Wednesday, May 29, 2013


This morning about 9 am our Mother slipped away.  She's finally free of the pain and helplessness that had been her lot for too long.

This would be the Spring of 1947 with me the baby and Mom just turned 19

Many years later when Mom and Dad were the old folks

One of our last family portraits.  Yes Mom birthed eight of us and was sincerely loved by all of us. 
Mom was 85 last birthday and Dad was 88 when he passed two and a half years ago.

Sunday, May 26, 2013


One of the resident cows looking over the fence at the motor home

Nine month old bull, isn't he a beauty?

Our Mom is still hanging in there.  It was looking pretty bad for her for a few days.  They put her on a second round of antibiotics and she came around a bit but has gone downhill again.  Sometimes her eyes are open but she appears to be unseeing.  The eyes just seem totally vacant.  She is still taking a bit of liquid and Ensure so she could keep going indefinitely, but one certainly has to wonder if there is any good quality of life.   As I’ve said many times, “you’re lucky if you live that long, but on the other hand, you’re unlucky to live that long!”

The sea walk at Qualicum Beach looking east

and looking west

Last Saturday we went to Campbell River and helped friends Gay and Doug celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary.  It was nice to meet some of the other people in their life.  When we got home from there, son Richard and our granddaughter Georgia were here for a two night visit.  Georgia slept in the motor home with us while Richard made use of one of the four spare bedrooms in the house.   We had hoped to sleep in Sunday morning but at 5:58 Georgia appeared at our bedside announcing “I’m done sleeping Grandma!”  She was on the go until just after 9 pm so she was really tired.  On Monday morning, I finally woke her at 9.  Richard and I both put in some time helping with the renovations at the local community hall on Sunday and Monday.
I had received a coupon from Nanaimo Honda offering a free oil change if I’d come in before May 31 since I hadn’t been there in two years.  As luck would have it, the car was requiring service so I took them up on it.  The only cost to me was for having the transmission oil changed which is required more frequently when the car is being towed.  However, they did point out that the tires were getting worn out.  Since they have only half the mileage that they were warranted to produce, I went to the tire shop on the way home to see what they had to say.  After all, these were high priced Michelin’s, not cheap original equipment.  After phoning Michelin in, I think, South Carolina, they finally called back several days later offering a substantially better tire at a greatly discounted price.  I will have them installed when they arrive.
I’ve been doing a bit of geocaching.  Richard helped me solve a cryptex cache.  I’d been there and had to come back and look it up on my computer and still had the wrong answer.  Richard came with me and was able to try different searches on his i-phone and finally got the solution.  Georgia likes to take something from a cache so I went to the dollar store and grabbed a selection of toys to use as replacements.
This past Tuesday night, most of our family went to the Shady Rest in Qualicum Beach to help my next younger brother, Sam, celebrate his 65th.  Two sisters and spouses and a sister-in-law were absent.  Two old age pensioners in the family now, six more in the next 13 years.  Of course there are all eight in-laws who’ll turn 65 in that same period.  Good thing we all paid into the pension funds over the years.
We dumped the tanks Thursday after being parked for 16 days.  The tanks weren’t full yet but the fresh water was.  We drive a few kms to the Coombs Rodeo grounds to fill with fresh water and then use the dump hookup brother Charlie installed over near the rental house in the new septic system.

We went down to Duncan yesterday and met Richard and Georgia for lunch then a couple walks and a couple geocaches.  We got caught in some rain at one point so Georgia ended up wearing Grandma’s spare vest which looked like a dress on her. 

The Kinsol Trestle, a wooden railway trestle, provides a spectacular crossing of the Koksilah River.
Started in 1911 and completed in 1920, its dimensions measure 44 m (144 ft) high and 188 m (617 ft) long, making it the largest wooden trestle in the Commonwealth and one of the highest railway trestles in the world.
It was calculated that the rehabilitation of the trestle cost about $5.7 million.  By means of government grants and community fundraising for the project, the necessary money was obtained and the repairs began.  The rehabilitation work replaced unsound timbers, reinforced structural piers and built a new 614-foot walkway atop the structure for hikers, runners, cyclists and equestrians, as well as ensuring that the historic characteristics of this wonderful structure were preserved for the community and tourists.  The official reopening of the trestle was July 28, 2011.

And then it started to rain

Looking down at the Koksilah River from the trestle, in the rain

Beautiful carving at the entrance to Bright Angel Park which is on the Koksilah River, several miles downstream from the Kinsol Trestle

Georgia and Richard on the suspension bridge over the Koksilah River

Richard and Georgia in between two huge Western Red Cedar trees on the river bank 

And now, the rest of the story. This is the back side of the largest tree in the previous picture

A broadleaf maple

I was on the suspension bridge when Richard skipped a rock underneath creating the ripples

Tuesday, May 14, 2013


Well this has been a long spell since my last post.  For the first while there was nothing of interest for most people, so I didn’t bother.    Then all of a sudden our life got really busy.  We got a phone call that my Mom was going downhill very quickly and if we wanted to see her again, the doctor said we’d better be quick.  I took Mom’s next younger sister and her husband Ron to Vernon for his eye appointment on Monday May 6th then spent the rest of the day getting ready for travel.  We had been planning on a one week trip to Vancouver Island on May 15th but with the news about Mom, decided to take the motor home as we’d probably be quite a while over there.  It was a twelve and a half hour trip including the ferry ride.  We were held up in our first half hour for most of half an hour with crews cleaning up a fatal accident.  Then of course there was the wait for the ferry.  We unhooked the car from the motor home and Aileen drove it on the ferry separately.  Doing that saved us $63.95!!!  If we leave the car attached, we’re charged $5.85 per foot for anything over 20 feet.  Instead of costing $269.85, we paid $205.90 for the two separate units.
I’ve been in to see Mom most days and for the first while it appeared the end was fast approaching.  She had pneumonia with a high fever and was pretty much comatose.  She’s on the second round of antibiotics and appears to be improving.  Her gray pallor is turning pink again.  This morning when Aileen went in to see Mom, she was sitting up with her eyes wide open and eating again!  Aileen called me and as soon as I got the laundry out I zipped down to see her.
I spent last Friday and Saturday helping out on a work crew at the local Errington Community Hall.  It was time to install proper wheelchair access to this very old community venue and they have an elaborate ramp in progress.  It had to be 48 feet long to conform to the building code so it runs 24 feet to a landing then another 24 feet back to the top deck.  They are building the roof post and beam style using local Red Cedar and it will be a work of art when complete.  My brother Charlie who is a local building contractor is leading the group of volunteers.
Last Thursday, I went to the wildflower meadows on Harewood Plains which is near Nanaimo with brother in law John R as my guide.  I heard the flowers weren’t as good as normal because of the dry year but they were still impressive in spots.  I got out geocaching for a couple hours today, haven’t done much lately although I did get a few in the Shuswap.
Prior to coming over to the Island, our days were mostly taken up by business and medical issues.  I spent one afternoon helping Bev on a couple of projects in her backyard.  We had a couple of nice visits with her and Kevin.  We had a games night with Jacquie and Jim and Maurice and Dian one Friday night.
On April 22 (Earth Day) we bought take out Thai food for Bev’s birthday supper.  On the 27th, I went to Harrison Hot Springs with Jacquie and Jim for a memorial service for my Cousin Terry’s 19 year old daughter.   It was very sad.  She left a two year old daughter.  On the 28th I had a coffee visit with my friend Doug in Salmon Arm where we caught up on our news.  Well I did anyway, Doug reads the blog so was aware of most things happening to us.

Just around the corner from Jacquie and Jim's at Little White Lake

White Lake area

White Lake area

The Thompson River while we were sitting in the accident line up

Three drunks in a pickup hit this truck causing the fire.  Two of the drunks died.  

Not much left of the semi tractor!

Lighthouse on our approach to Vancouver Island

Harewood Plains - camas, sea blush and yellow monkey flowers

There isn't much soil here which is why timely moisture is important

The ramp and roof in progress at Errington Hall


My sister Susan and John have some nice Rhodos

I applied poster edges filter to this

Poster edges again

Sue and John also have some nice Irises around their pond