Sunday, December 20, 2020

Pandemic year of Covid-19 2020


I haven't blogged for nearly 1 1/2 years. I'm way behind, although the year of 2020 doesn't really count for much. Of course that isn't true, but it surely feels like it as all our dreams came crashing to the ground and are still laying in smithereens. It's been 9 months since the lockdown in BC was announced and Covid-19 hit Canada hard, although not as hard as the USA which is still reeling from the effects to this day.

I've kept a Covid diary and have written in it for the past 40 weeks. Yes, this will be week 41 of lockdown for us. Robert has worked at home since the middle of March, reaching 173 days here in his home office last week. Unbelievable. Now I know what it will be like to have him retired!

We have to spend Christmas with our own family bubbles in 2020. We can have no family members over unless they live here already. It's just another bleak time to live through, in a very bleak year, but we have our health so far, and we have food, shelter, warmth and love. I've realized exactly what we need to live. I always knew it of course, but took it for granted.

In June I turned 60, but there was no big celebration like there was for Robert. This is my 61st Christmas. This photo below shows me with my first doll in 1960. I will post a photo below it later, showing us 60 years later. She has been with me all these long years.

By Loretta Williams Houben

Monday, July 1, 2019


It's my Dad's 90th birthday today.
As I type late at night, there are fireworks going off at Central Park in the distance for Canada Day, known as Dominion Day until 1982.

 I can hardly believe my Dad is 90! It's quite amazing.
We celebrated on Saturday, May 4th because Marlene and Dan couldn't make it in July.

 However, today we took him out for ice cream at Burnaby Village Museum, and he really enjoyed that.
This is a collage of photos of his young life.

 I think he was a very cute boy. Matthew reminded me of him so much. I think they have a similar nature.

 From his prairie days to his life in the big city, Dad seemed to always enjoy each day. 

 I wrote a birthday piece about him for the Renfrew Collingwood newspaper, and it was published and I picked up a few copies on Friday. Once it's online I'll post it on this blog.

 I'm so thankful and blessed to have parents who are godly and dedicated to each other and to their family. 

 It means a great deal to me in this present day and age in which we live. I'm glad my Dad valued his life and chose to follow the Lord at a young age, and live up to his full potential. He didn't have an easy life, but he never shirked his duty. 

 Dad didn't forsake his wife or desert her, and he always brought home a steady paycheck. He took us on summer holidays, and was there each weekend. He never went golfing or fishing. 

 He took us to church each Sunday, and lived an upright, Christian life, and was a good example of what a good and holy man could be even in the decadent world in which we presently live. 

 Dad was fortunate to marry a Christian woman who stuck by his side, and they have been married for nearly 64 years. I'm thankful that my Mom was a true help-meet for him.

 No, I've never taken my parents for granted, and I'm grateful for my dear Dad, Jack Williams, and his love for his family. 
Happy birthday, dear Dad, and God bless you richly.

Love always...Loretta

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Happy 60th birthday, Robert!

Happy 60th birthday, dear Robert!

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Our 37th wedding anniversary.

I still say "I do!"


....and now!
Me more, my darling!  xo

Sunday, March 17, 2019

One year without Kelsie...

Today is March 17, 2019.
A whole year has passed by since Kelsie died.
I've been thinking so much about her this weekend.
The other night she was in my dreams all night long.
The other week I heard her collar jingle from the laundry room. Truly. She will always remain a part of me.

These photos in this post were taken on April 28, 2009; ten years ago on Kelsie's 8th birthday. Oh the happy days when dear Dad could see, and he and Mom would walk over to visit, sit a while, and walk back home. This was one of the happiest times of my life. I tried so hard not to take it for granted. Dad was 79 in this picture, and Mom was 75. Kelsie loved it when they visited.

This lovely home and beautiful garden is long gone, on Aberdeen Street and Vanness. Everything is so ugly now. No one plants tulips or has a garden. 

Kelsie's 8th birthday cake. 

A walk in the evening too, under the gorgeous Kanzan cherry trees.

What are they looking at? We often wandered far from home. Kelsie was ecstatic. On this occasion, we had given Matthew a lift home. He used to live in this area. I had actually forgotten until I looked at the street signs! So Kelsie had a car ride too, on her birthday. She adored car rides.

Then she would sleep very well at night. Sometimes she would bark softly in her sleep. 
Good night, dear little dog. An era is at an end. 

By Loretta Houben

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Happy 30th birthday, Matthew!

Today, February 9th, Matthew is 30!
Who can believe it?
It's amazing how the years have flown by.
I'm sure to Matthew they didn't seem that quick, but to me his mother they seem like a dream.

I had wanted to celebrate all three big 0 birthdays together...but it may not happen. Robert is turning 60 this year, and Dad is turning 90! The picture above is Matthew's meal; tilapia fish.

Tonight we went out for dinner at the James Street Cafe on Canada Way and Smith in Burnaby BC. It has a delicious African/East Indian cuisine. We love the flavour.

This was my dish; masala potatoes and choma chicken.

Robert had the curried prawns with Indian tea.
Last weekend we went to Chilliwack and had lunch at Dickens Sweets, meeting Margaret, Wim and Antoon there. Tuesday evening we had dinner here at home, then went to my parents home for homemade brownie cake.
So we celebrated three times!
I'll post photos of that in another entry.
I'm so glad we were blessed with dear Matthew. He has been a joy to us, and so kind and loving. He still makes me laugh. I still miss him living at home, although it now seems like a very long time ago that he did live here, as he moved away over 10 years ago now. We wish the best for him in his life ahead in his 30's. May God bless him and may Matthew find his true delight and joy in the Lord one day.

By Loretta Houben

Monday, December 17, 2018

9 months ago...

This was Christmas Eve last year, in 2017; Kelsie's last Christmas. It was 9 months ago today she died. This whole year has felt very flat and 2 dimensional. I guess you would say I'm dearly attached to living things, including pets. What will I do when my loved ones die? 

I still miss Kelsie a great deal. But I can go whole days now without feeling angst. I just feel a loss, like something sweet is perpetually missing or misplaced. For Christmas this year, I hung her stocking in her room. She loved that stocking so much. It has bells and jingles when it's shaken. Yes, we always put out her stocking which she loved to open on Christmas morning. Last year she wasn't greatly interested. She seemed tired a lot.

Here she is trying to see what's inside.

This was a gift from Mom and Dad. They loved to spoil her at Christmas. 

Kelsie really liked this squeak toy; the only thing she was interested in. She played with it quite a bit in the few months she had left. In only 3 months she was gone, and I didn't know it was coming, although I did notice she was very tired and old and loved to sleep a great deal.
I still cry when I remember her. I just want her back so badly. Dear sweet little dog of mine...

By Loretta Houben