Category Archives: Winter Escapes

Family joy ….

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A cold front blew into the desert these past few weeks, dropping temps into the mid teens … Celsius that is πŸ™‚ … shivered my way through some brisk morning walks! Nonetheless, MIckey, Gordon and I managed to find an appreciation for the clear blue skies and crisp air, as we tootled about together, researching places to hang our hats for a few months next winter …. lots of inventory to weed through in this valley …. my dear friend Linda arrived the following week …. have enjoyed some quiet spa time together, or listening and chanting along to our favourite Deva Premal music …. good peaceful days of simply ‘being in the moment’. We have been friends for so long, Linda is really extended family … a sixth sister!

However, nothing quite compares to being around Aliana, for bringing one into the moment! Sarah and Rob arrived a few days ago with that little travel trooper in tow! Aliana is such a happy little bundle of joy …. my heart literally sings when she is around! She is like a gift from God … a gift that just keeps on giving. Thankfully, the weather cooperated, resuming its typical desert temps, allowing for leisurely swim days at the pool, and watching Aliana splash around in her plastic boat πŸ™‚ … many beautiful moments to savour. Wishing Brian and Tim could have joined us … Tim, as I type, is on his way home, undoubtedly squirming around in one of those tiny seats, counting the hours until he can get off that long long flight from Brisbane, stretch out his lanky limbs, and crawl into his own comfy bed …. an amazing two month Australian adventure comes to an end. Looking forward to a Sunday family reunion in Calgary … and Tim’s inevitable interesting travel stories. In the meantime, back to the present and the beauty of a morning sunrise in the Santa Rosa Mountains!

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Desert Sunrise

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Shook off the remainder of that nasty flu bug that even I, who am normally immune to flus, managed to catch a few days before my flight …. But a few days of sunshine, warmth and fresh air and health is restored ….. am back in the land of the living! Mickey and Gordon joined me, arriving a few days later, for their break, leaving behind Vancouver’s dismal rainy season …. Dealing with unpleasant winter weather conditions would appear to be a Canadian pastime πŸ™‚

My favourite morning walk along the Santa Rosas has patiently waited my return ….. the beauty of a desert sunrise grounds, soothes and continues to draw me to this valley. The peace is extraordinary! The club atmosphere that prevails throughout the Coachella Valley, not so much … but the brief, little over two hour Westjet commute and the balm weather surely does!! … golf is certainly one of the main draws for those who arrive every winter and I keep telling myself I will take it up again one day …. although I don’t totally dislike the sport and Lord knows my husband and kids love a good round of golf, it does strike me as a rather strange way to spend one’s retirement years, chasing a little white ball around πŸ™‚ …… my conflicted attitude prevails regarding retirement lifestyles …. will I morph into one of those folks who goes on and on about a golf score as a source of major excitement for the day or worse, enjoying a fabulous bridge hand?? Nah ….. My DNA would more likely dictate that I hit the trails, find a comfy rock, sit a spell and contemplate the beauty of life, surrounded by this prehistoric mountain vista …..

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An abundance of female energy ….

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What a mixed bag the past ten days have been! Had little warning or prep time for all the family drama that would ensue … When I had invited my good friend Linda and niece Sandra to join me in La Quinta some months ago, it was with the idea that we would gather for a peaceful, quiet, restorative spa week, with perhaps some gentle yoga and meditation time! Hmmmm … or rather …. Ommmm. …. yes, a good reminder to continue on the flow journey πŸ™‚

It has been my observation over the course of my life, (and I have been my own guinea pig in this regard) that the more appreciative, open hearted, loving, kind and grateful one is, the less likelihood there is for dysfunction and unhappiness to take residence in the human heart …. it is so easy to get mired in that negative space but with a shift in attitude into gratitude for whatever life brings, be it good or bad, an amazing transformation occurs. It is quite extraordinary, really! That attitude shift and my mother’s overly simplistic but ultimately wise solution to just about everything …. ‘good solid nutritious food, fresh air and lots of rest’ and health would be restored! All good … old fashioned advice that works wonders for most circumstances that ail the human spirit. Allowing others space for their own journey, no matter how I may see it as pointlessly thrashing around in a sea of pain and anger, is my lesson I suppose. All the love and support offered is but a bandaid for the bigger issues they must address.

Life has thrown many curve balls my way over the years and I know that what has helped me personally more times than I can count, is an unusual abundance of blind hope that ‘things will simply improve’ ….. that, and a strong sense of humour that has found me manoeuvring my way through some of life’s rougher mine fields with a lighter heart than one would suppose, given the many life challenges I have faced ….. laughter remains one of our most effective restorative tools … works most every time …. when laughter fails, tears try their hand …. and if those fail, well, time for a massage, which never fails :)!!!

So, doing the best we could, under the circumstances, while Pat and Sandra rested and swam, Linda and I put together good meals to fuel the body, particularly Sandra’s! … It is obvious Pat, Linda and I have enjoyed an abundance of many fine meals in our lives πŸ™‚ … Sandra however, due to recent painful dental work, had not eaten much in weeks and was down to skin and bones …. we were on a mission and like three mother hens, clucked and thrilled as Sandra just about licked clean, every plate of food we served up! There was ample time for many quiet reflective moments, nestled here in the peaceful ambiance of the Santa Rosa Mountains! ….. all worked to sooth the soul, allowing for healing energy to circulate in Sandra’s body, mind and spirit …..

Pat and Sandra fly home, and Linda and I resume our annual spa week ….. Ommm

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Oops … Deleted my last post

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Oh well, accidental deletions happen with my IPad and particularly with me in control or in this case, not in control :)! Totally erased my last post and can ‘t find it in any file! … Can’t duplicate what I last wrote and will not attempt to, but will just post pictures instead …. Loving being back in the desert …. Mickey and Gordon join me for the first ten days …. La Quinta to Mesa, Arizona … after the quiet bliss of Palm Springs and area …. with mountain walks, leisurely swims, lots of chatty catch up times, countless glasses of great California wines, watching Obama win his second term …. we hit the frantic freeway and drive to Phoenix to visit our friends Carole and Marlane and their new partners, Gordon and Manfred. Lots of laughter, great meals, a bit of exploring followed! … hard to believe almost fourteen years have passed since Carole, Marlane and I met in Thailand … The ladies are just as much fun to be around as they ever were and we left with plans to meet up next year at our place in La Quinta! Not missing the cold and snow in Calgary at all but am missing the family …. Aliana tugs my heart strings consistently … hard to “talk” on FaceTime without wanting to head home and hold that little darling ….

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