Tag Archives: grandchildren

Finally!!!!!

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Finally!!!!!

I finally got to hug my granddaughter for the first time since before Covid. This has been the best long weekend ever!

Kimmy and Maddie came from Kelowna for the weekend. On Friday they picked me up at Bonaventure after I was finished teaching. Maddie wanted to see where Grandma lived so that was our first stop.

I’ve mentioned before that the friends I live with have seven chihuahuas. At first Maddie was a little overwhelmed but it didn’t take long before she was petting and cuddling with them. Christina had kept them outside when we first arrived as Maddie was a little tentative. But she was enchanted with them and it was hard to convince her that we had other places to go.

On Saturday we headed into Leavenworth. We walked in and out of almost every store on Front Street. And there were treasures to be found in all of them, especially the candy and fudge shops. Maddie was absolutely delighted with a jar of lemon stuffed olives. Neither Kimmy nor I will even touch olives.

After a delicious lunch at Soup Cellar, we stopped at Gingerbread Factory and got her a butterfly cookie. She loved Kris Kringle, the most amazing Christmas store ever. This has always been one of my favorites and it was interesting to view it through my granddaughter’s eyes.

We were in a shop where one of the sales clerks and Maddie really hit it off. Maddie was delighted when she got to sit on Sydney’s knee and help her at the cash register. Maddie got to use the tablet, ask people if it was cash or card, as well as if they wanted a receipt. She had a wonderful time!

We found a playground where Maddie liked the slide and swings. She’s a climber so monkey bars and other structures appealed to her.

Then it was off to Ann’s to have a short nap. After we sat out on the deck overlooking the river. Rafters and kayakers came by. Maddie went down to the beach and had fun throwing sticks in the water for Mitzi, Ann’s dog, to retrieve. And of course Mitzi was excited to have someone play with her.

Off we went back to Leavenworth to visit Linda and Gene. Maddie is inquisitive and insisted on exploring the whole house. She enjoyed watching Dora the Explorer for a while and challenged Gene to a game of chess, Maddie’s rules of course.

On the drive back to Wenatchee, Maddie decided that we should get some take out rather than eat in a restaurant. Visconti’s came through with delicious lasagna, chicken parmigiana and salad.

Today Maddie wants to go swimming and have a picnic. And I’m sure we will find other things to do as well.

This magical weekend ends tomorrow when Maddie and Kimmy go back to Kelowna. Grandma has had an amazing time and will miss them dearly. Hopefully Grandma will come to visit them in Kelowna next spring when she returns from Mexico.

Ho Hum Humpday

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Ho Hum Humpday

In Manitoba I was getting tornado alerts on my phone. Here in Washington I’ve been getting evacuation alerts due to fires. With temperatures soaring around 100 degrees and no rain in sight, the fire risk is extremely high. There are fires burning but not near where I’m living right now.

There was some smoke in the air yesterday morning on the drive in to Leavenworth. It cleared and Joyce and I enjoyed a leisurely lunch on the patio at the golf club after our SAIL class.

Monday morning bright and early my four year old granddaughter surprised me with a video call. She was dressed and eating breakfast before daycare. Grandma was still sleeping but woke up fast when she realized who was calling. Grandma is also excited because on Friday she gets to hug her granddaughter for the first time in three years.

Just when I thought I was done sorting through photos stored on my Seagate, I discovered another folder with close to 850. But I definitely am enjoying my new laptop.

And here is Alexa’s joke for today.

Why does a deer follow its mother? Because it’s so fawn-ed of her. 🙂

Memories Of My Mom

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Memories Of My Mom

It’s getting close to Mother’s Day so I thought I’d reminisce about my mom. In June it will be twenty-six years since she passed away. I spent days by her bedside in the weeks she lay in ICU fighting for her life. And I also made sure my kids had the opportunity to say goodbye, something I never had experienced when my grandparents died in hospitals.

I do not own a dress. Why not? Don’t all women love to wear dresses. Not this one! My mother always made me wear dresses, and I can still feel those scratchy crinolines more than six decades later.

My mother was an amazing seamstress. She was also talented when it came to knitting and crocheting. Somehow those genes were never passed down to me. And since the Brownie pack I belonged to focused on the above, I can’t say I have great memories of those days.

My mom was an artist when it came to baking. Not only did the cakes and cookies taste amazing; the decorating was astounding as well. Her shortbread and chocolate torte were famous and were always in demand. I have memories of birthday cakes that were envied by all my friends.

I learned the importance of volunteering from my mother. She served as president of the sisterhood at her synagogue and volunteered in other charitable organizations.

At her winter home in Port Charlotte, she persuaded a group of women to do water aerobics. Now that gene she passed down to me as I was certified as an instructor and taught classes at the YMCA in Winnipeg.

Other memorable feats were getting a driver’s license for the first time at age sixty-seven and winning the award for erasing the most movies by accident when she learned to use a VCR.

I know very little about her childhood and teenage years. She once told me she’d had a dog that had been run over by a car and that’s why I’d never been allowed to have a dog when I was growing up. She had also belonged to a group called Sunshine Girls, but I don’t know if that was when she lived in Boston or Winnipeg. I honestly don’t even know how she met my dad, although I have heard different stories from family members.

My mom adored her grandchildren. She was blessed to not only live in the same city as her children and grandchildren, but we all lived merely blocks away from each other. She proudly came to her grandchildren’s concerts plays, dance recitals, bowling tournaments and graduations.

We used to talk on the phone at least twice a day and twenty-six years later I still miss those conversations. We always had so much to talk about. If she were still here today I can literally think of a million questions I’d like to ask her. There is so much more I would like to know about her.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there, and especially to my mom in heaven.

Thoughts

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Thoughts

I’m now in Culiacan. Gracias ETN for yet another smooth journey across this beautiful country.

I usually head to the USA at the end of April, not the beginning of March. But Covid threw everything out of whack. So the Jacaranda trees aren’t blooming yet.

Aguascalientes is home to me here in Mexico. My third time and it has really grown on me. I was here for the Ferria three years ago and will miss it this year. Covid affected that too. There was no celebration in 2020 or 2021.

I’m having a wonderful visit with my Mexican family. My grandsons have all shot up in height since I was here three months ago and the youngest turns three on Friday. I absolutely adore the curls!

My granddaughter in Kelowna turned four yesterday and we had a video call. She went swimming and then out for sushi. Today she’s having a party with her friends.

I spoke to my son in Winnipeg yesterday and was totally devastated to hear that he tested positive for Covid. He says he feels fine but I’m  thousands of miles away, feeling helpless and concerned. A peril of living in different countries than your kids.

And now Russia has invaded the Ukraine. Why can’t we live in peace?

Last Post From Sacramento

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Last Post From Sacramento

I’m sipping a last cappuccino at Old Soul as I write this post. This quaint coffee shop not only has amazing coffee, but the food I’ve had here has been delicious as well. The air conditioning and WiFi are added bonuses.

This is my last day in Sacramento and I’m reflecting on my life. I am thoroughly enjoying my travels on Amtrak. The view out the window more than makes up for the lack of WiFi. I’ve seen towering trees, humongous mountains, tranquil lakes and charming small towns.

When this is posted, I will be on amazing train ride along the coast to LA. Can’t wait for those ocean views! I read about this particular train ride a couple of years ago when I was in Mexico. I need to pinch myself that I am actually taking this trip now. When Covid reared its ugly head I doubted I’d ever be able to do this. But here I am, on a train headed down the coast.

This has been an amazing and much-needed trip. I’m just not used to spending 11 months in one place in Mexico without traveling and then eight months in Leavenworth without traveling either. Covid has really slowed this nomad down.

I am determined to seek more adventures for as long as I can. I’m not getting any younger but I must admit that the knee replacements and the cataract surgery have definitely enabled me to do what I do. Life is just too damned short and the days fly by even faster as we age.

June 19th marked 25 years since my mom passed away. I wonder what she’d think about my lifestyle. She lived within 10 minutes of her kids and grandkids, and hated going away for the winter without seeing us for a few months, although we did visit her in Palm Springs or in Port Charlotte. I’ve been living in different countries from my kids for the last 11 years and only see my kids if I travel to them.

I think my kids want me to settle down somewhere. Maybe someday I will. I’m just not ready yet.

Mother’s Day Memories

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Mother’s Day Memories

My earliest memories of Mother’s Day date back to my childhood in the form of handcrafted cards created in the classroom. Friday afternoon after recess out came brightly colored craft paper and crayons. Of course there was the obligatory verse to copy from the blackboard.

I also recall getting together throughout the years with grandparents and other extended family members to celebrate this special day. But then things got complicated. I got married and now there were two sides to the family. Naturally I wound up hosting these holiday dinners to keep the peace in the family.

I never really felt special on Mother’s Day until my son Kyle was born. He was just over five months old and I was now actually a mother. Here is a four generation photo taken with Kyle, my mother and my grandmother.

In 2021 I had hoped to be with one of my kids on Mother’s Day. But somehow plans just never seem to work out, which is why I despise making long range plans.

I’ve spent Mother’s Day in several different places in the last decade……Culiacan, Tlaquepaque, Tototlan, Mazatlan, Puerta Vallarta, Aguascalientes, Winnipeg, Leavenworth, Cashmere and Wenatchee. This year I’ll add Dryden to the list.

Four years ago I was still in Mexico and had this really deep gut feeling that I should go back to Winnipeg and be with my son on Mother’s Day. And I’m glad I did. I haven’t seen him since then and I am long overdue for a visit. My alternating visits to my kids were thrown out of sync when my daughter had a baby. But even now with Covid it’s been almost two years since I’ve seen them either.

My laptop packed it in last spring in Mexico and I still haven’t replaced it, but thankfully I do have access to some of my photos on my phone. Here is one of my daughter and I on her wedding day.

Here is my favorite photo of my mom and I on my wedding day.

The featured photo on this post is my kids on Mother’s Day in 2016. They were at a Blue Jays game in Toronto and texted it to me in Mexico. It was a beautiful gift knowing that they were together that day. My son lives in Winnipeg and my daughter lives in Kelowna so it’s quite difficult to get us all together. But I can always hope that maybe next year we may have a family reunion. Maybe it won’t be on Mother’s Day……but it will certainly make this mother’s day.

Happy Mother’s Day everyone! Enjoy your day!

Only One Dream

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Only One Dream

The word “dream” usually conjures up images and sensations felt while sleeping. Good or bad, some of these dreams are more memorable than others. We often delve into them to find a deeper meaning in our lives.

Years ago I took courses in interpreting dreams. I recall vividly waking myself so that I could scribble down a few words in the middle of the night in the hope that I could achieve further vision into the somewhat meaningful experience of a particular dream.

But I stopped after several months. While it was interesting to reflect upon these nocturnal visitations in an attempt to analyze them, it was also detrimental to fully focusing on the present and appreciating what was right there in front of me. Another benefit was avoiding being stuck in the past. Memories triggered by dreams are not always pleasant.

The older I get, the more I prefer to focus on other dreams. By this, I refer to my wishes and hopes for the future. Combining these with my present circumstances provides for a fascinating and challenging walk through life.

Fifteen years ago I was trapped in a boring and unfulfilling life. Ten years ago I was just beginning to timidly crawl out of that mundane but comfortable life. Five years ago my confidence had grown substantially and this made pursuing new dreams more positive and exciting.

Today there are no end to the dreams that come to mind. But there is only one dream that truly stands out from all the others in this crazy Covid world we live in. I only hope that this dream will come true sooner than later. It’s been merely a virtual reality for far too long.

My dream is to hug my kids and grandkids again, in person.

I’m So Tired Of

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I’m So Tired Of

It seems like no matter where I go or who I’m with, the conversation always evolves into “I’m so tired of Covid.”

It’s been almost a year since COVID-19 was declared a pandemic. We’ve endured months of lockdowns and closures. We’ve experienced openings that were short lived and retreated backwards into more restrictions.

I’m Canadian but am in no hurry to return to Canada. I just shake my head at all the disorganization and inconsistencies that have become the norm. Here in the USA I enjoy a lot more freedom. And I was also able to be vaccinated months ahead of my friends who are in Canada.

I had a video call with my granddaughter Madeline in Kelowna. She had her third birthday yesterday and excitedly showed me some of the gifts she received. She walks around with the phone from room to room in her house. Yes, she takes grandma to see her toys or into the kitchen to eat a snack. After all, grandma lives in the phone. While I enjoy the video calls, I’m so tired of being unable to hold her in my arms and read her a story. I’m so tired of the virtual hugs and kisses.

I’m so tired of all this physical distancing. Linda and I went out for coffee to O’Grady’s yesterday afternoon. While it was a beautiful sunny day and we enjoyed sitting outside, first there was the line to order and then the line to pick up before finding a table outside. I feel for all the restaurants who are able to open with only 25% occupancy.

I’m so tired of hearing about all the small businesses and restaurants who haven’t survived and have declared bankruptcy and are permanently closed.

I’m so tired of being unable to travel freely. While less than 2% of all spread can be attributed to travel, ridiculous restrictions are being enforced. The repercussions of reduced tourism have resulted in job losses and hotel closures. I want to be traveling around Mexico in the winter, not trudging through snow.

I’m so tired of wearing masks. The importance of body language cannot be overstated and being unable to observe facial expression is detrimental to good communication.

I’m so tired of exercising to videos. I want to attend classes again with my friends.

I’m so tired of watching Netflix. I want to go to a real movie theater.

I’m so tired of ranting in blog posts. That’s why my last post was about leprechauns, a frivolous topic far removed from real life.

Ok. I’m done. My goal for today is not to say “I’m so tired of” for the rest of the day.

Enjoy your Sunday!

This Week In February.

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This Week In February.

February is a short month, and this past week has not been the greatest. The groundhog saw his shadow back on February 2nd, so maybe that explains all the snow we’re getting now. It may also account for the temperatures that have plummeted from the forties down to the teens.

But I’m not complaining too loudly. When I talk to friends back in Winnipeg I hear stories of extreme windchills and cars not starting. That’s a typical winter on the Canadian prairies.

A friend in Winnipeg is back in the hospital as they still try to determine the cause of an infection. Another friend just lost her brother to cancer. More friends in Mexico are struggling with Covid and one has died.

While Canada is imposing even stricter restrictions, here in Washington state things are opening up. I must admit that I’m confused by church gatherings with no masks and dine-in restaurants open in some towns but not in others. So much for state mandated rules.

Today is Valentine’s Day. Last year on this day I was in Aguascalientes at the park coloring and visiting with a friend. Today I’m coloring inside at home, glancing out the window at the falling snow.

The highlight of this past week is undoubtedly the three video calls I received from my eleven-year-old grandson in Culiacan. He usually calls me twice a week, so the extra call was truly a blessing. He tells me what he is studying in his online classes. He reads me stories he’s written. He tells me about his favorite videogames. Occasionally we talk about Covid.

I hope next week will be a better one. I’m tired of hearing about illness and death and quarantine.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Time To Vent

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Time To Vent

Is it just me or is anyone else having trouble remembering things BC? Before Covid is starting to feel like a far away dream.

Why can’t the children play nicely in the sandbox? Democrats and Republicans need to put the people of the USA first instead of merely themselves.

Back in 1968 the downfall of Canada began with the election of Trudeau as prime minister. And now in 2021 Trudeaumania continues with the next generation in the form of the mishandling of the Covid situation and the latest ridiculous cash grab re quarantine.

COVID-19 isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. I expect that it will be around long after my lifetime comes to a close. It’s time to acknowledge this and learn to live with it.

Vaccines will not make Covid disappear. Travel is far from the leading cause of transmission of this virus. Rewarding people with more money to stay at home rather than work is disgusting.

Avoiding bankruptcies and lowering the suicide rate is where the focus should be.

That’s my rant for today.

Wear your mask, wash your hands often and do your best to maintain physical distance. Maybe then we stand a chance of opening up the world again. Maybe then we’ll be able to hug our kids and grandkids again instead of just blowing kisses on video calls.