By Ruth Altendorf
Except for brief periods it is still too cool to be outside for a long time, especially for Ruthy and I, considering our “biblical” age.
Instead, we decided the other day to sit down, review and reminisce the year that was, before letting it go.
To do this has become a habit. Last year at this time I remember us sitting here, too, anticipating summer and fun.
It did not turn out exactly like this, as we all know.
In June, when my daughter Julia came for a visit, it was already too warm for us to do anything more strenuous than sitting on the balcony, letting the world go by.
And so, for a few precious days we, Julia, Ruthy and I, went through our lives together via photo albums. It was great fun—the things we did!
Then, unfortunately, temperatures went higher than it was to everybody’s liking.
Scary wildfires were reported from all over Canada and when we could smell smoke here in Harrison Hot Springs, we knew the situation had become quite dangerous, enough to remember the days when we volunteered for the Harrison Hot Springs Emergency Commission.
Smoke, as all know, does not give us much time to flee to safer fields and so Ruthy and I decided to check-out our emergency bag, just in case.
We also expected visitors from France who wanted to hike in our area and wondered how this would work out.
But, by the time they arrived the worst was over and—at least in our area—no great harm was done. Enough, however, to remind us not to take things for granted.
But then, other things developed and occupied our minds: the tragic exodus of millions of Syrians to Europe.
They arrived by whatever means: on foot, via rickety rubber boats or whatever else they could obtain.
It was an uncomfortable feeling for us to live so far away, unable to be of help.
At the same time we lived through perhaps the most exciting election in our Canadian history.
Who would ever forget the colour of red taking hold of Canada coast to coast on election day? And whoever said Canadian politics are boring?
The year ended, however, as it always does, with the many different year end celebrations.
Not to forget Ruthy’s and my own 90th birthdays—a true milestone in our lives.
And now, here we are again wondering what this new year will bring—the perpetual cycle of life.
A final note: did you check your own emergency bag lately?
Besides the obvious, make sure to have the following items ready: identification such as your passport or citizenship card, your medical insurance card, a list of medical prescriptions as well as your actual supply of medications, money and everything you would take along going on any overnight trip.
Hopefully, we will never have to leave for safer fields, but it is always good to be prepared.
Til next time!
Ruth Altendorf and Ruthy