Thursday, April 07, 2016

Counting my lucky stars

I still have to pinch myself.

Like on mornings when I have an early morning walk on the beach and hear the gentle splash of inquisitive seals as they poke their heads out of the water to see what's up....or when I see soaring eagles against the blue sky and snow topped mountains of the mainland... or when I walk under the canopy of towering old growth trees and smell the freshness that belies their age...well, it all makes me so very happy; especially when all these things are close to our home.

One of the best things about living on Vancouver Island is that we're just 250 kms from Brad, Anette, and Magnus (plus a 2 hour ferry ride).  In March, we drove down to attend a fundraising event for Magnus' preschool and had a great time.

Brad continues to work at Valve, and the latest project he's been involved in is a virtual reality system.  He had a prototype at home and let us try it out.  We tooks turns being transported to Everest and while it is hard to explain, I had to keep convincing myself I was in their living room, because I felt like I was walking on a precarious ledge as snow and rocks fell as I took each tentative step.  The views were stunning and I could even hear the deep breathing of another mountaineer.  I looked up, and there he was and I could literally reach out and touch him.  Another scene put me on Mars with footage taken by NASA.  I then played archery, and a few other games - all the while being amazed at the career path Brad has taken and being so happy that he is doing what he loves.

I've never understood what hard core gamers see in video games, but this is definitely something I could get hooked on.
Roger with the virtual reality headset 
Good friends of ours, Dwayne and Annette Majcher recently purchased a condo in Victoria so we drove down to check it out and have lunch with them.  Right now the condo is being used as an income property, but we're hoping that down the road it will be a place to spend more time in.

Dwayne is always exploring, and he wanted to take us to a Chinese cemetery, that is a National Historic Site, at Oak Bay.  It was a beautiful day on Easter weekend and the cemetery, which was established in 1903, was a tranquil place to walk around.  A sign told the history of how Chinese pioneers were buried here temporairly before being shipped back to China - a practice that was halted in 1937.

An alter, flanked by two stacks used to burn incense.
Gifts at the altar ranging from an orange, to flowers, to shells and coins.
Annette - enjoying the ocean view
As we walked back to our car, I chatted with an elderly Chinese man who said he had been coming to the cemetery for 70 years and has 7 family members buried there. He spoke of how the Chinese immigrants were looked down upon and I couldn't help but think that history is repeating itself. Speaking to him made the cemetery seem so much more personal, and the gravestones not just etched with Chinese characters - but of stories.

The next weekend Anette and Magnus drove to Parksville and brought Obi for her annual holiday with us as they headed off for the annual Valve family holiday to Maui.
Magnus' tent in the loft gave him his own "room".

After a big Easter dinner, we walked around our resort and Magnus picked a daffodil.

As if right on cue, we came across the "Easter bunny".  Magnus thanked him for his presents.
 We took Magnus to the miniature golf course next door and had a ball.

Another Tiger Woods?  Or maybe a golfer with a few less issues?

The day after Anette and Magnus headed back to Washington, Kathy and Randy Cardon came for another visit and spent a few days enjoying the island.  Roger was away on a business trip but fortunately he got back in time to spend a couple of days with them.

Barb and Rob Perry came over for dinner and a visit with Kathy and Randy
Obi enjoying an early morning walk to the beach

Hanging out on the MacPhail's boat, "Skip to my Lu".  Great way to spend my birthday!
We jokingly refer to friends who have purchased boats after spending time on ours as having "drunk the kool aid".  John and Laurel MacPhail came to Idaho a couple of years ago, and got hooked - and we are so glad they did.  Shortly after visiting us, they bought a beautiful Sea Ray and have now found it a home at the Van Isle Marina in Sidney where we keep our boat.  Better yet, we are planning on boating the San Juan and Gulf Islands, Desolation Sound and the Broughtons for a few weeks in late May and June.  We're excited that the Majchers will be joining us for the San Juan segment, and Heather and Don Moe will be on their sailboat during the Canadian portion.  Boating...friends...and breathtaking scenery.  Can't wait.

Life is good.  I'm in the final year of my 50's -- the best, most adventurous, scary and wonderous decade of my life.

"In the Book of Life, the answers aren't in the back."

                                                                Charles Schultz

1 comment:

Linda said...

Beautiful photos.