I left off as we’d left Church last Sunday morning. Sylvia had recovered nicely from whatever ailed her on Saturday and that was good as we had another full day planned. We had a chance to meet with many of our friends at church, and were hanging around long after the service was over to spend time visiting and chatting, including some time Sylvia spent talking shop with her old boss. From there we went to visit with Dave and Norma and their family. Norma and Sylvia met when they both used to sing at a church we attended and have been great friends for years. Norma is one thing from Campbell River that Sylvia wishes she could transplant to Kelowna.
We had a great lunch and spent a couple of hours drinking coffee on their back deck and watching the hummingbirds make use of their feeder. They live across the street from a heavily wooded area and have lots of hummingbirds visiting their feeders. We live on the edge of a wooded ravine, but don’t have nearly the number of birds visiting our yard. Their feeder is empty every few days, and ours is hardly down a half inch in 4 days. I think I’ll just have to make the welcome sign bigger or learn how to translate it into Hummingbirdese to attract more birds.
After our lunch we drove south to Nanaimo where we stayed the night with our friends Keith and Linda, who we know from our winters in Arizona. They had just moved into a new house the week before and were keen to show us their new digs. It was actually a house that they had an offer on a couple of years ago, but couldn’t sell their place in time and the offer expired. The eventual purchaser put in a bunch of new features such as hardwood floors, sliding doors, replacement decks and bathroom upgrades and then put it on the market just as Keith and Linda were returning home from their winter in the sun. As soon as a friend told them it was on the market again, they found a place with decent internet service and started to go through the process of making an offer. As it turned out, they got the house for approximately what they were willing to pay 2 years ago, complete with several pricey upgrades so I think it’s worked out well for them.
We had a great visit with them, and agree that they’ve found a nice home in a great location. It was very quiet and peaceful while we were there, and they have a nice view of the water in Departure Bay from their yard. I don’t know what it’s like in the winter-time there, but if they continue to head south to Arizona, they may never find out either!
All too soon on Monday morning we packed up and said our good-byes before heading to the ferry dock which was only minutes away from Keith and Linda’s home. It was a very busy 72 hours on the Island, but we managed to see almost all of the people we wanted to and had a great time visiting with my old cohorts, those both working and retired. One of the guys we saw asks me almost every time we see them if I miss working. While I will admit it was really nice to see the folks I spent a lot of time with over the years, I haven’t missed having a job for a minute after I got over the feeling of just being on holidays the first month or two after I was sent off to pasture. Sylvia feels the same, and while it was nice talking to her old boss, all the shop talk they did after Church did’t make her want to go back to work anytime soon. Mind you one of her fellow workers didn’t take to retirement that well, and is back working two part-time seasonal jobs to keep herself busy. Different strokes for different folks I guess. Besides, we’re so busy these days we don’t know how we found time to work!
We arrived in Abbotsford in the early afternoon, picked up Sylvia’s Mom and made our way home by dinner-time. After unpacking and checking the yard for deer and bear crap we settled in for the night as we were quite tired. Tuesday and Wednesday consisted of yardwork for me and retail therapy for Sylvia and her Mom as we were awaiting the arrival of Bryan, Jocelyn and our two Grandkids on Thursday. I did manage to get in a couple of hours of pickleball while Sylvia was doing her therapy though.
Midmorning on Thursday the kids arrived, and we had a pretty full house. It’s amazing how much space, time and energy a 6 and 8 year old consume. I am constantly amazed at how Jocelyn can keep up with them, as Bryan is away in the Oil-patch much of the year, and she’s on her own. Bryan and I managed to disappear for several hours that afternoon as we had a golf date with Jocelyn’s Dad at the Bear course near the airport in Kelowna. It was the first time I’d touched my clubs this year, and if anything I was even a worse golfer this year than when I picked them up last year. Oh well, at least I got lots of chances to use my math skills as I had to total up large numbers, and I definitely got my money’s worth on my green fees, as I managed to visit most of both sides of the course and ended up losing close to a dozen golf balls. After losing 3 on the first 4 holes I pulled out all the cheap balls you get at discount stores as I figured you never lose the cheap balls, only the expensive ones. I was wrong. It’s a nice course though, but this picture doesn’t show what most of the course looks like as it’s one of only a couple of wide open spaces in the whole 18 holes. It’s also the spot where they have a mosquito problem as we all ended up being eaten alive for a while.
The fourth golfer who joined our group was a young man who also works in the oil patch so he and Bryan had quite a bit to chat about. We warned him when he showed up on the first tee that I wasn’t a good golfer, and after the first hole I knew it was going to be an embarrassing afternoon. That guy could hit the ball a mile, and usually straight down the middle of the fairway. I just wish I could do the same. My shots usually went about a quarter of the distance and usually into the trees on the right side of each and every hole. Time to head to the driving range I guess.
On Friday our neighbour told us about a Kid’s Fair that was being put on in downtown Kelowna. We decided to give Bryan and Jocelyn some time alone and sent them off to have lunch at Quail’s Gate Winery not far from our home while I took the kids to the fair. I’m glad we heard about it, as they had an excellent time. We were supposed to be gone a couple of hours, and ended up spending almost 4 hours exploring all the exhibits and play areas. All the activities were Hands-On adventures sponsored by local businesses and kid-centered activity and day care centres. One of the stations was sponsored by a local gymnastics club, and was a large circuit of kid-sized devices like hula hoops, ribbons, pommel horses, balance beams, parallel bars, springboards and the like necessary to learn gymnastics. It was interesting to watch Payton travel through the whole circuit time after time, making sure he tried each and every device in order. Ayden on the other hand kept running onto the kids variation of a sprung floor used to do a floor tumbling routine, and then running back to the start of the station to do it over and over and over again. There is definitely a couple of different personalities in those two boys. They ended up spending about 45 minutes in this one section, and were pretty hot and bothered when they came out. I at least got a chance to sit in the shade while they expended all this energy.
There was also a stage set up where they got a chance to sit down and listen to a story teller, and they actually sat still for the whole segment. Immediately following the story a belly-dancer took to the stage, and I’m still having trouble figuring out why she was there. She certainly didn’t interest the kids, but maybe she was just there for the fathers and grandfathers in the crowd. Unfortunately I couldn’t stick around to see her act as the kids dragged me away.
A music school had provided a number of drums for the kids to bang on while a teacher attempted to get the kids to learn a routine. I figured it would be easier to herd cats than teach a pattern of drumming to a handful of kids, but actually they all picked up the routine quite quickly. Ayden and Payton stuck around for 3 different sessions, although Payton stuck with the same drum for all 3 sessions, and Ayden had to try a different one for each routine. Different personalities again 🙂
One of the last things we did was head into the Face-Painting tent, although boys chose to have their arms done instead of their faces. Ayden’s other arm has the back end of the snake heading into his T-shirt, but as you can see the boys weren’t very interested in sitting still and posing for a picture as they were searching for the next place they wanted to explore.
After a very short day and a half Bryan and the kids took off to Vernon to start on their trip to home as they need to be in Calgary in time to get the kids back in school on Monday and still wanted to do some visiting in Vernon.
We used the day on Saturday to catch up on some errands as well as more retail therapy for Sylvia and her Mom before heading out for dinner in Winfield to give Sylvia’s brother Ray and his wife Elizabeth a chance to visit with his Mom. It was another good time and we had a great meal as well as great conversation. We also have made tentative plans to get in a motorcycle ride with them sometime this summer, although neither of us have our bikes insured yet. An issue we’ll have to deal with soon.
Sunday brought an easier day, although involved still more yardwork and retail therapy. At least I don’t have to do any of the shopping, as I’m happy to be puttering in the yard. We hope to get back to playing pickleball regularly this week, and we’ve started to harvest some of the kale and lettuce from our garden, so I think we’ll be bringing some along to share with our fellow players. The gardens are looking good, and it’s now time to start on some of the hedge trimming before I add more mulch to the beds. At least that stuff is lighter than moving gravel around, and my body has recovered from that adventure.
We hope you’ve had as much fun as we’ve had lately, but maybe we’ll rest for an hour or two this week…..if we find the time 😉