What’s The Most Interesting Thing You Heard About At Age Eight?

For me, that’s easy.

We had a next-door neighbour who was very old. I found out recently he was 81 when I was eight. Eighty-one doesn’t seem so old anymore.

He was confined to a wheelchair and spent a lot of time on his porch. He was an interesting guy for a curious kid. Tools, what they did, and how to use them. How to recognize trees by their bark and leaves. Weeds and flowers. We had many good talks.

The most amazing one was his story about the year that had no summer. I wondered about that for a long time and revisited it once in a while until I finally convinced myself it was true. That was barely a month ago.

There was a year with no summer. 1884. It came about because of the eruption of Krakatoa, the immense volcano between Sumatra and Indonesia. It spewed material far into the atmosphere and affected weather and especially sunlight all over the world.  Given that agriculture was the primary industry then, it was a very difficult time.

It was beyond reasonable at age eight. True, but nonetheless strange.

Interesting possibility.

Edvard Munch’s famous painting “The Scream” was created in 1893. Experts have opined that the sky in the painting may have been drawn from Munch’s memory of the dusty sky in 1884. That sky must have been spectacular.

The bit to take away

Things that make no sense at the beginning sometimes come together in near unimaginable ways. Truth is stranger than fiction. Be curious.


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I build strategy and fact-based estate and income plans. The plans identify alternate ways and alternate timing to achieve both spending and estate distribution goals. In the past I have been a planner with a large insurance, employee benefits, and investment agency, a partner in a large international public accounting firm, CEO of a software start-up, a partner in an energy management system importer, and briefly in the restaurant business. I have appeared on more than 100 television shows on financial planning, have presented to organizations as varied as the Canadian Bar Association, The Ontario Institute of Chartered Accountants, The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food, Banks – from CIBC to the Business Development Bank.

Be in touch at 705-927-4770 or by email to don@moneyfyi.com

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