“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.”
I wonder if Charles Dickens was forecasting the year 2021 when he wrote those opening words in A Tale Of Two Cities.”
My first winter in snow in eleven years was actually quite enjoyable. It’s much milder here than in Winnipeg.
In March the USA issued a Level 4 travel advisory not to go to Canada. I retained an attorney and began the process of obtaining an extended stay. Documents, documents and more documents. In April I provided the requested biometrics. But it wasn’t until July when USCIS officially notified me that the stay had been granted.
In June I went on my first Amtrak trip and visited with friends in Portland and Sacramento. The scenery along the coast was breathtaking and it felt so good to travel again.
Once again I’m thinking about travel. I’ve spent the past two days exploring options. It’s been nerve-wracking to say the least. And I’ve finally made a decision. And I’ve booked flights. But that will be discussed in another post at a later date.
Speaking of dates, September 20th is the date of the federal election in 🇨🇦, if the wildfires don’t burn the country down first.
I worked remotely from home decades before Covid arrived. I wanted to be with my kids when they spoke that first word and took that first step.
I was an active volunteer in their schools and also in their extracurricular activities. Akela of a Cub pack, music librarian for ASYC and organizer of buses for a YBC provincial bowling tournament were some of the more memorable times.
The time flew by and my daughter moved to Ontario and I moved to Mexico, leaving only my son behind in Winnipeg. Then I started dividing my time between Mexico and Washington and my daughter moved to Kelowna.
When Covid arrived in March of 2020, I was in Mexico and was interviewed by a Winnipeg Free Press reporter. One of the more pointed questions he asked was how I felt about my decision not to return to Canada although my family was there.
While I’ve enjoyed the last ten plus years of traveling and living in other countries, it is hard living far away from my kids, and it has been even more so during the pandemic.
I still feel the sadness when I phoned my son from Culiacan on his birthday in 2010. He turned thirty and it was the first time in his life I wasn’t with him on his birthday. Over the years, the pain lessens, but there’s always a tugging at the heartstrings.
I did come back for their university convocations and I went to Punta Cana for my daughter’s wedding. And I do go back to visit as neither of my kids come to Mexico or Washington. And I have a three-year-old granddaughter who thinks I live in a phone.
Earlier in the week my daughter was evacuated due to wildfires. Last night she told me that they are able to return home but they are still on alert. I always have a TO GO bag packed in my closet due to all the fires around here. But I felt so helpless when she called me the night they were evacuated as she hurriedly packed up my granddaughter and the three cats.
Texts and video calls are great. But what I want more than anything are REAL hugs, not virtual ones. That day can’t come soon enough for this mom.
I don’t usually post on Mondays. But today is no ordinary Monday.
I got a phone call from my daughter in Kelowna late last night. She was calling from her car, crawling along a road where way too many people were fleeing fires. She had about an hour to pack up and get my granddaughter and the three cats into her car. Thankfully my son-in-law was there to help her. He is a helicopter pilot and has been spending his time fighting fires.
Two years ago I visited my daughter and admired the forested area across the street from her house. I’m not sure I feel the same way today. But they were able to get out safely and they do have a safe place to stay temporarily.
I thought 2020 was a bad year but 2021 is still in the competition. I feel like I should get some type of reward for successfully obtaining extended stays in two foreign countries during a pandemic. I’m trying to get back to Canada but it’s still a waiting game. I spoke to my attorney again this morning. I’m still exploring options.
My daughter works in an ICU and tells me it’s been necessary to open up a second unit because of all the Covid patients. ALL UNVACCINATED!!!!!! And she is scheduled to work tonight even with her own chaotic personal life at the moment.
As if COVID-19 and raging wildfires aren’t enough, now there are earthquakes, tornados, hurricanes, and tsunami warnings around the world. What’s next???
I saw this post on Facebook today and thought it most appropriate for today’s world.
I’ve been running around a lot in the past few days so I thought I’d just take a day and stay at home. It’s a much needed day of catching up on emails, phone calls and even laundry. But as I sit here sipping my coffee I’m seriously considering getting out my acrylics and playing with colors.
I spoke to Juan in Mexico last night and my family are all on the mend. Thank you everyone for your messages and prayers. Your thoughtfulness is very comforting.
Wildfires are burning like crazy everywhere. The smoke was so thick in Wenatchee the other day that we couldn’t even see the mountains.
I recall a time when we would all don masks when the smoke got bad. Not this year!!!
I finally did it. The heat got to me and when I was at the hair stylist’s yesterday I told her the short bob I’ve been wearing was just too long. So off came the hair.
We had an incredible storm last night. It finally rained. It didn’t last long but people were concerned that lightning may have sparked more fires. The wind was pretty wicked too. But it sure didn’t phase these guys who sat placidly out on the lawn.
Oh oh. Canadian Border Patrol are threatening to strike later this week. Will they?
The Red Apple Fire was brought under control. But it’s sad to see the blackened hillsides.
We drove to Entiat the other night when the highway reopened. The fires had burned right down to the road and it was all black.
I opted to take more peaceful photos when we got to the camp. This tree was heavy with apricots just begging to be picked.
I also enjoyed some quiet time by the water.
One of the highlights of my summers here is the Leavenworth Summer Theater production of The Sound of Music. The venue is the amphitheater up in the hills. Maria actually walks through the surrounding woods in the opening scene. The Von Trapp family is up on a precipice in the final scene. The performance on Friday night was amazing and I’m so incredibly happy that I was still here to see it.
Yes, I’m planning to leave here shortly. I wish I could stay longer but it’s been ten months already and I’m anxious to see my family in Canada now that the ridiculous hotel quarantine has been lifted for fully vaccinated Canadians.
July 21 is the day when Canada will make an official statement regarding reopening borders. I’m also waiting to hear if Winnipeg will once again be an international airport. Too many rumors out there and I want to read it in black and white.
As I mentioned in my last post, wildfire season is well underway here in Washington state. And a brush fire has escalated to a Level 3 Evacuate Now two towns over in Monitor.
The alert came over my phone last night. The winds are blowing the fire towards Wenatchee. It’s a pretty scarey situation.
Around here being prepared is always a good idea. My to go bag is always packed in my closet. Important documents, passport, jewelry, medication, devices and other valuables that will be difficult to replace. I always have a similar bag packed when I’m in Mexico. When I lived in Tlaquepaque we were evacuated once in the middle of the night due to a gas leak.
Friends on Facebook reported power outages near Monitor. This is one nasty fire. I pray that the firefighters are able to get it under control and that no one will be hurt.
Today’s lunch plans in Cashmere may have to be relocated to Leavenworth. It depends on what the smoke level is like. Cashmere is quite close to Monitor.
My friends in Mexico are posting videos of the torrential rains they are experiencing. I wish some of that moisture could be sent up here. Dry, hot temperatures in the 100s lost their charm quite a while ago.
We need rain. No lightning to cause more fires, just rain.