Merry Christmas                 and                 Happy New Year

from the 
Valeriotes




     Dear friends and family: 
December, 2018

310 Balcony
This past year, we were again, literally, on the move.  After settling comfortably into condo life for over 1˝ years in the penthouse suite, we moved again into another condo, in the same building.  The new one gave us the two things we were missing - a very large southeast facing balcony, on which we have started a low-maintenance vegetable and flower garden, which we will expand to include  more of the same and fruit trees next year.  It even has a lawn - artificial of course - which requires no watering, weeding or mowing.

Another way that we were on the move was on a trip to the UK, Sicily and Calabria in the summer.  First we visited Mary’s family in the north of the UK. Then we took a Rick Steves tour of Sicily (highly recommended - the best holiday ever) followed by a few days on our own in Sicily and then Calabria.  Gene has been studying Italian for three years in preparation for this trip.   



In his grandparent’s village of San Giorgio di Morgeto, in the Calabrian mountains of Aspromonte, we met hardly any English speakers and although Gene could express himself fairly well, his comprehension needs a lot of improvement.

SMG

He met four third cousins he didn’t know existed but missed meeting another and a second cousin.  He told them he’d be back when his Italian was better.
SMG Via
GardenWe continue to increase our involvement with our granddaughters, Rose and Nina, who turn five this month. To free up Jeremy’s (and Ginny’s) time the girls have stayed with us in both our condos several times without their parents and we have stayed with them in their home, both in Gibsons and then in Whistler.
The family moved to their suite in Whistler for the winter and the girls attend a Waldorf school which they seem to like very much.  We will all be together in Maui for Christmas and hope to enjoy the beach and other activities for the two weeks we’ll be there.

Ski
bikeshorsegirlsThe girls mastered their pedal bikes and enjoyed downhill ski school this year.  Rose’s chemotherapy treatments are successfully over (but she will continue to be monitored)  and she has just caught up with Nina in weight although not quite in height.  The two remain very much mutually supportive and complementary but show  distinct personalities.



Elinor’s former home, Elivan, now has three very compatible girls in it along with two caregivers, and we think that the special home atmosphere that existed when Elinor was there will continue



Best Wishes 


(P.S. The cover photo shows one of our rare Victoria snowfalls.)
Jeremy is continuing work on his Master’s degree in Leadership and did not run for reelection to the Gibsons Council.  He remains the primary caregiver as Ginny is heavily  involved in her Executive role at BGC with a very demanding workload.

pumpkins

We are looking forward to our Christmas with Jeremy and Ginny and the twins.  We hope that this has been a good year for you and that 2019 will be too.     
                                                                                                                                                   GM signature
                                                                                                                                   Gene and Mary                   


310-5332 Sayward Hill Crescent Victoria, B.C. V8Y 3H8 250-727-7636  geneandmary@valeriote.ca


Selected Photos from Our Italian & UK visits :
Calabria - 2018 Regio di Calabria Calabria - San Giorgio di Morgeto Sicily: Palermo & Monreale Trapani & Mozia Segesta & Erice Agrigento Villa Romano del Casales (Piazza Armerina) & Syracusa Mount Etna & Taormina Catania Cefalů UK 2018



Giftbox
Instead of Christmas Cards, a donation this year was made
to the University of Manitoba
to support the
Rett syndrome research of
Dr Mojgan Rastegar