Wednesday, September 1, 2021

August ~ to the prairies and back

The Canadian prairies keep calling us back...
though it had been seven years since we were last there.

The beauty of the sunflowers.  

The golden fields of grain…and that big blue sky. 

But more than all that...
it's the people that we have missed.  

My sister lives in southern Manitoba.  
It has been several years since they relocated to Killarney…
to a new farm, a new house and a new neighbourhood. 

We had an invitation to join the rest of the family there two years ago for my Kathy's milestone birthday…
but decided we would keep my dad company at home and go there the next summer.  
As we all know…there was no traveling happening 'the next summer' (2020). 
So we were thankful that we could make the trek out with the motorhome this at long last.  

We were also thankful to have GPS lead us to their doorstep…
since following directions on unmarked gravel roads can be a challenge! 

Molly showed up on the front doorstep to greet us…
just as she did seven years ago on our last visit. 
That was on another front porch…
in a different town in Manitoba. 
She was also quite willing to be the tour guide as we explored the farm on an ATV. 

We checked on beef cattle scattered across the fields…
In gullies and on the bluffs.  

The USA border can be seen from their back yard. 
There are fences to keep their cattle in Canada...
but they have been known to cross over without permission. 
Getting them back home was not an easy matter.

We spent a few delightful few days with Kathy and Jim.  
It was also nice to see all the nieces and nephews and their growing families while we were there as well.  

And then…on to Steinbach where we met up with good friends. 
I got to know Char and Betty through our involvement with MGCC. 
How special to meet up again...and carry on where we left off last time! 

From there we moved to my cousin’s farm just south of Winnipeg.
Another warm Manitoba welcome!
How nice to visit with Uncle Dave and Aunt Justina and all the Manitoba cousins. 
We had a fabulous dinner, toured their farm and garden, enjoyed a pottery demonstration in their shop, and parked our RV on their yard overnight. 

Friendly Manitoba?  We can vouch for it. 
We left with many good memories.

In Saskatchewan we made a little detour to Saskatoon to visit my elderly aunt that we hadn’t seen in years.  
And in southern Alberta we had lunch with another uncle and aunt as we passed through.  
And there were others...
cousins and nephews that we looked up along the way.
It was so good to meet face to face with so many.  
Who knows when we will meet again?  

Our trip home was a smoky one…
with smoke from the BC wildfires blanketing much of the prairie.
However, by the time we reached southern Alberta it was raining heavily.  
We had plans to visit Waterton Park on the way home...

...but decided to avoid the rain and spend a few nights in the BC Rockies instead. 

We visited Fairmont Hotsprings...
where we  hiked up to the original outdoor pools and bathhouse. 
Really quite lovely!

We soaked in the public pools and camped not far away.

We spent a few days in Kimberley...where we had never been before. 
Once home to the world's largest lead-zinc mine (the Sullivan Mine)...
it is now mainly a tourist and ski resort.  
We took in the farmer's market, strolled the brick pedestrian plaza, ate at cute eateries, cycled the rail trail...

...and hiked the Marysville Falls trail.

The deer have the run of the town! 

Two weeks on the road and 5500 kms was time to head for home. 

As we got closer...the smoke got thicker.  
The rain we had in the prairies had not fallen here.  
Now as the month ends, we have finally had some rain...
though the fire situation is still dire. 

These two will be back in school shortly...
so we went golfing together last week.
Our kind of golfing...
on a putting course.

Lucy may never have golfed before...
but she is a pro.

Maggie always aims for the highest score...
which doesn't work out quite so well when one is golfing.
Though she seemed quite content to be on top!

We celebrated our 50th anniversary with our family on July 31st...
and had moved on.

But our friends threw a surprise party...
and we celebrated some more!

How nice to be able to get together again...
to mark the milestones...
to eat together...
to share our joys. 

These are the special times. 

That was August 2021...
and autumn is just around the corner.

Thanks for stopping by...
and have a lovely September!

Saturday, August 7, 2021

A Golden Weekend

What better way to celebrate fifty years of marriage than with those who are nearest and dearest?

I remember when fiftieth anniversaries were called 'golden weddings'.
My parent's fiftieth celebration was like a wedding...
complete with formal invitations, a catered event with a lengthy program.

It was lovely and memorable...
but I so prefer our 'golden getaway' with our children and grandchildren.

Since our anniversary falls on a long weekend...
the cabins at Tigh Na Mara in Parksville were booked far in advance.

They were in fact booked before pandemic restrictions were in place...
in February of 2020. 

Whether our planned celebration would be happening at all was still in question a few months ago.

But as of last month...
we were free to travel outside our region and make the trek to Vancouver Island.

As it turned out...
we were not the only ones wanting to get on the ferry for the long weekend.

Despite having reservations for all four families...
it was not an easy feat to actually get to the ferry with the traffic backed up on the causeway to Tsawwassen ferry terminal.

We made it!

Once on board...
we took over one corner of he dining room.
Seeing whales as we ate was a bonus!

Thankfully our log cabins were all next to each other...
making meal time parties easy.

What a surprise to have deliveries to the front door of our cottage....
flowers and fruit.

The flowers were the perfect touch on the table...
and the fruit basket was enjoyed by all!

They all found their favorite place... hang out.

That's what hammocks are for, right?


...and Micah.

They always find the skate park!

Micah took Grandpa on a crabbing expedition.

Beach time.

Cousin time...

And storytime too!
Who knew Micah was a storyteller?
Uncle Jeremy was a good listener.

We happened to have cabins right next to the tennis/basketball courts...
a bonus for all.

There were some serious ping-pong tournaments as well.
I think Ryder actually met his match!  LOL

I'll just add a few pic's from our photo session at the beach.

With the original three. :)

Kris & Lina.
Dylan, Ranen, Micah, Holly & Brynja (l-r)

Jeremy & Broni
Spencer, Ryder and Emme

Tim & Heidi
Lucy and Maggie

I am so thankful that we could all spend the weekend together at this beautiful spot.

Awhile back, Ranen tried on my wedding gown...
and it fit perfectly.
The plan was for her to model it at our anniversary celebration.
I brought the gown along...
and then we totally forgot about it.

But for the record... is a picture of my granddaughter wearing my gown.

And of course...
a cake!

Fifty years went by so quickly.
We have no idea what tomorrow may hold...
but are thankful for God's faithfulness 
and look forward to the journey ahead.

(This is actually 'part 2' of my July post....
in case you missed my monthly re-cap.)

Tuesday, August 3, 2021

July ~ hot and dry and memorable

There was no doubt that it was summertime in our valley!  The sun shone every single day...

...and set over the cornfields at night.

Not only did we break all-time high temperature records...we have had no rain for a very long time.  The corn fields are thirsty and tasseling far too soon. 

Three of us went for a bike ride and met up with friends at the park in Yarrow one day.
We were leaving for home when we passed by Mighty Moose Ice-Cream. We did a quick u-turn and went back for a cone before the ride home. We called it lunch!  So good.

Sweet Lucy celebrated her 10th birthday this month. 
We let her pick where we would go for lunch...
and she chose Earl's. 
Maggie joined us and we had the nicest time together.
She may be tiny...
but she put away a big lunch and a massive ice-cream sundae. 
She may just be the most organized 10 year-old I have ever met...
one who looks after all the details and is never late for anything if she has her way. 

Jeremy and Broni celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary earlier this month...
together with friends and family in their back yard. 
The Crazy Gringo food truck provided Mexcan fare for all... 

...and Emme made up a candy charcuterie board for dessert.
She knows her dad well!

Another hot evening found us at Harrison Lake...
where we cooled off with ice-cream while the geese begged for treats.

Another evening we drove up the eastern hillsides and explored a property where Elmer's friend once lived.  The log home is till there...
along with horses, deer and evidence of bears.

Uncle Jake and Aunt Maggie celebrated their 65th anniversary a few months ago.
We had told them we would take them out to celebrate once the pandemic restrictions allowed us to.
So that happened last week.
I was flower girl for my uncle and aunt 65 years ago.
Uncle Jake was an usher at our wedding 50 years ago..
They are such an encouraging couple...
a blessing to all those around them.

We ended the month by celebrating our 50th anniversary with the whole family at Tigh Na Mara Resort in Parksville.

Our family is our dearest treasure...

...and it was the best way to celebrate the occasion.

Our precious grands!

On July 31, 1971 we said 'I do'.
We still do!

Our story isn't done yet...
but we are so thankful for the journey together so far.

Thanks to Janyhyh Wright Photography for the family photo memories.

I'll re-cap our weekend celebration on the blog soon...
but here is a review of July for now.