Brotherly Love

Betty is flanked by her two  older brothers, Bill & Jack.

What kind of chemistry is involved in creating a family, and how does that formula change over time? I guess there is no single recipe, but this week I had opportunity to observe a couple of examples of fine family dynamics.

During formative years, sibling rivalry can have a significant impact on relationships. There can be a perception that one son or daughter gets all the attention, while another is neglected. One is the favourite son, while another is the black sheep of the family. The perception that “mother loved you best” can extend for decades, but usually begins to fade with maturity and the death of our parents.

Jack & Bill share a laugh with their younger sister.

Our youngest daughter, Lisa, has a PhD in psychology and specializes in understanding relationships, so I’m sure she is better equipped to analyse sibling relationships than her dear old dad. Suffice to say, from my simple observations, it was heartwarming to see the love, joy and affection shown this week between Betty and her two brothers, Bill and Jack.

Betty & I had worked our way up the U.S. eastern seaboard, and decided to hold up in southern Ontario until we were fairly sure that the snow was gone from Winnipeg. We were unable to spend more time in the U.S. for fear

Rick, Penny, Graham, Betty & Jack enjoy Ontario springtime sun.

of exceeding the “180 day rule”, but we also wanted to have a little time with Betty’s big brothers. Brother Jack, and his wife Christine live in Amherstburg, Ontario – outside the normal snow belt.  Her other brother Bill, and his dear wife Heather, were able to make the 5 hour drive down from their home northwest of Toronto, so there was ample opportunity to both reminisce and build new memories. As it turned out, we also reconnected with old friends, Rick & Penny, who stopped by at the beginning of their RV trip to the west.

Of course, it didn’t hurt that historic

Jack, Betty & Christine join Graham at the nearby Colio Estate Winery.

Amherstburg has a number of fine restaurants, and sits nicely on the Lake Erie North Shore wine route. Wherever we went in this extreme southern corner of Ontario, we had a great time sharing our lives with family and friends. As we left, there were hugs and kisses all round (and a few tears), and it was wonderful to experience this brotherly love.

Betty is excited to find the Sprucewood Shores Estate Winery.

Just a quick further example: Betty & I spent Easter Sunday in that Ohio Turnpike Service Plaza while our 9 family members – pictured on the first page of– shared a traditional turkey dinner together. Through FaceTime we sat at the table with them, and observed another great example of brotherly (and sisterly) love. Here’s praying that our grandkids, and all in the next generation, find the loving formula that keeps our families together!


Bill, Jack, Heather, Christine, Betty & Graham share a meal at the Beach House restaurant in Kingsville, Ontario.
These are the original oak barrels at the Pelee Island Winery. They are about 7′ in diameter.
This is one of those barrels, after brother Bill finished the contents, while Heather looks on!
These tanks at Pelee Island Winery hold wines in process.
These oak barrels are used for aging wines at Pelee Island Winery.
A few special bottles make it into this wine cellar at Pelee Island Winery.
Betty makes a classic two-fisted manoeuvre at Sprucewood Shores Estate Winery.
Back at the motorhome, Graham prepared his famous prosciutto- wrapped asparagus for another shared meal, with a bottle of beaujolais on the side.
Christine hams it up at Colio Estate Winery, where, as a frequent flyer, she is on a first name basis with staff. lol
Christine, Jack, Betty and Graham experience yet another downtown Amherstburg restaurant.
Our last night was spent at this Historic Amherstburg Boondockers Welcome home, with much appreciation for the Medlers’ hospitality!.
A final pic of sister and brotherly love. Cheers!

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