Monday, August 14, 2017

August ~ mid-month edition

Since I will be away at the end of the month and my monthly post will be a little late...
and so much has already happened in August...
I'm posting a mid-month edition!

Why not start with smoke?  
That's been the story of the month...
and of the summer...
in our part of the country. 
B.C. wildfires went crazy this year and tens of thousands of people were forced to leave their homes.
 In July we just heard the horrific stories, 
but most of the fires were some distance from the valley.

On August 1st the smoke arrived...
the mountains disappeared...
and for the next two weeks we breathed in very unhealthy air.  
At the same time, record-breaking hot temperatures arrived as well. 
As did my extended family...
from Texas, Iowa, Manitoba and Alberta.

We had a Baerg Family Reunion...
all my siblings, nieces and nephews as well as many grand nieces and nephews.
We met at the farm to kick things off...

...and the kids had a hay ride. 

Who knew that touring the farm on a load of hay could be such a hit?

Two of my nieces (Jamie and Lauren) planned games for the entire weekend, 
and did such a fabulous job.  
We played 'Down on the Farm Amazing Race' that first night...
with teams that spanned the generations.  
From milking cows, to throwing eggs, and figuring out our puzzle...
it was a challenge.  
My dad (aged 95) somehow managed to be on the winning team.

The following morning, we all met for a hike to Othello Tunnels in Hope. 

The tunnels are quite an amazing part of  British Columbia history 
and fun to visit any time of the year.

We enjoyed our picnic lunches at Kawkawa Lake in Hope (barely visible through the smoke)..

...and the kids waded in, of course!  
They were also collecting snails and plants for a scavenger hunt.

By mid-afternoon, we showed up at Kris and Lina's place.  
It was cooking hot and everyone was eager to cool off.  
We apparently broke the record for 'the most people in the pool at one time'. :)

They also have the perfect yard for hosting a BBQ for a crowd!  
Lucas (my nephew from Edmonton) agreed to be our chef for the night, 
and grilled 60 steaks to perfection. 
He loves doing it and he is the best!  
If he lived a little closer I would hire him to grill up the meat more often.

On Saturday, some spent the day at the water park...
others hiked the community trail on the eastern hillsides.
(None of us hiked Mt. Cheam peak as originally planned...
due to zero visibility and smoke!) 
We all met at Bridal Falls Resort for dinner, pool time, and games.  
How was it that we got conned into singing at the Karaoke party later that night?  
Let's just was easier singing along to the car stereo 'back in the day'! 

On Sunday we all met at BenAnna Lake for the day.
We started with a church service...singing and sharing.
My brother-in-law shared some stories of how God had been there for him in unexplainable ways at numerous occasions throughout his life.
It got us all thinking.
We all have stories to share...
and we should be sharing them.

Having this many members of the clan together at one place does not happen often...
a good excuse for some family photos!
Our in-house photographer sent me this one to preview.
Thanks, Lina. 

My dad...
with his crowd of great-grandchildren.
Emma is missing from the photo.
No amount of bribery could persuade her to join in.

Dad...with his grands.
There are a few missing there as well.
All with good reasons.
Kathryn lives in Australia.
Kaitlyn is at Capernwray in New Zealand.
Kellen is in Winnipeg and couldn't make it to the reunion.
Len stayed at home in Texas...where duty called.
Where's Ricky?

with his six children.
Bev, Judy, Dot, Mary Ellen, Kathy and Bill.
Oldest to youngest.

The afternoon was spent paddling...
and just enjoying the beautiful location in good company.

And then there were prizes to be given away!
Kiley was the first one to choose.
Who would not want a 'handmade quilt' by Kathy?
There were plenty of prizes to go around!

We ended the afternoon with a birthday party for my dad.
Though he won't officially be 95 for a few more weeks...
we thought it was a good time to celebrate while most of his family was 'home'.
How special to have him with us at that ripe old age...
and still able to join us at all our weekend get-togethers.

And on that note we ended four days of activities and togetherness.
But unofficially, 
we carried on again on Monday.
We had a pizza party at the farm in the evening for all those that were still around.
That was most of the gang.

On Tuesday morning the rest left for home...
finding their way through the smog.

the wind finally blew in from the west and cleared out the smoke.
we see blue skies and mountains.

Let me end this post on that 'good note'.


  1. Oh, how amazing is this! First of all to find a weekend to get your family together from far and wide, to have people willing to plan such a fun time and for your dad to be well and able to enjoy it too! I hope everyone knows how unique and special this is! Your dad certainly does not look his age. (Must be the white bread.) I can well imagine your heart full of thanks for all the work and planning to have turned out something so memorable!

  2. What a wonderful reunion for you all!! So glad you got to get together and have such a great time!!

  3. What a fabulous family reunion. I wish ours were that nice. I am thankful that your dad was able to be there and take part at his age and he looks good for that age.

  4. Your family reunion is amazing!!!! What a wonderful time and good planning. Your dad looks so good - such a treasure. I am so thankful that your skies have cleared and that you have clean air to breath. Have a great "get-away" and safe travels.

  5. I have never seen a better attended family reunion. Your family has an amazing heritage! God is good. (I am so sorry about the losses the awful wildfires have brought not to mention the revolting air quality. Have they ended yet? I must groogle.) Happy Trails...

  6. What a wonderful family reunion! I'll second Vee's comment about the wonderful heritage God has given you. I feel the same about my family. The smoke has gone from our area, too, but we'll be heading into it again soon. The fires are so terrible. Enjoy your travels.

  7. That must have been so fun.

    I'm aamazed that we here are as smoky looking as one of your pix, and I think it's YOUR smoke. Choking, closing windows all day, canceling appointments. At least we are safe and I hope all of you are too.


  8. Such a good note to end on. So glad we can see clearly again. Wow and wow, you all really had some great family reunion events. I'm always so amazed and inspired by reunions like this. It's so nice to have farms and beautiful places to explore with your crowd! Those group shots are fabulous. I was happy to see your sibs and how you all stack up! Your father looks so good at almost 95!

  9. What a wonderful reunion! Love, smiles, food, activities, young and old and in between! What a time of rejoicing y'all had! You documented it perfectly! I bet the Texas folks had been looking forward to cooler temps up there! Good job celebrating Life, Love and Family!

  10. I'm thinking your dad's heart was full. What a great reunion you hosted. That fog was something else...your photos of your yard were still so very beautiful in the fog.

  11. Oh how I enjoyed this post... and why did I only notice it now? Anyways... I think my favourite photos were the ones of the three tiers of your Dad's children. What a wonderful celebration of the Baerg family. Time well spent!


'The ornament of a house is the friends who frequent it.'
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson