Last week, Angela and I had a great time on Vancouver Island visiting our son, Jordan, our daughter-in-law, Danielle, and our first grandchild who I affectionately call Pip Squeak. It was truly a treat to hold Grace, even when she fussed. Actually, I almost had to wrestle her out of my wife’s hands as it seemed to me she did not want to share. Our one-month-old granddaughter is a cutie and it was difficult to leave her behind when we left last Saturday.
Our overland trip to the west coast was uneventful, except for one Alberta driver who thought he could navigate a single-lane highway in the Okanagan as if he was on a double-lane portion of the Trans-Canada. I seldom use the horn, but that driver brought out a couple of negative words and a sustained horn blast when he successfully passed us (on his second attempt) on a double-solid line on very busy and twisty road. His high-speed maneuvering resulted in him reaching a traffic jam at Enderby a full 30 seconds before us! I felt like replacing my horn with a cob of corn (locally grown of course), knocking on his window and then smacking him in the head when he opened his truck window.
Our ferry ride to Schwartz Bay on Vancouver Island was equally interesting as we came to a sudden halt 20 minutes from our destination. We watched as a rescue craft – a zodiac – and crew were lowered from the top level of the ferry to the water below. It was a long and relatively fast descent. The captain explained that a nearby craft had a medical emergency and the ferry’s crew was going to provide assistance. The driver of the small speedboat had apparently plowed into a large wave or boat wake and he and his female passenger had been thrown through the boat’s windshield. They suffered lacerations and had glass in their eyes and had therefore requested emergency assistance. Coastguard vessels arrived after the ferry’s medical personnel had stabilized the individuals and took them to shore where ambulances were waiting. It was the first medical-aid rescue on a waterway that I have witnessed.
Not only did we hold and fight over our granddaughter for a week, we also picked (and ate) blackberries to hearts’ content. With assistance from his father-in-law, our son has transformed an old stainless steel milk tank into a very large, upright smoker. Thanks to the curing skills he has mastered, we enjoyed smoked salmon and ham with our meals. We also went crabbing and caught enough dungeness crab to have a meal for six as our daughter, Amanda and her husband Kelly were also visiting and competing for time with our granddaughter.
Angela returned home last Saturday and I headed north with plans to meet up with immediate family and place my mother’s ashes at rest in a columbarium at Burns Lake. For me, this holiday and its events are a definite reminder of the circle or cycle of life. No one can cheat death and life is far to short to spend it feuding or bickering. It seems to me that living life to the fullest involves three components: appreciation of physical, emotional and spiritual elements. The pursuit of happiness involves all three, as well as family and friends.
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