Using Love to Weave a Good Life Together

Whether the smell of fresh cool lake water on a hot breeze or sun-warmed pine needles, there is something powerful in my mind that drags me back to another place, another time.

Last night Linda and the family were doing a memory-lane visit, on the family chat, to our home on Indian Road in Sudbury; Linda tells me that today marks the 10th anniversary of our family’s permanent move.  And for all the grand memories, for all the laughs, for all the warmth of our family of six, there is no turning back from the urban journey we’ve been on since.  We’re a bigger family.  One son-in-law.  Two beautiful grandsons, one and three.  One sig-other for both oldest daughter and youngest son.  For all our good memories together, we continue to create new ones.

The tapestry of Linda and my life together isn’t some monochrome, loosely woven, tread worn, ready to be discarded rag.  Rather, it is a richly colored work in progress.  The pattern has changed over time.  The introduction of others, whether the young Irish who fled the Great Recession at the end of the last decade, or the bar staff who liked us because we weren’t pretentious and accorded them the respect that was their due, people who’ve worked with us or for us, or our children’s friends as they grew into adulthood, all have changed the pattern and color of the weave.

Linda and I are the same age.  We met when she was a student of mine.  And lest you make some bawdy connection, we fell into dating when she finished university and I was no longer a lecturer.

I’m not sure how I would characterize being in love with Linda.  It wasn’t some mad, headlong clutching and grabbing rutting behavior.  Instead, it started on Lake Ramsay, sitting on a granite outcrop at 3 in the morning, talking, and not talking, listening to the gentle lapping of the lake on the shore.  Coming to love with each other that way provided us with the warp that gave us the strength to weave a life well together.

Things developed rapidly.  Not only did we come together six weeks later as a blended family, and bought a house soon after, our four children were just as adept at coming together as brother and sister.  It was, well, just right.

Others’ expectations created problems for us from the beginning, trying to cut our threads.  Many of Linda’s friends and confidents challenged her, suggesting that she was rushing things.  My best friend claimed that she had ruined his life.  My work relationships were threatened, ultimately leading to my termination.  My clients, who in retrospect were taking advantage of me in the guise of friendship, treated her as a handmaiden.  Neither of our families approved.

And we often heard people calling us the Brady Bunch or commenting on how hard it must be – but it was neither some uptight mid-American view of how blended families were supposed to work, or some conflict filled approaching Armageddon.

It was fun.  It was ordering ten pizzas or barbecuing hamburgers at midnight because we learned the benefits of party-ending carb comas that rapidly reduced the house party from 60 to 10.  It was getting impatient and lighting a fire in the pit with gasoline only to have the fire department arrive because apparently 60-foot flames were not acceptable.  It was laughing at a daughter doing a “grass angel” on the side lawn telling Linda how much she loved her after her first experience getting drunk.  It was travelling from city to city watching rep basketball.  It was keeping a skid steer for a whole summer because all the kids and their friends loved tooling around the property “landscaping”.  It was ditching a truck that had broken down on the side of the road so that we could rush off to a Leaf’s game.

If I give pause, as I am tempted to do this weekend, it is not because I am tried of weaving.  It is because I want to allow some of the color that is important to me back in; you know, the coolness of the water on a warm breeze or the smell of sun on the pines.  But most importantly, I want some time with Linda in the space between to listen to the water lapping on the shore.

David Chellew and Linda Odnokon have been life partners and in business together for almost 19 years. During that time, they have mellowed into their respective roles and enjoy working with individual investment clients. Dave is a Portfolio Manager and Linda is an Investment Advisor with iAS and work out of the co-work space CSI (Centre for Social Innovation) in downtown Toronto.


Industrial Alliance Securities Inc. (IAS) is a member of the Canadian Investor Protection Fund (CIPF) and the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC). iA Securities is a trademark and business name under which Industrial Alliance Securities Inc. operates.


This information has been prepared by David Chellew, Portfolio Manager for Industrial Alliance Securities Inc. (IAS) and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of IAS. The opinions expressed are based on an analysis and interpretation dating from the type of publication and are subject to change. Furthermore, they do not constitute an offer or solicitation to buy or sell any the securities mentioned. For more information about IAS, please consult the official website at David Chellew can open accounts only in the provinces where he is registered.