Somehow I don’t think that Sylvia and I have quite got the hang of this ‘Retired Lifestyle’ thing just yet.
Since I last posted 11 days ago we’ve:
-driven to Abbotsford to spend the night with Sylvia’s Mom.
-taken the ferry to spend 4 days on Vancouver Island.
-been to two separate retirement parties.
-watched a friend be carted away in an ambulance.
-driven back through Abbotsford to pick up Sylvia’s Mom to spend some time with us.
-played some pickleball.
-played some golf (badly).
-done some Mother and Daughter bonding at the various shopping locations in Kelowna.
-welcomed our Son, DIL and grandkids for a couple of days of fun and games.
-driven to Winfield so Sylvia’s Mom could visit with her son Ray and his wife over dinner.
-caught up on some yard work and chores between visits.
-sat down for about 10 minutes so we could read at least a few pages in our books.
I’m not complaining at all about our activity level, but when I look back on the last week and a half, I find it amazing how busy we’ve been. I’m glad it’s going to be a quiet day today and hopefully we’ll get a chance to sit down and enjoy some great weather.
We decided to spend the night in Abbotsford before we took the ferry to the Island so we could get there early enough to visit with Brian and Kathy who we’ve mentioned previously on the blog as fellow RV’ers.
They trip on the ferry was very nice, and we arrived in plenty of time for Lunch in Sidney. B & K are presently living in their Class C motorhome while they look for a place to settle down on the Saanich Peninsula which was showing off it’s best features the day we arrived. The weather was perfect and we had a chance to have a nice outdoor lunch on the waterfront. I worked in this area in 2010 for a while and really liked it a lot. So did Sylvia when I brought her down for a few visits while I was there, and B & K also have been smitten by the area’s charms. They have been looking at houses for almost a year though, and haven’t been able to settle on the perfect one for them. I think by the time they’re finished they’ll be approaching our total of 250+ homes that they check out before being successful in finding what they want.
After our lunch we drove to our hotel, and got ready to attend a retirement party for one of my former bosses, Pat Malone. It was well attended, as Pat was a pretty popular guy for a manager, and several of the speeches given during the party reflected that. I kept thinking though, that several of the other managers present at the party just wouldn’t be able to understand why Pat was so well liked, as most Telus managers didn’t get to their positions by being nice guys if you catch my drift.
This was Pat reacting to the ‘tribute’ given by the ‘Legend in his own Mind’ RB Taylor who’s walking toward the camera. RBT talked for about 8 minutes and I don’t think he mentioned Pat once in his speech. It was all about him, which surprised nobody in the audience. The MC for the event kept trying to prevent RBT from getting to the microphone, but eventually had to give in.
We had a good time, and it was nice to catch up with several people I used to work with in various areas of the province, including one gal that I met way back when I worked in Edmonton. There were 160+ people at the event, but I only knew about 10% of the faces and 5% of the names.
After the party we tootled around Victoria for a while as the weather was spectacular and it’s really a great city for seeing scenery and people watching. There were 3 cruise ships in the dock at Ogden Point, so the downtown was crazy busy with horse-drawn carriages and pedi-cabs everywhere.
Early the next morning we packed up early and headed up the Island to our old stomping grounds of Campbell River. We tried to see Chris and Linda, a couple that both Sylvia and I worked with in our careers at one point, but as we didn’t know exactly when we’d be available or even when we’d arrive we couldn’t make any plans and missed out on their company. Hopefully we’ll be able to catch up this summer in the Okanagan. We did managed to catch up with our old neighbours, Jerry and Lenore, and they filled us in on all the changes that have happened to our old house. The new owners have done quite a bit of work, changing out windows and removing trees and hedges. Some of these jobs we were thinking of doing if we stayed in the house. Removing the big trees and the cedar hedge might open up the yard a bit, but I don’t know if that’s going to be a good thing, as they provided quite a buffer from any street noise. Anyway, it’s their house now, and I hope they enjoy it.
After a nice visit with Jerry and Lenore we drove around Campbell River to see the changes in the last 20 months. For several years this was a depressed area as Sawmills and Pulp mills in the area closed down. Things seem to have turned around, as there were several large construction projects on the go, include a large retirement home, a new hotel, and a large commercial complex where several vacant building used to be located in the middle of the downtown core. It does remain to be seen how things will work out, especially for the hotel, as a nearby Coast Hotel was closed down over the winter for a lack of business. The new one is in a pretty nice location on the waterfront though.
That evening we attended a retirement party for Nancy who I worked with for 20 or so years. We were never in the same department, but always had some inter-departmental activities as well as working on the local union executive together for several years. She’s a great gal, and was always better at her job than she thought she was! She also managed to keep all the newbies at work in line while I was there, as they populated the network department with new and relatively untrained people the last few years I was working. One of the local wags kept referring to the new guys as Nancy-Pants boys, as they were ALWAYS seen following her around, even when the destination was the local Tim Horton’s for coffee. The name stuck even after everyone of them were trained and working on their own, and to honour her retirement they were each given their own set of Nancy Pants to remember her by.
There were about 35 people at the party, all of which I’d worked with at one time or another so it was a whole lot more fun than the Victoria event. Sylvia knew most of the people there as well, but unfortunately she got sick in the afternoon and stayed at the hotel for a while. She called me after a couple of hours, and said she was feeling better and could come for a while, and that was good, as I was getting tired of explaining why she wasn’t there. She spent a couple of hours visiting with old friends before fading again and we packed it in for the night. She did managed to miss out on the excitement of the evening as our friend Croft collapsed fairly early on and 911 had to be called. He is fine now, and has documented his various adventure on his blog which you can read for yourself here.
The next morning we attended our old Church and again caught up with several friends, including Sylvia’s old boss. It was another great time, and we left knowing we had been missed.
As this is getting pretty long, I’ll finish it off in an upcoming post. Everything I’ve written about happened in the first 3 days, and I’ve got almost another week to catch up on!