A Welcoming “Home”


December 8th in Mesa Regal! Yes, we did arrive safely without any more annoyances, last Wednesday. Although it wasn’t hot when we arrived, it was a whole lot warmer than the night before in Holbrook, and it was wonderful to be greeted by our neighbours. It’s like coming home to family. So much so that it takes a long time to get settled in because of all the stories to be shared as people pass by on the street. A couple of fellows helped Jim to unload the bike from the trailer and push the trailer into the lot, something I just didn’t feel quite confident enough to do this time. We love it! By the time we finally got things somewhat organized (slide out, floor swept, cooler outside instead in the middle of the floor, etc.) I was too tired to cook, so we began the walk to see what the Grill had to offer.  We didn’t get too far. Our neighbours Bob and Cheryall saw us going by and invited us in to share their lovely meal of leftover beef and gravy with lots of veggies and salad. After the equivalent of a   large glass of wine (Cheryall kept replenishing what I drank) to accompany it, all my former stresses had disappeared and I felt no pain in my hip that night while I slept.

Thursday morning we were at the weekly coffee and donuts meeting held in Regal Hall, with some of our neighbours who’d saved us seats. This meeting is an opportunity for the Activity Committee and the Sales Team to bring us up-to-date on the coming events for the next week.

When we got home from there, we sorted the laundry in order to take it to the laundry room. I searched everywhere I could think of, but I couldn’t find either of the two laundry cards that we possess. I had to buy yet another when I finally got to the laundry room that evening, while Jim went to the ukulele jam. Somehow we just never got off the block during the day.

But our troubles weren’t over quite yet. On Friday when we did some grocery shopping at the very convenient Fry’s Store I discovered that the change they’d made at the end of last winter season, the one that caused my Debit Visa Card to become “unaccepted” was still not resolved. Fortunately I had some cash. Then we went to the fresh produce market across the street, where I had no problem using that same card last year, only to find that it no longer works there either. Back at the park, I went to the ATM to withdraw some more cash, knowing that was never a problem. The ATM was temporarily out-of-order! By the end of the day I discovered that somewhere along my journeys I’d lost the new bracelet that I’d treated myself to at the Country Store that morning. Saturday morning our fridge decided again that it was a freezer. Luckily most of the fruit and veggies I’d bought the day before were in the outside cooler. It was Sunday morning when Jim figured out how to fix that, and things started to turn around.

We borrowed a neighbour’s car and drove to Phoenix to look for another car; Jim drove back in this 2003 Sebring!

car

It seems to be a very good buy. We might not want to sell this one at the end of the winter. That evening we went out for dinner with a group of ukulele players, and then to the Mesa Arts Centre to see, again, The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain – another fabulous two hour show.

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Other than finding out that the local internet provider, Century Link, was unable to connect us up this year because the wiring at this, our new chosen site, is fried, the week has gone well. We went back to using a T-Mobile Hot Spot for internet. We spent some time watching the three-day Pickleball Tournament here in the park; I volunteered a couple of hours working in the kitchen selling lunches.

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We got the RV washed. Today I was pleased to see that my Debit Visa Card still works at Costco, and that I was able to dance to the rock and roll music of Come Back Buddy on the patio this afternoon.

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The temperature climbed enough for us to dig out the shorts too. Life is good (as long as I can ignore that little nagging feeling in my gut that something just isn’t right and trouble is on the way). That reminds me – better register with the Canadian Embassy.

That’s all for now folks. Hope to have some new real adventure stories in the new year, but for now it looks like birthday parties and Christmas parties and bocce ball and maybe some pickleball are filling our calendar.

WISHING YOU AND YOURS A MERRY CHRISTMAS, HAPPY HOLIDAYS, and a HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Last Two Packed-with-Fun Days in Kaslo


The wind was cold, the sky grey, the rain pelted down, as we stood in front of the too-wet-to-sit-upon bleachers that had been erected along the waterfront especially for the event. We were watching and waiting for sight of one or both of our grandchildren.  They, each accompanied by a parent, were participating in the annual Sufferfest being held in Kaslo. What is Sufferfest you might ask?

To quote the website intro: “Kaslo Sufferfest is a dynamic mountain biking and trail running event in the Kootenay Region’s mountain village of Kaslo in British Columbia.” This is a two-day event that draws many participants from the Kootenay area. There are races of varying lengths and degrees of difficulty for anyone age thirteen years and up. There is also, on Saturday only, an option for kid’s ages thirteen and under to bike or run a 2.5km course departing from Vimy Park.

Our five-year-old grandson is a fast and enthusiastic runner, too fast for Sarah to keep up to, so he was accompanied by his father in the eight and under running class. Sarah and her four-year-old daughter chose mountain biking in the six and under class.

Children began to trickle in, and after about fifteen minutes we saw a little pink bike, carrying a very determined, blond-haired girl round the corner, mother closely in tow. She saw us standing there, I’m sure, but her eyes were on the finish line. The fact that she’d come in last did not faze her. She was proud to have just completed the task.  And well she should be, considering she was the only four-year-old in the race, and she had just learned to ride a two-wheeler a month ago!

Before long the runners started to appear and we soon saw the boy we were looking for come running and smiling around the corner. Our presence distracted him and we had to remind him to continue onto the finish line. He was awarded a second place “medal” (huge chocolate chip cookie on a lanyard). I think he might just make a name for himself as a runner one day.

On Sunday morning we were honoured to be invited to join Sarah and Kendrick and the kids at a Drumming Circle and drum-making workshop, being held by the local Aboriginal Community at the Kaslo Youth Centre. We were warmly welcomed into the Circle, invited to share lunch, and encouraged to ask questions, take pictures and lend a hand in the making of drums and sticks.

The first step to making a drum is to choose a wooden frame.

wooden drum frames

wooden drum frames

Next, a skin is chosen and circles cut from the appropriate sized patterns to  fit the frames.

Tracing Patterns

Tracing Patterns

Long strips of hide are also cut for tying the drum heads onto the frames, and then they are put into warm water, along with the circles, to soak for a couple of hours until well softened and pliable.

Soaking the drum skins

Soaking the drum skins

While we waited we were entertained with songs and stories in the Drumming Circle, lunch was shared and pieces of leather were cut, stuffed and sewn onto wooden dowels to make drum sticks.

When the soaking was done, the hides were punched with holes for tying, and then stretched and tied over the frame, using the long strips of hide. There is a particular pattern to follow.

Punching holes for tying

Punching holes for tying

Drum tying

Drum tying

Drum tying

Drum tying

Drum tying

Once the series of tying is complete, a final piece of hide strip is wrapped around the outside to hold the edges down until the hide has completely dried.

drying

Ready for drying

Completed drums

Completed drums

Sometimes the tying pattern is different, as in the one above, and often times the owner will take their new drum home to personalize it. They all sound wonderful in the drumming circle.

What an interesting way to spend our last day in Kaslo. It reinforced my feelings that Kaslo is like one big, loving, sharing family.

Day 4 of Kaslo, BC Visit


Saturday dawned wet and cool. We had breakfast at The Treehouse Restaurant before meeting up with the family at the popular Farmer’s Market, where fresh vegetables were purchased and local crafts admired. The rain let up so we could enjoy lunch in the warmth of the sun outside one of the many bakery/coffee shops along Front Street, the main street.

Treehouse Restaurant

A great family-style restaurant as long as you don’t have food allergies

Jim and I shared a table with a photo journalist who had recently returned from documenting life in South America. He told us of the slide show presentation he was giving at the Langham Museum and Cultural Centre next Friday evening, an event we planned to attend.

After lunch, it was decided that we should all go pick up our swim suits and take the half-hour drive along Kootenay Lake to Ainsworth Hot Springs, another one of our favourite places to visit when in the area.

Ainsworth

Ainsworth Hot Springs,

Ainsworth Hot Springs, on the hill

There’s nothing like soaking in the warm water of the natural springs, while watching the children splash about. A sign above the door told us that the temperature in the large pool was 101 degrees Fahrenheit. For the brave, there was an option to wade through a tunnel where the temperature was 104 degrees. Jim made it through, but I had to stay near the entrance.  The heat and humidity made it difficult to breathe. At the entrance to the tunnel you can also get quickly cooled off by getting into the plunge pool, a cool 59 degrees! Up to our ankles was enough of that for us!