Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Here, There, and Everywhere

Well, so much has been going on that I hardly know where to start. Since I last posted (a month ago!), I have been here, there, and everywhere.

In May, I flew to Illinois to attend a conference. On the way, I spent a lovely day in Vancouver with one of my best friends, and then my daughter and I went out for a fabulous dinner.

One of the Beautiful Buildings at the University of Illinois
 The conference itself was great, and I enjoyed it. I came away inspired to do more academic work!

Interior Detail in the Lobby of the Building Where I Gave my Presentation
One of the highlights of the last month was a visit from my Mom and brother. We had them for almost a week, and it was so nice to spend time together and visit.

With Mom and my Son
My Mom has health issues, and is on oxygen 24/7. But she was a trooper, and we went shopping and tried out some of the Vancouver Island dining hot spots. The weather was nice while they were here, and the rhododendrons put on a show.

Family Dinner
People came from near and far, and we got together for a big family dinner.

Erica and Tony
My brother checked out several great hikes in this part of the Island while he was here. The photo above shows one of them that Tony, Erica and I did one afternoon on the Enos Lakes trails. My brother is an amazing guy, and I know my Mom really appreciated the chance to travel here with him.

The day after Mom and Tony left, we spent the day mountain biking with friends who were on a holiday on the Island. The weather promised rain that day, but fortunately the rain held off for our ride and picnic.

Photo Op Beside the Englishman River
We spent one weekend doing volunteer work for our service club. On the day of the event, one of the club members and I flipped more than 600 pancakes! Rob reported for duty at 6 am and manned the coffee station (yes, that meant we had to set the alarm clock, ugg).

A couple of days later, we had lunch with some longtime friends from northern BC. They were visiting in the area. We are trying to talk them into moving here.

Getting Together for Lunch
And that is not all! During this same period, my son accepted a job offer in a city elsewhere in BC. He started work the week before Tony and Mom arrived, and made a long drive back on the weekend so he wouldn't miss their visit.

At the Harbour
We all got together before he moved to celebrate the new job. We went for fish & chips and a walk around the harbour. Last week, Rob and I made a two-day road trip to bring him his furniture and boxes of stuff. 

Loading the Truck
Of course, it poured rain as we went through Vancouver. It is a good thing that Rob tied the tarp down so well. Nothing got wet.

And that's still not all! There's the garden! The novel! Numerous hikes and a picnic, and more. But most of that will have to wait for another post.

Picnic by the Ocean. Yes, There was Food Too - Not Just Wine!

14 comments:

  1. I enjoyed reading this post, Jude. Your days were full with activities that you chose to do, with family and friends and your club. 600 pancakes must be hard on your hands. Your mom is a real trooper, traveling while she's on oxygen 24/7.

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    1. Hi Natalie. Yes, my days have been full, and I am enjoying retirement so much. I actually had a blister from making so many pancakes! I think it was from gripping the ladle so firmly. We were so happy that my Mom made the trip, and I think she had fun too.

      Jude

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  2. Hi, Jude - I am so glad to know that you are enjoying your retirement and living your days fully. Very well deserved!
    BTW - The Enos Lakes trail is one of my favourite hikes!

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    1. Donna, you and Richard will have to come over this way and we will hike the trails together. Or maybe our dog walking group might enjoy the hike.

      Jude

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  3. Wow, it’s all go! Sounds like you had a wonderful time with friends and family.

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    1. Yes, Anabel, even in my seventh decade, I am keeping up quite a pace. Rob has a more mellow approach to life so he balances out my go, go, go.

      Jude

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  4. Isn't it nice how retirement gives us the time to enjoy the things in life that are really important?

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    1. Janis, retirement really does give us time to do those things that we always used to say we would do if we only had the time! However, before I retired, I had difficulty imagining how I would fill the days.

      Jude

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  5. It sounds like the perfect month for feeding your brain, heart, and spirit, Jude. I'm glad you had such a good time and are embracing retirement so enthusiastically. Those months of uncertainty are becoming a distant memory aren't they.

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    1. Karen, part of it is because of retirement, and part of it is because of where we chose to move to. We are living much closer to many friends and family members, so we get to see them more often (especially my three kids and two grandchildren). Now I can hop on the ferry and go across to see friends in Vancouver, or they can easily come over and see us. Also, Vancouver Island is such a popular destination that people come here anyways and stop in to see us while here. When I look back, I remember that I was worried about two things - retiring itself (and giving up my career), and moving. At this point, both seem to have been the right choice for us.

      Jude

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  6. Hi Jude! I just read your reply to Karen's comment and I so want to acknowledge what you said--especially when it comes to choosing where to live. It sounds like you very carefully considered all the things that mattered to you, like living in a beautiful place and being close to your family, that you "rightsized" your retirement. Forgive me if I keep putting the emphasis on rightsizing, I just think it adds such an important quality to life before and after retirement. And thank you for the gorgeous photos. It surely does sound like you are having fun and living life well! ~Kathy

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    1. Kathy, thanks so much for your insight. Yes, the decision about where to live was a huge one that was difficult to make. We knew we wanted to lived closer to our family members and close friends, but our family and friends are spread all around and we couldn’t live everywhere at once! We also wanted to choose a place where we would love to live, so that even if key people we knew moved away (e.g., job transfer), we would still be happy with our choice. As we have both spent a lot of years in the north and loved it, we were tempted to go back, but we also remembered the 6 months of winter and the endless snow shovelling, and weren’t sure if we wanted that during our retirement years. Ultimately, choosing to move to Vancouver Island was a bit of a gamble, as neither of us had lived here before, and it would mean getting used to a new place and making new friends. Before making the final decision, we visited several times, then rented a vacation house here for a month. As it turns out, it has all worked out well.

      Jude

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  7. It sounds like a wonderfully busy time in your life. Enjoy!

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    1. Hi Christie. Yes I suppose I have been quite busy, but not in the exhausting, soul-destroying way that I used to be busy during my career. It feels so different to have the choice, every day, to opt into activities, or not. I have just finished spending two very long tiring days at my computer writing a paper for a deadline, and it reminded me what my life used to be like all the time. Now I’m happy that my paper is finished and I can choose to be lazy all day if I wish. It’s 11 am and I’m still in my pyjamas!

      Jude

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