Father’s Day & Traveling

June 19, 2017

Remembering my dad.

Yesterday was Father’s Day. I realized that I haven’t had the opportunity to wish a happy Father’s Day to my dad or grandpas in a very, very long time. Sometimes, I miss it and it hits me harder than I would expect. I think yesterday was one of those times.

I saw all the posts yesterday on social media wishing dads everywhere a Happy Father’s Day. I saw a lot of pictures from young and old, remembering their dads through pictures and posts. There were posts from people who have lost their fathers, be it long ago or recently—posting on social media, remembering their dads.  It never gets easy, missing your parents.

Facebook even shared a memory of an old photo I posted of my family; mom, dad, Carrie, and I eating somewhere when I was a little guy—with me. It brought back a lot of memories, and a little dose of missing him—this year a lot for some reason. Maybe because he would have been seventy this year—had he lived.

I lost both my grandpas and dad all before I turned nineteen. It seems like a lifetime ago, and in other moments it was only yesterday. Things can’t be undone, they are simply what they are in life. Sadly, I remember being in my angsty- hear-me-roar teenage years where I as full of myself and didn’t think I needed any them or advice from old men.  Now, all I crave is just one more conversation over coffee or a meal to visit with them and talk like I used to imagine men did.

But in my youth, I thought of it as so much more mysterious than it really was in life. I think about all the lessons they did give me, through conversations yes, but more thoroughly through lived example. They were not perfect, and all would acknowledge that, but they lived as best as they could in their lives. And in doing so, taught me more than they will ever know about being a good man. To sit there and share food, share laughter, and talk about things—just one more time would mean the world to me now.

While I saw a lot of the posts after I landed in Vancouver; yesterday was a travel day for me. I flew from Hamilton, Ontario to Vancouver, British Columbia Canada.  I think the most refreshing part of it was a quick flight from one coast to the other—a bit over four hours. Makes me wonder why the US airlines can’t do that too?

Airlines: Canada versus the US

There is a lot US airlines and airport security could learn from their Canadian counterparts.  I was traveling light—a backpack full of clothes and my personal carry-on—my laptop bag. While I used multiple trays, and required a third tray—they were patient with me. One of the guards even removed my carryon liquids and put them in a plastic bag—without saying a word to me.

I forget that damn part more times than not when traveling. Not out of malicious intent, more along the lines of absent-minded professor who doesn’t exactly travel a lot of places he can’t drive too very often anymore. In the US version of this, I have been scolded for this—whereas the Canadian guard simply bagged the liquids and sent them through. I hadn’t even realized it until I was waiting to gather my materials up to go towards the gate.

One thing that admittedly did perplex me was being asked to remove my Birkenstocks. People before and after me wearing sneakers or loafers were not asked to remove theirs and scan them, but I did what I was asked. The other major point of consideration I would offer US Airlines is don’t overbook the flight, or pack it so full, it is like a sardine can for passengers. So kudos to West Jet and Canadian airlines.

For the first time in a very long, long time I was on a flight that was pleasantly full. There were a lot of people aboard, but not every single seat sold—and we were able to spread out a little bit. It led to a relaxed feeling for the couple and myself who were sharing exit row seating. It was so comfortable that I even catnapped a little in flight.  I hardly ever sleep on planes. I sleep on trains all the time. But they require so much travel time to get somewhere and back—it is too costly timewise. Maybe when I retire—I travel the US and Canada on trains.

Last year, going to NAISA in Hawaii—we were packed like sardines in tin-can tube. I ended up so contorted and knotted up after the flight that I paid extra money for a little bit more room in business class on the return flight back. I noticed between these two flights there were no flare ups between passengers and air crew that have become so normalized among US Flights—I think it was because we weren’t jammed together, there were open seats and we could relax a little bit.

And I realized another thing that is troubling to me—how we as passengers have condensed our luggage to a single carryon and personal item. So those items are bursting at the seams trying to ensure we stay with in guidelines without having to pay “extra” for luggage on already expensive airline tickets. The consequence is we can’t pack what we might need—only what we must have for our trip.

Arriving in Vancouver

I arrived in Vancouver to a cold day and rain. I walked around only in my polo and shorts—I still need to find somewhere to buy a souvenir hoodie!! Plus, I need to find my requisite souvenir coffee mug too.

I want to take one last moment to note the blog redesign by Zak and 1 Big Web Design (his link is at the bottom of the page. Click on it!!) He dealt with a moody Mohawk wannabe blogger with patience and graciousness—me. He worked with me through my misunderstandings until I understood them so I could make better decisions on the design.

My old site was again hacked—and we think it was a server hack. So, Zak rebuilt this site before you now from scratch—and while he patiently endured my misunderstandings and frustrations–he is the reason why this blog looks so great!! And he helped me find a hosting site/server that ought to prevent future hacks and is more secure.  So, Zak THANK YOU!! And Zak, I am sorry for being a difficult moody Mohawk blogger. J

How do/did you remember your father yesterday?

Kevin J. White
Toronto, CA