Tuesday, September 8, 2015

The day after Labour day....

BC Ferries
At the end of June it always feels as though the summer will be long and endless, so when September arrives, I always wonder where it has gone. Alas, the nights have become cooler, the days shorter and this morning the big yellow bus pulled up to the house to get our daughter as she begins the first day of grade 9. Where has the summer gone?

Evaluating summer, it was fine, busy, worked a lot, held the 5th Annual Golden Unicorn Arts Festival, ran the coffee shop 12 hours a day 7 days a week with the exception of Farm Market days when we were gone for part of the day.  Went swimming when the weather was decent as often as we could and last night had the last swim of the year as we watched the clouds darken and cover East Grand Lake. 

Headliner - Mike Biggar Band
Guests enjoying the afternoon
As the summer went on I realized that the coffee shop was less viable than in the past, fewer customers, less walk ins and more of what I did was pre-ordered baking for people. I have to evaluate what to do in the future. My husband Len and I also spend a year working on the arts festival and all summer preparing for it and as we approached the 5th annual event we had high hopes for a great weekend. However, for whatever reason although we had a good crowd for part of the day it died down, fewer people came and the end show was not well attended. This was disheartening since we had put so much work into it, provided an excellent band with no cover charge and there were some great artisans for people to come and see. You can only do so much, as they say, "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink." So we have to re-evaluate our future, what we do and how we do it. I must say I grieved over this, cried some, wondered what if anything we could do differently and finally came to the conclusion that we gave it our all, we did an excellent job and it was a good run, but perhaps it was time to pack it in. 

Me & My Girl 
Having had the coffee shop, opening at 9AM daily until about 7 or 8PM at night for the past five years, I have learned that after the third weekend of August things die down fast. People are off spending the last days of summer elsewhere, getting in those last trips, doing their back to school shopping and just don't come into the shop. So, this year as of August 24th I closed for the summer. It was a hard decision, I hate letting people down, not being there for them, but it wasn't viable to keep the shop open, machines running, stock in the fridge and not have customers. So, as hard as it was, I decided to close up for 2015.

The Rocky Mountains
West Jet was AMAZING!
On August 19th I put my 13 year old on the plane to travel to BC and since we had a mini family reunion happening on Vancouver Island I was able to get on a plane and join her. I am so grateful for this. I had no idea how much I missed Beautiful British Columbia until I was flying over the Rocky Mountains and felt my heart beat faster and the excitement and joy I experienced as I saw my adult daughter in her environment. Truly amazing!

I highly recommend this cottage and campground!
Although the trip was short, a whirl wind really, I was able to do a lot and see some of my dearest friends as well as bond with my family. I am so grateful for the friends who I did see, for taking the time from their busy lives to meet up with me, as brief as it was. For letting me, the narcissist "hold court" like the diva I am in the living room at our cottage on the shores of Westwood lake.

Me & Baby Brother
My cousin waiting for his turn

My "baby" brother surprised us all with a trip to Mudge Island - this is two islands away from Nanaimo - so I had my share of boats! I took the "big" ferry from Tsawwassen to Duke Point. We then traveled to Gabriola Island via a small vehicle ferry to a beach where my brother had his 12 foot aluminum boat to take us across to Mudge Island. It may not be far in distance, but it was in travel time! We had a fabulous time, fresh caught bbq'd salmon, boat rides, tours of the island and despite the weather (the first rain seen in about four months in BC) we thoroughly enjoyed it! I even managed to get to the Gabriola Farm Market to get supplies for the rest of our weekend! Yes, we love shopping healthy and local, no matter where that may be!

They Like Me! They Really Like Me!
On Saturday we "Giesbrecht's" got together and played, visited, cooked, gathered and just bonded. It was the first time in 8 years that we had come together for something other than a funeral. These days that is all that seems to join us, so we truly appreciated the fact that we could visit and reminisce the good times as well as to create new memories. We really did think about all those who couldn't be with us for various reasons, time, travel, money, etc. and hope to get together again before we are all too old and decrepit! 

The Peter Giesbrecht Clan
I even managed to win over the "little cousins" of course I had to pull out my secret weapon to convince them that I was fun and not ancient. (Yes, the ability to put your tongue up your nose will never cease to grab a 5 year olds attention! I do not recommend doing this when you have a cold!) Of course because we now loved each other we had to take a field trip, hence time to hit the craft aisle on Sunday where we created the "Traveling Giesbrecht Family Frame." For those of you who did not get to be with us, watch for the frame coming soon to a house near you and we expect to see some pictures! Thanks Angie for starting it off on the way to Alberta!

The next generation...
A Gaggle Of Giesbrecht's
I can't even express how much this trip meant to me. The time I got to spend with my daughter in her home, just two women, hanging out, wow! The people who came to see me, one friend even took a ferry from Victoria to Vancouver to have supper with me! The family who I spent time with, laughed, cried a little bit (yes, a little wine and few laughs can generate tears, right?) The moment when my Uncle Peter threw his head back in laughter and I saw my dad before my eyes, that blew me away. It was like Dad was in the room, saying, yes, family is what it is all about and I am so glad you are here. That moved me like nothing else and I had to sit quietly for a few minutes while I gathered my emotions. Being with my mom, who drove from Alberta to Vancouver Island, it was brief Mom and busy, but I love you and always will. Spending a night with my BFF and her family, which was heart warming and so important to me. She accepts me unconditionally and I love her to bits! To my friend Debra who took Jess for a few days and showed her a good time, thank you!

Some of the first cousins
Some of the second cousins
It was a short trip, it wound up a busy summer, a summer that made me realize I have to reevaluate how I work in the future, but it was an important trip. I am so grateful for my husband encouraging me to go, even though it was really more than I could afford financially, it was exactly what I needed emotionally.

Now, have a great September as we all get back into the school spirit! 
PS: Angie, we made a great team! Until next time....
(note: I had more pictures but they wouldn't work for some reason,
although I do believe everyone has been represented in the photos!)


Karen Giesbrecht said...

Thanks Sarah....the happy time that we spent together will always be appreciated and remembered! We missed so many years of memories but it is never too late to start!!!

...Sarah Sherman said...

AND you can drive your motor home here ;) !