Thursday, July 28, 2011

The New Patio Toy

Finally got a new BBQ, on kijiji, and saved around $500. This one was won in a draw by a gentlman in London, who was moving soon, and also is not a BBQ'er. $500 cash for a brand new, fully assembled Weber Genesis 310 Special Edition (roughly $999 plus taxes in stores).

I picked it up mid June, and have probably used it thirty times between now and then. This BBQ is worth every penny of a thousand dollar purchase price in stores, but not wanting to afford that, it is doubly worth the money I spent. Sadly, his asking price was $500, probably for a no hassle sale, but he told me he had people trying to talk him down to half that!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Canada Day

Canada Day is always somewhat challenging for me, as unpleasant memories generally try to take over. It was July 1 1987, when while watching a bike race in High Park Toronto, my dad headed north and home early, muttering something about helping mom with some gardening. I left a few hours later, and had a nice ride back through downtown Toronto, and up Bayview to home. On arriving, my father was nowhere to be found, and both my sisters had seen nothing of him. Shortly thereafter, my older sister took a call, apparently Roger had been hit by a car, and broke his leg.

The rest of the day was pretty much a fog, but it did involve getting to the hospital later that evening, only to find out my father had undergone about five hours of emergency surgery to repair a severed jugular vein, extensive damage to his neck and shoulder area, and the near total severing of  his lower leg, which was broken in at least six places, and held together by a flap of skin and calf muscle a couple of inches wide. He was in critical but stable condition in intensive care, which he remained for most of the week, also undergoing further surgeries to repair his leg and his shoulder.

Fortunately for him, this happened during the Doctor's strike in Ontario. A 7-11 clerk witnessed the collision, and immediately called 911. The nearest paramedic ambulance was rolling at a Donut Queen a few hundred yards up the road. The closest hospital with an open emergency ward was Humber Memorial, less than 1 mile away. The paramedics arrived at scene exactly 57 seconds after the 911 call was initiated. Just under three minutes later he was wheeled into hospital. A number of doctors and emerg staff happened to be playing a game of poker, and as soon as his neck collar was removed blood geysered everywhere, with one doctor exclaiming "Christ, that's his jugular!"  67 units of blood (a Toronto record) and five hours of ER staff time later, and he was wheeled into recovery.

It is a bit of a life changing experience, at nineteen years old, watching your dad lying comotose on a hospital bed, a pump helping him breathe, lots of tubes leading into him delivering fluids, and blood, and drugs, and being told by the doctors that they are simply hopeful about his recovery, but that nothing was for certain. I discovered a lot about my father that day, from all my experiences with him over the previous years of my life, and I continued to learn more, over the ensuing years.