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Fathers Who Harm

Father's Day has become a more highlighted day of celebration than when I was a child. My father was born in 1927 and lived a pretty long life: he died in 2013, a few months into his 86th year. He was not a bad father. He did struggle with alcohol addiction and was imperfect in other ways, but he was basically loving and kind. He was a workaholic, so we did not have access to him for emotional affirmation, but he told me in his old age that he always loved everything about us kids and felt sad that he had not been a better parent, and he was sorry he was most of all that he had not spent more time with us.  Other men in my family– my grandfathers, my husband, son, uncles, brother– have all shown themselves to be good guys and have adult children whom they love(d) and who love them back.  But I think to myself, having been a social worker to women and children who fled lives with men who put them and their children through Hell, that there are probably a fair number of children, te

Grafting on the Old Apple Tree

In March sometime, our son Conrad did a hard prune on our old apple tree. We estimate that it is probably around 40 years old and hasn't been given a trim for a couple of years.  Then at the end of March, he received 17 different apple scions (shoots of original apple trees) that he had ordered from the Salt Spring Apple Company (which grows over 400 varieties of apples on their farm on Salt Spring Island). He waited for a nice day, weather-wise, warm and sunny, and spent an hour or two using a special grafting tape to wire these little twigs (what they looked like to me) to the branches around the tree.  He labeled each sion with fridge tape first, and then with metal tags he made from aluminum pop tins and twist-tied them to the branches with their scion. The aluminum tags will continue to be readable after rain (and we live in a rainy area).  Each apple variety will (ideally) sprout its own little sideways-growing tree, probably in a year or so. The plan forward is to nurture th