A birthday gift for Papa Lou

It’s my Dad’s birthday today. Dad, if you happen to be reading, go away! You can come back tomorrow, but if you read any more you’re going to spoil the surprise of your birthday present.

(I can never tell which of my family members reads the blog with any regularity. I know my Mom reads every day – Hi Mom! – and I’ve set the blog as the default home page on our internet browser, so I know Beloved reads the posts about him and the ones with catchy titles. My sister-in-law in Windsor has said she reads it, but I don’t know how regularly – Hi Belinda! – and while I think my brother mostly ignores it, his wife drops by sporadically. Hi Nat! Where was I going with this? Oh right, I was giving my Dad time to leave the room so we can talk about him.)

My Dad doesn’t ask for much, and he’s difficult to buy for simply because what he wants he immediately goes out and gets. (At least I come by my lack of impulse control honestly!) He has been known to buy stuff for himself on December 23 that someone has already bought and wrapped and tucked under the Christmas tree for him.

So when he mentioned that he would like a cordless drill for his birthday to replace one that wouldn’t hold a charge more than a few minutes, I was thrilled to have an easily obtainable gift that I would love to give, and that he would really need and (hopefully!) would not acquire for himself in the days leading to his birthday.

The only caveat was that he wanted to make sure it had a minimum of XX volts of power. I say XX because within three minutes of the conversation, I was distracted and whatever number fit into that XX slot was lost forever. I think he said 18v, but he might have said 12v; I didn’t want to ask him because that would confirm that I was taking him up on his suggestion and he would know he was getting the drill for his birthday. (Subtle, eh? Almost as subtle as writing on the Internet about it.)

The very next week, Canadian Tire had a nice 12v cordless drill in the flyer for 35% off, and I made a mental note to pick one up and ask my brother if he wanted to share the $50 cost with me. (Hey, we’re Dutch and Scottish; what can I say, we’re cheap.) He didn’t immediately reply to my e-mail, but I wasn’t too worried about it. I saw the flyer on the day before the sale came into effect, and thought every single day of the seven-day sale, “I’ve really got to get over to Canadian Tire and buy that drill.” I finally made it late on the last day of the sale, a good 10 days ahead of my Dad’s birthday. I was a little concerned that he had said he wanted a 18v instead of a 12v, but I figured if he really had his heart set on a 18v, he could just trade up.

Drill safely tucked into my closet, I sent another e-mail to my brother asking if he wanted to go in with me. A few days after that, I saw in a flyer that Zellers had an even nicer 18v cordless drill with two batteries for only $40. More power for less cost? That in itself is a gift my Dad would be all over!! But I promptly forgot through the weekend to get myself over to Zellers to pick one up. So yesterday morning I called Beloved from work and told him his task for the day was to get over to Zellers to buy that drill, and we’d take the other one back to CanTire.

After I called Beloved, I called my brother, who reported that he had in fact received my e-mails, and had found a great deal at Rona on an 18v cordless drill, so he had picked it up. He wasn’t entirely sure how or when he’d get it up to Dad here in Ottawa, but it was still a better deal than the original one I’d bought at CanTire. I told him about the Zellers deal, and he agreed that it was the best deal of all and we would respectively return our other cordless drills to Rona and CanTire.

Are you keeping track? At this point we’ve purchased not one, not two but THREE cordless drills. When we get something into our heads as a family, we really follow through!

Beloved called me late yesterday afternoon to report that he had successfully acquired the third and final drill. He said that while he and the boys were in Zellers, they encountered – of all people – my Dad. I don’t think I’ve ever heard my Dad talk about Zellers before. He likes Winners and WalMart and the dollar store – oh how he loves the dollar store! – but I haven’t ever heard of him haunting Zellers. I was SURE that Beloved would report that they found him with cordless drill in hand, but apparently not. Beloved and the boys had a close call, though, diving into a nearby rack of clothing when they first spotted Papa Lou, and then leaving the drill safely hidden in a pile of clothes while they went over to say hello. Tristan relayed the story to me with great hilarity as I tucked him into bed last night, highly amused that Beloved had to quickly clap his hand over Simon’s mouth as an abrupt end to a sentence that began, “Papa Lou! Guess what? We just bought you a ….”

Okay, so this post is more for me than for you. I’m okay with that if you are. Truth be told, it’s really for my Dad, who is a living example of what a great father and a wonderful grandfather should be. He’d appreciate a story about how his family schemed and planned and leapt behind racks of clothing to avoid him.

Happy birthday, Dad, even if you aren’t allowed to read this post until your birthday is done!

Now, where DID I put the receipt for that first drill?

Author: DaniGirl

Canadian. storyteller, photographer, mom to 3. Professional dilettante.

11 thoughts on “A birthday gift for Papa Lou”

  1. Only one question….why return a power tool? Give Papa Lou his, and you need the 12v for the easy jobs (wouldn’t want to overdo it)and the 18v for those tougher situations (when 12v just doesn’t cut it)…and of course, you keep the one you have as a back up, just in case. There, completely logical and reasonable rationalization for owning 3 of the same power tool. This would work perfectly in your case if not for the fact that you are (in no particular order) Dutch, Scottish, cheap (am I being redundant?) and dangerous with even one power tool of any voltage in your hands.
    Enjoy teaching the boys how to take stuff apart Papa Lou!

  2. Hey, it’s my mom’s BD today too! If she was handy I would buy one of those drills off of you for her… but she’s not 🙂
    Happy Birthday Papa Lou!

  3. I’m getting my Jack a Gas Weed wacker. I’m sick of the cord….AND I LOVE POWER TOOLS> They are so useful. Jack has a Dewalt cordless drill. BUT He paid alot more than $40.00 for it.
    Great gift…great story

  4. I laughed out loud. A simple, true story told so well. Happy Birthday Papa Lou…hope you enjoy the drill. If you have already bought one, you get to return it.

  5. Happy Birthday Lou, enjoy your new drill(s)!!! Dani, just to let you know I’m an everyday reader just like your mom. How else am I going to keep up with current events about the family lol. Funny story for sure!!!

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