Saying Goodbye Is Never Easy

The summer I turned 16 I met this adorable young petite blonde girl from Windsor, Nova Scotia. She had come to Toronto to spend the summer with her grandmother, aunt, uncle and family. She came to my house with a friend and met my brother Bill and *BAM *- he was head over heals in love. Heather went home after her visit but was quick to return to live with her grandmother, and that began the love of a lifetime between Heather and Bill. 

Heather & Bill celebrated Canada Day with us at Ontario’s Lake Simcoe in 2018.

Heather and I attended high school together at Western in Toronto and became very close friends. Heather and Bill married shortly after her graduation. 

During happy times: Rob, Heather, Bill, Betty, Deb, and Graham at the beach. Everyone but Graham attended high school together.

Heather was a great wife, mother, grandmother , good friend and sister. We went through trials and tribulations with joy and love   We were family. 

Heather, surrounded with love and her immediate family. Back row: Brett, Bill, Craig. Front row: Ethan, Jacob, Cynthia, Heather, Alma & Hunter.

When Heather was first diagnosed with cancer it was shocking to all of us. Her prognosis was poor but she was a fighter and the 3 months that she was given turned into 26. She fought hard to be here for family but in the end cancer won.  She went quietly from this world on Monday February 24, 2020.

Heather, Christine & Betty share a laugh.

Valerie and Lisa flew from Manitoba and I from Arizona to Ontario to be with our family. Heather will be greatly missed by all who knew her. 

Rest In Peace my dear sister. We will miss you.

Bill, Jack, Heather, Christine, Betty & Graham shared a last meal together in southern Ontario, April, 2019. It’s always hard to say goodbye!

MORE Fun In The Desert Sun

What could Betty & I possibly do to occupy four months in the Arizona desert? Surely we would get bored out of our tree – except the word “tree” must be used loosely here, since most are sad looking scrub bushes, withering in the winter heat. Today we found yet another answer regarding how we can spend our time.

Betty has recently moved her quilting centre further out into the desert. Her sewing machine and iron still have electricity thanks to a very long extension cord attached to our solar system, and she is sheltered from the scorching sun by our beach tent. BTW, I put the margarita down beside her, in order to take the pic. Charlie is chillin’ in the shade, under the chair.

We were invited by our neighbours to play a round at Quartzsite’s famous golf and country club – well except the country club is a falling down single-seater outhouse that we don’t think is suitable for use any more – certainly not a place to join together for 19th hole festivities. Lol.

The Quartzsite Golf Course sign. Someone didn’t heed Johnny Cash’s warning not to take your guns to town, son.
The 19th hole has seen better days at the Quartzsite Golf Course. It’s the only facility at the course.
Betty, Cathy, Elaine, Gary & Mike celebrate on one of the Quartzsite golf course greens (or maybe they should be called “browns”. lol)

I had purchased new clubs last winter in Florida, and took beginner lessons in Winnipeg last spring, but Betty hasn’t been on the links since we had to invite the 23rd group to ‘play through’ on the first hole of Bayfield, Ontario’s Bluewater golf course. If it had been a par 30, she likely would have holed at 10 over par…lol. That was at least 40 years ago, and she wasn’t too inclined to give it a try again. Truth be told, after that experience, I wasn’t too inclined to invite her to join me either…

There is actually no hole at the base of the flag on the “greens”. To get a hole in one is to get the ball within the scribed circle.
Betty keeps her head down, missing the fantastic view, but not the ball.

But this was different. This is desert golf!

Betty addresses the ball in the tee box, as she prepares to let it rip down the fairway. (One must pretend there is a fairway. Random rocks can send your ball careening well off course. Not your usual hazards. You don’t need to worry about water hazards here! lol)
Gary sends some dust flying as his orange ball heads for the pin.

The first step in desert golf is to ensure you don’t use a good set of clubs. Instead, I visited a local flea market where I perused the options. Told I only needed one club – a 5 iron – the flea market proprietor attempted to upsell me. He claimed I should also have 3 & 8 irons.  I hesitated and said “but how much would that set me back?” He replied “$6.” and I assumed he was talking about $6. EACH. So I said “I’ll just take the 5 iron.” He says “OK, that’s two bucks.” I said “two dollars, are you kidding me?” When he replied “No” I said “OK, I’ll take all 3 clubs”, and he graciously threw in 3 golf balls with the deal.  We were set!

Cathy has a killer instinct and style, but she gets the job done!

The second step is to take the dirt road to the course, but don’t bother taking your wallet: There are no green fees, because there are no greens! This is the desert, remember. Also, there are no real fairways, and by the way, there are really no rules either. It’s all just for fun!

Mike sends his ball straight for the pin. Note the comfortable spectator seating at this hole, courtesy of a famous bus company. I wonder if they would pay for that ad placement??.

Since golf tees don’t hold up well in this rocky terrain, we were issued little orange ball holders, with awards given for whomever’s ball holder gets wacked the furthest. And you need to re-tee the ball for every hit, since many lies would break those expensive clubs. If one is lucky enough to birdie a hole, Cathy carries a pocket full of noisy little battery-operated birds that must be clipped to the brim of your hat until the next hole. I never did get to see what the eagle looked like. Lol

Gary gets well teed off at this hole also.
Elaine is about to swing into action on this picturesque course. She always makes it look so easy!

Well, in fact we did laugh out loud the whole round, and very much look forward to playing the course again. Whoever said there was nothing to do for four months in the Arizona desert obviously has never been to the Quartzsite Golf Course!

Betty stays clear of the unusual hazards on the Quartzsite course: The snakes are not out of hibernation yet, but their holes, and those of gofers or other desert dwellers, are everywhere.


Mike aims for the pin on this 91 yard par 2 sixth hole.
Another spectator seating area awaits at the 12th hole (complete with headrests!). No one was watching for Tiger Woods today. lol.

Those who know me know that I am not much of a morning person, but we had to complete our round before noon, because the sun is a little too scorching after that. Despite the early morning rise, I’ll be back for more fun in the desert sun, bringing my handicap down one way or another! Cheers!