It’s my Nan’s 80th birthday today, and it was my Pop’s 86th birthday the other day. So this weekend we’re getting together to celebrate in style with champagne, food and family. Something I’ve heard since Nan’s 79th birthday has been “Aw I just can’t wait to be 80!” and “I will have finally made it when I’m 80” followed by “all my friends are in their 80’s and I just want to be able to say I’m 80 too!” (spoken in Nan’s iconic voice – if you know you know).
You could mistake my Patricia for a 17 year old anxiously and eagerly awaiting their 18th birthday. Her energy and excitement is infectious and it’s become a running theme in my day to day discussions – Nan’s anticipation for her 80th. My Nan is one of the kindest, most excitable and technologically savvy people I know. She’s renowned for many things: her caramel slice, her iconic voice, and when we drive out of the driveway, she won’t stop waving until it’s physically impossible to see each other – the best kind of send off you could imagine.
My Pop, often referred to as Jack or John – you get to choose, enjoys life’s simple pleasures. A good book, a good TV show, a good cuppa, a good biccie and a good cat or dog to pat and talk to. Pop is a man of few words, but when he does open up, it’s always surprising what kind of things he says. Despite having another woman’s name tattooed on his forearm (I think you inspired my interest in tattoos Pop – sorry I’m going to blame that one on you), Nan and Pop are gorgeous people who have taught me so much.
They have lived most of their lives in the same house in Toronto and I have the most vivid and precious memories of exploring the house, the backyard and the depths of ‘under the house,’ from when we were kids. Nan and Pop’s place was always a meeting place for Dad’s family so see my cousins and Aunties and Uncle. So I always look forward to going there and feel flooded with amazing memories.
I recently wrote a post about 26 things I’ve learned from my Grandma and Grandad (my Mum’s parents), and with a milestone birthday like 80 and 86, I thought it was the perfect occasion to share 26 things I’ve learned from my Nan and Pop – because I’ve known them for my 26 years on earth.
26 Things I’ve Learned From and Love About My Nan and Pop
- Get excited about ageing, not everyone has the privilege of turning another year older. If my Nan can be giddy with excitement about turning 80, then you can get excited about whatever age you’re turning
- Ask and you might just receive. We were at the shops with Nan once and we asked for a tray of mangoes (far too many mangoes for three little kids). Nan bought the tray and it was one of the happiest days of my life
- Trains are awesome
- So are tattoos
- Reach out to the people you love. You can always rely on Nan to leave a supportive comment on a Facebook photo of yours
- It doesn’t matter how tall you are, Nan will find a way to wrap her arms around you
- You’re never too old to pop a bottle of champagne and get cut off at the bar
- There’s nothing like snuggling up next to a fireplace in winter
- Nothing will ever come close to Nan’s caramel slice
- You don’t need a car, you can get anywhere you need with kind people around you, determination and patience
- You can smoke your whole life and still make it to 86 (though it’s probably not advised, it’s still a fun fact I like to remember)
- There’s nothing like sitting in the sun on your balcony reading a book
- Ordering stuff off the internet is addictive
- Knitting is witchcraft and I don’t know how you do it so quickly
- There’s nothing quite like one of Nan’s knitted creations
- There’s no one quite like the Haynes’
- Nothing beats hot chippies
- Piggybacks are an effective form of transportation, though it might break your back
- You can never have too many dogs
- iToy is a form of cardio
- There’s nothing Pop can’t fix
- There’s nothing Nan can’t cook
- A coffee down by the lake is one of the best things you can do
- If I won the lotto I would buy an apartment on the lake for you (THEN you will have really made it)
- Sometimes the simple things in life are the best
- We’re so lucky to have the family we have, and thank you for being the leaders of our crazy Haynes bunch – we love you
Nan and Pop, thank you for your love, support and wisdom. I’m lucky to have benefited from 26 years of your influence. Pop, 86 is incredible. You have defied all the odds which just goes to show how truly stubborn us Haynes’ can be. And Nan, you’ve finally made it to 80! We love you and can’t wait to celebrate all the milestones coming your way (81, 82, 83). I’ll order the wine now!