Happy Anniversary to My Best Friend and Life Companion

Written by Harold McNeill on July 27th, 2013. Posted in Uncategorized



My Best Friend and Life Companion

Pub in Prague, Czech Republic: Lynn gets tuned up for an evening on the town.
(Slideshow: My Friend and Life Companion)

July 28, 2013

Good Morning Lynn,

Happy Anniversary my dear.

Gosh, this will be the first year in twelve years that we have been together in Victoria for our anniversary celebration. Given the wonderful weather over the past month and the number of family visitors, it was a very good year to be at home.

Of course, last year would have been the first, but it seems I just abandoned you in favour of taking that five-year-old hell-on-wheels, Grayson, on a month-long camping trip across British Colombia, Alberta and Saskatchewan.  Funny, as I recall, you said something along the lines of, “Oh dear, do I have to stay at home on my own for a whole month?” I don’t seem to recall any sadness in those words. Hmm….

By the time July 28th rolled around last year, I think Grayson, Jay, Bjorn and I were somewhere in Southern Alberta, perhaps in Medicine Hat attending the rodeo you so kindly booked for us. Yes, yes thats where we were.  If I remember correctly, Bjorn, Jay and I popped a cap or two and certainly kept that wee Grayson busy keeping the fridge filled (it was very hot in Alberta). Oh, that wandering, carefree, cowboy life has a certain appeal. But, I digress.

Seems this year we have just made it by the skin of our teeth, with our pending departure in a couple of days. I guess we can justify the 7034_171066332528_2828324_n_2upcoming trip as an anniversary gift to each other. Sound Ok to you?

Now, of the many neat things (and there are a good many neat things) I could say about being married to you is your willingness to hit the trail on a moments notice and your willingness to challenge your inner most fears. I really never believed that you and that anaconda you pulled from his pen, would become buddies.  Oh well, just goes to show.

It seems my premonition of twenty-nine years ago (that living with you would be a life filled with adventure) has certainly come to pass.  Even that little adventure that popped into our lives on November 5 some twenty-five years ago has turned out pretty well.

Dropping that particular bit of news on me just before my retirement was, how shall I say, a bit of a life changer. Anyway, the multi-year adventure seems to be polishing off rather nicely and has certainly allowed us to spend more time exploring the world.

Whether surfing Australia, parasailing in the Swiss Alps, ski dooing in Antarctica (well, as close as we could get), rock climbing and surfing on the back of a cruise ship, zip lining in Jamaica, cuddling cute little reptiles, chasing wild pigs and crocks in Louisiana, or any of the dozens of other adventures that seem to come our way, I don’t ever recall you having shown much hesitation. Well, perhaps, on occasion, just a tad.

I think you may still have to take that leap of faith from the Stratosphere Hotel in Las Vegas if we should ever return that way. By the way there is a cute little Wedding Chapel at the base, we could renew our vows! Of course the only reason you missed the last jump is that on that particular day the boys and girls had gone their separate ways. I know how very disappointed you were.

So, in closing, I thank-you for saying “yes” that spring day some three decades back as we sat on a park bench at Willows Beach in Oak Bay having lunch while keeping a look-out for some idiots who had been causing damage in the park (or was it in that surveillance van in Brentwood Bay). Am I not the romanticist?

Love you,

Harold

 

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  • Maurice Smook

    August 13, 2016 |

    Hi Jillian,

    I don’t know if you are still checking this site but I had to respond again. February of 2017 it will be 72 years since this battle occurred.

    What caught my attention about this incident was on the Go Deep Documentary that aired on the History Channel. First of all I never known that this battle having ever occurred.

    According to my grade 3 teacher WW2 had never occurred. That grade 3 teacher stated that the WW2 and the holocaust was all propaganda. All of my classmates they believed her. I hate to say this but all I knew was that soldiers shooting at each other.

    I almost was expelled from school. My

    Mom my Dad my brother and my Uncle would have been arrested for propaganda. I paid the price. It was ironic a grade 5 teacher told me that Smooks are all commies. Dad was Conservative.

    All the Smooks that I known are all Conservative. If I had the money I would have loved to sue those two teachers.

    As I said I never heard of this Battle. If it were not for that program I would have never had known.

    I started to do more researching to find out more about the history of this battle. The narrator of Go Deep mentioned the names of the pilots who died that battle.

    I missed 20 minutes of that program but the camera crew had the camera’s pointed towards the sign with the names of the deceits. That is how I known.

    According to the narrator There are three who are still missing. W.J. Jackson, Harry Smook and A. Duckworth. A couple of months ago the staff of Go Deep have located Harry and A. Duckworths aircraft. This is on you tube. Harry and A. Duckworth craft is approx 650 feet deep in the Fjord. The individual who is heading this expansionary mission made it known he will not rest until all three of the missing pilots
    will be retrieved. I am sure that A. Duckworth’s kin are hoping for the same.

    What really puzzles me is that I have sent emails to the Smooks. Not one ever replying. I presume its the same with you. Sad. Dad rarely spoke about his family. It appears there is a big secret of the Smooks. I too assume Harry is a kin to my Dad. Harry maybe a 4th 5th cousin to my Dad. I too would like to know. Harry and A. Duckworth served and died for our country. The other is W.j. Jackson – who is also still missing – having died for our Country.

    In conclusion I still ask myself why is this a huge secret.

    If you are still checking this site please contact me. Maybe we may be kin.

    Take care.

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  • Valerie Heuman (Roddick)

    June 19, 2016 |

    Having just returned to the Okanagan Valley from a weekend in Pibroch, I am delighted to have stumbled on your blog to see the picture of the main street. My aunt and uncle Peggy & Gordon McGillvery owned and lived in the old Post Office on the North east corner of the main intersection and my brother Adrian currently lives south a bit backing on the School yard. We are Sheila’s cousins and still have a close connection to the town.

  • Sheila(Roddick) Allison

    May 19, 2016 |

    Hi. So fun to find your blog. I remember going to school with you and Louise. I loved my childhood in Pibroch which incidentally was named by my grandfather Aaron Roddick. I will never forget the night the garage burned down. Nice to see the landmark photo before the big fire!

  • George Dahl

    April 12, 2016 |

    What a great site. I’m trying to locate a woman named Sally Jennifer who was from the Cold Lake area back in the early sixties. I met her when I was stationed at Namao air base in Edmonton. I was serving with the USAF 3955 air refueling squadron from rhe fall 1963 till the spring of 64. Sally was 22 at the time I was 21. Sally was my first love. I had orders to ship out to South East Asia and we lost contact after that.
    If any of you know the where abouts of Sally I would like to get reacquainted with her. She is First Nation, Blackfoot I believe. She is Catholic and may have attended a Catholic school in Cold Lake.
    Thank You in advance, George Dahl

  • dave armit

    March 23, 2016 |

    good old fashioned police work done by good old fashioned policemen……….in regards to mr cain..i learned a few years ago that he was born on the same day in the same hospital that i was..my father was a close friend of the cain family…!!! interesting..d a

  • Joyce McMenamon

    March 1, 2016 |

    Haha, love it! We should probably eat rats and rabbits rather than beef. Also I’ve noticed that there are a lot less pests where dogs are not kept on leashes.

  • Kari

    February 27, 2016 |

    Thanks for a wonderful trip down memory lane Dad!!! That was an amazing trip and I am so glad that we had the opportunity to share that experience together!
    ❤️