Recently, we read that our altered sense of time and inability to recall when events occurred during the past 2 years may be because there are few milestones or unusual events to mark the passage of time. While we certainly have experienced a sense of déjà vu, ennui, and gelangweilt during 2021, we were able to pin down a few things that happened over the past year.
Jeryn and Ted had high hopes of having an extended-family-and-friends wedding late 2021 but as the time drew nearer and it didn’t appear likely that dancing would be permitted indoors by their selected date, they opted to cancel. It was disappointing on so many levels. However, they did buy a house in October and that has been a great project. Jeryn is now just one exam away from being a fully accredited Landscape Architect. Ted was awarded the People’s Choice middle school teacher award in Fort St John, although he says there are several students who would disagree with that designation.
Liam spent time as a support worker for Thompson Community Services, first in Kamloops and then Victoria. He is now studying social work at U of Ottawa, in French for extra challenge and happy to be living in the same city as Rachel again. His guitar was more reluctant than he was to move to Ottawa and only arrived about 2 months after Liam, despite being booked as cargo on the same two flights. Liam was offered a discount code for a future flight — no strings attached.
Rachelle had several transitions during 2021, selling her guinea pigs and her car and moving first to Kamloops and then Vancouver. She worked at three different Canucks Autism day camps in Kamloops. She also helped the contractor rebuild our back deck. On the basis of that experience, she moved to Vancouver to work in construction, learning a variety of skills, and living with first Camara and Otto and then Michele. She is enrolled at Douglas College in Vancouver for January.
Once again, there were no school sports for Thea and although the city soccer league did start up again, the season was limited by poor air-quality conditions because of the forest fires, and she only played one game. She did compensate by skiing at Sun Peaks at least once every weekend it was open from late November to late March. She worked many hours at a newly opened Freshii in Kamloops. Her high school graduation was lovely even if unconventional: parents watched the ceremony on Zoom and then gathered at Riverside Park for photos. The principal and vice-principal visited each graduate’s house to present diplomas and many teachers participated in a congratulatory parade. Thea moved to Edmonton in September to attend U of Alberta, following in her Grandmother’s, Mom’s, Aunts’, and cousin’s footsteps.
Paul continues to do locums near and far, including Williams Lake and Squamish, and several trips to Inuvik. During his recent stint in December, he was able to witness the final sunset of the year having seen the first sun rise of the year when he was there in January. Lori continues to fill in for colleagues, more often at Andreen’s in West Kelowna than Similkameen Pharmacy in Keremeos, and in Fort St John when possible. She became much more comfortable administering vaccines after working for the month of June at one of the community COVID-19 vaccine clinics in Kamloops. She and Paul overlapped there on a couple of days, which is the first time they have worked at the same site. In the autumn, Lori also administered third doses of COVID-19 vaccine in long-term care homes with her classmate and long-time friend, Karen. There were some challenges, but it was a privilege to witness the hard work and compassion of the many healthcare professionals in those settings and to interact with the elderly, including several who were over 100 years old. (one 104-year-old woman still plays the piano!)
In July, we were able to bury Lori’s Dad’s ashes in a ceremony in Pincher Creek and it was good to be able to mark that event with family and friends.
The forest fires in BC this season were devastating for many. We were fortunate to only be on evacuation alert one evening, but dense smoke clouded the city for most of August. Then flooding and mud slides in November affected multiple communities south of Kamloops, again devastating for the residents.
Paul and Lori were grateful to be able to travel in Canada a bit this fall, with short trips to Victoria and Calgary. We hope that 2022 will allow reconnections with more family and friends both near and far.