My first remembrances ever are in China – being piggy-backed to nursery school by my dah-niang who had wonderfully long finger nails, and playing with the gatekeeper’s son inside the walled garden of our home. Actually, life did begin prior to those memories. John and Isabelle Stinson adopted me while they were on furlough from China in 1944-45. My older sister, Dora Ann, might have had a small role in making sure they made the right selection of child.
Thus life began – a wonderful life. Being a preacher’s son, I moved frequently from place to place – taking great memories with me, and sadly leaving behind friends. Returning from China, I lived in Binbrook, Seaforth, London and Agincourt. Then I tried to become an independent young person.
Through, trial and error I found a career and a wife. The career was in horticulture where I had an innate love of seeing things grow. I was overjoyed when the girl of my life, Heather, whom I had first spied when she was quite young, said yes some years later.
Establishing a career in horticulture meant a few more moves, managing garden centres and trying my hand at residential landscaping. Along the way, we were blessed with 2 sons, Kristen and Michael.
Probably the most pivotal point in my life came when I turned 50. I decided to leave once and for all, the security of a weekly paycheque and semi-retire into the life of being a landscape gardener. What a change. I got to know my wife and kids, once more, as I was home more. I returned to worshipping at church, which I left some 30 years before and ultimately started to sing in the choir. I started to re-develop hobbies that had been abandoned so many years ago. All in all – this was the best decision I ever made, next to asking Heather if she would marry me.
Garden Creations, my little landscape company, became a partnership with my son, Michael a couple of years ago. I am now looking towards ¾ retirement. I am not sure if I will ever fully retire. There is too much to do.
I have been blessed my entire life. I am thankful that I was adopted into a wonderful family home of 2 sisters and 1 brother. I am thankful for my wife who has supported me through all of our journeys. I am thankful for 2 great sons. I am grateful for many, many friends, relatives and acquaintances. I am thankful to God who has guided me though all of this. He was there even in the times when I had shut Him out.
If what is in store for me is half as good as what I have experienced so far, what more can a person ask for?