Wow, so many posts and I haven’t really mentioned my family. The blog is about Bigwes, Vassa, and Wesley after all. So I guess my family fits into that category somewhere. Here we go. I have one brother and one sister. We all grew up in P.E.I. I left when I was 18 years old, and my siblings are still there. The End………
Just kiddin. Like I could stop at only those few lines. You guys know me better that by now. “I’m gonna ramble on, sing my song …” If you haven’t noticed by now, I love to quote musical lyrics in my blogs. That one is from a little band that you may, or may not, have heard of called Led Zeppelin.
Any who… movin’ right along. My Mom grew up on a farm just outside Wheatley River, and my Dad was from South Rustico, but hung out in North Rustico where all the bad asses were from. (He must have been a bad ass. A smart ass, for sure. That’s were I get it from) South Rustico and Wheatley River are about a 10-minute drive in a car, so it would have taken a long time back in the olden days of horse and buggy or horse and sleigh. Wait just a tick, it was the 60s/70s. P.E.I. is not that far behind, although Karen thinks they are. Not behind, just more old fashioned and innocent. Anyway, I don’t know much else about the early days. Details are sketchy at best. I guess I never asked how my folks met, and don’t think I’ve ever been told … huh. I got the usual stories, like everyone else, “Back in our day, a bag of chips and a pop cost only a nickel.” We also got to hear about them going to school, walking on snowbanks as high as the telephone lines, “No snow like that nowadays,” they’d tell us. “We were barefooted, and it was uphill both ways.” Uh huh, real believable. What I do know is that my folks were married in the winter of 1973. My Mom in a long white dress and my Dad sporting a dark grey blazer and a pink shirt (pimpin). (I know this ‘cause I have the picture as proof) They look so young, Dad 18 and Mom 20, definitely early by today’s standards.
I was the first to be dropped off by the stork in 1976, then my brother in ’81 and my sister in ‘84.
My brother … He was a brat. Let me tell you, a real nuisance to his older brother, me. Always following me around like a lost puppy, except way less cute. Wanna play? Wanna play shadow? (That’s the annoying game where the person repeats everything you say.)(That’s the annoying game where the person repeats everything you say.) Whatcha doin’? Where ya goin’? Can I come? I wanna come. Let me come. Daaaaaad, Wesley won’t let me go with him. More often than not, he would tag along. It’s hard to be cool when your little brother is always tagging along. He was too young to hang out with my friend and too old to hang with our sister’s friends … a middle child. One time he tagged along when we went tobogganing. He tried to impress my friends by hitting a ramp at twice the speed that we were hitting it. He went way up the hill, then down he came, hit the jump and … crack went his leg as he landed (broken in 2 places). I had to tow him up the hill on the sled. Crazy. You think he would have learned, but he didn’t. When it healed, he was back to following me around.
As we got a bit older, he would rat me out for stuff. He was always trying to get me in shit. I remember him running into my room, where I was hanging with my girlfriend, who he also didn’t get along with at the time. (I think he was just jealous of her stealing me away from him.) Anyway, he burst through the door and said in his annoying bratty little brother voice, “It smells like liquor in here. Is someone smoking? I’m telling mom.” What a goofball. I find out years later that it was him doing the smoking outside. He just wanted to get me in trouble. See what I’m saying.
He eventually grew up, and all it took was me moving away. We are friends now … very good friends. We always hang out now when I visit home. He gets along great with Karen, so that’s a plus. When there’s nothing to do, the 3 of us can usually find some trouble to get into. It’s a shame I don’t get to see him more, usually it’s only once a year. I’m glad we grew so close over the years and he can confide stuff in me, and if not in me he can tell the wife. We have a great relationship now. I’m convinced that the brotherly beatings worked. Ha, ha, ha. He stopped emulating me and grew into his own man. Now I’m the one that always tags along asking “So, you want to do something, or go somewhere? Whacha wanna do?”
Then came my sister (she was a baby when we got her), she was actually a relative, my 2nd cousin or something. But, in P.E.I. everyone is a cousin or related somehow … the tree is not so big, less than 6 degrees of separation for everyone. We had her for a bit. Not sure how long, a few months maybe, and then the ‘rents adopted her. She was the cutest. She was great for me. She didn’t annoy me one bit. She did howerver annoy my brother, and that was great. Payback’s a bitch. She was Always following him around. Ha, now he got to know what it was like. My sister was 12 (I think) when I left, and she got my old room. (and fast, I might add … within weeks of me leaving she moved to the basement and took my room over) The ‘rents turned her room into a sitting/TV room. Parents are cruel. My bed wasn’t even cold yet. One day her and my Dad decided to hang all my record collection on the clothes line in the basement and use them for target practice with the pellet gun.(Did they hate me or something? What gives?) We had a huge basement and I guess they were bored. But come on, who does that? I had some great vinyl. (KISS, Twisted Sister, Black Sabbath, etc.) Now it’s all gone, except for KISS. Apparently, my sister wouldn’t let them shoot that one. Such a smart girl.
Later that year, my sister was hit by a car while running across the highway, and is now confined to a wheelchair. Her mentality is still that of a 12-year-old little girl or maybe even less. She still loves Barbies and dolls and colouring. (I mean who doesn’t) I still see that same little girl. Her likes and dislikes are the same it’s kind of funny and sad at the same time. Sometimes she does stuff more grown up and it throws me for a loop. It’s hilarious when she orders a kids meal at a restaurant and in true Doucette form, she asks for a Tea-Maria or an orange Bacardy Breezer. She is always the centre of attention wherever they go. She is generally happy, so that’s a good. I just wish there were more programs for her. But hell, it’s P.E.I. what can you do?
Some of my great memories of growing up as part of this family unit are trips to the beach, the break water in North Rustico, (a.k.a. the Crick) the real beach, not the tourist beaches Cavendish or Brackley. Too busy, most Islanders or smart ones only go to the tourist beaches after 6 p.m. I still prefer the break water to this day.
We used to camp a lot with friends or family. We’d have live music, marshmallows, hot dogs and laughter, around a campfire, those were good times. We also had many family game nights. At least twice a month, I would get to kick ass at some kind of game…Hey, it’s my memory and I remember winning all the time
I remember dinner in our household. We always waited for everyone to be home from work before we started. Pops even moved the TV out of the kitchen so we would eat and talk. It didn’t always work, sometimes more of a yelling match. I hated that back then. No TV (we were missing the Simpsons) and talking about our day. Yuck. But, as I look back I do it with fond memories. As you get older your life changes (there’s that word again change…Oy vey ) and what you didn’t like, you realize that you actually didn’t mind at all. It made me the man I am today. I always wait to eat dinner with Karen (I usually cook it, too but that’s besides the point).and when I have kids there will be no TV at dinner time. I guess that got instilled in me, and it’s important to me now.
The moral of the story is… Actually there are three morals. First: You can’t choose your family, although, sometimes it would be nice to. Second: They sure as heck didn’t choose you. Thirdly: If you can’t be with the one you want, then I guess you better love the one you’re stuck with.