How any one year whizzed by this fast is a mystery. Maybe it seemed very long to you, but as I grow older the days disappear as quickly as melting ice cream in summer sun. I have hot weather on my mind as Robert and I recently returned from balmy California where we spent a week enjoying the last vacation of the year. A dream of ours was to visit Disneyland at Christmas and it lived up to its expectations. We bought a 5 day pass and no, it still wasn’t enough time to see everything. The highlight of the resort was December 6 when we decided to wait for 5 ½ hours on a sidewalk curb in Main Street in order to have a great view of the Christmas Candlelight service put on by a 600 member choir. It was beautiful as all carols were traditional ones, and at one point thousands of people sang Silent Night together without music. It was simply breathtaking. The white poinsettia display, intermixed with red poinsettias was beautiful. Disneyland never has done things by halves.
It was their 60th diamond anniversary, just like my parents!
It was their 60th diamond anniversary, just like my parents!
We rented a car for 2 days, and on Dec 4 we visited Mission San Juan Capistrano, built by a Franciscan father in 1778, and we checked out a Californian mall which cannot compare to Metrotown. The next day we drove to Santa Monica beach which had a historical pier on which we ate lunch at Bubba Gumps. The food in CA is superb but like all American food it’s too much to handle alone so Robert and I often shared a lunch or dinner. We enjoyed our Christmas vacation very much.
During the year we got away quite often, due to Robert’s job with Coast Capital Savings, and his ventures with Scouts Canada. I went along on a camping trip in March, but the group stayed overnight in a church in Victoria BC so that wasn’t a hardship, as I got to sleep on a couch. I roamed book stores while the cubs did outside things, and it was fun to see them in action at the end of the day at suppertime. They are a cute bunch and Robert stays young at heart by his involvement with them during the year, through Willingdon Church.
In April we went to Seattle for our 33rd anniversary, and saw the gorgeous tulip fields in the area. I had a chance to go back to Victoria in July when Robert went on business, so even if it’s only one night I always enjoy the ferry journey to my favourite spot in the world. In August we visited Oregon, my mom’s birthplace. We attended our first ever family reunion. We had a delicious lunch and wound up spending the day at my cousin Linda Gusa’s home on Gusa Road in Amity. It was delightful to be reacquainted with her family. The next day was the reunion in Amity City Park. Alas, I forgot the cemetery was nearby so I didn’t visit it. How I kept wishing my mom was there with me, (she didn’t want to go all that way without my dad) as she would know who all the relatives were. I, being a bit shy, didn’t get to meet them all. It’s interesting how a handful of people who decided to leave Russia in 1910 and 1911 had so many offspring over the past 105 years!
After the reunion we traveled to Haystack Rock past Tillamook, OR. It was simply gorgeous there! I fell in love with it but doubt I’ll ever be back as the drive is very long. Later in August we went to Kamloops BC for a few days while Robert worked on an installation project for Coast Capital. It was hot and dry there too, and one day the smoke haze from BC’s forest fires was really bad. But we got a chance to visit with Wim one day for lunch, and Margaret on another day, so it livened up the trip very nicely.
In September my parents, Jack and Susie, celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary. Leona and I spent the actual day with them at their favourite restaurant. Neither Leona nor I drive, so trips in this area are now taken by taxi. A few weeks later more of the family gathered for another dinner celebration at another restaurant. My dad enjoys eating and he loves visiting. He is now 86, and although blind he has a great sense of humour and a marvelous memory. My mom is 82 and she is doing very well as my dad’s main caregiver. Once in a while she allows us to help out with groceries or a meal or two. I’m grateful to have my parents nearby, and I appreciate their wisdom very much. The Lord has truly blessed them in their lives together.
I still putter around the house, and had a gorgeous flower garden this year and one prolific tomato plant which produced 50 tomatoes. BC experienced a drought this summer. We had around 6 months with little or no rain. It was marvelous except for the dying trees. My great love and hobby this year was genealogy. In August I heard from Paul Williams in Australia, my dad’s second cousin, because he found my Williams family tree on Ancestry and contacted me. I’ve learned about a lot of new relatives and solved quite a bit of mysteries. Paul is the grandson of Robert David Williams, my grandpa’s younger brother. I also discovered the marriage date of my paternal great grandparents by sending away for the certificate. To say I’m hooked is putting it mildly. I am still in charge of the senior’s page for the RCC newspaper, our local rag. I’ve also written a few articles for it, one of which I’m including with this letter.
Kelsie our Jack Russel Terrier is now 14 years old, which is 98 in human years. Leona was her kind caregiver as we rushed off on our various trips this year. Kelsie still enjoys her daily walks, and during the summer she and I often walked for an hour at a time while it was cool. She is a great buddy to have around the house.
Matthew, who is 26, lives downtown sharing a 2 bedroom apartment with a friend. He works at Dusa’s cheese shop on Granville Island. He recently attended a night school class at BCIT for a technical writer’s course. I don’t think it was particularly appealing to him though, so he is still looking for a better career choice. For now he enjoys his job and the people he meets as he is very social. He has many friends and girlfriends, but no one special.
We wish you a blessed Christmas season at this special time of the year, and a peaceful contented 2016.