We are enjoying having taken our Friday Evening Family Tradition to a new level. It means planning ahead earlier in the week in order to have all the elements on hand for the event... but it is so worth the effort. The one element that stands out above all the rest is sharing our Grateful List with each other.
Highlights of the past week for which we are most grateful include:
1. Shirley’s mother. She is like the EverReady Bunny... who just keeps on going. She has difficulty hearing everything, but I've noticed that the closer one gets to 100 some things just don’t work as good as they used to. We just celebrated her 91st birthday this past weekend. Amazing!
2. Safe travels and good roads. We were a day late leaving for Kelowna, due to storms and high winds that shut down the ferry system. But we had great roads and no problems once we could get going. Shirley just reminded me that I had a good sleep while she drove thru the slush and snow between Hope and the old toll booth area.
3. Catching up with old friends. After trying since last summer to golf with Marc Stickle, we finally connected. His father Roland and Marvyn Baker filled out our foursome. We had a great round at Black Mountain Golf Course, which according to Golf Digest was voted the Best New Course in Canada for 2010. It has become my favourite place to golf in Kelowna now.
4. Running with Shelby & Greg. It was great to go for a run with my son and nephew in Kelowna this past week. The Mission Creek Greenway Trail goes for about 20 miles from the Okanagan Lake... however I only ran about 8.5 km.
5. Having the truck back on the road. We let the truck registration and insurance lapse in mid-November when it came up for renewal. Since getting the car and knowing we would be taking it south for a couple of months, we saved five months insurance on the truck. It felt good to get our first load of sand this week, so I can now again make mortar and keep building rock walls.
6. Air Miles. We have a goal to use up our RBC Visa Air Miles this year... so we are starting to focus on how best to do that.
7. Travel Guides are arriving. This week we got our first travel guide... for Newfoundland. Why would we need to go to the other side of Canada to see another island? Hummmmm. I guess because it's there.
8. Our Adventure Book. Inspired by Carl and Elle Frederickson, the couple in the animated movie “Up,” we are making our list of places we want to visit and things we want to do. Our Adventure Book will be a place to consolidate our research as well as store some of the memories after.
9. Lights, power, internet & Satellite TV. There is nothing like losing these services to help you appreciate them and not take them for granted. We had two separate days of outages in the past week.
10. The birds are back. As a friendly robin hopped around on the hillside I was reminded of a quote by Warren Buffett on investing. He said, "If you wait for the robins, spring will be over."
11. Discovering Point Roberts. All the years we have gone back and forth from Tsawwassen on the ferry we have noticed Point Roberts but never gone there. This last week on our way home from Kelowna we had an extra hour to kill, so drove over the border into the USA. I look forward to going back to golf on what is apparently one of the six most unique golf courses in the world.
12. Smell of fresh bread & cookies. I love coming into the house after working outside and smelling fresh baked bread or cookies. Today was a double header... with both cookies and challah (Jewish Sabbath bread.) That is definitely the way to a man’s heart!
13. Fresh flowers. The Cyclamen has been without a doubt the flower of our marriage. I was 16 years old when I purchased my first cyclamen plant and gave it to Shirley for Valentines in Grade 11. In 47 years I cannot count how many times I have bought this potted plant, mostly in red, but sometimes in white or pink. This was the first time we have ever seen this pink model with larger white-edged ruffled petals. It is quite spectacular!
14. Another wonderful sunset. A great beginning of the Sabbath. Shirley captured this shot with the ferry just in the nick of time.