It is my dad’s 81st birthday on Sunday October 19 so today Lara and I took him out for lunch at Panera Bread in Mississauga. I love their Autumn Squash soup.
Over the years I have found it difficult to find a creative gift for my father. It’s not that he is hard to buy for – he is always happy with a new shirt, belt or slippers – but I don’t always like to be so predictable in my gift giving.
Dad went to Ryerson for photography and spent his career at Polaroid. Photography has always been a hobby for him and he gave me an excellent grounding in photography when I was growing up. I have no memory of a time when there was not a camera and plenty of film available to play with. When I wanted to buy my first SLR, Dad recommended the Canon AT-1, which had to be set manually, so I would learn the basics and not rely on the camera to decide the settings. To this day, I primarily shoot in manual mode and feel I get much better results for doing so.
Since 2008, Patti and I have gone away for a weekend each spring, and taken our bikes with us. From 2008-2010, we went to Ottawa for the Tulip Festival.
In 2011 and 2012 we went to Montreal.
Last year and this year we went to Rochester, New York. One of Rochester’s main tourist attractions is the George Eastman House. It is a beautiful mansion in a lovely section of Rochester built by the founder of Kodak.
It has a photography gallery, mansion tours, beautiful gardens and a gift shop and cafe. I highly recommend a visit. The gift shop is a treasure trove of items for the photography buff. Each time I visited I bought several items for Dad for Fathers’ Day, birthday and Christmas.
Today we gave him an f-stop watch which would be a mystery to someone who doesn’t understand photography, but a fun item for one who does.
Here he is opening it. He look great for 81 doesn’t he?
Of course, I had to hand him the camera to get a picture of Lara and me.
My red maple was coming into its glory when I returned home.