A Wild Ride So Far

As the case with most reasonable people around the world, Betty & I have not gone anywhere this year. But it’s been a wild ride nevertheless!

The reflections in the water of the Nanaimo River belie the wild turbulence around us.

We passed up Christmas hugs with our kids and grandkids – zooming on the 25th as we shared the opening of presents on-line. It wasn’t the same. Our Westjet tickets have now been put on hold for a year, and we’re hoping that the airline will still be in business for an in-person visit next December.

Clouds part for a while, revealing blue skies over Nanaimo.

In the meantime, we settled in for a quiet winter on Vancouver Island. Or so we thought… January 6/21 will be a day that goes down in infamy, as a violent mob attacked the U.S. Capitol. The upheaval sent shock waves around the world, and the healing process will take some time. Our prayers go out to our American neighbours, that they can soon become the United States.

Some of the events we’ve been experiencing are “Once in a blue moon.” Well, here’s the blue moon over our campground!

At the same time, the world has been experiencing a pandemic that just doesn’t seem to want to quit. Despite efforts to introduce vaccines, the infection, hospitalization and death rates continue to climb provincially, nationally, and internationally. Hopefully we are nearing the top of the roller coaster, and we’ll all come plunging down soon. But as with most roller coasters, just when you think the ride is over, we are thrown into more unexpected twists and turns with new variants. This is one wild ride I would be happy to get off!

A ferry makes its way past Gabriola Island, heading into Nanaimo harbour. Background mountains are snow-capped, but there’s none on the ground here…yet.

Speaking of unexpected twists, my family doctor and rheumatologist in Winnipeg were unable to adjust my medications without another in-person assessment. So this week I ended up at the Nanaimo hospital with severe pain down my right leg. After blood tests, x rays and other tests, it was determined that I have bone spurs on my lumbar spine which are causing sciatica. I am now on a number of new meds, in hopes that this pain can be overcome. The care at the hospital was exceptional, and I am most thankful for the compassion and professionalism of all staff there. Of course, it makes all the difference that I have my own private nurse with me now. Thanks Bet for continuing to put up and care for me!

On days when it’s not raining, I like to get out on my bike. That’s me heading down the hill to the beach.

The days are getting longer, and we’ve actually had a couple with sunshine, although it’s raining just now as I write this. We have experienced no leaks in our motorhome, and the dehumidifier has worked well to keep the interior moisture level down. But our outside sign hasn’t faired so well. Despite many coats of exterior Varathane, moisture appears to have gotten behind the finish, damaging the wood. I guess I’ll have to wait until we’re back in Winnipeg to see if it can be repaired.

Our Reddoch Retreat sign isn’t doing so well in the wet conditions.

Betty has continued her quilting, knitting and sewing, so this down-time has actually been very productive for her. 

One of Betty’s latest creations. Arizona saguaro cacti quilt – a work in progress.

I have been taking the time to write my memoirs, despite having no available reference material. While I have day-timers in storage at Andrew’s, covering 1972 – 1987, and 2005 – present, I am missing notes from the critical years 1987 – 2005. Without those, I thought autobiographical writings would be inaccurate. I do have Annual Reports and Meeting Minutes, but Bet’s position is a story based solely on who, what, why, when, and how would be the height of BORING!

A collection of “Campfire Stories”, before my memory completely fails…

So instead, I have been writing off-the-top-of-my-head tales that I’m calling “Campfire Stories” about different life experiences. With 23 written so far, I have a goal to cap the collection at 30 stories. Each is 1,500 – 2,500 words long, or 4 – 6 pages, about the length of a tale around an evening campfire. Betty & Lisa are serving as proof-readers, hoping that I’m not putting them to sleep with my musings.

We still have some dramatic campfires, when it’s not raining. Those are sparks shooting up from the popping wood. The fire starters made by our granddaughter, Isabella, sure help when the wood is wet!

Ok, maybe sleeping though 2021 wouldn’t be such a bad thing, if it’s going to continue the way it has started. Hope we all can survive and thrive, regardless of the twists and turns on this year’s wild ride!