My dad had sustained what was deemed as a career ending knee injury. He was a linebacker for the BC Lions (CFL). He was determined to rehab and re-sign with his old team the Ottawa Rough Riders. My brother was only 8 weeks old. It made sense to move back to Ottawa where the cost of living was better, we owned a home and had lots of friends & family
  1. A Road Dawg is born
    My mom and brother flew home to Ottawa. That left just me and my dad. We packed our car, and all our worldly possessions into the back of a huge UHaul, and started our cross country journey.
  2. One on one time, just me and my dad
    Is there anything better? Not then, not to that 8 year old. And not now. Time is precious
  3. Made up songs to pass the time
    Aside from the endless games of eye spy, my dad (a jazz and blues lover) would make up tunes and then we would create the silliest versus we could come up with. I still remember a particular tune he made for a "fill in the blank" game he made up on a whim.
  4. Sudden rock/mud slide in the Rockies. For a terrifying few minutes we thought we were in mortal danger (well I did anyway)
    We didn't die, so (obvi) a total bonding moment. May choose to leave that one out of the "relive a memory".
  5. as an adult I can only now truly appreciate my Dad's patience of my 8 year old bladder
    My dad was a true roaddawg. Known amongst his teammates as maddog. He was notorious for his non stop (except for gas) road trips from Ottawa to training camp in Florida. A common rehashed memory is a family road trip, my dad set a grueling pace. My mom protested, dad promised a nice lunch and long break at midday. As noon rolled around, we stopped for gas. He valiantly tried to hard sell the vending machine. I think my mother may of threaten loss of his testicles 😎
  6. Stopping at a lake in Winnipeg for a swim
    My dad on shore, Me floating around. Suddenly got a massive stinging, burning sensation in my face. I had been stung by a horsefly (but I didn't know that). Startled and afraid, I yelled for help. My poor Dad thought I was drowning, only to find I was actually sitting on the lake bed, and the water was barely to his knees. After cursing me "bloody hell Jan, I thought you were drowning". Received the fiercest bear hug of my young life. From a linebacker that is pretty intense.
  7. Truck stops. There is nothing cooler to an avid people watching 8 year old than a truck stop.
    However for the same child who (at the age of 5) was offered a job "whenever you want one" at the Vancouver Four Seasons after giving (imho) an informed opinion of the state of the bathrooms to the concierge and insisted on cleaning out their lobby ashtrays....
  8. Bathrooms on the road *not a high point*
  9. 3 days it felt like forever, and at the same time it flew by in but a moment. Memories that I don't even have to struggle to recollect
    I remember arriving into Ottawa, it was late. Well past my bedtime. Excited to see my mom, and my baby brother. But sad that it was over, just inherently knowing that this was something that could never be truly replicated. That it was a gift to be cherished.
  10. I am going go call my Dad!!!