June 28th, 2014
Dawson Creek, B.C.
At the beginning of this year, Ray and I along with my siblings and their spouses, determined that meeting together this year would be a fun thing to pursue. So we began discussion and research, then agreed to meet at Butler House B&B in Niagara Falls in June 2014. By February final plans were in place for a Sibling/Spouse Rendezvous. At that time, June seemed a long way off. Now here we are nearing the end of June. The rendezvous is behind us and has given us memories to savor:
• Transportation for Ray and Betty via Greyhound and Via Rail – besides getting us to Niagara Falls and home again, it allowed us to meet interesting people – (including a panhandler whom I desperately wanted to believe)- adding a dimension to our lives that was not previously there.
• Our hosts Merle and Halina, at Butler House Bed and Breakfast, were generous and gracious beyond our expectations and the 4 rooms allowed us to have run of the entire house during our stay.
o Full course breakfasts served on the back porch or at a beautifully set table with china, linen napkins folded to resemble “bird of Paradise” and silver. We were allowed to stay at the table for as long as we wanted for conversation, and to plan our day;
o Snacks, coffee and tea available all day;
o Playing games of Phase Ten;
o Walking distance to the Falls;
o Somebody thinks I am “Wonderful”;
o Laughter and stimulating conversation, so stimulating I had a difficult time going to sleep and woke up in the morning with those thoughts still on my mind;
o Art playing his mandolin as the rest of us sang and/or danced on the front porch;
o Touring the Naval museum. Tom served on a sub and destroyer so he was able to add a personal dimension to the tour.
o Catching up with each other’s day to day lives and lives of their extended families.
• Cab fare from the train station to the B&B was $9.00; Cab fare from the B&B to the same train station was $15.00 – Ray gave the driver a $20.00, the driver gave him $2.00 change. How does that work?
• We laughed at each other as we tried to don our plastic capes in the wind and at how silly we looked while waiting to board “Maid of the Mist”. We felt the mist on our faces as the boat took us near the bottom of the falls. I really hoped the captain knew enough not to get to close to the falls allowing us to be drenched and sending us to the bottom never to surface. We were awed by the majestic splendor and power of Niagara Falls and determined that tacky tourist merchandise in the park would not diminish our awe. We learned via a film the history of the falls and the prediction that many, many, many years from now the falls will no longer exist. I hope that someone has the foresight to record the present history otherwise who will believe the existence of the falls as we know it?
We arrived home early morning June 11th, after an all-night bus ride, to find Sharon and Dale waiting for us at the bus depot; tired but grateful for an amazing experience – our lives are forever changed.
Since then our day to day routine has returned pretty much to what we are accustomed to. Finally finished the last of the holiday laundry last week. It is summer now, the days are long, we get lots of sunshine but not much rain. It is fun to see what perennials made it through the winter, what to replace, what and where to put annuals that were started from seed or that we could not resist buying from the nursery. How different our yard looks with all the foliage; don’t even see – although we can hear – the neighbors on 3 sides of us. It is difficult to recall that only 3+ months ago we were shoveling snow off the driveway and sidewalk and piling it over our heads.
Our family celebrates many birthdays/anniversaries in June. My 74th was on the 17th, we celebrate Ray’s birthday – his 77th and our 55th anniversary on the 27th. What can I say? I remember when my grandparents celebrated their 45th, Grandma thought they should celebrate because they would never live long enough to see their 50th. They seemed so old to me; don’t see ourselves that old. Are we delusional? Anyway my grandparents lived to be 96 and 100 years old and celebrated 75 years together. Amazing!
Would love to hear of the recent New York adventure from the “Nebraska Babes”
Something to ponder, consider there are some bits of conventional “truth” that can be questioned. Here is one:
• A whale swims all day, only eats fish, drinks water, but is still fat.
• A rabbit runs and hops and only lives 15 years.
• A tortoise doesn’t run and does mostly nothing, yet it lives for 150 years.
• And you tell me to exercise?? I wonder!