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Falling in the snow
Me and my camera bag falling in the snow, we were never apart (see below)

One of the best parts of visiting Finland, aside from ice swimming of course, is getting to hear stories and see photos from my family's past. Living in Canada for most of my life, I rarely had the opportunity to see my Finnish grandparents, aunt, uncle and cousin. So every time I go to visit I make a special request to see some of the old family photo albums. Of course, this last time didn't disappoint. Along with the classic black and white photos of my mom and her siblings as children, there were some new-to-me gems. For example, who knew that during the 70's my mom was rocking a hairstyle similar to Big Chuck's? And that my aunt had glasses whose frames were as big around as coffee mugs? Are they going to kill me for writing this, in a word YES!, but I love it - I love knowing the history of my family, the good, the bad and (especially) the questionable fashion choices.

On this last trip I learned a few new things about my great-grandfather. The first was that, similar to me, he always had a camera in his hands. My aunt said that I reminded her of him, and that was pretty neat. The second was that he was a talented artist and enjoyed designing and making furniture. When the 1952 Summer Olympics were held in Helsinki, he made this clever walking stick that doubles as a chair. He even painted the Olympic logo onto the seat, and on the back, the instructions on the correct way to sit on it. This way he was able to walk to the events and have his very own place to sit. Genius, no?!

Helsinki Olympics - wooden chair/cane
1. My male model showing us how to use the walking stick
2. 1952 Helsinki Olympic logo, painted on the seat

3. The bottom of the seat shows us how to properly sit on it (backwards)

4. From walking stick to chair


Stay tuned for Canadiana Tuesday later today.

Bess

(photos: Bess Callard)