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Tom Terrific!

September 30, 2012

From the first time I met Tom Ready, I was quite favourably impressed.

I liked his low-key style and the way he listened to what you had to say. I mean, he really listened.  This inner confidence he possessed gave others freedom to say what was in their hearts.  What a gift!

Other positive impressions: that he was a wonderful and caring husband to Sharron......A loving and examplary father to his children........And, oh my! What a grandfather Tom was.  Gabby and Charlotte are fortunate to have a Grampa Tom in their memories. They'll likely carry on several of the stories to tell their own children one day. I must say, I love the photo of The Nights in White Flannel...what a hoot!  

My final note is regarding my son Gregory.  After I met Renee, Sharron and Tom, I knew my dear Greg  was in very good hands.  Who knew he would follow their example and become a teacher?!  I'm glad he did and likely his students are also.  I was relieved he had Tom to talk man-to-man with and confer about his future.  I honestly had total trust in Tom.

A good, honest, fun and caring man is synonymous with the name Tom Ready.

My sincere gratitude,



Great Memories

April 9, 2012

I am attempting to add several of the pieces that Tom sang in the evenings: familiar ballads and music from the 60's & early 70's. These were great times together - especially when he wrote a song and played it to me.
MMMMM.    Perfect!

Cat Tails

April 7, 2012

One of Tom's favourite past times was to play sail-cats.  I had no idea what he meant by that and asked him to explain.  When he told me the particulars, I was quite taken aback.  Sail-cats, -frogs, -squirrels. 

I can visualize him having the best of times.  I truly can.    

Sail-Cats: If you are not sure what they are, please go to the Urban Dictionary on the internet.  I would love to include Tom's story as an explanation,  but it would be "socially inappropriate," as Tom would say. 

Permanent Impressions

April 6, 2012

St. Mary school in London had two floors of classrooms and it happened that Tom's classroom was on the second floor. 

Tom apparently earned himself a detention at recess time and was not allowed to go outside with the others.  Rather, he sat at his desk under the supervision of a sister until he managed somehow (and, I am afraid I forgot how) to escape her eye by getting into the storage closet of the classroom.  From there, he said, he could see the kids playing below, and that gave him an idea.  He got a large bottle of ink used to refill the ink wells, opened it and the window, leaned out and let it pour: with the intent, of course, to splatter on the ground below.  To his disappointment, however, everything didn't go as planned.

Tom failed to take into account the wind factor.   Subsequently, the ink splattered down the brick wall from second to first floor.  

Apparently, it wasn't difficult for sister to identify the culprit given who was in detention that recess. 

Apparently, the ink remained on the wall for several months as a reminder to Tom that . . . . . . . . .  . . . . . . . . . . . . the ink episode was one of his best capers while in elementary school.



Drywall & Plaster

April 4, 2012

We had only one drywall experience that went bad:  the one that we hired done.  After that, Tom and Joe, Dad or Dave took on the mammoth tasks of replacing ceilings in King Street house.    

Tom taped, applied mud and sanded with the same attention to detail as finishing furniture and woodwork.  It was perfect when he gave it the "shadow test" with a light, or he started again.


Memories of Tony's Pizza

April 3, 2012

While on summer vacations in London with my aunt and uncle, I recall going to Tony's Pizza on the corner of Quebec and Dundas for take-out.  Pizza was a new experience for me . . . I was a country girl who grew up on #3 HWY east of the Merlin Townline.  My family didn’t go to restaurants very often: perhaps once or twice a year, and even then I don’t remember pizza as an option.  Going for take-out was novel in itself, but going for pizza to Tony’s was huge.  I remember always standing in front of the restaurant's large window and watching with awe as Tony masterfully tossed the dough into the air several times, swirled it again and again on his fists and then dropped it abruptly onto a floured board.  Then, in rapid succession, the dough was covered with sauce, an overly abundant amount of grated mozzarella, fresh mushrooms and sprinklings of other toppings.  Into the oven, then into the box, and my aunt, uncle and I were gone back to their apartment with our delicious pie. Those visits to Tony’s were good times and great memories.  Many years later, however, I discovered that there was more to the story about Tony’s Pizzeria.

You see, when Tom and I were dating, we often frequented his old neighbourhood in East London to visit his dad on Charlotte Street – just two streets east of Tony’s.  It was on our first visit to his dad’s house that I mentioned I had gone to Tony’s a few times in the summer months as a girl.  That’s when Tom shared that for a while, every Saturday, he and his friend Sal, who was Tony’s nephew, were in the kitchen of that pizzeria grating cheese and slicing pepperoni. 

Tom said that he shredded many, many pounds of specially imported mozzarella each Saturday.  He spoke of the huge cauldrons of sauce, bins of sliced toppings, and how much he liked to “kibitz” with the kitchen help all day. The aroma of pizza was on his clothes and permeated his skin when he was done work.  What’s more, he said, he most often went home with a pizza in-hand for his dad.

Up until recently, our family went to Tony’s as a longstanding tradition.  Tom always looked forward to speaking with Tony, and Tony always extended a very warm welcome to Tom.  Often, Tony joined us at our table to exchange news about the families.

Tony will always be remembered by me as the pizza master, but to think that young Tom might have been in the back of the pizzeria preparing the cheese and toppings for my pizza when we were just kids?  Now, that is huge.


CP Rail Adventure

April 1, 2012

Tom’s dad was a train engineer so the CP yard at Quebec Street was a familiar place. Tom told me of times when he and a buddy hopped on the side of a car as the train left the yard, rode it past the outskirts of the city and jumped off to play in the open area. Of course, every time that I heard these stories, I shuddered to think that he could have ended up under the wheels. When he talked about these and other boyhood adventures, I seriously wondered if I had married the modern day Tom Sawyer.  Heaven help Tom “Sawyer” Ready if his dad ever found out about this caper. 

Garbage Mondays

March 31, 2012

Shortly after Tom’s stroke and heart surgery in 1995, he learned a practical lesson that we both smiled about then and years afterward. 

At the time, Tom couldn’t drive a motorized vehicle because of vision challenges that he acquired during the stroke, so he relied on his bicycle to get to the grocery store.  He always rode on the sidewalk to avoid any perils on the streets.  It didn’t take him long to realize, however, that grocery shopping treks should not be planned for Mondays. 

On this particular Monday, Tom thought that he would go uptown on his bike with his grocery list in hand.  It was garbage day, and the neighbours had neatly placed their cans at the end of their driveways and Tom negotiated past them without much difficulty.  It was on his return from the grocery store, however, that the trouble arose. 

Unfortunately, the sanitation workers had been around to collect and had not replaced the cans neatly at the ends of the driveways as they were before.  Rather, they were scattered: often on their sides, sometimes totally or partially on the sidewalks. Tom was forced, therefore, to repeatedly navigate around clusters of as many as 4-8 garbage cans that intruded onto his path.  There weren't really 4-8 cans, however.  It was the fact that he saw multiple images of one object that presented the problem.

Tom smiled as he explained to me that it was clearly a game of chance that he played as he came back from uptown.  He shrugged and grinned when he told me that he did suffer a few collisions with the real garbage cans.  We both agreed that he must have been quite the sight swerving to miss cans that weren’t really there.

After Tom’s eye surgery, he saw double whenever he didn’t have his glasses on, but that was a huge improvement in comparison to the kaleidoscope of images that he once saw.  He didn't complain about the nausea and headaches - just took them in stride.  The work of focusing visually was always very tiring for Thos. after his stroke but he never complained.

Tom learned to adapt to a number of the residual effects of that stroke. I recall one specialist saying to us that the outcome could have been much more grave had Tom not had such a sense of humour and high level of intelligence.    

Tom made lemonade for seventeen years.  What strength.

Stick of Gum

March 31, 2012

Tom told of hot summer days when he and his friends would get a stick and swirl it in a soft pool of tar on the road.  The glob on the stick, he said, was perfect for chewing. Surely, it was on a dare.   

Ice Box Days

March 30, 2012

Much to the delight of Tommy and some of his friends, the ice man made deliveries by horse and wagon to homes in the neighbourhood.  On hot summer days, he and his friends hid and waited while the ice man stopped the wagon in front of a house, secured the horse using a weight suspended from its halter, and proceeded to lug a block of ice into a house by way of the back door. 

At that moment, Tom said, the time was right.  He and his pals moved the horse up the street several houses, clambered quickly into the wagon, pulled back the tarp and pushed off a block of ice.  When it crashed into shards, they all grabbed and ran in all directions with a cold treat.  

I would like to think that the ice man was entertained by their antics and always loaded a few extra blocks of the ice for the mischevious little imps in the neighbourhoods. Somehow, though, I think that he was less than pleased but nevertheless tolerant of the rascals.  Otherwise, I am sure that Tom would have had a ride home on a wagon while seated on a block of ice.

Our Memories of the Three Little Pigs Pantry, London

March 29, 2012

I remember when my Aunt Gloria and Uncle John took my sister and me to this little fast food place on the corner of Wharncliffe and Wyatt streets.  The Three Little Pigs Pantry had the thickest milkshakes EVER.  The shakes were SO thick that my cheeks ached when I tried to draw them through a straw. What a treat it was to go there.  Little did I know, however, that a very young Tom once lived only a few houses from the Three Pigs on Wyatt Street. He, too, had frequented the place often.

On one particular occasion, Tom and his tricycle were both escorted home. He said that he was just standing by a garbage barrel when the police arrived. He claimed that the matches that he and his buddy had in their possession had nothing to do with the fire that was burning in that barrel. 

When he told & retold this story to me, his eyes were always wide, and he always had that all too familiar sheepish grin on his face.  I can only imagine that the look on his face was much the same when he was escorted home by the police.

Delivery Boy

March 29, 2012

Often, when we travelled Quebec Street toward Dundas, Tom told of his adventures as a boy delivering meat from a shop that was once near the overpass.  He spoke of riding a balloon-tired bike with large carrier on the front that contained a large cardboard box full of meat deliveries. Balancing the load was a trick, he said, but driving that bike in the colder months resulted in an added peril. One time he and the box of meat went sprawling over the street when he lost control on ice. 

Tom recalled a time when Stan, the store's owner, had to go to his upstairs apartment to tend to his terminally ill wife.  The task of minding the shop was given to Tom, and, of all times, a customer arrived who wanted some pork chops.  Unfortunately, there were none cut.  So, rather than bother Stan upstairs,  Tom took it upon himself to cut them.  He said that after much cutting and hacking he managed to wrap up some very strange looking chunks of meat that he judged to be chops.  The customer paid and departed.  Tom said that he was pretty proud at that moment. 

As my Gram C. would say, "Bless his heart".   


Entrepreneurship in his future?

March 29, 2012

Flower containers made of an old water heater cut in half lengthwise were quite customary "back in the days" when Tom was growing up.  As it happened, Tim, Tom's dad, had placed a water heater in the front yard for this purpose and left for work. 

The containers, however, never got any soil or flowers.  Junka Joe came along with his horse and wagon, and Tom, who happened to be in the right place at the right time, sold the heater to Junka Joe for the right price: a 100% profit. 

Tom said that his dad was not overly impressed when he got home. I am sure that his dad had to secretly admire his son's enterprising spirit.  What's more, Junka Joe would likely have had some flower containers for a good price.   

Escorted home again

March 29, 2012

Tom and his buddy were perhaps bored the day that they happened upon a neighbouring lady's front flowerbed. 

Bored no longer, Tom was once again escorted home and faced the task of explaining his mischief to his dad.  

Why would he ever drop lit firecrackers into the lady's tulips leaving only the pistols "blowin' in the wind"? 

Tom never shared boyhood tales with our children until they were young adults. 

Good decision, Thos.  

Hudson's trained

March 27, 2012

Tom always attributed his appreciation for fine ties and how to tie them to his work at Hudson's.  He worked there while going to secondary school.

Tom donned a tie each Monday to Friday all of his working career as a teacher. Ties were a requirement just as jackets were and I must say that he looked quite dapper.  I used to watch him effortlessy create a perfect knot and dimple in his tie in very little time.  The half Windsor, the double Windsor and the one that appears on his first teaching year pic that shows no knot at all. (The name of that one escapes me.  I think that it is some form of ascot look that was popular in the early 70's.) 

By the time that I came home from work, the tie was loosened, the top button on his shirt undone, and the sleeves rolled up because he was always preparing dinner - sometimes with a tea towel as an apron.  A glass of wine most often awaited me on the island.

And, my friends, that is just one of the reasons that so many of my female colleagues told me that I was spoiled.


Tie End

March 27, 2012

This is definitely coffee house days.  Tom had a natural talent with a beautiful voice. He would sing and play like he was the only one in the room.  When he was finished he would look up and have a shocked look on his face when he realized he had an audience.  Most of the songs he played he wrote himself. He also played many folk songs, but I cant remember the names of them right now.


March 27, 2012

Meet Gatina Kidogo (named by Fr. Bob & Shiela) a.k.a. Gatilla (so-called by Gram & John G. next door on King Street).

Gatilla was some cat.  While loved by Gram, he was pretty much highly disliked by everyone else because of his tendency to purr and drool on you one minute and then turn on you in a milli-second and draw blood.  Tom was barely tolerant of Gatilla, needless to say, but since Gram loved him, Gatilla was allowed to stay regardless of his quirks. 

One day, it was necessary for Tom and I to go to the vet's to pick Gatilla up after a lengthy stay (the cost of which Tom bemoaned for weeks).  The veterinary assistant stood behind the counter and announced that Gatilla was ready to go home.  Tom and I approached the counter to pay the bill, and the assistant said to Tom, "You must be Gatina's daddy."

There was no empty air time. "That was another Tom," Tom said emphatically and with a very straight face.  We paid the bill, got Gatilla and departed leaving the assistant looking bewildered until she saw Tom grin at her before he went out the door.

I quickly learned to always expect the unexpected when with Tom and to quit wincing.  He could be counted on to be true to himself but rarely at the expense of others. I respected and admired that in him.


March 26, 2012

The place was caled Rotorura, known for its sulphur springs. Unfortunately, sulphur springs come with a very unpleasant odour. So Tom referred to it as "Rotopoopoo"
The name stuck!

Tom's boys

March 26, 2012

This group of boys were Tom's They adored him and loved to sit and chat with him. He made up crazy stories about his past, each one getting more embellished. Then one day I heard 2 boys comparing stories and they realized how badly he was pulling their legs. One kid said, "So he really doesn't have a glass eye that  he is going to pop out and put in my drink when I'm not looking?" I laughed out loud!

heads up!

March 26, 2012

One piece of advice, DO NOT stand anywhere near Tom Ready when he has a boomarang in his hand - he's a wild man! Nearly took my head off! When we went back last year, this area is now protected by a net cage that those waiting to throw have to stand inside. I think Tom, inspired this addition!

getting "lei"-ed on the beach

March 26, 2012

We were in Hawaii walking home from dinner on the beach. A lady approached us and asked if we wanted to buy leis. I asked how much and she said 5 dollars. Without a pause, Tom said, "I'll take 4. How many opportunities do you get to get laid on the beach for 5 bucks!"  We laughed all the way back to the hotel! 

Scarborough Fair

March 26, 2012

One of my absolute favourites that Tom sang and played on his guitar. 

Simon and Garfunkel  


The Big O

March 25, 2012

Each year when Tom counted the Canadian Tire money that he had collected I knew that it would be opening day bass season soon. It was time for him to stock his tackle box with necessities including jigs, Mepps and Shad Raps.  It was without question that at least 6 - 8 white, & 2 - 3 chartreuse or perch green Big O's would be included in the purchase. 

Despite all of the teasing that he got if he came home fishless, the Big O was the lure of all time in Tom's eyes.  I must acknowledge that he did catch many large and small mouth bass with it - and sometimes pike. 

Tom was a pro at casting, dropping the lure right at the edge of the reeds in a still pool and teasing out a bass.  Rarely did we have to move the boat because he got snagged.  My casting, however, was less than perfect and he would often have to maneuver the boat to retrieve my lure.  Such patience.  He never complained, sometimes made a recommendation or two in a gentle or very direct way (depending whether this was my 1st or 10th casting sin), and then we went on fishing.  

My strength

March 24, 2012

When we first met: Education Through Music (university course, summer, 1972). He seemed to arrive every day just in time. Long hair, tattered jeans and no shoelaces. He was perfect!

It was Tena Mifflin, music teacher and mother of my first crush (almost 10 years prior), who called me on the telephone one day and encouraged me to take this Education Through Music course and launch myself into university studies.  I think that she knew something about me that I didn't know about myself at the time.  I will always be grateful to her for making that call.  Taking just that one course gave me the edge to get a position in London working in a daycare for children with special needs.  Interestingly, however, when I went to London to work, Tom had just arrived in Chatham, from London, to teach.  And so it was for three years.

After we were married, it was Tom who supported me to finish that degree part-time and go on to acquire qualifications for teaching and a master's degree. He kept me sane when I was at the brink of losing it (many times) because of the workload and the expectations that I placed upon myself.  He always put things into perspective, was masterful at calming me down and knew just when to listen, say nothing, and bring me coffee.  He remained calm, patient and true to his commitment to support me through it all. 

I truly don't believe that anyone "got" the value that I placed on the achievement of these goals except Thos.  He didn't question why I never attended any of my graduations.  He knew that the ceremonies and pieces of paper were secondary to what it meant to me within.  My soulmate.  

One of the best day of my life!

March 24, 2012

How special it was to be proposed to at your house and then to actually be married there by your sister. It was all so intimate. I was feeling a little nervous and shaky during the ceremony, then Tom said, "I can't find the ring." with that dead-pan look of his. We all froze and then he laughed and said, "Oh, it's in the other pocket!" It was the perfect icebreaker and I completely relazed after that. Tom had that ability; he knew what you needed even when you didn't. I think that is what made him such a great husband, father, friend and teacher. We were all blessed to have known him - even thoug he would say, "buncha malarky!"

X0 Tom - always in our hearts!

Fr. Bob

March 23, 2012

Tom & I were waiting at a stop light one day, shortly after he started to work at the Pines, when Tom glanced over at the driver in the car next to us and commented that it was Fr. Bob, this fellow that he had just met at school.  I looked and must admit that I was a bit taken aback by this man's lengthy beard that he stroked repeatedly while waiting for the light to turn green.  What is said about first impressions . . . well, it didn't hold true in Fr. Bob's case.  

At least once a week, Tom and Fr. Bob got together on a school evening.  They were always in our kitchen making something: horseradish, soft pretzels, pitas, sauerkraut, apple cider, beef jerky, Turkish delight, and altar bread (yes).  Late at night I often found them sitting at the kitchen table in quite serious discussion about world religions, or sharing and laughing about their experiences in the 60's and 70's. (Tom always marveled that Fr. Bob had experienced Woodstock.)  

One of their favourite activities was to search through Tom's 2-volume dictionary set that was published in the early 1800’s.  There was such laughter when either couldn't define a word challenge, or they found a word  that suffered extirpation over the years. 

Tom had great respect for Fr. Bob and often referred to him as the great polyglot and bibliophile.  He was dearly missed when he moved to Alymer, Quebec to teach in Ottawa, but we continued to keep in touch through telephone calls and his visits. 

The Very Rev. Archpriest Robert Anderson passed away on December 27, 2010 at the age of 64.  I choose to believe that Bob and Tom are together once more.  



Football Career

March 22, 2012

Tom told me about his football team experience at Catholic Central.  Apparently, during the first practice, some huge fellow came charging into Tom and flattened him where he stood. Tom regained his breath, got up to his feet, walked off the field and put on his street clothes. 

I asked him once why he wanted to play football, thinking that he would allude to his wide shoulders, building strength of character or something like that.  In a split second, however, he smiled and told me that it had nothing to do with the game and everything to do with the girls who adored the jocks. 

Over the years, we had many good chuckles about our teenage years.

March 22, 2012

Dad led us, always, by example of honesty, devotion, gentleness and compassion, patience, and understanding, humility, and courage. He led us by example to stand up for what we believe, be true to ourselves, and remain strong and determined in times of adversity. He showed us, his entire life, to not only accept and embrace people's differences, but to celebrate them. He showed us life with integrity. He taught us, by example, to lend our heart to music and our creativity, and to remain close to the essence of our own humanity. He led us, by doing, to ask questions, listen to the answers, and to be content and have faith in the answers we do not receive. His wit, humour, laughter, and playful mischief is what I will miss the most each day, reminding us always of the possibility of a smile in every moment.

My Dad is and will forever be my compass, my true north, my pivot... my person with the ear and the answers, and the ever open arms. I never questioned him or his guidance, because, while his intelligence was unquestionable, he led us from a place deep within a beautiful gentle heart. It was this that made everything he said and did worth watching. We always joked with him telling him that he was ‘omni smart’, but in his typical modesty he never seemed to believe how genuinely we trusted and respected his guidance in our life. I feel great honour in having him be my life’s mentor and I can only hope to use his lessons well, leaving behind me a worthy legacy of his love.

In witnessing the tragic fall of my precious (al)most invincible dragonslayer I realized that even after he is gone he continues to lead us to some important lessons about life, perhaps the most valuable lesson of all! It is this: This moment is the only one guaranteed to you.  Take no day for granted, or your health. It is not guaranteed to you. Cherish your friendships and devote your best, every day, to the people who are dear to you. They are not guaranteed to you either, as tomorrow, they may be gone. You are not guaranteed a long happy life with your children, with your spouse, with your friends. You are not guaranteed a tomorrow, a later, or a next time. The only promise is that you have a right now, so Seize the Day. Carpe Diem. Carpe the hell out of this Diem.

Remember my Dad and speak of him often.

March 21, 2012


As a former student I want to express my sincere sympathy at the loss of your loved one.  Mr. Ready taught me history and science in grade eight at St. Ursula’s school.  He was serious about studies but he also liked to joke around and students were very happy to have him as their teacher.  Many years of schooling and a working life later, I still distinctly remember some of the things he taught us. Learning about The War of 1812 and the study of simple cells still vividly come to mind.  As well, I remember him as the emcee for our grade eight graduation dinner.  He was a fine teacher!

 Sincerely, Karen Horne

March 20, 2012

   Entering into a conversation with Tommy could lead into a surprising exchange of words comprised of vocabulary from the only addition of theThomas dictionary. If I or anyone else for that matter were courageous enough to be drawn into this mind boggling exercise, it would soon unfold into a rapid exchange of words and phrases that made little to no sense to me.It was hilarious! Surprisingly it all made perfect sense to that quick witted man.
    Um..Tommy... the matter of the elusive #3 decorated Easter egg has been revealed. Your wife has FINALLY! let the cat out of the bag. Who would think you and your accomplise/s would hide #1,2 and 4 and leave me with months of searching for #3 with visions of a rotting boiled egg blowing up in it's hiding place in my home!
    Until we meet again brother-in-law. Now where did you hide that dictionary? Suzann


March 19, 2012

At our many family Christmases and miscellaneous family gatherings, I was always one to stick close to the grownups, rather than horse around too much with the cousins.  Uncle Tom "got" that, and found a way to reach out to me by talking about things we both loved- especially cooking and the study of languages. I remember when I was taking German in highschool, and this interested him.  I remember us talking a lot about the similarities between German, French and English- we even tossed around a little bit of Greek, just for kicks. 

I thought my Uncle Tom was hilarious and mysterious, and knew so much about everything!  I remember one time while helping him making Gram's "dip" for the Christmas pudding, that he told me never to scrape the sides of the pan, or there would be lumps! Who knew?

A special memory I have is of this one day when i was visiting at the King Street house, he showed me a catalogue and asked me to pick out something.  I fell in love with a pretty country cupboard, which he then told me would be my wedding gift.  It is made of solid oak, meticulously crafted to last forever- which is how long I intend to keep it!     

Thank you, Uncle Tom- for opening your home to all of us so often over the years and being so generous with us all.  You will never be forgotten.  


March 18, 2012

The newspaper notice of Tom's passing was beatifully done, Sharron.  It certainly captured the essence of the Tom that we all knew. 

We personally always thought of Tom as a modern Renaissance Man, that is, one whose interests, skills and passions cover many different activities and subjects.  He always displayed great curiosity and enthusiasm in whatever he put his hand to; be it cooking or home renovations, teaching or exploring the magic of "swish barrels".  Renee's photo is a classic - laid back Tom - and if you look at that subtle grin you can see a hint of mischief, also a  big part of Tom Ready.

It was a pleasure to work with and play with Tom.  Our thoughts and prayers go out to you and the family.

Dennis & Diana O'Mara

March 17, 2012

Many laughs . . . Tom really wasn't the loud, "look at me"  kind of guy.  He didn't laugh at his antics. He rarely played jokes and told few.  He just brought smiles to people's faces every, every day & enjoyed intiating some fun.

He was the master of straight-faced, one-liners; word plays and fractured tales that often left listeners laughing until tears flowed, marveling at his absurd sense of humour and wit, or just asking, "Who does that?"

Mother's Day

March 17, 2012

We had these large coffee filters and it was Mother's Day, so we made Mother's Day hats . . . all but Tom.  He made an apron.  Typical.  XXX Thos.  You WERE always the exception.  One of the many reasons that I ASKED YOU to marry me!

March 17, 2012

In Tom's basement workshop was a support pole on which we recorded the growth (height) of our kids and grandbabies.  Gabby, our eldest granddaughter, is being measured by Renee on that pole in the picture.  I almost brought that support pole with us when we left King Street house -  until Tom looked over his glasses at me with that all too familiar, "You aren't serious," look.

Teaching Days

March 17, 2012

That is the Tom Ready I remember. He was one of the best teachers I ever had.
He always brought a little laughter to learning. Going from St. Joe's to the Pines was an easier transition for our class because he transfered at the same time. We'll miss you Mr. Ready. 

School Mischief

March 16, 2012

Hearing from Tom's students makes me think of a story that our family periodically heard about his school days.  (There were, in fact, many stories about his experiences in school . . . )

Tom attended a separate school in London, ON., and, as scheduled, the garbage truck came through the gates to make its regular pick up.   Routinely, Tom got into trouble with the nuns (his teachers) because he chose to hitch a ride to freedom by hanging on the back of the truck as it made its way back to the street. 

I wonder if they ever learned how to manage Tom?  I think NOT when I recall some of the other stories that he shared. 


March 15, 2012

I had Tom for science...either Gr. 9 or 10....and I am not a science person at all.  I was not doing well in that class and through his words, motivation and speaking to my parents about the help I needed, I passed...barely, but I passed.  I have never forgotten the time he took to make sure I succeeded.  He cared about a student he really didn't know and it meant a great deal to me.  He was a great guy to talk to and laugh with!

Nights in white flannel

March 15, 2012

hahah!! thanks for posting Mom!!! o.O.. I really just laughed a much needed laugh out loud upon seeing the Nights in white flannel photos again though. Reminds me of that day, and the laughter, but also how typical this is of our family... lots of silliness and memories. 

Feeding the Seal

March 13, 2012
When I lived with them on King St., I would usually wind up hanging out with them in the tv room. Chuck in his chair, Aunt Sharron on the loveseat, buried in a book or schoolwork. I would crash on the floor and sometimes hear "the clapping" and glance back. Chuck was humming a tune under his breath and clapping his feet together, and Aunt Sharron would, without even looking up, hold up a pretend fish to feed the seal. That always made me laugh. There are so many stories that come to me that bring a smile to my face and joy to my heart........but this was one of my favourites.

Good times in MOT

March 12, 2012

Ice cream became one of Tom's favourite treats . . . gluten free, that is.  Here, he is pictured in the lounge of the Multi-Organ Transplant Unit.  This was a very hopeful time for Tom.  He had survived a serious infection and was feeling positive that he would soon get a call about a potential donor.  He just had to gain some weight (was a mere 121 pounds) and develop some strength . . . no problem . . . he had his lucky hat: Gift for Life, and his St. Anthony medal.  (St. Anthony has helped him find many things over the years, and Tom was confident that St. Anthony would help find him a liver.)  Every day Tom reported dutifully to physiotherapy for exercises and even signed himself up to participate in a pre- post-study for liver recipients.  He was on an upward climb.

Love and admire you, Chuck.  XXX

Oh Christmas Tree

March 12, 2012

During the family visit to Sloan's to cut a tree, Tom went missing.  We found him later, standing alone, several hundred trees behind us, singing, "Oh Christmas Tree" to his selection. As Tom did his sheepish grin thing with shoulders raised, he explained that another family saw him earlier and quickly departed. He chuckled when he mentioned that he thought they were us. 


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