No one will soon forget 2020 and a pandemic that we hope is the only one in our lifetimes! I remember my Granny Lohr talking about the Spanish Flu (1918-1920) and how so many families were affected and some even decimated. At least now one hundred years later we know more about viruses in general and, as time passes, more about this one in particular. Everyone’s wish is that 2021 will bring new and effective vaccines.
This past year started with the Wakaw Lake cabin selling in early January. The cabin was sold furnished except for the antique furniture and personal effects that we wanted to keep. Possession date was May 1st, and it was difficult to say goodbye after 39 years to a place of much enjoyment and lots of hard work. Well, maybe not so hard to say goodbye to the work, and we’ll keep the memories of all the good times.
We’re very glad that we went to California for Christmas 2019 and spent time with our daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter as we haven’t seen them since. Phone visits are fine but not a substitute for face-to-face visits. COVID-19 certainly ‘clipped everyone’s wings’ in terms of travelling. Our granddaughter’s school is closed with no projected opening date so she attends a childcare facility for children of essential workers and does some online school work.
We are fortunate to have our Calgary family close. We had resumed Sunday dinners but starting last week we went back to an outdoor gathering because regulations for no indoor family gatherings went into effect. The outdoor socially-distanced visit gave the grandchildren a chance to go tobogganing on the hill into the ravine although they had to start half way down because the chinook winds and sun had melted most of the snow at the top. There was lots of snow at the bottom of the hill still so they had soft landings.
Our Calgary granddaughter is back at school in grade 3. Fortunately the elementary level students were allowed to stay in school although grades 7-12 students must now do online schooling. She loves school but will have an extended Christmas holiday as Alberta schools will be closed from December 19th – January 11th.
Our Calgary grandson was spending most Thursdays with us and loves to make ginger cookies cut into various shapes. When I try to expand the cookie repertoire, he says Grandpa likes ginger cookies the best. I reply: “Your Grandpa has never met a cookie he doesn’t like,” but still every week: ginger cookies. Of course, for the next few weeks while the restrictions last, there won’t be any ginger cookies made.
Doug put together an old car in the playground area for the kids to play on. It even has a steering wheel and a key. Sometimes the car turns into a rocket ship or submarine so we have lots of adventures without leaving the yard.
Like many people, we spent numerous hours in 2020 working on the yard. With help from the owner of a nearby tree farm on his bobcat, the caraganas on the south berm were removed and replaced with spruce trees. We also did a lot of extra trimming—who would have thought there were 40 potentillas as well as numerous spireas in this yard? With all the rain in the spring, grass cutting was a regular job for Doug. The Saskatoon shrubs were prolific again this year and along with a good crop of raspberries, there wasn’t much room for anything else in the freezer. Those berries will last until spring and sure taste good every morning!
Doug enjoyed some golfing this past summer and was curling twice a week before the curling rink was closed due to COVID. Also this past summer and fall, he and two friends enjoyed several hikes in the Kananaskis area.
Doug also purchased a 1935 Ford Cabriolet with a rumble seat from a couple in Cranbrook. So, our ‘summer holiday’ was three trips to Cranbrook to look at, buy, and bring back the car in pieces. Locating parts and putting the car together is his winter project.
Lorraine continued volunteer work with the Okotoks Library working on their history committee and now locating and assessing applicable grants. The Library will be moving into the new building in June 2021. She also joined the Millarville Horticultural Club and is enjoying the guest speakers at the meetings—sometimes in person, now on Zoom. She did get some work done on family history focusing on the Collins side of the family. Of course, family history is never finished so that’s an ongoing project.
Our plans are to be home, of course, for Christmas. Our Calgary family will be joining us for dinner if the restrictions are lifted on social gatherings. If not, we’ll still put up a Christmas tree and have our turkey and trimmings.
Our best wishes to all of you. Take care and please keep in touch.