Happy New Year
Dear friends and
come and Christmases go but this one will be very different.
Fortunately we are all well re Covid-19 and don’t know anyone who
isn’t. Until recently, BC has fared well but now our numbers
are rising; they may be levelling off a little but are still too
high with consequent greater restrictions. A lot of meetings now
take place on Zoom or Microsoft Teams. We would love to be able
to join Jeremy and Ginny and the twins for Christmas but as this
is being written that option may not be available. So - it
may just be the two of us with a very small turkey!
were very pleased that we managed to squeeze in a visit to England to
see Mary’s two siblings and families in late February and while there
we had a short and very interesting visit to Lisbon, before they
imposed restrictions. We returned to Victoria on March 10 just
before the lock down here on March 12. Of course, we
have not moved far since and have no plans to travel. Gene is
revelling in the constraints on social obligations but we both
know that this too will pass – especially some time after vaccination
starts in January. He managed to use the extra time confined to
home to start updating family trees and both of us have increased our
TV, walking and reading time (Gene especially in Italian and Mary
especially with e-books) in spite of the library closures.
balcony garden has moved into a higher gear, with a harvest of well
over 30 peaches and 30 apples on the tress that were bare-root last
year. We also added cucumbers, zucchini, more runner beans and we
harvested many tomatoes, some now frozen, including ones that were
grown from seeds smuggled in from Sicily.
As our lives seem to evolve,
it will be interesting to see what the next year brings. In spite
of the pandemic consequences, we hope that this has been a good year
for you and that 2021, with imminent vaccines will be too
Ginny is now the Chief Administrative Officer for the
Resort Municipality of Whistler and she and Jeremy have recently bought a house there. We
had a very enjoyable family vacation with them on Long Beach (Tofino) this
Although he did not plan it, Jeremy had the opportunity to run as the
Green candidate for the West Vancouver Sea to Sky riding in the recent
provincial election. He ran a wonderful campaign, put 100%
of himself into it and almost won. When all the mail-in
votes were counted he fell 61 behind the longstanding current membehttps://www.valeriote.ca/xmasletter20.htmlr in
spite of the CBC declaring him the winner - a great achievement!
Next time, he says! The girls (7 ) are thriving and enjoying
their new school so much – they are together in the same class this
year – that they refused a ski day that Jeremy offered, not wanting to
miss school! They keep us young - relatively!
Gene’s health has been iffy
for about 18 months. It is a long story but, after much testing,
a cardiologist-electrophysiologist eventually diagnosed his
dysautonomia resulting from a ski accident in Jan. 2019. What was
initially feared to be a heart problem (low pulse, dizziness, weakness,
breathlessness, etc.) now seems to be an autonomic nervous symptom
malfunctioning, often seen in concussion victims. Younger people
usually recover after a time but it may or may not get better in an old
man! Psychologically the diagnosis is positive - at least he
knows he is not going to drop dead of a heart attack and Mary doesn’t
have to undertake the financial duties and other Joe-jobs in Gene’s job
description. That helps him take advantage of the devoted care he
gets as a bonus.
Instead of Christmas Cards,
donations were made this year to many organizations giving support
to especially vulnerable and needy people at home and overseas.