Merry Christmas                 and                 Happy New Year

Winter BalconyCordova Bay
      Our Balcony




Butchart at ChristmasButchart at Christmas

Near Whistler
Near Whistler
     Dear friends and family:  December, 2022

Another year has passed! We feel that we have settled into a  relatively placid and uneventful  routine  - and perhaps we have - but when we started to think about the details of the year, there was much more to tell than we expected, though perhaps much less than other years. We think that they call this phase old age although it seems to affect Gene more than Mary.


As for age, Mary carries on her physical activities like hiking, as though she were very  much younger while Gene is much more sedate, still seeing one specialist after another trying to determine the cause of his dysautonomia.  The only sure diagnosis so far is that he has a terminal condition: old age!
J&G famly & Nonno

Jean in Meadow Before mid-April, we stayed home, except for two trips to Whistler for almost a week each time.  At home we had only one or two visits from friends but a good week stay by Rose and Nina, who learned a little French at a local program, did some horseback riding, helped us get our garden started and kept us well entertained. Ann & Hugh

Things moved into a higher gear in April. First we went to Ontario to attend Uncle Puss' memorial service and then stayed several days to visit family and friends.  Mary got to see more of the city than she ever had and for Gene it was a nostalgic trip in spite of how much has changed over the years.  We even had a long walk on no-longer-our old farm and saw that no-one was picking up the golf balls next to Springfield anymore except the squirrels (or raccoons), who had left them in tight circles – apparently not to their taste.

Yorkshire Dales At the end of April we travelled to the UK where we spent 2 peaceful weeks, divided between Jean and Mary in Long Preston (lambing time on the farm) and then Ann and Hugh in Newton -le-Willows.  The Yorkshire Dales are as beautiful as ever and we have toyed with the idea of renting a cottage for a few weeks in one of the attractive villages.  We are looking forward to planning travel to the UK and Italy next year but no action so far.

This summer we were happy to have visitors from UK - Mary's nephew Andrew and Julie and Hannah followed by great nephews Luke and Ben and their partners and from Ontario - Gene's cousin Sandra Valeriote, with her son Chris, sister Joanie, and cousin John and Sherron Valeriote. It had been a long time since we enjoyed in-person visitors.  We also saw Gene’s former manager Steve and his wife Sandra – a physiotherapist - who unexpectedly brought her own therapy table and effectively treated Gene when she heard of his diagnosis.

Christmas Tree
We love to be able to go
to the family in Whistler quite frequently for short stays.  The twins - now almost 9 - are lively, to say the least. They enjoy school and love to hike (even with Mary in Whistler's alpine in September) skate, ski, cycle, swim, etc. and to spend time with their friends.    

By the time you read this, they will have spent a few days with us, going to see the lights at Butchart Gardens and the Winnipeg Ballet’s performance of The Nutcracker.  We will celebrate their birthday and have an early Christmas week in Whistler with them and Jeremy and Ginny before they leave to spend Christmas in Maui.

After thinking about it we realize that this has not been such a boring year and
we hope that it has been good for you and that 2023 will be even better

             Best Wishes                                                                                          Gene and Mary                   



Instead of Christmas Cards, donations were made this year to UNHCR and other organizations supporting people in Ukraine and other countries devastated by short and long term man-made disasters.donations were made this year to many organizations giving support to especially vulnerable and needy people at home and overseas.