Tuesday, March 31, 2020

March 2020

Where do I even start?  
This was a month like no other ever.  
A time in history that will never be forgotten.

Who could have known how the world would change in a few short weeks?

Early in the month, both Lucy and Ranen played violin at the local music festival.

Ranen came to cheer on her cousin...
who was very nervous about playing at the festival for the very first time.

Both girls did awesome!

Ranen suffered a concussion on a school class trip to Quebec in February.
Earlier this month she was still managing only half-days of classes.
I picked her up and dropped her off a few times. 

It seems now she will have plentyof time to recover...
with no classes, music lessons or Irish dance to participate in.

Not that many weeks ago, Ryder was still playing hockey.
His dad was still coaching.
They won a tournament in Vernon.

And that was it for hockey for 2020...
locally, nationally and on TV.

We used to play Rook with my dad every week in his suite at his retirement home. 
On March 12th we started a game of Rook ...
expecting to finish the game the following week. 
A few days later everything changed.
Care homes in British Columbia went into lockdown mode...
and only staff are allowed inside. 
We are thankful we can still drop off supplies for him at the front door...
or visit with him from two floors below his balcony.
But the game of Rook that we started may not be finished for a long time to come. 

Sunday, March 15th marked the beginning of 'social distancing' for us. 
Covid 19 was making its mark in BC and we were about to experience a lot of change.
It was also the start of spring break for all the grands.

Traditionally we have had a wiener roast with the whole family during spring break.
This year we still had a wiener roast...
but just with those who live on the farm next door and who we see regularly.
Even then...
we keep our distance.
This was the first time we distributed Lysol wipes before we roasted our hotdogs.

While they were over...
we recruited Ryder to do a job that we are not up to!

When the remote controlled roller blinds in the alcove on the second floor of the great room no longer work...
someone has to go up there and plug them into the charger.

It didn't seem like such a big deal sixteen years ago when we built the house.
Now it is!

The blinds are ready for some sun now, thanks to Ryder!


I was not too concerned about the empty grocery shelves...
being confident they would fill up after a week or two.

But that never happened...
and picking up the things on my list meant going to three of four stores.

Or even to Hope to buy yeast...
when there was none to be had in Chilliwack.

And since we were making the drive anyhow...

...we packed a picnic dinner and ate along the banks of the beautiful Skagit River.

There was no one else  around...
and everything seemed right with the world there along the river bank.

We forgot that we were actually supposed to be in Iowa right then...
for my niece's wedding that weekend.
The wedding still happened...
with immediate family only.
The rest of the guests watched via live stream from the comfort of their homes.
Weddings, vacations, reunions, sporting events, tickets to this and that...
all cancelled in the space of a few days.
But we are safe...
and in a time like this home is the best place to be!

Church has taken on a whole new format.
We go whenever we please, in our pj's with coffee in hand.
I am so grateful for technology that can bring the worship service into our home...
and look forward to the time when we can meet together again...
in the flesh!

I'm also grateful for friends who still make the effort to connect...
delivering treats to 'my front porch' and chatting from a distance.
Or those who call, text, e-mail, video chat.
We know we are not alone in this!

The neighbours have been going for evening walks as a family...
and stopping by to chat from time to time.
Everyone is home. 
All the time!
Emme and Spencer no longer have their car insured...
since they won't be going anywhere in the near future. 

They are continuing their university classes on-line.

The rest of the grands are being home-schooled with mom as teacher.
I hear they may never want to go back to real school!

My niece Kiley is a high school agriculture teacher in Iowa.

She has started a website called On Break With Baerg with resources for her students (and any others that want to join in) during this extended Covid 19 break.

I quite enjoyed being her student as I checked it out! 

This has been a month filled with a lot of hard stuff.
 Covid 19 seems to have impacted every area of our lives.

Each of us is on our own and we cannot go to be with those who are hurting.
I have two sisters dealing with cancer...
a dad all alone at age 97...
a friend in ICU.

There is so much pain and suffering around the world.

But God is still the same...yesterday, today, and forever.

Saturday, February 29, 2020

February ~ memories and moments

As you can tell, this is not a photo taken from my front porch.  I had a change of scenery at the beginning of the month...

...when I (together with my sister Mary Ellen) spent a week in south Texas, visiting my sister Bev who has made McAllen, Texas her home for over four decades.

South Padre Island is about a ninety minute drive from her place, and is one of her favorite places to go.

So we spent a fine Sunday afternoon there...walked the beach, watched the fishermen, and ate fantastic seafood at Dirty Al's.  They claim to have the world's best fried shrimp and I think they are right!

Bev had a brain tumour removed in January and is now going through cancer treatments. This is likely the waiting room she is spending a lot of time in these days!  I accompanied her to several appointments at this oncology centre while I was there. Hopefully Ricky does not need to go with her too often, since he did not appreciate the 'waiting'.  Granted, four hours would have been too long for anyone!

What are the chances of having the Canadian Women's Soccer team playing the Mexican national team at the HEB stadium fifteen minutes from my Bev's home while I was there? How fun to go cheer on the home team and see them defeat Mexico and qualify for the Olympics in Japan this summer!  It was also great to see Jordyn Huitema in action...she is a young star on the Canadian team who happens to come from my home town and is a friend of my granddaughters.

Bev's home for the past four decades...

...where the herd of cattle paraded by her back patio every day.

In her garage sits a 1975 Lincoln town car that was once my dad's. She has not driven it in years.  I think she is saving it for a rainy day!  Though the weather was lovely and warm while we were there, we did not spend much time sitting outside in her rockers.  We cleaned this and that, took down Christmas lights, cooked meals for the freezer and played taxi driver (since Bev can't drive right now).

Near the end of our time in Texas, we invited  Bev's good friend and her mother to join us for dinner one night.  We washed the good china (which was once our mom's)...

...and had a little Valentine's/birthday party. Bev celebrated a milestone birthday this month!

We ate a lot of Texas oranges while we were there!

Back at home...the sun was shining and it was a good excuse to get outside.  We just needed to wear a few more layers than we did in Texas!

We checked out a few trails nearby.

Though many of Canada's trains were at a standstill this month, I have proof that there were still a few pulling through town.  If you live in Chilliwack, you make allowances for trains stopping all the traffic regularly.

Before the sun sets on February, I am reminded of many things that happened this past month for which I am thankful.  My sister is responding well to her cancer treatments; my granddaughter is fine following a severe allergic reaction to food while on vacation; my son survived a stingray bite.

There are also still a few things unresolved...where we hope and pray for a happy ending.  Our  granddaughter Ranen has been suffering with a concussion for the past few weeks, received while on a French exchange trip to Quebec with her school.  Hubby's right wrist is not healing as he had hoped and is still sore and swollen and not too functional three months post-surgery. We are all 'fearfully and wonderfully made', something we are reminded of again when parts of the body do not function as they should.

We have almost made it through winter 2020 and are looking forward to spring.

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, January 31, 2020

January Twenty Twenty

Every sunrise brings new hope. 

This was yesterday morning's glorious sunrise!

The new year did not start off with good news.
In fact, it seemed that every new day brought more hard things that first week. 
But we have hope.

Bill and Jeanne (my brother and sister-in-law from Iowa), 
as well as my nephew, 
flew out to spend some time here early in the month. 

We postponed our Baerg family Christmas get-together until they were here...
and had Christmas in January at a lovely clubhouse. 

Dad loves having the clan together...
but as you can tell...
it went a little longer than he was up to!

The Iowa family escaped the valley just as the snow began to fly.

It was pretty.

At first!

And then came a wicked blizzard and the deep freeze!
The freeway was closed several times that week.
The milk trucks could not get through...
and many farms had to dump their milk.
Schools were closed most of the week.

It was a good time to stay home...
and look at it all through the window!

Eventually the winds stopped howling...

...and we made a path to the front door.
(Thanks Jeremy and Corey!)

On the 19th of January...
we walked the Vedder River Trail.
It was a good thing to do on my birthday.

Let me just slip in one borrowed pic of Maggie and Lucy who were flower girls at a
wedding celebration in Tofino (west coast of Vancouver Island) that weekend.
There the snow had turned to rain...
and they shivered under umbrellas...
as they dropped their petals on the wet sand of the ocean shore.

As we have done several times in the past...
we enjoyed a mid-week stay at the Harrison Hot Springs Resort once the storm was over.

It's a lovely spot any season of the year!

We know that after the snow comes the rain!
And the big melt.
And the lakes where there aren't supposed to be any!

We still have the remains of snow drifts around the house...
but the bulbs are all pushing up out of the ground...
the heather and the pansies are blooming...
and we know that spring will be here before too long.

I am off to Texas in a few days to spend time with my sister Bev who had a brain tumour removed a few weeks ago. 
She is doing well but has a long journey ahead of her...
and is so thankful for any and all who are praying for her.

As the sun sets on January...
I look forward to the new month and whatever it may hold.
Every day is a gift!

Thanks for visiting 'my front porch'!