Category Archives: Last few Days in Calgary before flight to Romania …

β€˜A fallen leaf is nothing more than a summer’s wave goodbye.’

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A whiff of fall was in the air yesterday, despite the warmth of a Kelowna September day. The flowers are still blooming, and with tourist season pretty much finished, the beaches are reclaimed by locals enjoying the quiet once again.

August found me relaxing at the Mackid lake house in the Kootenays … always a pleasure to visit my dear old friends Linda and Court … such a joy to sit together, enjoying the stunningly beautiful lake view, be it at sunrise, sunset or plunging in for an afternoon swim!

At the Yasodhara Ashram for our afternoon chant and meditationThere is something so comforting being with long time friends … that feeling of complete comfort that just spills over into everything … much like the feeling one gets, when pulling on a pair of comfy sweats, pouring a cup of steaming coffee to just sit awhile …. savour and absorb life’s many gifts …. the warm accepting ambiance of friendship is undeniably one of those gifts …. Om Namah Shivaya πŸ™β€οΈ

Back in Kelowna, a few quiet weeks followed … a simple life with daily walks along the shoreline of Lake Okanagan, work outs at a gym, a morning wake-up yoga stretch routine, curling up in the evening with a good book, sometimes accompanied by a glass of local rose 😊. A few visits with neighbours, a bookclub get-together, a dinner out with friends here and there … all good, all pleasant ways to round out another Okanagan summer.

It occurred to me recently that I rarely call Kelowna my home, even though I feel at home when I am here πŸ€” … I do not say “I am going home” … but rather “I am going to Kelowna” …. strange fact, that πŸ€”!!

Being on the road so much both in Canada and outside these last several years undoubtedly has something to do with that peculiarity πŸ€”. I do have a tendency to adjust reasonably well to new circumstances, new places … wherever I am, I make it my home! … perhaps I have had many lifetimes as a nomad and it continues to seep into the present oneπŸ˜‚! I have friends who can hardly wait to get home from a vacation. I suppose I did too once upon a time, when I had a family to care for, children to raise, a home to keep, but life has changed … those days, those priorities have shifted. Still figuring it all out as I muddle along, adjusting and exploring these new internal and external landscapes that are my life …. home has become wherever in the world I happen to be. When I connect with my children, grandchildren, family or friends … I am home! When I fly to a new country, a new city, town or village, or hang out in Kelowna, I am home! Certainly not everyone’s cup of tea but it is mine 😊.

I have always been a rolling stone at heart and am only now coming to terms with it and accepting it. Something to ponder as the summer days grow shorter, and fall patiently waits to blow in. Hmmm so yes … a rolling stone … πŸ€”

I tune into the final Grand Slam US Open Tennis to watch crowd favourite Spanish sensation Rafael Nadal defeat the amazingly talented, calm natured young Russian, Daniil Medvedev (my current favourite when Roger Federer is out of the running 😊).

Yesterday, nineteen year old Canadian tennis whiz, Bianca Andreescu made history, winning the women’s final against the incomparable American juggernaut, Serena Williams who has dominated women’s tennis for over two decades! Andreescu is the first Canadian woman ever to win the US Open! Move over Serena, there’s a new girl in town 😊 … the inevitable changing of the guard …

Scenes from my daily walks, the foliage still bursting with colour ….

Summer Sun Fun Pictorial 2019

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I wave goodbye to my daughter Sarah and grandchildren Aliana and Oliver … Sarah now faces the long drive to Calgary from Kelowna. Seven solid hours of driving plus the many park, bathroom and meal stops necessary when travelling with young children. Poignantly, I well remember making this same journey many many times with Sarah and Tim to visit my mother …. my father having passed away when Sarah was just a toddler. How those years have flown. Feeling more than a little sad, more than a little nostalgic but the overriding feeling is still one of immeasurable gratitude. Gratitude that I have such a good, kind, loving family in my life ❀️

We celebrated Aliana’s birthday after everyone arrived on July 19 (her actual birthdate) … Aliana’s party with friends had been held earlier in Calgary … hard to believe my little beauty is 8!!!

Family Picnic 2019 was held at Reiswig Regional Park at Wood Lake … just a super fabulous fun day with everyone!!! ‘Uncle Otto’, was in fine form …. his big kid self fully engaged while gathering together his posse of young folk! The water pistols were loaded in record time … no one escaped some form of getting soaked πŸ˜‚! He was joined by Tim Cuddie orchestrating his own bevy of tricksters … ie raft floaters getting dumped unceremoniously, sputtering into the lake! Love my growing extended family!

The highlight of the day was surely my niece Jennifer and husband Steve sharing their wonderful news … they are expecting their first child in January!!! Hooray!!! … can hardly wait!!! A new life to celebrate, cherish and welcome into the family fold ❀️

A hike to a waterfall on the Naramata Bench followed by a picnic lunch and wine tour of some of the smaller vineyards that dot the area … another totally delightful family day ❀️

Summer fun continued on Mission Golf Course … Oliver’s first time swinging a club other than a mini golf putter!

Onward ho to Glen Lake on Vancouver Island where we embrace the beauty and serenity of simple cottage life … quickly turning into our favourite Vancouver Island holiday spot!

A stopover in Qualicum Beach for a few rounds of mini golf and a sand dollar search …. we did find a live one, left for the waves to wash back to sea. By chance, we discovered a pleasant tea spot within a short walk through the woods … the Milner Garden and Woodland. Made for a most pleasant morning!

On the road, we stop off in White Rock for the night where Michelle has put on a delicious bbq dinner for us at the ‘Gibson Resort’ … what I have always called Mickey and Gordon’s home!! The kids enjoy Mickey’s swim lessons in the pool! Always a joy to spend time with the Gibsons and Cavanaughs … they are so like my second family and I love them all dearly!

What do kids end up doing at artist Mickey’s home?? Creating costumes of course πŸ€ͺ!!

Fun at Auntie Marg’s pool, and a lakeside dinner out with Marg and Jennifer finishes off a wonderful week.

Enerplex energy burner was a hit with both Aliana and Oliver this year!! Aliana can do chin-ups!!!!

Lovely also to enjoy visiting my friends Jane and Bob at their son Grant and Mary’s home where they have recently finished construction on their pool … Chloe, Tristan, Aerie, Aliana and Oliver have great fun enjoying all the water toys together!!

So ends a lovely lively visit … summer fun moments creating more memories with the precious people I am lucky to call family ❀️

Spring 2013 rolls along ….

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As a young child, I kept a rather sporadic diary for a number of years …. scribbling down random thoughts here and there ….. that pattern reappears with my adult blog/journal/diary …. realizing it is over two months since my last attempt at arranging my thoughts into some form of written/typed order …. time! ….. sometimes the words, much like thoughts, amble and ramble along, helter skelter, like the ebb and flow of life itself πŸ™‚ Young Aliana continues to draw my attention and presence to Calgary …. any contemplations for dusting off my wanderlust wings has certainly taken a back seat. Being a grandparent is a whole new journey, presenting a myriad of daily delights. It has been a surprisingly easy focal shift from my global volunteering and travels. I have, quite simply, moved into the zen of grand parenting ….. a rather easy slip back into the world of the young exploring mind …. playing in snow drifts …. watching Aliana eating her first handfuls of newly fallen snow was sweet as I watched her little face break out with surprise and delight at the texture and taste …. we play almost daily in neighborhood parks ….. I am revisiting the experience of life through the eyes of a child! Never an indoor sort, I indulge and introduce my love of nature and the outdoors to Aliana. We walk the neighbourhood turf of her home, identifying birds, trees, buses, cars, trucks, planes and helicopters, playing in parks, pointing out the seasonal progression of nature …. trees with their delicate little buds, waiting for the warmth of spring to unfurl and unfold …. all these observations continue growing her vocabulary …. so quick, this progression of human development ….. sigh …… with a smile :).

Many years ago, a tradition was born, or more appropriately, it grew into a tradition, of a yearly ‘girl’s week’ with Sarah …. one year to Vancouver, a few times on high school trips to Thailand and Malaysia, where I was parent volunteer with a hundred grade 11 and 12 students (quite possible a touch of insanity surfaced volunteering for that post :)!!) or visits to my family in Kelowna and Vernon, a summer jaunt to Puerto Vallarta, where we hiked in the jungle …. another year, a heavenly Hawaiian spa week, many trips exploring Banff’s hiking trails, or Victoria’s tidal pools, or often, if money and time were a restraint, as they frequently were over the years, a day hike and picnic in our own beautiful back yard of Bragg Creek or Kananaskis! …. Brian, took our Tim on ‘guy adventures’ of their own in the same time period …. creating a bank of memories and experiences for our children.

So with that in mind, and with Sarah’s husband Rob working part time in Vancouver for the last few weeks, we catch a flight to the coast! …. Sarah and Aliana to enjoy quality time with the other leg of their little family, yet allowing us to also enjoy some ‘girl time’ during the days as Rob worked. Leaving behind a snow laden Calgary to breathe the moist west coast air was sheer heaven …. the contrast is always so striking in spring …. Vancouver is but a short hour or so flight from Calgary yet worlds away …. the greenery is everywhere!! …… trees and flowers in bloom, warm sunshine, moist air and the sea, the glorious sea!! We walk the beach along Stanley Park, the marina pathway, the eclectic and interesting downtown scenes and streets of Vancouver ….. squeezing in a birthday spa day for both Sarah and I, (I will be away for her birthday next month) at the new Fairmont Pacific Rim Willow Stream, a delicious birthday brunch at Hotel Georgia …. we make our way to Stanley Park, play on the beach with Aliana, refuel at the Tea House Cafe, savour a chilled sauvignon blanc, feast on a tasty array of appetizers ….. a fine West Coast afternoon!! ….. we lingered long, with Aliana cooperating beautifully!

Of course, a visit to the coast is never complete without a a drive to Mickey and Gordon’s home near Crescent Beach …. A quick stop and we are off to the beach, a few miles away, where Mickey, Sarah, Aliana and I stop for a delicious seaside lunch of fish and chips (we left Gordon happily tending his garden) … Mickey of course, being one of the best grandparents ever, and always prepared with fun surprises, brings along some beach toys (tupperware dishes, cookie cutters, spoons πŸ™‚ allowing for Aliana to explore the beach, digging up sand, shells and rocks! Love love love the West Coast!! A most refreshing respite from Calgary’s seemingly never ending wintry vistas …….

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Christmas Moments …

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Scrooge took a hiatus from my consciousness and Christmas spirit took a hold, albeit a brief and tenuous hold …. all with the aid of a host of family get-togethers ……. Webb/Cullen/McMechan/Hawkes/Overmann potluck and gift exchange, Susan’s church Christmas service, where a talented Michael and Andrew entertained with melodic guitar music, a special Christmas Eve dinner with Brian and Tim, breakfast at the junior Overmann’s, where Brian cooked our traditional Christmas morning Finnish pancakes …. followed by a small Christmas dinner at our home with my sister Marg, Brad, Jen and Jordan and good friends Arlene and Berendt, joining Brian, Tim and I …. all good pleasant heartwarming times ….. pictorial follows …. words fail me … still figuring out these new dynamics of family Christmas since Sarah’s marriage … I had a dream once, that when my children marry, my family would grow and that family celebrations such as Christmas would be full of new extended family … hmmm …. reality intervened ….. I adjust easily (well, okay, not sooo easily, but I am getting there πŸ™‚ Much to be grateful for as a new year makes it’s appearance ……

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