There are four things you always knew about Great Grandpa Ivan growing up.
1) When you went to visit him at his farmstead in Pelly, Saskatchewan you better be ready to play a game of cribbage.
2) After you accepted that cribbage challenge from Great Gramps, you better be ready to lose a game of cribbage.
3) When you go in for a hug, you better be ready to be held down for the patented whisker rub against the cheek (although Great Gramps better watch out; great grandson Kaiten finally has some whiskers of his own).
4) And if there was actually a Superman among us, it was probably him.
He further proved point Number 4 over the August long weekend earlier this month when he held his 100th birthday celebrations (his actual birthday is October 26) with about 150 family members and friends.
As the still whippy century-old man put it, he was thankful to have so many show up because “it takes people to have a party”.
But, while it's a milestone to celebrate, it's not the 100th birthday celebration that's the amazing thing – it's the story of the 99 years and 360-something days leading up to that day.
For Great Grandpa Ivan, those years include some amazing stories (often referred to as 'folklore' at this point) and – especially for him – I'm sure there are some even greater memories.
For a man like Great Grandpa, his beautiful late wife Berniece and seven children are undoubtedly at the top of his personal list of accomplishments.
Like any true farmer, another check high on that list is the Grand Champion Prize bull he claimed titles with at several venues across North America.
Headlining his 'folklore' stories is the tale of the father who fell into a cistern and – while he's “kept relatively quiet” about exactly how he did it - somehow did his best James Bond impression to scale the cement walls and climb his own way out.
But what amazes me the most about the man is what he's accomplished in recent years.
He is a man who doesn't seem to know how to slow down – or perhaps who doesn't know when you get older, you're “supposed” to slow down.
At the ripe age of about 72 years old, Great Grandpa decided he wanted to learn how to downhill ski with his 69 year old wife – so they did.
He continued his tradition of nightly and weekly dance outings right up until his late 90s (and still knows how to tear a rug when called upon).
And, only a few years ago when he was in his late 90s, while he was out cutting trees in his yard, he managed to overcome having a tree fall on his lower body.
As one of his daughters playfully puts it, “When they say he's lived nine lives, he's live more than that”.
Great Grandpa even found a way to show me up at his 100th birthday, with talk of his female acquaintance that he spends time with (the century-old man apparently still has more moves than his 25-year-old great grandson).
But, all jokes aside, while this column is aptly titled “Time Better Spent”, I'm proud to spend it this week on a man who exemplifies the idea of “Time Well Spent”.
So, until next week when you've counted the days figuring out how long it'll be until you hit your 100th birthdays, keep a smile on your face and I'll do the same.