When Robyn came along in 1982 your grandmother and I had been married 11 years. We had put off having children while I was going to school so we were both anxious to start the process of raising children. We didn't have to wait long to complete our family. Just 14 months after Robyn was born Brian made his appearance. He was the perfect child in all aspects and turned out to be a son that has always made me proud. As you see in the photo to the left, he was a bundle of 'cuteness'. He wasn't quite Two when this photo was taken with his best friend - his Buddy. He and Buddy went everywhere at that time and shared in his early life experiences.
Right from the beginning it was clear that Brian was very different from his sister. He rarely complained (except when his sister was picking on him) and showed no fear. He was always ready to try anything. I recall one day when he was about three he decided to jump off the back deck which was about six feet off the ground. He hit the ground hard, winced a bit, picked himself up, hobbled for a few steps and carried on. I could see from the expression on his face that it hurt. A few minutes later we were asked to walk to the corner store to pick up something your grandmother needed for supper. On the way Brian kept falling behind which was unusual since he was usually leading the pack. So I kept telling him to, "Speed it up!". Well the next day when he complained that his foot hurt his mother took him to the hospital where they x-rayed his foot. To everyone's surprise he had a hairline fracture- the boy had walked to the store with a broken foot and didn't complain.
At this time we lived in Halifax while I was serving at sea. I was away a lot which left your grandmother to raise the kids on her own. However when I was at home I spent as much time as I could with Robyn and Brian. You can see the surprise on their faces in the photo below when a returned home with a beard after a six-month trip serving with the NATO Squadron. Also below is a photo of us on the bed enjoying story time. However the best time we had was during the winter of 1985 when the kids and I built this huge snowman in the back yard. It was so big that we had to cut each section in quarters, carry them up on a ladder and reassemble them in place.
We had great times in our home in Halifax but after a few years in 1986 the Navy decided it was time for us to move to Ottawa when they posted me to a position in National Defence Headquarters. Getting there was actually a lot of fun. We bought a big Mercury station wagon. I built a table for the kids in the middle of two bench seats that came in the back of the wagon. They had great fun riding in the back our road trip to Ottawa