Dear Delta,

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Dear Delta,

Dear Delta,

Thank you so much for all of your texts and emails you’ve been sending me since I booked my trip to Winnipeg from Seattle via Minneapolis. I especially enjoyed the twice daily reminders to use FlyReady so that I could check in online. Too bad that was just an exercise in futility. Because I was traveling to Canada, I was unable to do this even though I sent you a photo of the code on my ArriveCan app.

And then there were the texts and emails regarding flight delays. The first one came in just before I boarded the shuttle from Wenatchee to SeaTac. The flight to Minneapolis was now leaving at 1:30 am instead of 12:30 am.

Okay. I got to SeaTac, went through TSA, had a leisurely dinner and had my tablet to amuse me. Hmmm. If we’re leaving at 1:30, it’s 12:45 and we haven’t started boarding yet. Needless to say, my fellow passengers and I were beyond annoyed.

It was interesting how Delta staff at the airport were so misleading in their communications with us. And more than one passenger challenged them in quite an ugly manner.

At 1:45 am I received a text and an email notification that the flight was no longer leaving at 1:30 am. Oh! It was now leaving at 2:20 am. Meanwhile Delta staff, live and in person at the podium, were telling us that they still hadn’t located the crew for the flight. And they had no idea when we would actually take off.

We finally did take off, closer to 3 am. It appears that close to half of the passengers missed their connecting flights in Minneapolis due to the delay. Fortunately I was able to make my connection to Winnipeg.

I laughed when I received a survey from Delta asking about my flight experience. But I decided to fill it out anyways. Never in my life have I ever filled out a survey with so many “poor ratings” or “would not recommend.” And I hope I never have to do it again.

I want to make something crystal clear. Delta, your communications always begin with “Thank you for choosing Delta Airlines.” I DID NOT CHOOSE DELTA AIRLINES. Unfortunately Alaska Airlines does not fly to Winnipeg. There was no choice here.

And as far as all the texts and emails apologizing for the delay….well, Delta, you know what you can do with those.

Last Post from Washington

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Last Post from Washington

This is my last post from here for a while. On Monday I take the Wenatchee Valley Shuttle to SeaTac to catch the red eye to Minneapolis. From there it’s on to Winnipeg.

ArriveCan info is submitted. Have my confirmation. Now if only Delta would recognize it. So much for checking in online.

All my clothes are packed. I love the packing cubes I bought at Marshall’s. I should have got some years ago. So easy to organize everything now.

I will miss the Leavenworth ladies in my SAIL class. We’ve been together for six years. But I’ll be back before I head to Mexico this fall. And I’ll be teaching some new classes here in East Wenatchee.

A Matter of Balance classes ended on Friday. When I return in August I’ll be doing training to coach in the program. I’m looking forward to that as well.

Leavenworth Summer Theater has three productions this summer. My plan is to be back here in August for at least two of them, The Sound Of Music and The Music Man.

Time to sort through documents, the tedious part of traveling. And to pack my carry on. Mainly devices, chargers and meds. No backpack this time. Just a smaller and hopefully lighter bag.

It’s very different packing for a one month trip than a six month trip. Can’t remember the last time I did that. Hmmmmm…..maybe about five years ago, the last time I was in Winnipeg.

What Happens When

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What Happens When

What happens when you ride Link Transit and have a conversation with a perfect stranger who happens to be the activities director at one of the largest personal care homes in the valley? You wind up volunteering to teach SAIL classes at that facility.

What happens when you go to a book sale at the local library? You wind up on the Friends of the East Wenatchee Library where you help decorate for the kids’ summer reading program.

What happens when you attend training sessions in another fitness program? You are invited to take further training so that you can become a coach in that program.

I think I see a pattern here. Retirement has given me the opportunity to travel, explore new places and meet amazing people. Volunteering goes hand in hand with this.

I love my life here in East Wenatchee!

Countdown

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Countdown

Please tell me another week has not gone by already. I need to start thinking about packing.

Facebook reminded me that on June 17th in 2013 I was having surgery in Winnipeg. Glad it’s now 2022 and I was leading the exercises in fitness training this year instead on June 17th. Even Walmart didn’t annoy me on Friday.

On my commute by bus to Leavenworth to teach SAIL classes on Thursday, I met an activities director of a personal care home. She noticed the shirt I was wearing and asked if I’d consider teaching at their facility. I told her I’d touch base in August when I get back from Canada. I still have more training to do so that I can coach A Matter of Balance.

Never in my wildest dreams did I ever envision myself teaching fitness classes at this stage of the game. Add it to more stories to tell my grandkids.

Writing is going well. Actually it’s going so well that I haven’t found time to catch up on reading books in English, usually a favorite pastime when I come up from Mexico every spring. I do go to the library, but it’s mostly to print out documents.

I’ve also given Duolingo a rest. I received an email the other day telling me how sad Duo is because I haven’t been checking in every day. Poor little owl!

I met a guy the other day who is up here from Florida to be in Leavenworth Summer Theater. So happy to hear that I won’t miss all of them when I’m in Canada. My favorite is still Sound of Music. The surrounding woods and the mountains are the most amazing backdrops.

Que tengas un buenisimo domingo!

Travel Time

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Travel Time

Monday morning was way too busy. I’ve been procrastinating about going to Canada and it was finally time to make some plans. First decision was when I should go. Health blip was taken care of and the fitness classes end next week. Guess I can go by the end of the month.

Next decision was how I go seeing as I am not flying on my broom. My first choice was Amtrak. But it got rather complicated when it came to crossing the border. Guess I’m flying.

Flights were tricky to book. My favorite airline, Alaska, won’t get me to Winnipeg. Air Canada flights and connections were a nightmare. Would have to claim my bag in Vancouver when going through Customs and recheck it. Guess it’s Delta.

Now I have to get to SeaTac. Best option is Wenatchee Valley Shuttle. And it will get me there late at night in time for the Red Eye to Minneapolis. One less hotel to book.

A long enough layover in Minneapolis before the flight to Winnipeg so that my cane can remain collapsed in my carry on. Another advantage is that leaves only one stop with one airline to misplace my bag. And it will go right through to Winnipeg hopefully. Inevitable delays in Customs will not result in a missed connection, just my friend Lise drinking way too many cups of coffee waiting for me.

Then there’s health insurance for the remainder of my time here in the USA. And settling the bill with Confluence for the health blip. And booking that last hair appointment at the salon. And a few other last minute phone calls and texts to get organized. And the obligatory FLIGHTS BOOKED announcement on Facebook.

Not bad. I started at 8:30 am and was done by 12:01 pm. Not even thinking about packing yet, although I did pick up some packing cubes last week. I guess I have to leave something for next week.

A Matter of Balance

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A Matter of Balance

Anyone who knows me well is quite aware that I am constantly taking courses. I have this thirst for knowledge and have way too many letters that come after my name. Thanks to the internet I have taken courses from Rice, Harvard and several other prestigious American universities. While the majority of these courses have been in the field of psychology, I have also begun delving into the area of health and fitness in more depth.

Back in 2017, I began attending SAIL classes in Leavenworth. No, this has nothing to do with boats or water. SAIL is an acronym for Stay Active and Independent for Life. After a couple of weeks, I was approached and asked if I’d be interested in taking the training to teach these fitness classes. It was a natural fit after teaching water aerobics classes at the YMCA back in Canada.

SAIL is a fitness program for seniors geared towards fall prevention. Classes begin with a warm up followed by an aerobics component. Dynamic and static balance exercises are next, followed by strength exercises for both the upper and lower body. Next are flexibility exercises for the upper and lower body as we cool down. I am now into my sixth year teaching here in Washington.

Always eager to learn more, this month I am taking a course called A Matter of Balance. This is a program based on Fear of Falling: A Matter of Balance offered by Boston University. I have very legitimate concerns regarding the fear of falling, primarily due to the fact that I’ve had two knee replacements. Some cognitive restructuring is in order and this course has been most beneficial to me.

I’ve met some amazing people in this course. The oldest in our class is ninety-one and I’m the baby at seventy. The others are in their seventies and eighties. We are all interested in remaining active and independent. Regular exercise is definitely a part of our daily routine.

As a child, I remember well when my own grandmother turned seventy. I recall thinking that she was old. Well, I’m that age now but I feel healthier than I did when I was in my fifties. And I attribute a lot of that due to the exercise that has become such an important part of my life. I do not feel old.

I look around me at the participants in the SAIL classes I teach. In their eighties and nineties they are a true inspiration to me. And I look forward to sharing with them what I have learned in A Matter of Balance classes.

Falls are a serious concern. The statistics from ERs regarding fall related incidents are staggering, as are those related to hospital admissions.

Most falls are preventable and falls should not be viewed as a natural part of aging.

So SAIL away with me today and perhaps some day I may have the opportunity to coach you in A Matter of Balance. Yes. I think that coaching in this program will be the next step for me.

Let’s Go

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Let’s Go

Ok. I’ve been in areas and experienced tornados, hurricanes,thunderstorms and blizzards. I’ve seen hail the size of golf balls and have been caught up in flash flooding. But on Sunday I added mud slides to the list. From sunshine to rain to flooding to mud slides in a matter of minutes. Power outages affecting traffic lights and even shutting down Walmart and the movie theaters. Wenatchee was a mess!

Yesterday I was in Ellensburg. It was a gorgeous, hot and sunny day. The drive over Blewett from Leavenworth was beautiful. I never tire of driving through the mountains in Washington. The scenery is spectacular.

When I write I always have music on in the background. The latest added to my playlist is some Marianas Trench from about ten years ago. Don’t ask me why but Celebrity Status has always been one of my faves by this Canadian rock band.

The other day we went exploring at a Coastal store. My friend is an avid equestrian and showed me all kinds of saddles, chaps and other paraphernalia associated with horses. My favorite area was all the cute baby chicks in cages. Coastal also has clothing, kayaks, wood burning stoves,cowboy boots, toys, feed, outdoor furniture and so much more.

I’ve started researching my travel to Canada. Winnipeg is not the easiest city to get to from East Wenatchee. By the way, East Wenatchee and Wenatchee are two completely different cities. The former is where I live and is in Douglas County. The latter is in Chelan County.

Back to travel. Shuttle to SeaTac and two flights or an Amtrak out if Wenatchee and hope someone wants to pick me up in Grand Forks and drive me across the border. Like I told Lise the other day, maybe I should just fly there on my broom! LOL!

On My Mind

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On My Mind

My blog post on Wednesday had more than a few of you wondering WTF was going on in my life. It was a short post and I sounded kind of down.

About three weeks ago I saw my doctor in Leavenworth to get a prescription refill. I hadn’t seen her in almost two years. In Mexico I don’t need a script. However this past year there were still shortages so I wasn’t able to bring my meds with me to Washington.

She noticed a mole on my ear and was concerned. I consented to a biopsy. The results that came back were inconclusive. I had her book me in with a specialist in Wenatchee. He removed the mole on Tuesday and phoned me on Thursday with the results of the second biopsy. Malignant. But he was confident that he got it all and that the tissue surrounding it was healthy and cancer free.

I was relieved. But at the back of my mind is that nagging thought. What if I had waited until next month when I got back to Canada? I would never have gotten an appointment with my PCP and then seen a specialist within three weeks. Instead it would have been several months. Yes, the precarious nature of the Canadian medical system scares me. Socialized medicine is not all it’s cracked up to be.

I have nothing but praise for Cascade Medical Center and Confluence Health. The medical staff were attentive and caring, as well as efficient. Canada can learn a lesson from their neighbors to the south.

Wednesday Humpday

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Wednesday Humpday

I’m glad it’s Wednesday. I’m not too anxious to relive yesterday. It was a little on the stressful side. And it’s behind me now.

This morning I’m headed to the YMCA for the first class of A Matter of Balance. I’m really looking forward to it. The older I get, the more important fitness becomes.

Walmart is on the horizon for this afternoon. I’ve successfully avoided it for a while so I guess I’m due.

Tonight is another Zoom class sponsored by the library. Wednesday nights have been a series of interesting programs dealing with health issues.

Hope you have a great Wednesday!

Another Tragedy

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Another Tragedy

A week ago at this time, millions of us in the world had never even heard of Uvalde, Texas. Now we can’t get it out of our heads. The sad part is that the focus should be on the senseless killing of innocent children and teachers, of the injured including the shooter’s own grandmother. Instead it has become a political gong show about who is to blame. This makes the tragedy even worse.

Accounts detailing the shooter’s biography are chilling. A victim of bullying. A history of violence. A son of a drug addict. And most disturbing that he legally purchased two rifles prior to the shooting and posted photos on his Instagram account.

My kids attended a private elementary school back in the 80s in Canada. The school had a security system and the doors were always locked. Here we are decades later and Robb Elementary had a door left propped open. With the track record here in the USA regarding school shootings, a door propped open during school hours? Absolutely reprehensible!

The mother instinct is a strong one. How dare they handcuff a woman who in desperation was trying to protect her children! Other angry parents begged for the Kevlar vests that the police had because law enforcement merely sat back and didn’t do anything. Perhaps more mothers are needed on the police forces.

My heart goes out to the families of the victims. I can only imagine how helpless they felt while the shooting was going on and how horrific the grieving is now that it’s over. We need to pray not only for these families, but for all of America, a country in crisis.

People First NOT Politics First.