–by G.K. Sydney (photos and column)
Well, FINALLY, the last in the series of gone-from-Sooke stories. If you recall, we were travelling across western Canada in our trusty trailer to visit all the friends and relatives that would put up with us. We had crossed to the mainland, motored across BC, Alberta and Saskatchewan (land of adventure and excitement) and ended the last installment with our arrival in Manitoba. When we got there, we found everyone on tenterhooks, fighting over who would host us and cooking up a storm (note: that might be a slight exaggeration). Here’s how it all played out.
First, to a son’s house who made the mistake of telling us we could park in his yard. Bike riding, going for ice cream, lots of talking and lots of fun, but four days later, even the baby was making his wishes known (see above, right).
And so we went. Next stop: a dear friend’s house. Park in the driveway, she said. Stay for awhile, she said. And so we lowered the stabilizers (on a trailer, that’s a sign that you’re staying for awhile), put out the awning and walked over to the house to visit.
Well. Not only was that friend and her husband there, but lots of other old friends showed up too! A party, no less! Lots of laughs, good food and drink and a wonderful night in the old neighbourhood. Wow, what more could you ask for?
The rest of the Manitoba visit was just as good. Lots more visits with the newest grandbaby, mother-in-law, brother and sister-in-law, other old, best friends and then we were off again. Hook up the trailer, jump in the truck and we were on the road, going cross country crazy. Go west, young man and go west, retired couple. Onward ho, this time towards home. Through Manitoba, through Saskatchewan (anybody home?), and a stop in Alberta.
Yes, a stop it was, because before home, there was lots more visiting to do. As soon as we could, we headed to the paradise in the mountains known as Kananaskis. What a place. Here we camped (in our trailer with a bed, bathroom, oven and microwave) in a fabulous campground on an incredibly beautiful lake surrounded by mountains. After getting set up, we waited for the kids.
And they came. Wow, did they come. First, a daughter, her boyfriend and two incredibly rambunctious, lovable boys. The rock building, sand shoveling, and chipmunk – chasing that went on was a sight to behold. Fun, so much fun. But too soon, they were going home.
Then, immediately after one group left, another arrived. This time, another son, his wife and three more raucous, crazy, entirely adorable boys. Omigod, what have we done to deserve this?
Kayaking, skipping rocks, swimming, yelling, rock piling, hiking – what didn’t we do? The time flew and the fun was colossal. Every day was a new adventure and it truly was time out of mind. Again, too soon, it was over and they were heading home.
And then, in the midst of the sadness that it was all over, the call of home was upon us too. Sooke, you have a hold on us that is really something, and we both suddenly wanted to be here. And so, up with the stabilizers, in with the awning, clean up the campsite and head ‘er home. Enough with the playing, visiting, travelling and onto the lovely routines that make up daily life. But first, a well-deserved rest was had by all. Amen.
Previous Newcomer’s Lens columns:
- Through the Lens of a Newcomer: A Touch of Special
- Through the Lens of a Newcomer: I. Will. Do. This.
- Through the Lens of a Newcomer: Never too late
- Through the Lens of a Newcomer: Close encounter with bear, saved by a driving hero
- Through the Lens of a Newcomer: Cross Country Crazy
- Through the Lens of a Newcomer: Lord love a duck!
- Through the Lens of a Newcomer: Get on the Bus, Gus. Make a New Plan, Stan.
- Through the Lens of a Newcomer: And a Warm Welcome to Everyone (or…?)
- Through the Lens of a Newcomer: Into the Mystic
- Through the Lens of a Newcomer: This is how I row
- Through the Lens of a Newcomer: Take care when you tinkle; or, before you bare, look for bear
- Through the Lens of a Newcomer: True Confessions of a Self-Proclaimed Acrophobiac
- Through the Lens of a Newcomer: There’s no place like home!
- Through the Lens of a Newcomer: The eagle has landed
- Through the Lens of a Newcomer: Finding fitness that fits
- Through the Lens of a Newcomer: When you don’t know where you’re going till you get there
- Through the Lens of a Newcomer: A Fairy in the Forest
- Through the Lens of a Newcomer: Small Town, Big Hearts
- Through the Lens of a Newcomer: “Oh, the Places You’ll Go” Dr. Seuss
- Introducing a new column to SPN: “Through the Lens of a Newcomer”