2015 in Retrospect

It was a year ago this week that we made our initial move away from the coast to limboland.  It was the day after my 53rd birthday.  We left house and home with just a little trailer full of home-making essentials…


…to set up housekeeping with Jim’s Dad in the Kootenays for a bit and see where God might lead us all.

It’s been a year of discovering seasons and nature’s bounty in a new place,

of connecting more often with our grandkids,

of making a few new friends and

of learning a few new skills.  It’s been a good year.

Discovering Seasons and Nature’s Bounty…

The snow receded early in the Kootenays…


and we began to discover the world at our new doorstep.


By early April we were out on our tandem–


This is quite the place to cycle—lots of hills, and mountains!

With the coming of spring, I realized that flowers I thought I’d left behind, bloom here too…



And there were new ones coming up in profusion among the pine needles…

P5060550 crop

Out my window a young oak  replaced my beloved willow…P5060558

With the coming of spring a buyer was found for our left-behind- house.  So April found us back in Powell River  boxing up 12 years of family life.

We had moved in as a family…

2003 leaving Arizona 001

We left as a two-some…


The day we moved, our last fledgling flew, off to Alaska to join her Grandma.Bye Bye RachelP1170307

Good-bye  Powell River…[IMG_20150418_200559630_HDR%255B4%255D.jpg]

Our nest here has been lined with boxes every since, as we wait to see what will be our next home…


Summer here was hotter and drier, which we didn’t mind a bit!

Familiar faces bloomed in my wee bit of garden



And we went to our second Tandem Rally—back to the coast, Bellingham, Washington.



In all, we pedalled 2,000 miles together in 2015!

One perk of pedalling down the highway was catching sight of all the wayside fruit!  Free for the picking—Cherries, Saskatooon berries and delicious apples![IMG_20150625_1113018584.jpg]



And then summer had passed…




But fall was so beautiful we coudn’t begrudge its comingP1180820


The glory of yellowing larches was new to us…They extended the fall color.


It has been good to be nearer extended family too. Thanksgiving was a great feast shared with siblings, nieces and a  host of  progeny…image


















The visitors to the yard have been different here. The black bears have brown noses and are very clever…

And the turkeys come gobbling just in time for Thanksgiving…


and Elk come looking for winter grub…



Enjoying the Grandkids


We now live ever so much closer to our favorite little people—a mere 8- hour drive away through some of the most beautiful Parks in the world…




We have been back and forth to Calgary more than half a dozen times this year trying to keep up with birthdays and such.








We even got in our first camping trip all together! And our first family bike ride too!

Spray Lake panorama




Discovering New places with New friends…


Despite the want of ocean views, the Kootenays have some pretty spectacular scenery and we’ve made a start at discovering trails and the people that walk them…










A new friend introduced me to a new hobby– birdwatching!














Learning New Skills

Pine trees rise all around us  here, and some of them have foot-long needles!

[P1180721%255B3%255D.jpg][IMG_20150824_173245682_HDR%255B3%255D.jpg]So… I tackled something I never imagined I could learn…

IMG_20150916_204904808And now I suppose just about everyone in the family owns a hand-made pine needle creation!  If you don’t and you’d like to… you know who to ask  ( :


Living in snow country, we figured it would be better to enjoy winter than to languish indoors wishing it away, so within a week of arriving last winter, we had purchased cross-country skiis and commenced to learn how to  use them!

IMG_20150204_112235753_HDRThe season ended early last year but this year we’ve put in many miles (135 miles for me at last count!). It’s been terrific for morale to get outside and glide along through pristine wilderness.  And for me it has been a personal triumph over unwarranted fears.




That pretty much brings us to the present.  I expect we’ll be out skiing again tomorrow…This re-cap of the year has been too long but there is just one note to add…


When we left the coast we thought we were done with ferries—but no, there are three of them in our vicinity. They have short runs, crossing rivers rather than ocean straits.  But the best part is, they’re free!



And that concludes my year of being 53 without a home to call my own.  I expect we’ll look back on it fondly, though now it seems like a perplexing bit of limbo for us.  We are in Good Hands.


“Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever!” Ps.23:6

Not a Mountain Goat!

No Way!  I can’t do that.

YIKES! YIKES! and W-A-A-A-A………

As part of our summer’s end camping experience we chose a local hike for just the two of us—a trail up Old Goat Mountain to see a glacier up close.  Now honestly,  I don’t care much for glaciers.  They rather resemble old snow to me, dirty old snow, and I fail to feel the ‘Wow’ in them.  But I do like a good hike and going with Jim is a bit of a rarity so YES count me in!  And off we went.

The wending way through a quiet wood following a wee babbling brook was deceptively easy. 

Tripping on roots was the biggest hazard.  No problem. P1180526

Then strangely the wooded path gave way to great tumbles of rough rock as though a giant dump truck had upended there.  Hmm…P1180528

But the reality of where we were headed did not strike till we emerged from the quiet little poplar wood and found ourselves at the base of a rock-strewn mountain. P1180530 The only indication of the trail was the small band of brightly colored hikers descending from afar.P1180533P1180534

No Way!  Is that our trail?!  YIKES!

My mate kept his reservations to himself and encouraged us on. “It won’t be as bad as it looks.”  And we began the ascent as the wind picked up to remind us of the vast stretches of air at our backs, with nothing ahead but loose rock and steep terrain. 

I have never professed to be or desired to be a mountain climber.  I don’t much like heights.  Turning around to look where you’ve been makes you almost lose your balance.  Knees turn to jelly.  Elevation leaves you winded.  There’s no place to go but up and all the while you quail at the thought of having to go D-O-W-N this slithery, scrabbly way.  Quite terrifying to a non-mountain goat.  I very nearly chose to sit it out and let Jim go on without me to find that elusive glacier.P1180545P1180552P1180553

It suddenly made sense why the few hikers we met descending were doing so with hiking poles.  This idea had seemed funny when we’d seen them in the woods…  It was of some encouragement when we met a little family with a toddler on his daddy’s back and a little fellow at his side.  If he can do it… As we passed I realized this young ‘un was belted round with a stout leather strap the end of which was in his father’s strong hand. Ah.  Now that would be nice reassurance to have!  What happens if you fall up here and can’t walk anymore?!

But after a stop to breath (and stop hyperventilating), and with the encouraging remarks of descending hikers who declared the view well worth it, I decided to keep moving with Jim.  After all, he was the one with the bear spray and the treats!P1180554P1180556

Pictures do little to tell this tale.  They don’t look nearly as precipitous or skittery as the climb felt.  But perhaps my smile tells all? 

What a  relief when the trail leveled off and finally the glacier came into view in the distance.   P1180557P1180588P1180591

I was content to sit and munch a chocolate/peppermint energy bar and apply a couple band-aids for blister prevention while Jim went on to investigate the dirty snow more closely.  He took my camera along, leaving the bear spray just ‘case.  P1180562As I watched his red shirt recede into the distance along the gray rocky ridge an awesome and eerie silence descended.  The only noise, the distant muted clatter of the occasional rock tumbling down the great wall facing me….


So we did it, we climbed Old Goat. P1180572

All that remained was to descend in one piece and return to camp footsore and glad to have lived to tell the story…It was a slow and steady creep, carefully, carefully stepping to avoid loose rocks and find stable footholds. P1180592

It was scary but not as dread-full as I’d imagined it to be. (Hmm… there’s a recurring life lesson here for me.)   But one thing’s for sure, I am no mountain goat!




Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand and marked off the heavens with a span, enclosed the dust of the earth in a measure and weighed the mountains in scales and the hills in a balance? Is.40:12 ESV

Meanwhile, back home in my comfort zone, I sit at the window quietly fashioning little pine needle baskets…

Basket #2 underwayBasket #2Basket #2 with lid

On the go…

I’m posting on the go this week—returning ‘home’ from a trip to celebrate our firstborn’s firstborn’s 6th birthday.

six now6th birthday six


IMG_20150612_203526992_HDR  We’re thankful for safe and scenic travels…



We did a little sight-seeing coming and going, stopping at places we would normally just drive on by, including the site of Canada’s first national park, in Banff–


Thermal hot springs have created exotic algae beds in the stream’s current……



(OK, sorry it looks like sludge here. In real life it’s fascinating to watch as is waves in the current)

And of course the Rocky Mountain backdrop is always spectacular…


We got in some cycling time too, as we’re ramping up for a tandem rally…

The prairies have more hills than meets the eye.  And more wind!


IMG_20150616_164732380 Thirty-five mile an hour gusty cross-winds were a memorable first!


There’s so much sky here… and sunsets and clouds.  What  awesome declarations of God’s glory!

The whole earth is His studio.


P.S. And I need to add these impromptu shots, created by chance with the ladder brought in to do some picture hanging.  And picture-perfect!