Remembering Dad on Father’s Day

Even though it has been 18 years since my father's passing, my memories of him are still vivid

His name was Alexander.

With Father's Day around the corner I would like to share some of my fondest memories I have of my dad.

When I was little, I remember making homemade cards and gifts (usually done at school).

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When he received these gifts, he always had the most excited look on his face like it was the best present anyone ever gave him.

He worked at McLarens Foods in Hamilton.

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Dad was in charge of making peanut butter. He would bring peanut butter home by the case and my mom would make dozens of peanut butter cookies.

At Halloween, dad would bring home a big bag of blanched peanuts. We would put them into smaller bags and we would hand it out to trick-or-treaters. We had never heard of peanut allergies growing up and the kids loved getting these in their treat bags.

Dad was always joking around. He liked to tease us. He made jokes about everything.

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Sundays was family day in our household.

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Winters were spent playing crazy eights or doing puzzles together.

My dad loved watching John Wayne movies or Ponderosa which was a weekly western series.

A Walt Disney movie would come on TV around 6 p.m.

My mom would make Jiffy Pop popcorn (my dad brought this home from work too).

In the summer we went on picnics at Mt. Albion Falls or at Lake Ontario.

At the beach, my dad would swim with us in the water.

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He would bounce us on his knee and let us sink more and more into the water until it was past our chins. We would scream DAD YOU'RE GOING TO DROWN US!

Everyone laughed.

We would take a break and eat.

It was very typical of my dad to have a nap after his meal.

My brother and sister and I would go and find shells and shiny glass that had washed up on the beach.

Every summer my dad would take us to places like Niagara Falls, the Science Centre, Marineland or the Zoo.

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Sometimes I think dad had more fun than us. He still wanted to go until we were teenagers.

My dad built this big brick stove in the backyard. We barbecued outside everyday except on rainy days.

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We cooked hot dogs, hamburgers, pork chops and corn on the cob. I always made a big jug of koolaid.

My favourite thing was cooking a slab of bacon over the fire. We cut a square piece and put slits in it before putting it on a stick and cooking it slowly. We would let the drippings fall onto a piece of bread. It was delicious.

Making homemade sausage with my dad was always fun. It was either Hungarian sausage or Hurka (made with rice and pork).

I still have his sausage machines.

Every fall he made homemade wine from grapes.

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When he squeezed the grapes in the presser, we would all put a cup under the tap and enjoy a fresh glass of grape juice. Just thinking about it, I can almost smell the grape juice.

At Christmas my dad and my brother would play the accordion. It was a family tradition.

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My sister and I always danced to the music.

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