Just a thought... Today is the oldest you have been and the youngest you will ever be. Make the most of it. [Nicky Gumbel]
Hello from gorgeous Kelowna, BC, where Rob and I will stay another night before heading back to our island home. You know, it's funny, just from conversations I had last week, how many people think that Vancouver and Vancouver Island are one and the same; Vancouver being that giant city on the mainland, while Vancouver Island is...well, you know, an island. And that's the place we call home in the city of North Saanich (like sandwich without the D and W). But enough about home - let's be here now!
Yesterday morning, Rob left the guest suite here at "Socks 'n' Sandals-wood" (what we call Dad's residence, Sandalwood, in honour of his favourite foot attire) to hit up the beverage bar. There, Rob encountered Dad, who I suspect was lying in wait for us to rouse, and who had already been given a balloon and had had sung to him a lively rendition of "Happy Birthday."
Usually it's Dad and the choir here who do the singing on people's birthdays, but this time it was the activities director who sang to him, and he was suitably thrilled. Balloon (and coffees) in hand, he and Rob came back to the suite and we sat and visited for well over an hour, a lively and laugh-filled talk interrupted only by phone calls from well-wishing family members. We took Dad and his lady friend Dawna out for lunch and then dropped them off for some quiet time.
Dad's big day part two saw a gathering with two of my three sisters (the third being out of the country) and their partners. We had a dinner together, cake, and then took in one of Dad's granddaughters' school concerts. He couldn't have been happier had it been Ben Heppner or a Glenn Miller tribute band!
A very special gift for Dad on his 86th was a bottle of unique scotch. Dad doesn't drink much at all, but in this case, he might have a sip or two every now and then in honour of his roots. Dad was born in a tiny oil town called Turner Valley, Alberta. On a recent trip there with the Kenny Rogers tribute band with which she plays, my sister Heather picked up a bottle of Eau Claire Distillery single malt whisky (scotch) that is the province's first hand-crafted single malt and - like Dad - is made entirely of Alberta ingredients.
He had a sip last night and declared it "perfect": better than any he'd had from the peaty bogs of Scotland. I'm suspecting that its roots, and his, had a lot to do with the declaration. I'm not a scotch drinker, so I can't tell you for sure. But Dad loved it - and the thought behind it - and that's the important thing.
Lots more family things planned today for us...you have a lovely Wednesday and I'll be back with you here tomorrow when we'll be, as the song goes, on the road again.
(@erindavis on Twitter)