Just a thought… Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards. [Soren Kierkegaard]
And it’s good-bye today to Kelowna, this city of 132,000 in the BC interior that counts among that number, two of my siblings and my dad. While the city itself is about 50% larger than Victoria, the Kelowna metropolitan area claims a population of around 200,000, making it the third-largest metro area in BC behind Vancouver and Victoria.
How lucky we were not to have the skies smudged with the smoke of forest fires! But it’s not summer yet. Those fires will happen – as they do every year, to our great sadness.
There was no sadness to be found over the last few days in our little family circle. During this celebratory visit we ate too much and laughed a lot; I was reminded of the rugged beauty (and, yes, traffic congestion) that this area holds.
Yesterday, before we started to pack up again for today’s journey, I was treated to more family time with my mom’s older sister. At 89, Auntie Panty (as I’ve teasingly called her for decades) is the last real link I have to my late mom, so I treasure my time with Arleen.
We chose a restaurant down in the Mission area of Kelowna, on the shores of Okanagan Lake. This place, the Manteo Resort, was the site of the worst public speaking nightmares I ever endured just one year ago. If you’d like to read about it again, here are links to parts one and two of the journal I wrote last May.
Our lunch yesterday under umbrellas, a cloud-softened sky and amidst warm temperatures, was simply perfect. Bad memories have been relegated to that part of the brain that departs in waking life and wakes you up in a sweat in the middle of the night! But at least they have a nice backdrop in this case.
After the older folks had left to head back to their respective homes, Rob grabbed the shot above that you see: me in a frame that the Manteo Resort mounted out on the deck.
And so, off we go. I love the Okanagan, but for Rob and me, it just has too much winter (snow) and too much summer (heat). We’re happy where we are on our island paradise, and that’s where we’re heading today.
I promise some dramatic pictures as we make our way through the Coquihalla and onto the afternoon ferry across to Sidney, BC. On the way over on Monday, Rob saw a whale show its tail twice. We can only hope to be treated to such a sight today. Fingers crossed and eyes peeled!
I want to thank you for sharing these travels with me. From the gently frenetic pace of book signings and speaking events in Ontario last week, to this week’s feting my dad on his 86th, it’s been a busy few weeks and I’m ready to wake up in my own bed, Molly by my side, tomorrow morning. But we’ll have a Friday journal for you and I hope you’ll join me then.
In the meantime, here’s a piece that I’ve written this week for Walmart with some great grilling ideas (that is, buying ’em, not using ’em) and accessory suggestions that you may find handy. Have a great day.