We left Calgary for the sunny Caribbean back in the summer of 2002, so our last “White Christmas” was 19 years ago 😲 This year, courtesy of the COVID pandemic, we are back “home” for the winter. Being stuck here during the Canadian winter is offset by an amazing summer in Calgary and being close to family and friends. As all nomads know, it can sometimes get pretty lonely on the road when you only have each other to talk to.
Moving to a new place in early November, we have enjoyed the past couple of months in this very comfortable home. The homeowner, and new friend, was temporarily relocated to Vancouver so this is not your typical rental. The kitchen is fully kitted with all the gadgets and equipment one needs to cook up a storm…and cook up a storm we did!! Cookies, pumpkin loaves, focaccia bread, French shortbread, scones, big batch lasagna, stews and casseroles galore, the list goes on 😊
We also have a large dining room table with seating for 8 which inspired us to host a family Christmas dinner. Blair’s immediate family amounts to just 7 of us, fitting within the limits for social gatherings…when we made these plans. Fast forward to late November and Calgary was under another partial lockdown, one restriction being no persons were allowed in your house who do not live there 😥 Then on December 8 the lockdowns were increased which in effect shut down all social interaction. No indoor or outdoor gatherings, no indoor exercise meaning our gym was now closed, all bars and restaurants closed for indoor service and the list goes on. This lockdown is in place until January 12 and wiped out any plans we had to see family or friends over the holidays.
Interestingly one event we were able to attend with a group of friends was Zoolights. Two million twinkling lights including over 200 light figurines were set up throughout the grounds of the zoo. Timed entry, mask-wearing and additional COVID rules were in place making it a safe event to attend and find some of that Christmas spirit that we have been lacking so far.
Despite the lockdown, we are allowed to have a small Christmas dinner with just Blair’s Mom. At 90 years old, and the fact we have been gone for 19 years, it’s important to her to have a Christmas dinner with us. She lives alone in her own home so our priority is that she not be isolated during the holidays. Gathering the family together was no longer an option so each of the sons will spend a low-key and socially distant meal with Mom. I think she is making out the best with 3 Christmas dinners!! Many of us have the luxury of saying “well, there is always next year” but at 90 years old there is no guarantee so hence the decision to make sure Mom is safely looked after during the holidays 😊
During the partial lockdown in late November, we got busy researching where we could go, yet remain in Canada. We want to escape the very cold weather we know will be coming to Calgary in the New Year. Earlier we rented a house for January and February, close to my sister, in the town of Qualicum Beach on Vancouver Island. Now we have finalized our plans regarding where to go from there. After Qualicum, we will move south down the island to Victoria for the month of March…Butchart Gardens here we come! The spring flowers should be blooming by then 🌷🌼 After Victoria, we’ll travel to mainland BC where we’ve rented a condo overlooking the lake in Osoyoos for the month of April. Osoyoos is located close to the USA border in Canada’s only desert climate and surrounded by vineyards. I see a lot of wine tastings in our future 🍷🍷 Fingers crossed these four months will find us reasonably warm and without snow!!
So, after 7 months in Calgary, we will soon be hittin the road!! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all. Wishing with all my ❤ that 2021 is a better year for all of us…