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Moraine Lake, near Lake Louise in Banff National Park, AB

Sunday, 29 May 2016

Betty's Celebration of Life

Friday Betty's family held her Celebration of Life at Beecher Place right on Crescent Beach. What a beautiful venue right on the water. Unfortunately it rained the whole time we were there so everyone was not able to access the beautiful deck. Steve, Kerri's husband had put together a beautiful slideshow with music for everyone to enjoy. Ray managed to snap a couple of pictures with his phone of our family table.

Dad and my cousin Gord

My Aunt Norma and Uncle Ken with Kendra and Pam beside them

On the left, Larny, Dad's caregiver, Deb, Ray's mom Irene, my son Garrett and his girlfriend Kat.

Kristi catching up with cousin Gord.

My cousin Pam with daughter Kendra.

We had all of the family back to Dad's for the afternoon and everyone cleared out at 5:30. It sure was a long day for Dad and myself. I was in bed at 8pm.

Saturday it poured all day so I got caught up on all my laundry, did last minute grocery shopping for myself and Dad. We stopped by Dad's for a short visit in preparation for our departure on Sunday morning. Looking forward to getting on the road again after 2 months in one spot.

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Last days at Peace Arch RV Park

We are coming to the end of our stay at the Peace Arch RV Park in South Surrey. The past 2 weeks have been quieter with most of the stuff I needed to get in place for my Dad sorted out so we have been able to just visit Dad instead of me running here and there. Betty's Celebration of Life will be on Friday, where we will get to see all of her family and mine for several hours. It is sad that you see more of your family and friends at weddings or funerals and not the rest of the year but I am looking forward to seeing everyone.

Last Wednesday we went to the island bright and early, the 5:15 ferry, for the day so Ray could see his doctor regarding pain medication.  We also stopped at our storage locker in Parksville to get out our First Up Tent and return some other things not needed anymore. Then it was off to Ryan and Paul's to pick up the mail and a fire poker.  What a treat when we got there, as coffee and fresh baked cookies were waiting for us!  Thanks guys!  Freya spent the day at Dad's with Larny, Dad's caregiver, who loves her and is always asking to take care of her. I think we will have to check the motorhome when we leave to make sure that Freya is with us!



We managed to get out last Sunday with our good friends Steve and Dianne Colibaba and introduced them to Dim Sum at the Empire Garden Restaurant in Walnut Grove. What a great meal ... we were all stuffed for the day. It turned out to be their anniversary which made it even better!



Fortunately Ray was able to eat as he had been feeling pretty tough the past 3 days due to trying some new pain medication.  He decided he had to stop these and go back to what he had been previously taking.

Sunday we start our summer trip to the Kootenays. Yeah! 3 more sleeps.

Sunday, 15 May 2016

White Rock Beautiful Sunny Days

Over the past 6 weeks we did manage to do a few things while enjoying the beautiful weather. Ray managed to drag out his camera for a few great shots. Garrett and his girlfriend Kat, spent a weekend with us and washed the coach which was greatly appreciated. Ray took them and the dogs down to White Rock Beach while I slaved over the stove. :)

White Rock Beach (the dog part)
Ray and I took Ray's mom for a drive to Burnaby Lake. We have all driven by this lake for years but never stopped. Unfortunately Freya was not allowed to come near the water because of the birds but you could have walked around the lake trail with her. Special moments. Mom will be 92 on the 18 of June.

Burnaby Lake

The geese were quite insistent that you feed them and where snapping at some of the people.
Burnaby Lake

Another lovely day we took Dad out for fish and chips on the beach at White Rock. Even managed to get a parking spot right in front of the little restaurant. More special moments. Dad will be 87 in October.
Dad and I on the beach.
Some other world travellers managed to meet up with us from their busy schedule. We have not seen Derek and Laurel for several years and it was sure nice to catch up at Original Joe's here in South Surrey. Of course another warm sunny day.

Derek and Laurel

One of the areas that we walk the dog is Elgin Park in Crescent Beach. A beautiful park a short drive close by to our RV Park.

Elgin Park
Fields of wild lupines.

Serpentine Fen another area Ray and I walk Freya a short drive from the RV Park

Serpentine Fen
Serpentine Fen

The gardens at Peace Arch RV Park are stunning at this time of the year. The fragrance from the Wisteria is beautiful.

Peace Arch RV Park

Saturday, 14 May 2016

We are back!!!!

After much thought we decided to share our life in a more open profile again. Ray's always concerned being on disability that we were just giving "them" all the details of our life in a blog, thus saving "them" investigation fees as we were doing it for them. He was absolutely doing nothing wrong but "they" can arbitrarily stop the disability and then reinstate it just before going to court.  He's concerned that my writing about the things we see and have done could be taken out of context without me commenting all the time about how bad Ray's pain was.  Blog readers don't want to read about how many hours he just laid on the bed or taken a strong pain killer, because he couldn't do anything after we had an unexpectedly longer drive, or went for a longer walk to see the scenery. We even switched the primary driver on the car insurance as Ray gets too sore driving in heavy traffic. We knew his back (degenerative disc disease with 3 spinal fusions) is getting worse as both of his legs now give out at times, requiring a cane when it happens.  He's been putting off getting a handicapped decal for the car, the pain level now indicated it is time. His neurologist always told him that walking is his best exercise and to do as much as he can for as long as he can as the eventuality was probably a wheelchair. Ray's nerve test with the specialist when we got back from the states, pretty much confirmed everything we knew. In two years, Ray lost 50% nerve function in his right leg and 30% in his left leg at the ripe age of 59.

With all of this in mind we decided to blog again as "they" can hardly question his lack of ability to return to any kind of work as his condition continues to deteriorate after only 5 years since his first spinal surgery. So with all of that said .... here we go.

Ray and I arrived back in Canada on Sunday, March 27th with little fanfare at the Aldergrove Border Crossing. We were pretty tired so did not plan to stop in and see my Dad until the next day. I decided that we would stop and see him early, before starting our day with setting up our campsite for the next month. When we arrived at 9:30 he was sitting there waiting for us ... Betty had been taken by ambulance to the hospital at 7am that morning having trouble breathing. He was also waiting for his breakfast to be cooked! Welcome back home. Needless to say most of the day was spent figuring out what was going on. For the whole month of March, Betty was only out of the hospital for 4 days and each time was weaker than the last. It turned out she had congestive heart failure. Anyways, most of my time was setting up full-time live-in home care for them as well as getting the household expenses being paid automatically etc. including a payroll company. Up until the end of April Betty was expected to come home. Unfortunately, she took a turn for the worst and with her daughter and son by her side, she passed away on May 7th. We are all still reeling from this outcome as it was so unexpected. Fortunately we were able to stay another month at the Peace Arch RV Park to help settle everything.

The up side is the girl I hired for Dad, her name is Larny, is like family and awesome with him so I will not worry that he is not being taken care of when we travel. The house is clean and he is dressed in clean clothes and is able to have a shower more frequently. We did not realize that Betty had been feeling ill for months as she did not share this so we could have had help in earlier for them.

Weather here in White Rock for the most part has been sunny and warm. Freya enjoyed going back to Serpentine Fen for walks as well as new to us Elgin Park in the Crescent Beach area. Peace Arch RV Park has beautiful gardens and large campsites so we are quite happy here and will return September 1st for the month before heading to the US for the winter. At present we are planning to leave on May 29th and start our journey into the Kootenays for the summer. Fingers crossed!