Dear friends and family: December, 2013

Once more the Christmas season is approaching.
This year we have a lot of news to pass on as well as our warm wishes and greetings.



Merry Christmas                 and                 Happy New Year

Whistler at Thanksgiving

from the


Valeriotes


RoseJeremyGinnyJeremy and Ginny have just moved to a lovely house  on a spectacular site (in Gibsons BC). Jeremy took on a new job in Sechelt with the Sunshine Coast Regional District and has since been promoted to Manager, Waste Reduction and Recovery. Ginny has just taken leave from her demanding management /engineering job in Vancouver in order to present us with our first two granddaughters - Rose (L) and Nina (R), born December 13th!!  It's hard to express how excited we are but we know that the new parents will need lots of support with the arrival of their two bundles of joy (and double trouble).


308 Skyline


3127 Irma
In February we obtained a commitment of ongoing funding for full time staffing and operation of a home for Elinor at 3127 Irma Street in the Gorge area of Victoria, to be shared with Vanessa DelGrande. In May both families jointly bought the house, which is now undergoing renovations, including a 1000 sq. ft. addition, for January occupancy. The home will be managed for us by Shekinah Homes Society (an offshoot of L'Arche) and the House Coordinator, a Licensed Practical Nurse, has just been hired to start in January. This will be a life-long home for Elinor and Vanessa with accommodation for a third person in care to be added later and for two live-in caregivers, supplemented by additional staff as required.

About the same time as we nailed down the funding for Elinor's home, Gene and his sisters also resolved the remaining issues with the City of Guelph. The settlement will be ratified when final decisions are made by the Ontario Municipal Board in 2014 but the Family Trust was able to put the property on the market. Some potential buyers have indicated they want to see the final settlement before committing themselves so it probably won't be sold until well into the New Year.
Guelph
At the end of May, Jeremy and Ginny, Lynn, Heather and Anne took care of Elinor while Gene and Mary went to Ontario for the 50th anniversary of Gene's U of T graduation. We had a great time meeting old friends and the special treat of a luncheon at the unique home of one of Gene's more successful classmates (see http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/article/933017--the-house-that-math-built).  
Mary was only in Toronto for the weekend but Gene stayed on in Guelph to deal with the property and make arrangements for its marketing.

40th Anniversary

The only other trip this year was a first cruise (to Alaska) for the three of us in September. The weather wasn't as hoped but the trip was just what we needed - one week of pampering. The food was great and plentiful. Gene went to the gym every other day while Mary took Elinor for long walks around the deck and then Gene took Elinor swimming while Mary lay about reading. We also took several computer seminars, which were interesting and useful, given by Microsoft/Holland America staff.

The cruise was a belated gift to ourselves for our 40th Wedding Anniversary, which we celebrated quietly with family and friends who joined us for a luncheon at the Oak Bay Marina.

Cruise

Elinor is making some progress with communication tools. In addition to a tablet and booklet for everyday needs, she is engaged by an eye-tracking computer from U Vic's CanAssist program, installed at home. Elinor is very happy and has several meaningful and, we hope, enduring friendships, especially with Chantal, Teri and Lillian through her day program and with Lynn who has been with us for six years. Lillian is now her wonderful full-time day program caregiver and the daughter of one of her co-workers will be the Coordinator of Elinor's new home.

Again, Gene and Mary have been involved in lots of meetings connected with our efforts to create a permanent home for Elinor and Board work, with Mary carrying a heavier load just now. We are relieved that we have progressed such a long way from a year ago and look forward to the job of settling Elinor in and being engaged grandparents.

We have again enjoyed the visits of family and friends over the year and we are happy to have any of you visit in this beautiful part of the world. We look forward to hearing from you and we wish you all a healthy and fulfilling 2014.

Signature

Gene, Mary and Elinor


5495 Parker AvenueVictoria, B.C.V8Y 2N2250-727-7636 geneandmary@valeriote.ca


                                                                           For photos of our Alaska Cruise: Alaska
                                                                            or Elinor's house in progress: 3127 Irma St.


Giftbox


Instead of buying Christmas Cards, a donation was made this year
to Philippines relief