Saturday, August 8, 2015

Holidays Week One: Over and Out

The past 8 days went by at what seemed like light speed!!  I can't believe that today marks the beginning of my husband's second week of holiday time.  For the past few days we have celebrated, grieved, worked, visited, rested, driven, eaten too much, seen old friends and assisted family, driven through good weather and bad and generally had a wonderful break away from home.  

The wedding we attended the first weekend of holidays was a most lovely affair: outdoors in perfect weather, on a large farmstead with weedless, lush grass to walk on, fairy-lit mulch paths to take us across fields to the reception area, flower arrangements everywhere, seating areas artfully set up, Argentinian BBQ with the most excellent wines, no mosquitoes or wasps to ruin the perfection and most important of all:  a beaming groom and delighted bride who chose to share their extravaganza with all their friends and family.  We spent two days enjoying every moment of the feasting and fun the bride and groom had prepared for us all.

Getting to Olds to our former woodworking shop was a happy trip, so little traffic on a long weekend Monday, early in the day.  We drove on a highway we particularly detest: four hours of two-lane usually dominated by semi rigs and holiday trailers, but that day the traffic tie ups were all happening in the oncoming lane and we sailed along unhindered. It was an amazing blessing. The same thing happened coming home!

Along the way we made a brief stop at some friends' place to down our lunch and have a short time of prayer for them in their struggles with health and family.  We didn't tell them we were coming, just took our chances they would be there and we are so grateful we did.  It was a short, but lovely time together.

We also stopped in at the home of other dear friends who plied us with iced tea and Japanese snacks, photos of their recent trip there and some good conversation.  It was really fun.

On to the old shop.  My husband conferred with the soon to be former owner of the shop property and they decided what tools and supplies he would like to keep in payment for allowing us to store thousands of dollars of "stuff" and a ton of junk there for the past 14 years, my husband chose what he wants to keep and other friends came to take away much of the remainder.  The new owner wants to keep what is left in there and isn't that fabulous for us, as it means we do not have to spend a week or more of holiday time removing everything from the building....all of us have been blessed by this situation.  While the guys were out in the shop making decisions, I got to spend that first day there with my dear friend, visiting and making supper and having a wonderful catch up after not seeing each other for about three years.
We stayed overnight there and while our friends were away for the day the following day, my husband started preparing the car to hold a roof rack and box for the tools he was going to bring back home.  We got a fun "popcorn" visit in with our friends when they returned, before going to bed late.

The next morning it was off to Calgary and an appointment with  my parents and their amazing lawyer who helped us get some documents in place to assist me in being able to take care of my parents and their finances if a situation arises that makes it necessary for someone else to step in and care for them in the future.  We completed the paperwork at the bank the next day and now all three of us are breathing more easily.  My parents are both 88 years old and anything could happen to either of them at any time.  Whew!!

That night we celebrated with them at a favourite restaurant near their home.  They both ate so well, it was good to see.  They have reached a point where food is not so interesting any more for either of them, but they do enjoy the ambiance of a good restaurant and it stimulates their appetites.

Dad's mental and physical health have slipped rather obviously since my visit in May. That is hard to see and equally hard for my mom as she tries to care-give even more than she has been....I pray she knows when to call it quits and release Dad to a nursing home or some other type of care situation that is less of a strain for her.  It was kind of a tough time this time around, but that is just what happens as we age and it is their/my turn to go through this together.

We had a terrific time while in Calgary, visiting my old high school friend and her husband once again...first week of August is getting to be the annual visit now as they come to Calgary from the Maritimes then to assist her elderly mother and see the siblings.  We had marvellous Greek food and the best visit. They are an accomplished and caring pair.

Yesterday, before we left  to come home, it was time to make a final trip north to the workshop to attach the carry box to the car roof and load up the tools to bring home.  It was the most odd feeling as we drove down the lane on our way out, to realize we will not likely visit that property again.  The carpentry, the joys and struggles of that kind of self-employment, are truly over, done with, the past 15 years that shop has been hanging over our sub-consciousness and now, in the matter of a day,  it is gone from our lives....unbelieveable.....

So, we put in a 10 hour, 970 kilometre drive yesterday, arriving home around 10pm.  When we got back there was a rock concert raging in the park across the road, but we kind of enjoyed it.  It ended at midnight and we were able to sleep in this morning despite the road crews outside making up for some of the 3 days of work they are behind on due to last week's storms.  The day has been spent unloading and cleaning tools, doing laundry and food prep for our next leg of the holiday journey starting at noon tomorrow.  Tonight I will iron and start packing up again.  

This week the weather at all our destinations is going to be several shades of hot and I hope my husband's sister is able to cope with the heat coming to their area while we are there.  I am thinking maybe some of our visits to botanical gardens and other outdoor venues may have to wait for some other time as both she and my husband wilt in such heat.  They get heat stroke more quickly than anyone I have ever met and I hope and pray they are both okay this coming week.

With the passing yesterday of beloved colleague Mary, the joyful ordination celebration we are attending tomorrow will have overtones of sadness as well.  We pray that everyone in attendance can set aside their sorrow long enough to make the ordinand the focus of the afternoon and rejoice with her in her transition in ministry.

It will be interesting comparing hotel accommodations once again this week.  Last week we stayed for 2 nights in Calgary at the Grey Eagle Casino and Resort, plus 2 nights at the Kindersley Super 8. hahaha  Talk about a difference, hahaha.  Of course the casino hotel was vastly superior to any Super 8, BUT we were fascinated that the week night rates at the casino were only eight dollars a night more than the "iron and ironing board"- free, Super 8!!!  AND that iron and ironing board were not the only extras at Grey Eagle for that extra eight dollars!!!  Admittedly we paid an extra fifteen dollars a night resort tax at the Grey Eagle, but even at that, the quality of the accommodation for the price we paid has spoiled us for anywhere else!! The breakfasts do not not, do not.....

Oh...time to make supper. The day is flying by so very quickly and I still have so much to do before tomorrow's journey!  Must get at it!  Will chat at you all again soon.

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