Monday, October 27, 2008

Cooling our heels on the Island

Pickard 4 generation - Richard, Georgia, Emily, John and Louis

We’re still cooling our heels on the Island. The family meeting went off fairly well and the decision was to rent the parent’s house out for awhile. We did a major cleaning effort and have stored some items in the garage for the short term. Everyone was pretty pooped by the end of the day. One night sister Janet (and John) took Aileen and I out for supper at Deez in Qualicum. We had a great time; thanks guys!
Another day, my brother in law John Randall, guided Aileen and I around the forest trails adjoining the Fanny Bay Nature Preserve. The old guy who owns the property has made trails and created “art and controversy” both on his property and the Preserve. He has cut into mature trees and inserted wooden books into the openings. Open the book and find a quote either from him or some famous person. He has also attached found objects such as water taps to the trees or used them in creating “art” objects. Apparently the Preserve took him to court but lost. These are not the types of things a logger or sawmill would want to see in the line of their work as it could be very dangerous to encounter. Presumably this whole area will never be logged so shouldn’t create any problems in the future.
Robin’s sister Nancy (and husband Brian) stopped in on October 23 on their way to their B&B on Hornby Island. They had Georgia with them and wished to tour our trailer. We had a nice visit before they had to continue on to catch the ferry. On Friday the 24th Aileen and I picked Richard up at the bus depot in Nanaimo. On the Saturday morning we three went to the Buckley Bay ferry dock and met Brian and Nancy to retrieve Georgia from them. Georgia had a tray of Halloween baking that she and Nancy had done. From there we went to Cumberland. After a tour of the town, we had a nice lunch at a new little eatery; didn’t even have a name yet. Following that we visited Perry and Lynda Jessop. Their older son Matthew was Richard’s best friend in Chase and they spent many weekends at each other’s house. Matt joined us on several camping/fishing weekends over the years. We all visited them in the late 80’s in Port Edward, near Prince Rupert. Aileen and I visited them in 2004 just after the moving van departed from moving them into their Cumberland house. Perry’s comment at that time was “how the hell did you find us?” to which Aileen replied – the internet! It was great to see them again and they seemed pleased to see Richard and Georgia.
We had to rush away from the Jessop’s to get back to Parksville for the big birthday party at Stanford Lodge in honour of my Dad’s 86th and John Hargrove’s 61st. We booked the family room and decided they hadn’t counted on our family when they built it. All 7 of my siblings and their spouses were there with some of the grandkids and 3 great grandkids making 38 total. I think if all the grandkids and their spouses had been there the total would have been about 69. We pre-ordered Chinese food and a large cake. The food, cake and ice cream came to $13 for the adults minus Mom and Dad so it was very reasonable. Dad was in pretty good shape luckily. He really enjoys his Chinese food and was very methodical and thorough with opening presents. Sheila used my camera and got a really good 4 generation picture of Mom and Dad, Richard, Georgia and me.
Yesterday, Sunday the 26th, Aileen and I took Richard and Georgia home to Victoria. We drove past Aileen’s Mom’s old house in Parksville which has been renovated and is now for sale. We peeked in the windows and were amazed at the changes. Edna would have been very impressed, I’m sure. We also took Richard to see the bench the family installed overlooking the ocean to honour Edna’s memory. We then stopped by the Lodge to visit my parents again. Georgia left them each one of her Halloween cookies. The parents looked a little tired after the excitement of the party. Richard drove from Nanaimo which was a nice break for me. We had a tour up to the Cowichan River Provincial Park and also into Bamberton Provincial Park. Both campgrounds are not solar friendly as most of the sites are heavily forested. Very welcome shade for summer but not so good for longer term off season boondocking. Robin met us on the outskirts of Victoria at a nice restaurant for supper. Afterwards we transferred all R&G’s stuff and luggage into their van and Aileen and I headed homeward. Aileen drove to Duncan then I drove the rest of the way arriving home before 8:30.