It’s been an eventful year, and I have not been keeping up – my bad! In April David and I flew across Canada to visit my Vancouver family – Terry, Jodie and Kira – to get a taste of spring well before it would arrive on PEI. On our way home I received a call that my dad was in the hospital with the flu. So 2 days after returning home, I flew to Sudbury to check on my parents. My mother ended up in the hospital the next day, also struck by the flu. She was released a few days later, but my father never returned home. He remained in the hospital until middle of July, and was then transferred to St. Joseph’s Villa nursing facility. His Alzheimer’s had progressed to the point that he could no longer live at home with my mother. He has settled in nicely, this is his new home and be barely remembers his older one.
On a more positive note, I got to check off two of the items on my short bucket list, the first being a cycling trip, la Route des Bluets, around the beautiful Lac St. Jean in the Saguenay region of Quebec. We were joined by our friend Allison Northcutt from North Carolina. Allison is a good friend from our time in Oregon (1981-1986) and she had been training for this 5 day bike ride since earlier that spring. On our way home we drove around the stunning Gaspe Peninsula, the second item on my bucket list, and spent our last night in a modern castle on the north shore of the St. Lawrence River. The rest of the summer and fall was filled with a lot of local cycling, mostly up to the national parks along the north shore of PEI to ride the Gulf Shore Parkways bike path.
Every summer my writing group (WWW) gets together to attend a play in the lovely village of Victoria-by-the-Sea. We posed for a photo on the veranda of a friend, although Margie disguised herself as a spray of flowers! In September I travelled to Stratford, Ontario with my friend Yvette to watch 5 plays at the Shakespeare Festival, then on to Toronto for the wedding of our niece, Carrie – the first of that generation to tie the knot. Afterwards I flew up to Sudbury to look in on my parents, and attend the local Cinefest. I believe I took in 8 movies in about 6 days before I returned home. I’ve decided to return and stay for the full 10 days of that festival next year.
In November my writing group returned to the R&R Beachhouse on the south shore of eastern PEI to enjoy the beach and write, write, write before the cold season hits. Our winter has arrived early this year, brrrr. So the chili lights are up now to brighten the windows. This week I’ll make Hoot ‘n Holler Whiskey cakes and the holiday festivities will be well underway. More photos to follow!