Monday, April 29, 2019



" God's love did not begin at Calvary.
Before the morning stars sang together,
Before the world was baptized with the first light,
Before the first blades of tender grass peeped out
God was love."

Billy Graham

What a joy and privilege to celebrate Easter together with our church families and with our biological family.  A weekend full of joy.

Paska is one of the traditions that I like to share with my family. I enlisted Miss A to help with icing the dozens of buns and do a taste test before taking them to the family potluck lunch. 
She approved!

Our family of 20 is difficult to capture on a photo but I seized this quiet moment where Lisa led us in a wonderful prayer of thanksgiving.

The food was plentiful and delicious.

Our oldest grandson needed all this food and more as he had just competed a half marathon run, proving he was ready for the May 5th BMO run in Vancouver. Together with his parents who are part of team CHILD of MINE they are running to raise funds to complete a boys dormitory in northern India. Our family is cheering them on.

A wonderful day of family togetherness and expressions of love for God and one another.

Sunday, April 21, 2019


Just 48 years ago we went on a road trip to California and have been on many more since then.
To celebrate on April 10th 2019 we went on another road trip north along Okanagan Lake to Fintry and then south to Summerland.
It was a cool rainy day in Vancouver 48 years ago on our wedding day and we were not surprised by the same this year although we had hoped for sunshine.

We packed a picnic lunch and coffee to warm us up as we enjoyed the view of Okanagan Lake from a campsite in the Provincial park.  The narrow road snaked alongside the lake for an hour till it met up with Hwy 97. We chatted about our first road trip and about plans to celebrate our 50th in 2 years. 

Summerland Sweets and Sleeping Giant winery was our next stop where we did a tasting tour and came away with some Strawberry Rhubarb wine. CHEERS to us.

Time for an afternoon nap, reading and a scrabble game at Soorimpt Provincial Picnic site.

Looking back at Giants Head mountain.

Then the rain came and foiled our plans for a walk.

Dinner at Zias Stone House restaurant, in a little nook of the 103 year old house. 

We arrived home 11 hours later in the dark and declared it a great date.

Until the next day!
We discovered that we had a stow-away hitch-hiker who created havoc in our garage, knocking down things from shelves, denting and scratching the car, tearing away insulation around the window and leaving a stinky mess. NOT NICE to find a marmot hiding under the hood. how the marmot was extricated is another story.

Friday, March 1, 2019


A full day away from our resort on an excursion into the Sierra Madre Mountains to the ancient town of San Sebastian. Our guide stopped at a roadside vendor to buy some fruit for the 12 of us to nibble on as she gave us a wealth of history and culture along the way. Along the way we stopped at a Mexican cemetery with decorated houses for the dead, passed pasture with Brahman cows, fields of corn, agava and coffee plants. 

San Sebastian de Oesta was colonized as a mining town in 1605 by the Spaniards who made it prosperous with it's riches of silver and gold in the surrounding mountains. Once a town of about 20 000  it now is home for about 600 people who maintain it for tourism.

Mid morning we stopped for tacos and beverages at an authentic roadside cafe.

Resting outside the cafe before our walk across the El Progresso Bridge
which spans the 400 foot deep San Sebastian river gorge

Across the bridge was a brand new Tequila Distillery and tasting room. 

Mexicans are famous for their Tequila and we were offered a variety of flavours,
some of which were quite tasty and others worse than "Buckleys" !!

Back on the road with the lingering spirits on our lips we soon were on very rough cobblestones which meant we were entering the town of San Sebastian de Oesta

An orange tree in front of our first view of the ancient cathedral

The round building was the bank with spaces in the walls for protection with gunfire 

Original buildings are deteriorating over the centuries and so the 
adobe bricks are plastered and painted
 white with red trim, the official colour of this town.

Stepping ever so carefully over the cobble stones, and there was a heart rock.
An old Hotel has these keys ready for a room for the night and an escape alarm!!

The town square with a band shell  and courtyard for festivals and parties

The Cathedral stands tall and strong, an open door inviting all inside.
It was heavily decorated with fresh flowers that filled the space with a strong aroma.

Saint Sebastian is known in the Catholic church as the patron saint of archers, athletes and soldiers.
He served the Roman army in the first century and under the rule of Emperor Diocletian was involved in the persecution of Christians. He himself was a secret believer and when found out was tied to a tree and shot with arrows which did not prove mortal. He was cared for by a widow and later denounced the Emperor for his cruelty to Christians. As a result he was beaten to death in 288 AD and in time was sainted as a martyr.

In the late afternoon we rested and shared stories with fellow travellers over a delicious Mexican lunch in a family owned restaurant. A little time for shopping, and then the trip back to the seacoast for more wonderful days at the Grand Palladium resort.

A serene scene after a very full day immersed in ancient history.