The smell of Canadian Tire

I’m hitting the road next week and am off to Alberta to attend the Agri-Trade farm show in Red Deer.

My father, who is now retired, always worked in industrial sales. He sold oil systems for hydraulic lifts, chainsaws, snowmobiles… all of that “guy” stuff. He spent many of his working days traveling Atlantic Canada, making sales calls to dealers and retailers. Many of our family vacations consisted of my brother and I waiting in the backseat of the car in some parking lot in an industrial park while my father made work stops. My mother sat in the front seat, knitting. Good times…

But when I consider the work I do now — telling farmers’ stories — I wonder if my interest in “guy stuff” started in on those family vacations (we did, by the way, do more kid-friendly things too). There were also the times at home when I would much rather be outside with my father in the garage while he worked on his car than doing chores in the house. When I was older, he sometimes brought me to the Atlantic Farm Mechanisation Show, or other nearby equipment trade shows. And yes, the smell of Canadian Tire makes me think of home.

So all of that “guy stuff” (I keep putting that in quotation marks because I really don’t really believe it’s guy stuff, although it once was) gives me a sense of nostalgia. Every time I attend a farm show, I end up bringing home stacks of brochures for Dad. I love walking among the machinery and just chatting with the folks who are there — and I look forward to chatting with the folks in Red Deer.

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