A little over 3/5’s of our time in Penticton, BC has passed and this blog has been quiet during most of our stay so far. Now breaking the silence, it’s time for an update from Canada.
Life here has become quite routine since arriving in early November and finishing our mandatory 14-day quarantine. The good news is that we have been blessed with good health, and the area has not had any major Covid outbreaks. There are restrictions in place that definitely stifle socializing but we are enjoying the “Covid bubble” of Karen’s dad Lorin, and her brother and sister-in-law, David and Karen. During the four months we have been here, we have only seen one other car with a non-Canadian license plate. Folks we meet in passing have been welcoming and gracious.
A typical day is composed of Karen visiting and assisting her Dad for a few hours and Jeff working from his lakeview home office. Karen also spends time three mornings a week doing English tutoring/mentoring via Zoom with a couple women who have immigrated from Syria and Thailand. Almost every Sunday we have been able to share a good meal with the family and have enjoyed hearing stories of the Godfrey growing up years.
Karen is editing a 15-part video interview series of Dad and his life memories, as well as compiling his journals. Lorin and Ann Godfrey’s posterity will be blessed to see, hear and read about his life.
The local ski resort, Apex Mountain, has seen some Hamilton tracks, more so from Karen as she enjoys “Womens Day” on Wednesdays with her sister-in-law Karen. She has also enjoyed some cross country skiing and snowshoeing.
We have found “quiet” ways to serve such as baked goodies to church members in the area, community “secret Santa” opportunities and helping with some moving projects (a single mom, and a store going out of business).
The winter here is humidly chilly, often overcast and windy. Each day we see two neighborhood bald eagles fly up from the lake into the hills behind our place. In the evening, two owls fly down into the tall pine trees in front of our living room window, calling “Who, Who” as if they don’t know anybody’s name. We are gaining skills in the farmhouse mouse hunt with the tally up to 7 as of this morning, our most recent revenge for the freshly baked chocolate chip cookies it gorged on the other night! A nearby pack of coyotes yelps to mark the passing of each day and night. Deer and a herd of elk frequent the property.
We are observing some of the different Canadian ways of doing things: ketchup-flavored potato chips (and other yummy flavors), Cheez Whiz in industrial sized containers, language differences that are both entertaining and educational, and kilometers per hour vs miles per hour (a bit of an issue for metric-challenged Jeff). Thankfully we have not yet experienced a friendly traffic stop by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
YOU KNOW YOU’RE IN CANADA WHEN . . .
Political differences aren’t so different here – groups with opposite views and objectives operating under the British Commonwealth umbrella. But the exercise of politics seems more respectful and dignified than what we’ve seen happening in the States.
We recently sold our temporary landing pad (condo) in Sundance, Utah and now will use our meanderings to (as well as seek out service opportunities) find a place to eventually settle. This nomadic lifestyle has its pros and its cons, its flexibilities and uncertainties.
Above all, we are learning new things every day as we look for ways to help others, have some fun and pursue purposeful living. With two months to go before our sojourn south again, we continue to look forward, while enjoying and trying to make the most of each moment.