Happy New Year to all my patient followers and fellow-bloggers. It’s been a few months since I’ve written even though I did keep reading. Life has been full of change for me and 2017 was a year full of adventure and activity.
Even though I didn’t meet my goal of 75 books for the year, I read more than 65 but haven’t written about the last dozen as I have been extremely busy, first looking for a new home, continuing the downsizing process, getting my condo of the last 25 years ready for sale, and, finally, moving into my new digs on the 18th floor of a slightly older building with an uninterrupted panoramic view of the Ottawa River.
Still involved in moving and downsizing, but Budge & I are settling in nicely and enjoying the ever-changing view from our beautiful lofty apartment.
2017 began ordinarily enough but then in February, I got an invitation to apply to join a mission trip with Operation Christmas Child, a Samaritan’s Purse initiative that saw me spend 8 days in Costa Rica with a team of 30 volunteers handing out shoes and shoeboxes packed with necessities and goodies by Canadians who care. It was an amazing trip and a real eye-opener. Re-entry after even such a short time had its difficulties after been with people who have so little to a place where most if not all have so much and find more to complain about than those we left behind.
Then, within a few months, there was terrible flooding in communities along the Ottawa River and Samaritan’s Purse, again, became activity and organized volunteer groups to pitch in, clean up, and work to restore individual homes to a liveable state. I only worked for a week with them but saw some real improvements and extremely grateful people.
With the onset of summer, I was able to do minimal maintenance in my back yard and enjoy my beautiful gardens immensely despite a very rainy and humid summer. I worked to downsize in my home, selling things on Kijiji and giving things to the Salvation Army and Value Village. (Still working on that!)
I spent several days in southern Ontario with my younger brother’s family and began planning a trip to western Canada to visit my older brother and his wife in Calgary, Alta. and my sister and her younger son and family in Vernon, B.C. I had never been to British Columbia and had certainly never driven across most of Canada on my own before so it was a huge undertaking and it was a blast!
I spent 3 days travelling to Winnipeg and then stayed 3 nights and saw the sights as I had never been there before. Then two more days to Calgary where I spent 5 nights and went many interesting places — after buying a winter jacket since the weather had changed so quickly and drastically. Saw Drumheller and the Badlands, and had a great time with family.
Then, I finally arrived in Vernon and had a whole week getting to know my great-niece and great-nephews, and boy are they great! Lots of fun, lots of LEGO, and lots of reading and playing. Had a great time and hope to visit them all again soon.
Came home through the States, spent 2 nights in Minneapolis, and arrived home to seriously think about making that move I had been talking about and planning for since retiring more than 4 years ago. I believe I found the perfect place for me and, after getting the keys on Dec. 14th, I began moving in. This is going to be a fairly long process as nothing is coming into the new place that there isn’t room to keep and so there’s a lot still to go out of the old place. Thought I had the old place sold but the deal fell through due to a problem with the financing so it’s on the market again and getting good traffic through so things are looking fine and I’m totally hopeful. I have absolute faith in God’s perfect timing and am content to take things day by day.
In between things in the fall, I hosted a packing party for Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes, made plans for a new look for my new home, started packing things up, and was able to have many “dinner and a movie” evenings with my friend Paul, the train buff. The whole year has just flown by and I can’t believe how many wonderful opportunities and experiences I’ve been afforded and the many blessing I’ve been showered with. My health is pretty good, I have a great church home, terrific family, and am content with my new home and neighbours. It’s a perfect location for me — close to so many places — and am totally looking forward to getting it set up the way I want and then relaxing to enjoy it, read, and get back to blogging.
I wish you all the best of God’s blessings for 2018 and a wonderful time reading!