Unlike last year when were celebrating victories by our four County Council candidates as well as our candidate for the U.S House of Representatives, this year we were demoralized when our three candidates for the state legislature lost despite our concerted efforts in door-belling, phone-calling, parades and festivals. Our only winner was our Congressional representative’s re-election.
One positive aspect of this year’s politics was Ruth’s growing involvement in the Whatcom Democratic party. She organized a series of Progressive Forums where candidates presented themselves to voters and issues such as smaller class sizes and the legalization of commercial hemp were discussed. (We now blend hemp hearts from Manitoba into our morning smoothies.) We are both active with the Outreach Committee, walking in parades and staffing information booths. Ruth also serves as a recruiter and mobilizer of precinct committee officers with mixed results. Nonetheless she is looking forward to more responsibility in the future.
As a reward for what we had hoped to be an election victory, we scheduled a November bonus week in our timeshare at Fairmont Hot Springs located in the British Columbian Kooteneys. We had a long and hard journey there with rain and sleet and snow, reaching our destination after 10:00 p.m. Fortunately, the office was still open and a cheerful, efficient host greeted us warmly.
The next morning we woke to a golf course blanketed with snow. The sun was shone on snow-topped rocky mountains. Magnificent! A perfect contrast to Birch Bay.
Our first day we just nosed around. This was Monday, Armed Services Day, Canada’s Remembrance Day, and there were a lot of people in the misty pools, a mile up the road from our timeshare in a related resort. When we went up for our soak on Wednesday, the outside temperature was 3 degrees Fahrenheit. We changed into swim suits, suffered cold showers, and then walked down an outside boardwalk to the pools. When got out, Ruth’s towel was frozen stiff. Our soak was very much OK, but we decided once was enough. Happily, our timeshare complex had an indoor heated swimming pool and a small soaking tub just outside the door (also 3 degrees F.) However, we skipped the latter after the first dip, and enjoyed the jet tub in our unit.
On the way back we stopped in Cranbrook to visit with two of Ruth’s nieces and their families. Barbara has recently opened the Roadhouse Grill with her partner Tod and Sheila and family are in the modular home business. They advised us to drive home through Idaho. The highways were clear and bare but we didn’t want to wear ourselves out again, so we spent the night at a motel in Couer d’Alene, Idaho.
This was our second holiday to British Columbia in 2014. In May we traveled through Prince George and Prince Rupert to Haida Gwaii, the aboriginal version of the Queen Charlotte Islands’ name. The journey to the island looks short on the map but winds and currents make it a seven hour crossing. We had to hang on to walls to get from one section of the ferry to another. While the northern end of the island has many Canadians of European descent, the southern end is entirely aboriginal. We had lunch with the Chief who made us vegetable soup (he operates a small restaurant.) He complained that native fishing rights were curtailed but was pleased to point out that roofs of all of the homes were replaced in a government program.
Geord (Ruth’s son) and his wife Mary, exercising their empty nest freedom, came for a week’s visit in October. A side trip to Vancouver Island squeezed in a visit with Sylvia (Geord’s step-mother) and other family and friends. Geord has just taken a new position in the IT department of Big Lots, and Mary celebrated her fourth anniversary with Nationwide; both companies are headquartered in Columbus. We’re looking forward to seeing them in their new condo over the holidays.
In July we encroached on the visit of Lucy and Gary’s third daughter, Sharon, and her family. There Al took a tumble and broke his collar bone, which healed well despite postponing treatment until after we spent a week on the Oregon Coast with our friends the Murphys. Ruth had San Francisco reunions with her Chinese Hospital Survivors Club and Broad Slice of White Bread writing group in March.
This year our combined ages equal 160 years. Over our Thanksgiving turkey and sweet potatoes we talked about the things for which we are grateful. We continue to enjoy the cottage that we renovated prior to occupying in 2003 and the beautiful community in which we live. We are particularly thankful for good health, satisfactory finances and our love for each other. With these thoughts, we hope you, too, are looking forward to the years ahead.