My dad is the reason I own my house; he taught me the value of owning over renting and he encouraged me to move back in with him and my mum after university so that I could save up enough for a down payment. I started this blog, formerly called House Before Spouse, to chronicle my journey in first home-buying, so my dad is also the reason, even though indirectly, for this blog's existence. Regretfully, my dad never got to see me purchase this house - he passed away seven months before I was financially able to buy my home. But I know he would have been very proud. Today marks the fifth anniversary of his passing. I think about him often, but this is an especially difficult time of year. My father was a landscaper by trade, but he was also a skilled homebuilder, furniture maker, artist and decorator. It didn't occur to me to think of him as a decorator until recently, but in hindsight it's so obvious since he was the member of the household who made all the decorating decisions, from paint colours to furniture, accessories to art. Until recently, I had thought of him as a landscaper, a builder, a renovator, a contractor...a power tools and lumber kind of a guy. But he was also a decorator. He didn't just build the house, he decorated it. A lot of what makes me who I am comes from him.
Another interest of my father's was music, and that's what I really want to share today in memory of him. Music was so important to him, so for his wake, I prepared a CD of his favourite songs and made copies for everyone who attended. I used to listen to this collection of songs often on itunes on my old laptop, but that laptop broke down and I lost them. I was tidying a couple of months ago and found the original physical copy of the album I made and I've been listening to it a lot since finding it. My dad was an encyclopedia of music, he could tell you the year every album was made and knew who sang every song. He used to quiz me at the cottage, and would give me the artist's initials if I couldn't guess the song right away. I learned a lot about music and the great jazz/blues/soul/Motown artists from him and I want to pass them on for others to enjoy. Here is the track listing from the compilation I put together of Mike's Favourites: