Hello, family and friends.
We are still enjoying life in our 18th floor apartment in a 25 storey high rise (or in Toronto is that a mid-rise?), from which we can see lots of trees in the East Don valley, the Toronto skyline, CN Tower and the Don Valley Parking Lot.
During the last couple of years the residents of our building have formed a Residents Association, which organises activities where we can participate and meet other residents. We are starting to feel as if we are living among friends, and it is almost like another family.
Of course, it can also mean getting to coordinate some activities. Marg has been leading a book club, and Bill runs the website as well as coordinating exercise classes, using DVD’s as instructors.
This year Marg has been dealing with brain fog issues caused by a dramatic decrease in thyroid medication in October 2017. The decrease was in response to some throat flutter that Marg experienced in early 2017, even though the cardiology tests said all was fine. It was Heather-Anne who suggested hypothyroid brain fog when she visited from England in April. The doctor substituting while our family doctor was on maternity leave agreed and increased her thyroid medication, only to be over-ridden by a thyroid specialist at Sunnybrook who again reduced her medication to almost the same level as that started last October. We recently discovered that Marg has a stock of Synthroid pills from before the pharmacy began putting them in pill organizers, so we have started to augment her dosage and her self-confidence is returning.
Our daughter Heather-Anne has spent the last half of this year on contract to Manulife in Toronto. She lives in a lovely Manulife residence building within walking distance of her office – quite a change from an hour and a half train ride to and from London morning and night.
The TTC also brings her quite conveniently to our apartment, so we get to see her more frequently than we have since she left home in Lachine many years ago.
She headed home for the holidays Decmber 18, then off to Jersey to give courses at a college. John also has frequent business in Jersey so they have rented an apartment for a year as a respite from big city and Brexit headaches.
Heather-Anne’s hubby, John Hubbell, visits from time to time when Heather-Anne is here, and keeps busy promoting wellness for seniors in the UK, Jersey, Canada and wherever he can. Their daughter, Raya, now occupies herself in the UK as a trainer for triathlon and iron-man competitors, when she is not competing herself in far-flung areas like Mexico, South Africa, California, etc. Son Jason has recently been promoted at Manulife in Waterloo, Ontario, and seems happy with his lovely main squeeze, Sarah.
We also get to see son Brian (now divorced from Janet), Bill’s sister Sue and family and Marg’s brother Ron and family much more easily than when we lived 500 km away in Lachine, Quebec.
Brian spends some time on work type stuff and lots more on activities like painting, creating videos, etc. Their son Julian (formerly Miranda) is studying Fine Art at York University. Ben is in the last year of high school and talking about a future in engineering. We see them most often at Hannaford Youth Band concerts, where Ben plays the cornet.
Chris Foot, Sue’s hubby of 51 years, died in October 2018 after a week in hospital following heart failure. His memorial service at Jubilee United Church was a joyous affair with participation by many of his ukulele-playing friends. We do miss his unique thought processes and quirky expressions.
The summer of 2018 felt like a scorcher (or is it just maturity?), so we tended to hide indoors much of the time.
In September we flew to Vancouver for the biennial SPAADS (Sabre Pilots Association of the Air Division Squadrons) reunion, where we had a chance to tell lies among friends from our 1959-63 days on squadron in France.
Following these reunions, which take place every two years in cities across Canada we normally try to plan an excursion in that area. There was a cruise leaving for Hawaii just after the Vancouver reunion, but the volcano and hurricane activities in Hawaii put the kibosh on that idea. Then we thought of a driving trip through the interior of BC, but raging forest fires put that idea to bed.
So we ended up spending three nights on Salt Spring Island, of which we had often heard but had never visited. They had not had rain since June, but we brought it on – saw the sun for a couple of hours on one day.
The island is very wooded, with most houses outside the main town, Ganges, hidden in the woods. We found it not very touristy, although many folks travel there to see the local arts and crafts outlets dotted around the island (most not open after the end of August).
In late September Marg’s former teaching colleagues Dorothy and Dave visited overnight on their way home from Niagara to Montreal. Having spent much of the summer walking 1000 km through Spain, our East Don trail was not much of a challenge, but we certainly enjoyed hearing about their adventures.
We spent Dec 16th and 17th in Niagara Falls for a brief celebration of our 58th wedding anniversary. Awesome lighting on the trees, animals, angels, etc. along the falls parkway.
That’s probably enough about our goings-on for this year, so ‘bye for now.
Marg & Bill Lynn