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Becoming my Dad

People have always told me I’m just like my dad. Ever since I was a little boy the similarities have been pointed out to me regularly, by most everyone the both of us have ever met.  I look like him, I sound like him, I walk like him, and I certainly learned how to build things from him.  From my dad I learned how to learn, how to solve problems, and how to do things. Without my Dad, this massive renovation project would never have been possible.©HarropHouse_com-AD0516_03557My Mom passed away just over three years ago in June of 2013, and I haven’t spent a great deal of time with Dad since.  We both thought it would be a great idea for him to come out to visit for a few weeks.  We would share the cramped camping trailer, and he could help me build.  He bought an open-ended ticket, and I picked him up at the Calgary airport, where we proceeded directly to Ikea where he was privileged to help me load an entire kitchen into the truck.  We did our catching up on the 7 hour drive back to Harrop.©HarropHouse_com-AD0416_03344It was great to spend a good solid amount of quality time together.  We talked about old times, remembered things we did when we were younger.  He told me stories about his childhood I had never heard before.  It’s amazing that you can know someone your whole life and always have more to learn about them.  We tore down walls, literally. And built new ones in their place.  We solved problems, worked together and helped each other.

We sat by the beach at sunset and drank beer and cooked steaks over an open fire and watched the Northern Lights and drank beer some more. He didn’t slow down either, just kept going. Lifting. Cutting. Nailing. Creating. We even built a door. We built it from scratch, using 125 year old lumber salvaged from the original farmhouse. This is the door that will be main entrance to Harrop House.  It’s the door to my future, and I couldn’t have built it without help from my Dad.

As it turns out, building a house with your Dad is the best metaphor for a relationship with your Dad.


We remembered my Mom together too.  We both miss her very much. She would have loved this house, this project and this place.  Every time I walk through that door,  I will be thankful for the time I spent with both of them.

I am so very grateful to have spent these three weeks with my Father, my friend. My Dad

I love you Dad.  Happy Fathers Day.



  1. Glenne Glenne

    Happy Fathers Day to Peter and Andrew. You are clever guys to realize the importance of this time together and to cease the moments.
    All the Best!

  2. June Reid June Reid

    Beautiful sentiments, Andrew. Well said!
    Your place looks beautiful and you’re right….your mom would love it!

  3. eric mumford eric mumford

    Great story and bond Andrew.. Your very lucky to be able to do this with your dad, and I know you will cherrish it. Hope all is well with you and the whole family.
    Your climbing partner.
    Eric Mumford

  4. Lynne Brown Lynne Brown

    What a fantastic project – renovating this house and to work so closely with your dad on it.
    Great pictures of Peter and how wonderful for you both to share your love and lives in this way. I wish you much happiness in your home .
    Lynne ( you won’t remember me but i knew you as a baby when we lived in Kingston)

  5. Rodney Maennling Rodney Maennling

    Andrew and Kristie,
    You two have brought tears to my eyes. In 1969 we bought “the big house”, as it was called, right beside the ferry dock on the North Shore side, and raised two children there. They are now adults and constantly recall the wonderful 18 years there. We especially loved digging and learning about the house and it’s colourful past.
    Your photography and journal is wonderful – keep up the good work!
    Best wishes,

    • That is really cool and a small world! This area is rich is history and we love that we can be a little bit apart of it.

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