As usual, time has gotten away with me and many weeks have passed since my last update. But life here ashore isn’t fraught with as much drama and angst as life aboard and that is a very good thing.
Arriving home shortly before Easter, we quickly settled into our little house. In fact Murray murmured “if only the boat was this easy”. We had arranged for the water to be turned off all winter and just remembered before departing Florida that it needed to be turned on again. Luckily our next-door neighbours were able to arrange that for us. Once the mail and the tax info was dealt with, we caught up with Steve and Kath and, of course, James. He took a little time to warm up to us but before too long he was acting as though we had never left. Getting to Ottawa was a little trickier but I got a ride down with my sister-in-law, Barb, in June and spent a weekend catching up with Matthew and Samantha ( oh, and their parents as well! ). Next weekend, both Murray and I will make the trek to Ottawa for a visit.
Before Mother’s Day, we brought my mom down for a visit. She helped me select flowers for the gardens and supervised their planting. Soon we will steal her away again for another visit and she will be pleasantly surprised to see how lovely the baskets are this year. Mom has been doing an exercise program and seems stronger than last year at this time. She still hasn’t got much stamina and gets out of breath quickly. The pool wasn’t open yet in May but she will be right in there this visit, joining me in the daily aquasize class.
The end of May found Darcie, Barb, Susan and I headed to North Bay for the day, to attend a baby shower for Susan’s daughter ( our niece ), Laura. She is due to deliver any day now. My nephew, Trevor, and his wife Joanne have just celebrated the arrival of identical twin boys. We will try to get Mom there to take a peek soon but the boys were quite small upon delivery and may not even be home to Waterloo yet.
In June, I qualified for my Old Age Pension. Yes, I am now 65 and able to retire. Thanks goodness I did that 14 years ago! Murray arranged a surprise party for me, with neighbours Pat and Bruce ,Mary and Roy, Bob and Mary,and family George, Barb, Steve and Kath in attendance. And, of course, James. He was the big hit of the party as he signed “more” with every mouthful. Especially when he tasted the cake. It was a lovely evening in our backyard.
As for house projects, Murray painted the garage floor recently and has helped Steve with his board fence project as well as re-shingling a small roof on the back of their house. Inside our house, we have been pricing and doing layouts for new kitchen cupboards and countertop. That project has taken a large amount of time and many decisions. But I think that things are nearly “set in stone” instead of our usual Jello and scheduled to start in August. Murray and I will be tearing out the existing cupboards and installing the balance of the hardwood flooring under the spots where the cupboards stood. In other words, preparing for the installation and saving money by doing some of the job ourselves. Murray continues to do small jobs for the neighbourhood and that keeps him from getting bored. A new HVAC system was installed this spring and the kitchen skylight was also replaced but the majority of these jobs were done by others.
This summer, we opted not to launch the Goman ( our 20 foot sailboat ). It cost a lot down here for launching it and for dockage and we didn’t get to use it as much as we had hoped. In fact, it is listed for sale on Kijiji
My spare time has been spent researching the process of publishing my children’s story. The artist from Staniel Cay in the Bahamas, Bernadette Chamberlain, has sent me digital images of the paintings she did for the book and they are great! Now I just need to buy a couple of expensive pieces of software, learn how to use them and get things to a state ready for publishing. Or, online, there are companies that offer that service, for a fee. An expensive fee. But, I am forging ahead, slowly.
So life ashore is different but also filled: with time spent with friends and family; with projects small and large; with learning new things and new places, and with loving and sharing life with a partner.
Hugs to all
Heather & Murray