extended mom visit

My mother is visiting from Oregon.

That visiting from Oregon part still looks weird to me, since for my entire life -- and her entire life until a few years ago -- my mother has lived in the New York/New Jersey metro area. After her first great-grandchild (my great-niece) was born in 2015, my mom sold her apartment and moved to the other side of the continent. She now lives in a retirement community in southern Oregon, minutes away from her son, daughter-in-law, grandson, and the lovely Sophia, plus a few hours away from two other adult grandchildren and their partners. She is loving west-coast life.

Mom, whose name is Connie, arrived in Port Hardy last week, on July 22. Allan and I had a week of vacation planned. The weather was uncooperative, but we spent a lot of time getting more settled into the new place, talking walks, and driving around. On July 25, we celebrated Connie's 88th birthday at Cluxewe Waterfront Bistro -- the best food on the North Island. (Sadly, or perhaps fortunately for our budget, they are only open June 1 - September 30.)

I'm also using some vacation days to take three-day weekends while Connie is here. We have a day trip planned each weekend, plus one weekend "down Island": Sointula, Comox Valley, Alert Bay, Telegraph Cove (whale watching), and Grant Bay on the Pacific coast. (We've decided Sanjo Bay is too strenuous for her.) We've connected with a teenager -- the daughter of a casual library worker -- who has become our dogsitter. Frankly, it's the Best Gig Ever: two fun and easy dogs, a big fenced-in yard, and a covered deck.

We've also signed up Connie for a membership in the Hardy Bay Senior Centre. There's a weekly lunch, a knitting/social group, and a dance/movement class, plus some special events. Membership is only $20 per year -- and that includes lunch every Tuesday! The weekly lunch is funded by a government grant; the food is great, and the place is packed.

We're also spending a lot of time reading and relaxing. Connie loves our dogs and finds them endlessly entertaining. Except when they're not: we've taken the dogs to Storey's Beach a few times since Connie is here, and each time it's been an adventure getting Cookie back to the pack. More about that when I can get a video uploaded.

Connie will be here until September 10. So far the time is flying by. It helps that we have plenty of room and don't have to share washrooms or any of that stuff that sometimes makes having house guests challenging. I'll report on each day trip, because why not.

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