Grandpa John – The First Guide

Kinda’ been putting this next story off…..mainly because from here on in, things get really bizarre.  Still completely clueless as to the fact my movements are being manipulated.  About to become hit hard with coincidence….after coincidence…..after coincidence…..after coincidence.  Those who have read previous blogs of mine know my motto is “A point is a point; two points are a line; and three is a pattern.”.  Coincidence is in no way the work of a higher power………except when three align to create a pattern.  It’s rare for there to be an excessive amount to one pattern or multiple patterns all somehow interconnected.  If by chance it occurs, it is “of Cosmic significance”….according to my mother.   

Timeline-wise, I’ve completed Property Brothers – At Home on the Ranch.  I declared in Hell Hath No Fury Like A Woman Scorned, I intended to kick the butt of one Jonathan Silver Scott.  Here’s the thing….I’m a 5’1″ woman looking to square off with a 6’4″ mammoth of a man.  In no way is this possible without some big kahunas.  Sure, I jumped and pinned a 6’4″ Scottish black belt….once.  As memory serves, he didn’t seem to mind and likely would not oppose encountering this type of “violence” again.  This was not gonna’ help inflate my ego.  Comparing myself to David might….especially since he did manage to slay his GoliathJonathan was mine.  For added measure, I played the “smug” card….told myself their dad obviously thought them weaklings and worried “a girl” like me would kick their collective behinds…..THAT’S why he suggested karate.  My mom said no to karate because….according to her, I was violent enough; she didn’t worry about me. 

John & Lily (Lillian) Schalla

Mostly, I spent my days channelling my inner Irishwoman.  I yelled profanities at the computer every time Jonathan‘s image appeared on the screen.  On this particular day, I was in the middle of a whole litany of obscenities when….I heard a voice.

It said, “He’s a good man.”.  I heard it with my ears….like the person was there in the room with me.  I looked up to see my grandfather sitting on the couch, solid as he’d been when he was alive.  He conveyed telepathically that Jonathan was to be regarded like family.  Then he was gone.

I’m not even gonna’ try to decipher what he meant by that.  All I can say is Grandpa was a good man who was kind, generous, and loving to everyone.  This was the first time he ever came back from the dead to defend anyone…but had he not done so, I wouldn’t have given much thought to these two men.

My Treehouse

Don’t know who Jonathan is as a person.  What I learnt of him came to me through a series of “glitches”.  Both men’s lives are such that, if I were to compare and present them to someone familiar with my grandfather….they would definitely question if Jonathan were his reincarnation.  Not possible, but the connection is uncanny.  For example….the name Jonathan is a variation on John; they share the same initials; Grandpa was a middle child too…but also the eldest son of a man who fathered 16 children; and both create(d) things with wood.  Grandpa’s first project was his mother’s coffin at age three.  He made me a tree house….because I wanted one like my cousins’.   

He did magic…..but as far as I know, only for me.  Think maybe it was to make up for the behaviour of some of our family.  Always felt bad I couldn’t be baptised under my name because the Pastor wouldn’t allow it….nor permit my father to step foot in the church.  Grandpa didn’t have alot of money….what with 8 kids, twenty-some grandkids, and great-grandchildren.  Yet every time he checked my ears for “potatoes”, he always found coins.  Never left without a little silver in my pocket.

Thomas Ferguson Men’s Plain
White Linen Handkerchief

Thought my grandfather the classiest man simply because he carried with him a handkerchief….to dry my tears.  He used it the day I yelled and screamed at the “twins”….two tall, slender, identical-looking trees standing feet apart….for refusing to uproot themselves to come to my tea party.  I was three.  He sat me on his lap and used it again the day my parents killed my favourite tree.  It was used once more to wipe dirt from my face when we planted a Thuja occidentalis in remembrance.  Recall telling him that if I ever met a man with a monogrammed hankie, I was gonna’ marry him.  Never met one.  Suppose men just don’t carry them anymore. 

Grandpa had to drop out of school at age seven because he was needed on the farm.  As a young man with a growing family, he took any job offered him.  He was a milkman, as were his sons; a janitor at a school.  When my mother was 16, he moved houses for a living.  One day the jack slipped and he became pinned; was working alone.  Took nearly two days to find him.  Back was broken in four places.  I only knew him as a man whose body was twisted and hunched.  He was also mostly deaf…..which us kids found amusing because conversations with him were hilarious.

He spent the rest of his life working at my uncle’s greenhouse.  Did all our outside chores including spring planting, apple tree trimming, and weekly mowing of the lawn at both the house and factory.  He did love all that outdoorsy stuff, being he was an avid hunter as well.  Mostly, I think he just liked having an excuse to come visit us in the city.

Jacqueline Sharon Schalla

The closest he came to a dream job was running the projection reel at the town’s theatre.  It was believed he loved cinema because he named all his kids after movie stars.  Here’s the thing:  English was not his first language.  Even with a couple years schooling, he was quite illiterate.  Yet he managed to correctly spell all his children’s names on their birth certificates because in trailers, the big headliners’ names were always spoken…..and written.

The only exception was my mother’s name.  Had they been French, it wouldn’t have been a problem.  Think this is what goaded her most.  Grew up hearing stories about the gang wars and disputes between her German community and the neighbouring French town.  Tales always ended with RCMP and paddy wagons.  It was inconvenient to have to legally change the spelling of her name after-the-fact, but as a daughter who was always riveted by these turf war sagas I kinda’ liked seeing her get revved up about old times. 

Now, I don’t watch Property Brothers‘ episodes in sequential order…..which is why I likely got a bunch where everyone had problems with either their foundation or needing pilings.  At some point in each program Jonathan states he’s helping the clients’ save money by doing the work himself…..which translates to “….no witnesses as to what I’m really doing in the basement.”.

I mention this because sometimes the guys have some real sh*t*ss clients on their show.  Drew bites the inside of his mouth when dealing with particularly bad ones.  The day in question had a couple who were so horrible I loudly encouraged Jonathan to bop the guy over the head with his sledgehammer-like arms.  The minute I said, “…..just drag him to the basement” I thought, “OMG!  Is he digging their graves down there?!!!”.  Of course, not having any sympathy for these two I shouted, “Good for you, Jonathan!  Good for you.” while giving him a standing ovation.  Couldn’t stop laughing for weeks.

JD Scott kicked my amusement level up a notch when he shared a photo where Jonathan virtually looks like a serial killer in training.  Said something to the effect of not wanting to get into a van with him…..and suddenly, there in my mind is the Scooby-Mobile, in all its cartoon glory.  Next I see Jonathan performing magic, making someone “disappear”….but unlike David Copperfield he “fails” to make them reappear.  Jump to Jonathan hunched over the wheel of the Mystery Machine with a devilishly villainous look in his eyes…..and an unusually large potato sack I’m doubting has potatoes.  In the process of driving to a construction site… one of those holes he dug earlier.  END SCENE.

There is a point to all this……and I’m getting to it.  Couple weeks later, I go to visit my grandfather’s sister.  Because her time is short and knowing I am the family genealogist, she’s been passing down stories and pictures.  This day was no different……except she handed me a newspaper article about…….GRAVE-DIGGERS!  There are an absorbent amount of morticians and RCMP in our family, but I was completely unaware my grandfather, his namesake, his father, and many more dug graves for a living.  All I could think was, “OMG!  If this Property Brothers‘ gig doesn’t work out for Jonathan, there’s always a place for him in the family business!”.  LMAO!!!!!!

Seriously.  Don’t claim to truly understand what’s going on, but for my grandfather to draw my attention to this connection between himself and Jonathan… must be of importance.  Wish I could say this is where all the spooky happenings and coincidences end, but seems it’s only the beginning ……and just a small part of a much bigger, grandeur picture I have yet to see in full.   


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