Christmas Letter 2019
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year
to all our friends and family in 2019
Life has developed into a pleasant routine at Pacific Gardens in Nanaimo. The social glue has been growing in our community with many good
shared meals and fun events for us to get to know each other better. It feels like everyone here is a good fit, we are all working together and friendships are growing. I volunteer at the shelter once a week and do lots of cooking with the many pot lucks both here and at the Unitarian Fellowship and the extra community meals. Ron is proud of the compost system he has worked on for a year that has delivered so far a yard and a half of PG Premium soil and another couple of yards of medium grade soil. He’s also to be found everywhere in the community doing odd jobs for many residents and for the community as a whole. Finally, he has the workshop somewhat organized and cleaned up.
He also serves on the Board of the Fellowship, the Board of the Shelter, and the fundraising team at the church, and as co-chair of our Building and Maintenance Committee at PG. Of course, there are too many committee meetings, but that is the price of living in community.
In the spring I preached at the Kamloops fellowship and had a great visit with Basil and his family and Sage and Linda. We visited Sage’s dirt bike track and had a delightful connect. Recently he sent me videos of his own return to dirt biking. He was firmly held in a cage tied on to the bike. (Sage lost the use of his legs and lower body after a dirt bike accident.)
I really enjoyed spending time with my brother Pete as well. (Ron and Brother Pete)
It was lovely to go on a cruise from Port Alberta up the sound to Bamfield with our friends Bruce Hyer and Margaret Wanlin from Thunder Bay.
We missed having visits with our friends across the country this year because we decided to fly to Ontario to go to the cottage and rented a used car from Practicar. The costs were about the same in the end, but we did end up with more time at the cottage. Ron has been investing in improving the cottage for several years and this was the year we tried to put on new siding. I think our
construction trades people are
(Ron, John and Kim Wilson)
working flat out across the country. It was a real struggle to get anyone to do it and now we are hopeful it will be someone’s first project this spring. We did have good visits though with our Buffalo Wilson family (John & Kim and Ron at the annual picnic) and with John and Barb, and friends in Toronto and Ottawa. It was great to stay with Margaret Linton and David Hudson and also to visit in Vancouver.
We never lose our concern for the ways of the world. I have closely followed the issues relating to climate change and the fight to get those issue to be taken seriously by our politicians and our media. This year my
Council of Canadians group featured Greta Thunberg on Earth Day and developed a petition to the Nanaimo council to declare a climate emergency. (And they did!). I am also very concerned about the large number of homeless in Nanaimo. Our society seems to have no answer as to how to support people with addictions and mental illness. Yet this year has more hope than ever. Issues of climate change and inequality have registered for the first time in an election. I worked for, voted for, and elected a Green MP. I am supporting the Green New Deal Movement which wants to address the transition to a low carbon world without leaving anybody behind. We really need a mobilization towards this transition similar to the mobilization that took place for World War II. All our effort focused to achieve a new energy infrastructure that is less damaging to our environment. The time is now to face issues of mass extinction, ecosystem collapse, and the consequences of 3-4 degrees of warming.
Judith Dale, Jennifer Love, and Frances shown with their work behind.
I have shown a few pictures in different shows and in the Art Walk again this year with a Pacific Gardens Group. It’s always fun to see what everyone else is doing and get some feedback on people’s reactions to your work.
This fall I was very happy to make a connection with my daughter Karen. She is facing a turning point in her life and wanted someone to walk with. It will be interesting to see what direction she goes.
A merry Christmas to you all. Please stay in touch. We love all our family and friends. All our best to you for 2020.