Gifts money can’t buy

It took my dad far too long to set up his B&H movie camera and light rack, before allowing us near the Christmas tree.

It was a time before cell-phone selfies and video. Heck, it was even before video. Each Dec. 15 morning, our parents wouldn’t allow us into the living room where the tree sat until the time was right. My sister and I had to wait until Dad wound up his Bell & Howell movie camera, and turned on the powerful electrical lights so that the camera would register an image on his 8-millimetre motion picture film.

“OK, I’m rolling,” he would say finally. “You can come in now!”

Whereupon, my sister Kate and I, blinded by the movie lights and unable to see a thing until our eyes adjusted to the bright lights, would stumble into the living room.

Preparedness or paranoia

Neither the sight nor the sound any homeowner wants to hear - a burst water pipe in the basement.
Neither the sight nor the sound any homeowner wants to hear – a burst water pipe in the basement.

As I drove up the ramp onto Hwy. 401 near Kingston, following a talk I’d given last Saturday night, I thought I’d call my wife (on a hands-free device) and let her know I was en route home. I phoned once at 10 p.m. I tried again at 10:30 and every half hour after that. But there was no answer. I stopped calling around midnight, figuring she might have gone to bed. But when I got home, she was up. Or, actually she was down… in the basement.

“A pipe broke and has been leaking water down there all day,” she told me. “We had several inches of water in the basement.”