More Birthdays and more Firsts

August 16 saw us travel up to Ottawa with George Larry and Marucia to visit George Patrick, Andrea and Jade. Although GL’s 85th birthday was back on July 3, we had not had an opportunity to celebrate – he was in Czech Republic at the time. So a family get together was in order.

It was also a perfect chance for GL & Marucia to visit GP & Andrea’s new home. So after a Thursday evening Jazz Festival night in Picton, we headed to Ottawa. Unbeknownst to GL & Marucia, we had planned a birthday dinner at his cousins place. Jim and Mary Holmes are the ultimate hosts and we had a lovely evening visiting with them in their backyard oasis. The meal was wonderful and we even were serenaded by Jim & GL with their ukuleles. Sarah and Rob (their daughter and son-in-law) as well as Jim’s sister Nancy joined us for wonderful birthday celebration for GL. Sorry there aren’t more photos of the evening….but of course there are several of Jade!!

Birthdays and First Meetings!

June 1 was a very special day at the Wotherspoon household. Mum (Nina) turned 85 years young. Little did she know that her birthday was not to be merely a dinner prepared by Joanne, but a visit from almost the whole clan!

Joanne and Mark came over to Mum’s for her birthday in the early afternoon. First Audrey and Michael arrived, which was a surprise to Mum. John, Robin, J and Alistair quickly followed. Very quickly, the house was full again. And the biggest surprise of all, Patrick, Andrea and baby Jade arrived. It was a lengthy journey in traffic especially due to a misguided google configuration faux pas. But they finally showed up for the surprise at about 7pm. They had traveled from Ottawa to our place on the previous evening and we managed to sneak in some foot print painting. Saturday morning they visited briefly with Kyle before he headed to work – unfortunately he was unable to make the trip to Hamilton that day. The normally 3 1/2 hour journey to Hamilton took them 6+ hours – a rough ride with a newborn!

But it was well worth the journey. Mum was thrilled to finally meet Jade Stella and to get to hold her. We all had a wonderful time and Jade made the rounds. Her first time meeting the Wotherspoon clan – with lots of passing the baby. J and Alistair even bravely took turns holding her. Alistair’s first time ever so close to a newborn.

A great time was had by all and hopefully we left Mum with some great memories!

In memory of Eddie

I dug out a bunch of photos to take with me when we visited Eddie. Β Unfortunately, he was only awake for a very short time and he never got to see these. Β But I did get to connect with him and am eternally grateful for that hand squeeze.

I shared these with Toby (thank you Toby πŸ™‚ ), but wanted to share with the rest of you also. If you view as a slideshow, there are descriptions at the bottom of each photo. Β My apologies to Nadine & Emily – I had a limited selection of photos and don’t seem to have either of you (I may have your backsides, but nothing identifiable πŸ™‚

Michael and I won’t be able to make the funeral as we will be in Czech visiting Michael’s brother and his new wife (my sister in law also passed away from cancer, a few years ago), but please feel free to share these if you wish and send our love.

Audrey & Michael

The Family Gets Together!

Thanks Meg & Derek for getting the family together.Β  Thanks for Lu &Bri for coming up from the States; Liam for coming over from Vancouver; and Jasmine for coming up from Argentina!Β  (and for all the kids too!)…..It was great to see you all!….

The Stuff We Miss Most

Hi folks. Past time for another post. As mentioned in the previous couple of postings, we’re wrapping up here, so weekends have been spent socializing and organizing. My days are now spent cleaning and packing.

For this post, we’ll focus on the stuff we’ve missed the most while here in Oz. And up at the top of the list is family and friends.


This week Mum & Dad celebrated their 50th Wedding Anniversary. We obviously knew when we left that this would occur – but that doesn’t make it any easier.

It was posted very kindly by Joanne/Mark and Robin/John in the Hamilton Spectator. Above is a copy of what went in – and at right is a photo similar to the one on November of our family calendar. It’s been very nice to have a different combo of the Wotherspoon family greet us as we turn each month.

And of course we’ve missed a year of birthday celebrations with family and friends (except for the couple we were able to share with George & Marucia). That includes Joanne’s birthday which just passed!

And we’ll also miss two weddings – one on each end. Daren and Alison will wed in Mexico over the Christmas break, and Anne Maree and James hook up in January down here. Unfortunately we’ll be nomads for both events – but best wishes to both couples – married life has been good to us – hope it’s the same for you!

And there are babies that have been conceived and born in our absence!!! In addition to a few more which will arrive just after we return – so looking forward to seeing those brand new bundles.

And on a more basic daily level, here are some of the other things we’ve missed – in no particular order:

cruise control on the car, bacon, maraschino cherries, graham crackers (for cheese cake crust and Nanaimo bars), bacon, being able to go more than 3 km over the speed limit without getting a speeding ticket, our hot tub, shopping after 6pm or on a Sunday, bacon, coffee cream, Canadian butter, and did I mention bacon?

Next time we’ll summarize some of the stuff we’ll miss from here – and I’ll try not to shed any tears as I post that one, but it’ll be hard! After all, we’ll return to the Canadian stuff we’ve missed, but no telling if we’ll ever revisit down here (sigh).