In this busy world, I love reminders of what is really important. Reminders of the 90%s in our lives.

One of the highlights of our summer holidays was a visit to Great Grandma’s farm. I grew up with lots of change and “GG’s” farm is the only place that remained unchanged during my childhood. The only place I went that nothing was different. I was our son’s age when my Dad married my second Mom (of three) and this was the farm that was introduced to my life then. I remembered the first time I visited this special farm as I shared the stories with my own children. After the divorce, I rarely went back. Something I truly missed.

I don’t visit as often as I would like to and I hadn’t been back to the farm with my children since they were born. We are officially too busy when we can’t make time for these important things.

Driving to GG’s with my children in the back seat took me right back as I pointed out abandoned farm houses and places I used to ride my bike. I felt so much emotion welling up as I pulled up to her house. The winding driveway seemed so much bigger as a child.

“GG” was standing on the porch waiting for us with a smile so big you would think royalty had arrived. She toured my excited children and I around the four-story farmhouse and told them the story of how her late husband and his Dad built the home. I was so humbled by how much of it was exactly the same as I remembered it. The iron beds, the home-made quilts, a simple TV in the living room and no computer.

We visited her huge garden, beautiful flower beds and the small trailer she likes to sleep in on hot summer nights. I was humbled by how she still makes time for her three-mile walk every morning. The barn looks like every great old barn you see in pictures, weathered to perfection. We pried the heavy sliding door open. I was shocked to see how well it had withstood our frigid winters and hot buggy summers. A small cupboard housed my late Grandfathers “things”; a tobacco can, tools and even a pair of gloves lay waiting for him to return to work. It was like he had been there yesterday not the decades it has been…

This special woman made us what she called a “simple farm lunch”. The dishes she served on were the ones I ate on as a child. We looked through photo albums and played records on the record player as we visited. I felt like time had stood still.

As GG stood waving goodbye I could hardly keep it together. We did not want to leave this peaceful place as we drove down that winding driveway and returned to the city.

Our visit stays with me and reminds me of what is truly important. I need to finish writing now. I have plants to water and a walk to take.

Something Great

Last time I wrote about the teacher that has most impacted our son’s life, Ms.Merk, his grade three teacher. When he asked me the question “Mom, which teacher has had the greatest impact on you?” I too did not hesitate when I said “Mr. Majors”.

Mr. Majors was my Grade 12 chemistry teacher. I did not like chemistry. It’s not that I didn’t like chemistry – I didn’t like school. It was not a 90% for me. I really struggled at school. I did not like to sit all day, I loved to talk (go figure) and I would challenge my teachers all the time. I would ask my social studies teacher why I needed to memorize the names of lakes, I refused to dissect the frog because I thought it was terrible and gross, and on and on. I skipped a lot (which could help explain why my grades suffered) and couldn’t wait to graduate.

Chemistry was by far my greatest challenge. My constant questions to Mr. Majors were “why do I need to know this?” and “when will I ever use this in my life?”. My first semester I received an esteemed mark of 16%. Yup. 16%.

My year-end chemistry mark would determine if I was to graduate. I had my 1968 Volkswagen packed and I was ready to live my life. I knew I had to get serious about this class. I asked Mr. Majors if he would help me. I promised him I would show up if he would please give me a little extra help. He agreed. We worked hard together.

The last day of school when they were passing out report cards. I learned that Mr. Majors had mine and I was to go and see him after school. I thought the worst.

There he was at his desk. I could see the brown envelope. He looked up and said “Oh good I wanted to talk to you”. I could smell summer school in the air.

He held out my report card and I asked him in a quiet nervous voice “Did I pass?” He let me open the envelope and whew… I had passed.

He walked me out of his classroom and as I was walking the hall to “freedom” he said, “I want to tell you something”. My heart sank.. “what else??”

He said words that I will never forget. He said “Darci I don’t know where you are going in that ’68 beetle or where life will take you but I know a couple of things.

I know for sure that whatever you go on and do in your life, it will have absolutely NOTHING to do with chemistry.

And I know something else, that whatever you go on and do in your life, it will be something great”. And he turned and walked away.

I think about Mr. Majors and his parting words all the time. I think they have had a huge impact on who I’ve become.