We got to my sister Luci’s house just outside of Vanderhoof, BC on Monday evening, July 22. I was thrilled to finally be able to see her house in real life. Anthony and I had visited Brent and Luci ten years ago when they lived in an apartment in Langley, BC near Vancouver, but I had only ever seen pictures of her lovely “cottage” by the river.
Pictures can’t begin to describe the beautiful setting their house is in. Such a beautiful serene spot right there overlooking the river.
As soon as we got there Monday evening, Luci’s kids, Abigail (10), Clara (9), and Graham (6) introduced all their Virginia relatives to Saskatoons. These berries were growing wild on bushes all around their property, and everyone started right in picking and eating them. (They taste a lot like blueberries.) The kids picked 2 gallon buckets full in no time. We had them in our muffins for our breakfast together the next morning.
Here is my sister’s beautiful garden. Her peas were just ready to pick — that’s at least a month behind our Virginia gardens. And her raspberry bushes were loaded with big, beautiful red raspberries, which we enjoyed with whipped cream on our waffles one morning for breakfast. (We ate good while we were there!)
The weather was just perfect the whole time, allowing us to eat all our meals out on the carport.
We spent time the first day enjoying the river. Uncle Brent showed the bigger kids how to maneuver a kayak, while the adults took turns giving the little ones rides in the canoe.
We went swimming at Beaumont Lake, about 45 minutes away one beautiful, sunny day. I expected the water in that northern lake to be ice cold, but it was perfect. The water was shallow for quite a ways out, making it the perfect place for the kids to have a blast.
We were blessed by Luci’s neighbor and friend from church, Gladys, one morning as she invited us ladies to tea on her back deck, also overlooking the river. We had scrumptious food and a lovely time. My Aunt Beatie, Mom’s sister who also lives in Vanderhoof, joined us. Here is a picture of everyone, taken by Gladys. I’m sorry I don’t have a picture of our gracious hostess.
The night before we left, we all gathered around a bonfire down at the river.
The kids helped Uncle Brent find sticks to sharpen for roasting marshmallows.
Marshmallow weren’t the only delicacy we cooked over the fire that night. Brent also cooked three clams (that’s what is in the can) the kids had found while swimming at the lake that day. He opened them, added some salt and butter, and gave the kids a taste.
After we had our fill of s’mores, we brought out the old journal from my family’s western trip 23 years ago, and my niece Michelle read it to all of us. We four girls had taken turns recording each days adventures. It was great fun re-living our memories.
Thursday we cleaned our camper and got ready to leave. After an early supper, we said good-bye and drove away with heavy hearts, feeling the great distance between Virginia and British Columbia even before we had gone a mile down the road. After such good times, it was hard to realize that we wouldn’t be able to just hop on over to their place for a visit again real soon.
Thanks again, Luci and Brent, Abigail, Clara, and Graham — for all the good times and for your generous hospitality! We’ll miss you. At least now we’ll have a better picture in our minds of your home and the places you tell us about via email and phone.