Monday, October 21, 2013

3 year Memoradum

3 year Memorandum

Through life we sometimes travel not only a dusty road but one full of bumps and pot holes. Losing a loved one is about as rough as it can get.
On Oct 22nd /2010  I experienced the roughest ride of my life with the death of my wife, my lover, and my best friend.

Carole’s life 1942 - 2010

Carole had many health issues over her last ten years. Starting in 2000 when she had heart surgery, a rare tumor in her heart had to be removed. Then losing eyesight a result of mini strokes and blocked arteries. All during this time she suffered from Rheumatoid Arthritis. But! If you met Carole and asked her how she was doing.
She always said, I’m fine, she never complained.

I cried when my parents passed, I cried, when my brother passed. I cried for family and friends. They say crying is good. It is a healing process. None of it prepared me for the tears I have lost losing my most precious possession; My, beautiful wife. Nothing ever hurt this bad.

Life with Carole spanned from, Aug 1959  to Oct 2010.
It are those years in between that are so important.
Memories are all that are left.
We were a team for 51 years. And I have lost the most valuable player.

Carole and I met when she was in high school and just 15. I fell in love with her immediately. We married when she was 17..... Aug 1959. We had our first beautiful daughter (Tracey)in Dec 1960. Bought a house and set up a home.

Over the next 10 years we had 2 more beautiful daughters (Terri & Tania) and a two bedroom home; time to start looking for more space. We bought a new home in a survey and I wasn’t happy. I wanted country, she wanted city, and country won. She always did without for her family's  happiness.

It wasn’t long before she was the happiest person in the country. She had a wonderful neighbors and friends. The kids were happy, I was happy. The world revolved around one big happy family. She cemented us together as a family. I do believe, she invented crazy glue before they bottled it.

Kids grow, start their own families, and move on. We were blessed with 3 wonderful daughters, 3 great son in laws and 7 grandchildren to be proud of.

Grand children were her number one priority. She loved them all.... equally. She was like a Momma bear in a honey hive when surrounded with her kids. The special family gatherings were important to her and that is how she left this world; Surrounded at bedside with all her family as she struggled to stay with us for just a few minutes longer.

I wish, I could stop for a commercial break and turn back the hands of time. I wish, I could say....sorry, for not protecting her. I wish, I could hold her and say 'sorry' for the times, I was a asshole. I wish, I could wave a magic wand and make every thing right. I wish, most of all, that my prayers were answered.

For 51 years no matter what transpired, we always kissed each other goodnight. Never went to bed angry.
Thank you Carole, for a life time of love.....I love you forever.

Put your arms around her Lord
Treat her with special care
Make up for all she suffered
And all that seemed unfair.
With only memories for us to keep
These are the words she would reply
“This life for me has truly passed
I love you all to the very last.
Weep not for me but courage take
And love each other for my sake.”

My biggest wish in life is that my girls and their families remain close friends. That is all I have left. So far, I have not been disappointed.

Kindness is the language which the 
deaf can hear and 
The blind can see.
- Mark Twain


Friday, April 06, 2012

New Adventures in the Rockies

Flew to Calgary Alberta and had a two week visit with my buddy Dave. He picked me up at the airport and we drove to his home in Canmore. Approximately, one and a quarter hour drive from the Calgary airport; Canmore is a beautiful town and can be described as the Gateway into Banff National Park.

 We had plans to drive out to his wilderness cabin in the Kootney’s of British Columbia a little later in the week. We had to keep an eye on the weather and my Buddy was coming down with a cold. In the meantime, to keep me amused Dave & Mary purchased me a ticket for a Helicopter tour to see the mountains from an amazing view point. And what an amazing view it is. The Rocky Mountains are some of the most photographed sites in the world but photographs do not do them justice. We flew up and around what is called the Three Sisters. I could look out my friend’s front window and view the Three Sisters but up close and top views were out of this world.
Didn’t know it at the time, but a week later a Helicopter from a competitor went down and the pilot was killed. 4 passengers survived.

We headed out to the cabin in BC at 4am in the morning four days later. Long range weather forecast looked good, Dave didn’t. His friend John from Texas was with us and he took over driving duties. John lives six months of the year in the US and 6 months in Canmore. Those, crazy winter skiers.
I must state that a weatherman’s job is one of the few jobs in the world where they can be wrong 100% of the time and keep their jobs. Politicians are the other, but I won’t go there.

Driving west towards Revelstoke, BC, the weather was slowly starting to deteriorate. Snow drifts were piled 20 to 30 feet along the highway as we drove through Rogers Pass high in the mountains. It was still dark so no photos.

South of Revelstoke we have to take a ferry to cross the Arrow Lake. It is a free service and continuation of the highway south. That is when the snow really started and it was getting light. We had two choices of taking highway left or right. We went left on BC 31 which is a little shorter but more rugged, Gravel vs. pavement.
Sound thinking! Gravel grips but pavement might just get plowed more. Both highways are in avalanche territory. By this time we had a couple of feet of snow on the road but we had four-wheel drive. Not a problem, just keep chewing those nails.

We made it to the logging road and started the descent into the boondocks of know man’s land ….only 27 kilometers to go. Oh my God! A virgin snow covered the Wilderness Road that was unmaintained with no tire tracks to follow. Drive off the edge and it may be a while before they scrape your body off the mountain floor below. John from Texas did an excellent job of driving, we made it without incident.

Once we shoveled our way into the cabin and got a fire going we were quite comfortable. Even had a hot tub to loosen up those stressed out nerve endings?
Fishing was slow, we did catch a few.

Dave wasn’t getting any better, he was coughing continuously non-stop through the nights; so we cut our trip short and headed back to civilization, especially, since the weatherman was spouting off bad weather comments. The trip out was much better after 5 days mild temps and some rain. When we reached the point of which highway to take back to the ferry; we chose the pavement and it did seem quite a bit longer.

Back in Canmore, and a visit to the Vet, It was determined that Dave had a lung infection. A few antibiotics later, and sucking up all the comforts of home and Mary’s great cooking, he was showing positive signs of living long enough to experience another day in the wild Rocky Mountains.
He was strong enough to brave a Gondola ride in Banff. Another fantastic trip above the trees and straight up the side of a mountain. The day we went it started out sunny but deteriorated to overcast foggy.

Regardless of weather, scenery is so fantastic it is worth the moment. If I was in Mary's shape; I would follow her into the mountains, hiking, skiing and all other outdoor sports. She is non stop energy. I wasn’t upset at catching so few fish; after all, Mary wasn’t there to fillet our catch.

How could I forget Scruffy the wonder dog, my Buddy, my Pal, my Bed-warmer. What a treat to have him with us on our journey into the back woods.
I have included many pictures below. Not everyone has high-speed and they can view the pictures at own speed if they so desire.
Pictures are in no particular order because the upload program sorted alphabetically.
Our first avalanche on the logging road.

Some one opened the road a week before

This is BC HWY 31 heading towards the cabin after the Ferry

My good friends Mary, Dave & wonder dog Scruffy

View from cabin deck

Riding the cable car into the mountains

View of Canmore from the Helicopter

Looking out the dining room window at the Three Sisters mountain

Doug's Bull Trout


Herd of Elk in town along the Trans Canada Hwy.

A view from Dave&Mary's front window

Helicopter panel

This is my ride, I had a front seat

John with a couple of trout

Helipad, coming in for a landing

Road into cabin, it is there somewhere

Poor man's TV, we were at least comfortable in the Boondocks

   It is always nice to read comments below, makes blogging worth while.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

One of life's treats as I travel the Dusty Road.

Part of the reason I do this blog is; so I can look back upon where I have been, and my travels, and adventures down the Dusty Road of life. Times like this when I appreciate Grandchildren.

A new teenager has step her foot onto the pathway and I couldn't be prouder.
My sweet little Abby turned 13 today.
She is the baby of the family and a real treat. She is a great talent and has won awards for her dancing. She dances competitive dance routines.

Never forget the time I said, I had to get my haircut, and she jumped in and said, "I will cut your hair Grandpa". Everyone looked at her like she had two heads and asked, "what do you know about cutting hair". Reply was that she watches the hair dresser closely when she goes with her Mom.
What the heck. If she messed it up, I would still go to the Barber. We were all amazed at what a great job she did. I go to her regularly now between barber appointments. Now she wants to do my nails.

She should be a comedian, she keeps us laughing. I honestly don't know where she comes up with her slapstick humor. But she has been a real treat as a Grandchild. 

Baby Abby at the Beach

Always a Grandpa's girl.

Miss Ham

All grown up now

Happy 13th Birthday Abby.
Feb 28th.1999 was a very good year.

Monday, February 20, 2012

What a Kid

My Grand daughter Chelsey is working hard trying to break into the country music scene. She is doing pretty darn good for just starting out. Writes and sings her own songs, taking guitar lessons and trying to keep up with her high school studies. 
You can get a partial peak at her music at this site. chelseymusic

I snapped this picture at her Grade 8 graduation when she wasn't looking.It has been one of my favorites. She is in Grade 11 now.
Before she took up singing she was into dance and was pretty good, winning an award one year, but,her love was singing. I am so proud of her I could bust a button.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Gone Fishing

It has been quite a while since I last blogged. Friends are writing asking how was fishing and it is sometimes easier to just tell the story once.

My Son-in-law Wayne asked me to go north with him, rent a cottage to do some fishing. We went to a favourite Camp Horizon located north of Sturgeon Falls in a tiny outback called Field. High north country approximately 6 hour drive; a get-away….for a couple of good friends.

We had a great time, great weather, scenery, tons of laughs, and of course a couple of beers along with some good cooking. Fishing was off. As the old saying goes; “should have been here yesterday” Seems we missed the big bite by a couple of days. Two women spent a week up there and was getting their limits of Walleye daily. Yeah! I know! shown up by a couple of city girls.

Anyway, here is a pictorial of our trip. Hope your not all on dial-up.

Our Cabin at Camp Horizon.

2 bedroom one bath.
View out the window

View of cabin from the dock

Capt. Wayne... our first day out was a little overcast.
We did get some rain that night.

Looking back from the water towards camp.

Main dock and office straight ahead.

Lots of fall colors. 
We seen a big change in just a few days north.

Rugged shoreline
Beautiful day to be on the water

I think we fished every nook and cranny but the bite was slow.
But the weather made up for it. Water is crystal clear.

We did manage to catch a few each day.

At least enough for supper.
I know your thinking where did they catch those sausages?
Hey! it was pitch black when we were barbecuing.

We went for walleye and and I kept catching pike.
But they were pretty tasty.

My son-in-law Wayne managed to catch a couple nice Walleye

Just had to get a picture of the boat dock from our front patio.


Another day passes us by.
Notice rods are still out. Making the best of each and every day.
They all end so fast.

Hate to leave this gorgeous day.
Just one more cast.

Sunset and time to call it a day.

After a hard day of fishing this is what we did best.
Had us some good eats, a couple of pops and relaxed.
It just doesn't get any better but all good things come to an end.

 Fall colors on the start of our drive home.
We virtually have little color yet in Southern Ontario but travel 5 hours north and there is full bloom.

Thanks to Wayne for great company and a great time.

Posted by Picasa

Gone Fishing

It has been quite a while since I last blogged. Friends are writing asking how was fishing and it is sometimes easier to just tell the story once.

My Son-in-law Wayne asked me to go north with him, rent a cottage to do some fishing. We went to a favorite Camp Horizon located north of Sturgeon Falls in a tiny outback called Field. High north country, approximately 6 hour drive; a get-away….for a couple of good friends.

 We had a great time, great weather, scenery, tons of laughs, and of course a couple of beers along with some good cooking. Fishing was off. As the old saying goes; “should have been here yesterday” Seems we missed the big bite by a couple of days. Two women spent a week up there and was getting their limits of Walleye daily. Yeah! I know! shown up by a couple of city girls.

Anyway, here is a pictorial of our trip. Hope your not all on dial-up. 

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Time marches on

It has been 6 months since my wife passed away. They say it gets easier with time. I suppose.  People who have experienced the loss of a loved one, may move on but it is not…..easier, it is just accepted. Accepted, that they are not returning, at least in body. They are always there in your spirit and in your thoughts when you awake and when you go to bed. I have found it difficult living in the country without my best friend. It is a lonely life.
Thank goodness for my girls, I will never starve. My computer is my best friend these days; it has been the source contact with many distant relatives, friends and acquaintances’.  
The sun has just broken through the clouds but the weatherman says another day of rain. A red headed woodpecker is at the feeder, daffodils are blooming and I can almost hear the grass growing; and here I sit talking to myself.
It truly is a dusty road I travel.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Adventures in the Rockies

Rugged beauty prevails in the Canadian Rocky mountains. My best friends from the west sent me an airline ticket to visit them in Alberta. My wife had passed away a few months prior and they thought it would do me good to get out of the house. My Buddy Dave and I were going to rough-it in the wilderness of the rugged British Columbia Rocky mountains.

I arrived at the Calgary airport and my buddy Dave was waiting for me. We had about a one hour drive to his home in Canmore Alberta. The plan was to spend a couple of days at their home and then head for their cabin high in the Kootney mountains of British Columbia. Dave’s wife Mary would be out 4 days later along with daughter Julie, grandchildren Benjamin, Maggie and Scruffy the dog.

We had an 8 hour drive from their Canmore home to the cabin. Although we travelled the highways of some of the most scenic vistas in Canada, our early departure was in darkness. I wasn’t too worried, I knew I would see the panoramas on the return trip home. Daylight had arrived three quarters of the way into our trip and I was treated with some awesome scenery. We had to cross Arrow Lake by ferry and we made it with 5 minutes to spare.

I was pleased it was daylight for the 20 kilometre drive up into the mountains on a rustic logging road. We were patting ourselves on the back for making good time. With only a quarter mile to go, we were stopped dead and facing a landslide. We weren't the only ones affected. If we couldn't get in, neighbors couldn't get out. They would bring in some equipment to deal with the problem later in the day, meanwhile we hand-bombed our luggage over and they drove us down into the cabin.

We had to shovel our way into the cabin from snow that slides off the steel roof onto the deck. It wasn’t easy shoveling because it had compacted and froze. Anyway in we go and start a fire and it wasn’t long before we were warm and toasty. Dave had many chores to do to ready the cabin for comfort, haul water, haul wood, get batteries charged for lights etc. He also had to fire up the old jeep to haul his work boat to the lake. It started like a charm after sitting all winter, After the road was opened the local good old boys drove his Ford down to the cabin.

I was pleased to see Mary and the kids arrive 4 days later, I was tired of playing Mr. Mom and felt a need for a woman’s touch. Mary is special, she is a ball of energy, great cook, loves the outdoors and after I showed her once how to fillet a fish, never had to do that chore again. Dave is a lucky man.

Julie and kids left to return home a day before us. She was concerned with getting out, bad weather was in the forecast. That mudslide had created some serious road conditions and rain was imminent, it would only get worse. We fished our last day in the rain, of course, Mary was the hands down winner in the fish catching category. We had to practice catch and release because the daily limit was one. After a good nights sleep, a good breakfast and a visit to the neighbors to say good bye, we were barely able make it through a serious mud hole. Other cottage owners would becoming in for the weekend it would only get more challenging. I spent another 3 days back in Canmore before heading to Calgary for my return flight home. Dave and Mary are such gracious hosts and I would miss them all, the kids and Scruffy but I also was feeling a little home sick for my own family. I know, I will return to beautiful Canmore Alberta, fall is always beautiful there.

I have installed a player showing photos of my adventure. My trip to the Rocky Mountains of Canada.

Click on a picture for full screen. Hopefully the slide show will advance automatically. The pictures tell the story of the trip.