To be totally honest with you Gord, I don’t know how long he can stick around.

When we started talking about Gord’s current job, he said the guy who was acting in his current position didn’t bother doing anything meaningful for 6 months, consequently I ended up with a real mess. He said I am still attempting to get it sorted out but it’s going to take some time. In the meanwhile, I am looking to hire some competent people which are not easy as we don’t offer attractive salaries or benefits. I knew what he was getting at and what all I said was – If you think I can be any help, let me know.

On Sunday they took us to show us the Flea Market where we had nice pancakes for breakfast and we were told that the Premier of the province, Richard Hatfield, comes there for breakfast almost every Sunday to chit chat with the folks. Unfortunately, he was out of town on that particular Sunday.    

We stayed only two days with the Scots and another day in town to look around but there wasn’t much in Fredericton to look around.  Nevertheless, it was nice to see the Saint John River running through the heart of Fredericton.  Even though Fredericton was the capital of the province of New Brunswick with an interesting history and with the population of 47,000 but it was known as a university town.  The University of New Brunswick (UNB) was the oldest public university in North America.   UNB was founded by a group of seven Loyalists who left the United States after the American Revolution.

We came back home earlier than planned. 

That was the year when I made biggest mistake of my life.  We were in bed and got used to not getting phone calls from work for trouble shooting.  Our phone rang around 10:30PM and it woke us up.  Lynda said go take it in the living room.  I went down very quickly to answer the phone and came back right away.  She realized that it couldn’t possibly be from work.  Hence she asked me if everything is alright.  I said everything is fine but I don’t know how to tell you that we just bought a house.  She said what did you say and she got up very quickly.  I repeated myself.  She said, let me understand this we, as you and me, as husband and wife, bought a house and I didn’t even know anything about it.  I said I wanted to surprise you.  She said you did that amazingly well. However, do you know that we live in a society where there are things both, husbands and wives, do together.  It’s a tradition of our society and buying a house is one of those things.  I said unfortunately I come from a male chauvinist society and it’s in my DNA to act silly but I promise you it will never happen again. 

She said come sit with me.  What kind of house is it?  I said it’s a back split house with 4 bedrooms and finished basement. It’s located in Pickering which was only a few kilometres east to where we were living.  The total space including all three levels calculated to be more than 1,600 SF. School for the kids is very close and the biggest mall in Pickering is located only 3 miles from the house. She said what are we going to do with our townhome?  I said we can always rent it out.  She said how long we have to wait to close the deal.  I said that can be done very quickly as nobody’s living in the house right now.  She said when I can see it.  I said tomorrow’s Saturday and I made an appointment for 9:00 in the morning.  As soon as we finished looking at the house, I will take you and the kids for breakfast.  She said you know how to bribe a girl, don’t you.

Kids like the house with a nice size of garden and a matured tree where they wanted to make a Tree Swing.  But going through the house with Lynda wasn’t a very delightful experience for me.  She picked on everything.  I said can I have my breakfast first before you start telling me what’s wrong with the house.  She said, I guess.  When we were in the restaurant and finished eating, she started making a list of the things needed to be changed before moving in which included:  Carpet, Drapes, Floors in the kitchen and bathrooms, toilets in both bathrooms and powder room, colours of the walls in the bedrooms and living room.  Last but not least, the outside of the house.  She said we also need new furniture as the furniture we got now only suits the condo-living.

I said can all these things be done after moving in? She said I have an idea.  The people who worked at our Condominium Association to do all kind of maintenance, they may be interested in making some extra dollars and I will go see them right away.  She said they are very good. It so happened that we had the access to the house before we did the closing and Lynda managed to get quite few things done before we moved in.  We found a wooden furniture manufacturing company in Pickering and we decided to order beds, tables, etc. and they promised to deliver everything before our move.

Our Story – Chapter 19