How the years fly by! Seems only yesterday we were shepherding teenagers, and welcoming new babies. Libby and I are a year older, and things have been relatively quiet for us. Libby had a scare with a pulmonary embolism that hospitalized her for nearly a week but there was no way it was going to keep her down. She went through endless tests, then was discharged to my tender care with an oxygen generator and a new easy chair. She’s doing well and as feisty as ever—still working hard as Dominion Genealogist for the United Empire Loyalist Association of Canada.
I got over my bout with bladder cancer, thanks to a doctor’s careful care and several hospital examinations. I amuse myself by writing, shopping, cooking for the two of us and working on a new project—a website—which my son Seaghan helped me set up. It’s still in the formative stage, but if any of you care to look you’ll find it at www.georgesplace.ca. I have just a couple of entries in it at the moment, but I will be adding more in the new year, including my Alaska Travel Diary (which was one of the high points of my industrial life), and my poetry “Closer to the Flame”.
I enjoy hearing from all of you, especially on Facebook. I hear regularly from my granddaughters Coral (Casey’s daughter) and Cristiona (Seaghan’s daughter) Another favorite correspondent is Peter Loy-Hancocks, whose foreign adventures and garden ventures I greatly enjoy. He is also a great photographer and has given me some fine shots of the many places he visits. My friend Harold Morrison (we went to school together in Hamilton, Ontario now 80 years ago), has a website called “Harold Says”. Seaghan is helping him, too, and Harold is a faithful Facebook user.
I have two other people I enjoy hearing from, and never thought I would ever make contact with. One is Ila Lawton, who was the daughter of our next-door neighbors in Scarborough. She is now living in Kingston, and active in the theatre, and promoting women’s issues. The second is Gary Freeman (who once dated my daughter) and is now not only a garrulous Facebook user, but a senior executive for Corus Entertainment in Calgary. Our contact began by accident one day when he answered a comment I had made on a Facebook page. And that’s what keeps life so interesting—hearing from people you thought you had lost track of forever.
Sorry to seem to be loading up this not with what might seem like trivia—but the older you get, the more confined your circumstances, the more you appreciate how valuable social media have become. I not only use them to communicate with my friends, but the world at large, and I actively participate in many political causes through them. I think the social media, taking them seriously, are one of the most important aspects of our new democratic society. Used properly they can prevent our politicians from making asses of themselves (and us), and keep us in regular contact, especially in those things that matter most to us.
As for the rest of my family—briefly—Casey is still with Shoppers, as is his wife Kim, and both are doing well. Coral, their daughter, is still helping people plan winter vacations at Ski Canada.
Seaghan’s wife Sandi has survived a very bad year with throat cancer. She went through some very difficult days with chemotherapy and radiation, but thankfully now seems to be on the mend and is back at work, part time. Seaghan is building websites for customers, and is about to be involved in a co-production on the life of Sir John Franklin. I don’t see much of his children Cristiona, Mike, and Stefan, but all are on Facebook and we touch one-another from time to time.
Shannon, Arastou, Roya and Emma have moved from living with Arastou’s uncle, and are now just as stone’s through away from Libby and I—across the golf course that separates our house from the apartment building where they live. Both the girls are now in high school and right into the thick of things. We see them regularly, and both girls are becoming attractive and intelligent young women. No one is ever going to put them down!
And so, dear friends and relatives, another year draws to its close. Let us pray that 2015 will be a year of peace and prosperity, and that the year will see the cessation of hostilities wherever they occur. Libby and I send you our warmest wishes for success in all your ventures.
George and Libby