Monday, September 11, 2006

Take this job and shove it!

Yes... that's right, the big man (a.k.a my dad, a.k.a Timbo) has finally called it a career.

After 33.5 years of service with the Ministry of Transportation (MTO), Timbo has said: See ya, Check ya later, Aideious, Toot-a-lu, or as my Grandma Bellerose use to say Cheerio!

Thursday night PC and I arrive in the bright lights of Thessalon to begin celebrating Timbo's retirement tour. We were up early Friday morning to head to the Soo to enjoy a little office luncheon for the big guy. He received a few plaques for his years of service, one in particular signed by our good buddy Dalton McGuinty (apparently he was too busy to attend the luncheon himself, so he sent a plaque in lieu of an apperance - typical Ontario government fashion... the feds would have never done that!).

My sister and I prepared a little speech for the luncheon... with a few of our memories of Timbo on the road... here is a little excerpt:

The one job that stands out so vividly in our minds is the job he worked on repaving the stretch of 4 lane highway near Bar River. That summer, we happened to be taking swimming lessons in the Soo, and that meant traveling between Thessalon and the Soo on a bus full of kids for 2 weeks straight. Every time we would hit the construction, Erin & I would be glued to the windows looking for that guy with the white hat. We wouldn’t rest until we saw him…. we had our windows down and were hanging both arms out the window waving as if he was Mick Jagger, screaming to all our friends “that’s my Dad, that’s my Dad”. He was a pretty important guy in our minds. That image of him has always stuck with us.

The luncheon wrapped up with a lot of well wishes and a big honkin cake! It wasn't long before we were leaving the restaurant to start planning day 2 of the tour. Erin, Mom, and I did some last minute grocery shopping, PC ensured Timbo was too busy to notice what were doing, and we went about putting together a little surprise come & go party on Saturday afternoon (the plans had been in motion for a few months, but we had the last minute stuff to do!).

All plans went well, until small town Thessalon got the best of us, and a lady at the golf course spilt the beans. Nevertheless, we had to tell him sometime, so perhaps she took the pressure off us by letting the news out a few hours early.

The afternoon soiree turned out to be very good, I think Timbo really enjoyed himself and was glad to see everyone who attended. Afterwards, we headed back to my parents for a good meal and some more drinks! I was pretty tired by the end of the night, but was pretty happy that the weekend was a hit and that PC and I could make the trip to attend all the events!

It hard to actually believe that my Dad is retired now. Its makes a girl feel a little old (I can only imagine how he is feeling!). However, I know my Dad won't have any trouble enjoying his new lifestyle... he has always been a doer, and so between camping, kayaking, curling, and the great outdoors, I am sure he will live to enjoy his retirement... after all he has earned it!

And of course, I have a unfinished basement that is desperately calling his name... so if all those activities don't keep him happy, I know where he can find work!!

To my Dad, I would just like to say, that I am very proud of you, you have accomplished so much during your career with the MTO, and I only hope to be as successful, hardworking, and as good of role model for my kids, as you were to Erin and I! Congratulations on a wonderful career.... I love you!