Year in review

This time last year we had no idea how it would unfold. We like you were hoping that the pandemic would come to a close and we could be rid of all this, isolation, masking, illness, and fear. But of course, that is not what has happened. Even as I’m writing word has been coming of plans made for 2022 that will need to be changed.

Let’s start in January… it was this month that I made the proposal that we be allowed to move to Edmonton and buy our first (and last) home. I think I was as surprised as anyone we came to an agreement and we began our house hunting. We looked at many…some good, some not so good, and of course, Philip was great in helping us determine what made sense to consider. The pandemic didn’t allow us the pleasure of coming to Edmonton to see for ourselves so he became our eyes. After 2 attempts we were successful in buying the third and it has proved to be a perfect choice.

buying furniture!

We took possession on the 15th of April though we continued to live in Toronto and Philip was hard at work to prepare the house to be our home. We owe much to he and Amanda who were just absolutely amazing to us – they did so many things, too many to list here and they probably wouldn’t want us to, but without them, we would be in a very different place today.

We learned quickly about mortgage, interest rates, lawyers, insurance, condo corporations (fortunately on this one I deal with GCC so I had been dealing with these kinds of matters for 4 years) and of course property taxes, appliance, and furniture purchasing… the list isn’t short. But we found our way through it and with eyes glazed over congratulated ourselves as “homeowners”. Our first and last home…we say.

There was little travel in 2021 as the pandemic kept us close to home, but of course, we were packing up the Scarborough house and getting ready to move at the end of June.

bed in a box

We wanted to make sure that we had time with Jason and his kids prior to our trek west, and so we did drive up to Ottawa. Rachel, Ted, and Beth are always a great deal of fun to be with and they love playing games, curling up on the couch, and heading to the park!

even in the rain we had fun

May always bring a visit to the Mount Pleasant Cemetery where Dad’s grave is. It was great to meet Mom and Cath there and have a bit of time to reflect on many good days that are part of our heritage.

A visit with Dad

Finally, the day of moving arrived and the great adventure began. It’s a four day drive if you take it easy. The trucks came – they split our load – and suddenly our things were on the way with us to follow shortly. The weather was good for the drive and off we went, of course using a Canadian route.

the last of our load

We hit the trail….

stopping Saskatchewan
And welcome to your new home

Arriving in Edmonton was surreal as we realized that for the first time in a long time we were determining where we would live and here we were – at the beginning of the next chapter. I’m not sure I can really explain what this is like after almost 40 years of going where we were asked and living in a provided house. It was exciting!

We had the thrill of having all the children here with Jason, Philip, and Amanda in August. It was just wonderful and we were able to celebrate Rachel’s birthday with all her cousins.

and then they had to drive home…

At the same time we continued to work on the house…and of course Philip’s talents and abilities are a gift to us and to our future.

I can at least paint
and a garden

We were fortunate in September to be able to get back to Toronto and Ottawa. And again to visit with Jason and kids knowing that we wouldn’t be back at Christmas.

We had a great autumn in Edmonton – stayed mild and without snow until late in the year. Being close to the Western Waters as we’ve called them, has given us lots of chance to be together for play, meals, gardening, outings and sharing life.

Home sweet home

I had the chance of being with my Barnabas Brothers in November and I’ve written about that before. They are an amazing group, and I value their friendship. We have promised to pray for each other and our families.

Crossing to Keats Island

To our surprise we were called to some meetings in Toronto in late November giving us another chance to see Mom and get up to Ottawa. What a delight that was!

December was about Christmas prep, giving time to family and working on the house. It was interesting as we tried to think about not only this year but all the Christmases to come. It is clear that we’re comfortable in the house and happy to make this our home.

God has blessed us beyond measure and we are forever grateful for this provision. While 2021 has had its challenges there have been many occasions where joy has ruled the day and we have delighted in these things.

I don’t know what 2022 will bring and there are decisions about our future to be made – will we retire or go on another year? What has the Lord for us? He knows, we trust.

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