There is not much news for 2022 from our little corner of the world. You must be relieved to read that, when there is so much bad news from the remainder of the planet..

Jean and I have been very well behaved through another Covid year and associated health crises – by mostly staying close to home and avoiding crowds. However, Covid, flu and RSV have become a nuisance to the old folks who need attention or reassurance from the overloaded medical sector. Sadly, as with many at our age, we have lost friends this year but we have had a lot of fun and joy too!

The highlight of our year was a 60th Anniversary cruise tour to Vancouver Island. We stayed at the Empress Hotel in Victoria for a couple of days, courtesy of the children, and thoroughly enjoyed the ambience and handy location for walking around downtown Victoria and the harbour. We then drove up the coast at a leisurely pace with stops at places of interest. We stayed in Parksville at a hotel on the beach for a couple of days, re-visited the beautiful Cathedral Grove and travelled to Tofino on the West side of the island where we watched the surfers at Long Beach.

Other trips and daily adventures and hikes were local, with visits to Mission’s Westminster Abbey, Steveston, (an interesting and picturesque working fishing village in Richmond) and miscellaneous Vancouver wanderings. One of our favourite places and a great place for long walks and hikes is up in the mountains near Squamish via the Sea -to –Sky Gondola (a must do for visitors), By the way, the sea-to-sky highway from West Vancouver to Squamish is one of the most scenic drives to be found anywhere in the world.

The family seems generally to be doing well. All busy and working. Randy and Molly are the ones who habitually get out into the world with their jobs and both thoroughly enjoy their adventures. Randy is grounded at the moment and working from home. He fell with his bike on wet cobblestones on his way to work and damaged his knee. Lauren has joined the workforce at a restaurant at Lonsdale Quai. Jennifer attended a convention for women police in Niagara Falls, Ontario. and was enthusiastic about meeting fellow officers from around the world, e.g. New Zealand, Africa etc. Janet is still very engaged with her secondment to SFU. Jean stays very busy with keeping us semi-organized and fed. She is involved in visiting friends who can no longer get out and in helping in various ways at our church. She reads a LOT and enjoys online calligraphy and art classes, She also goes to an art “open studio” every week all year round to paint, sketch and drink cappuccinos with other artists. Myles’ golf activities have been reduced to once per week in good relatively warm weather. In 2022, summer and fall were exceptionally dry and warm. ( More rain on non golf days would have been useful). During the year, we have enjoyed many a family dinner, brunch or lunch with everyone attending, including the granddaughters’ boyfriends. Always fairly noisy joyful events.

The new excitement in the family is the arrival of Lexi, a mini-schnauzer, at the Lewis household. Lola, her much loved predecessor died earlier in the year. Lexi is a 9lb bundle of energy who will present a training challenge of epic proportions and provide an entertaining contrast to her blind sister, Inka, the Toy Fox Terrier.

A few local photos from 2022 below. Summer Fall and Winter photos. And some art added to the Art Gallery>
(NOTE from Jean: It is a long time since I used WordPress and something strange seems to happen with the mobile view of the Art Gallery. Just pinch out to the size of your screen to view.)

Summer near our place
Our patio bird sanctuary! Autumn

Deep Cove
Winter on our patio

So far, the only big plan for 2023 is a cruise at the end of April with Randy and Jennifer around some Mediterranean countries.

Wishing everyone safe and joyful holidays and a New Year filled with hope.

Myles and Jean


Christmas 2021


Merry Christmas and Happy New Year Everyone!

Hooray! Hooray! We are in reasonably good health and still relatively sane after another year of COVID. As you all know wherever you are, most activities are restricted and foreign travel  is also not worth the risk. We, in BC are blessed in many ways because of the scenic landscape, mild climate (with some notable exceptions such as heatwaves, drought, and fires followed by excessive rain complete with floods) and a robust Health Care System. The family is fully vaccinated and some of us, including Jean and I, have had Covid booster shots plus the seasonal Flu jab..

Big Events were few and occurred almost simultaneously.

Grandchild Molly graduated from Simon Fraser Business School after an illustrious academic career. She has now started  her next adventure  at McKinsey & Company,  a global management consulting firm. Her introduction to the business world  has been beyond one’s wildest imagination. She did treat herself to an extensive European experience in England, Portugal and Spain for several weeks before she began work. Well done, Molly.

We could give you a slightly updated version of our 2020 Christmas letter. It is certainly a good introduction to 2021. We continued to make friends with local wildlife. Towhees and Stellar Jays will sit on the patio chairs at the back patio and look for handouts as soon as they detect movement in the kitchen area. If we throw seeds or nuts through the window, we soon have Chickadees, Juncos and Song Sparrows trying to get leftovers before the squirrels or Crows  take over. It is quite entertaining with touches of drama and everything is cleaned up in short order. Our main customers on the front patio are hummingbirds at the feeder and we sometimes feed all the other birds on the table there.

Janet extensively renovated her lovely townhouse on the Fraser River to make it even lovelier. The river has been well behaved in her area, a few kilometers from where in empties into the Pacific.

Lauren, graduated from Grade 12 at St. Thomas Aquinas High School and has started working part time in a restaurant,. She enrolled and is attending Capilano University In North Vancouver. Her workplace is at the Shipyards in North Van, which simplifies travel when a family car is not available. Randy, as an officer for CBSA, manages to travel a lot around the world , which he loves.  Otherwise, Jennifer, Randy and Lauren do much of their routine work from home and online. The granddogs love it but the grandparents  are seldom needed to dog-walk. The Lewis family also got the renovation bug and now have a much improved bathroom.


We, the seniors, manage to stay busy. It isn’t that difficult since it takes 80 + people much longer to accomplish anything since they are delayed by bodies that don’t wanna, things that emerge to distract attention, memories triggered in mysterious ways, medical appointments to investigate unknowns, news, rule changes etc. In the midst of it all, we do look after ourselves, do local hikes, take day trips to check out the lower mainland such as to Ft. Langley, Squamish, Delta, Richmond, Horseshoe Bay and Caulfeild.

Jennifer and I (Myles) did travel to Ontario in the summer to visit family and to tour a little of Southern Ontario. We took a Harbour Cruise in Toronto, visited Niagara Falls, visited the Sferrazza  family in Fort Erie including niece Stephanie, husband Charlie, sons and daughters plus Mathew and Max from Hamilton. We drove near Lake Erie on the way to visit the McCarron families in Wallaceburg. (little brother Mike, Irene, nephew David and wife Angela, grand-nieces Anna, Emma, Brie and Charlotte). We had a great family dinner under the Bluewater Bridge in Port Edward (Sarnia).

After Wallaceburg we made our way along the Lake Huron shore with a few stops to check out some of the great beaches. Some stops included Grand Bend, Goderich and Wasaga Beach. The Martyr’s Shrine at Midland was closed because of Covid but we did tour the rebuild of Fort Ste Marie. – well worth a visit-. From Midland, it is an easy run down Hwy 400 to Toronto for the flight home.

Jean continues to be very involved with her calligraphy which she works at diligently. She is often involved in on-line workshops originating from afar. She is also an urban sketcher, so be careful, You may become part of an illustration while sitting on a patio or a log at the beach. Myles still tries to play golf with the remnants of a group which started about 25 years ago. As time passes, we are more  picky about weather and temperatures, plus it has become very difficult to get reasonable tee times because of all the covid avoiders working(?)  from home.  (Note: also because of them it is now rush hour all the time).

Some of Jean’s artwork added to the Art Gallery page (see tab above)

Once again – Happy Christmas and a safe and healthy New Year all.
Myles and Jean

(Written by Myles again this year!)

Happy Christmas 2020

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Myles’ turn to write the Christmas letter! Some photos follow.

Greetings and Salutations:

First the Pandemic, then the interminable US election news and now it’s Myles’ turn to produce a Christmas letter. How bad can it get in 2020?

It is and has been a very unique year for us all. We, including the Jennifer, Randy and Lauren along with Janet and Molly, are all well and coping with our weird new world.

Randy, Jennifer and Janet  have been doing the bulk of their work from home during the year though Jennifer is now back traveling to her workplace 4 days a week. Although mostly working from home, Randy still gets to travel occasionally, which he loves. Recent destinations have included Amsterdam and the Caribbean. He has also been busy reconditioning his new toy, a 1975, anniversary edition,  MG roadster. Janet has been working at SFU for another year, virtually of course, while on loan from the Vancouver School Board.  She coordinates the placement of student teachers throughout the province. She has the beautiful Fraser River right at her door, so working from home is no hardship.

Molly did get to go Prague as a scholarship exchange student and did get to travel around a bit in Europe including trips to Denmark, Hungary, and Germany. She enjoyed her stay but it was cut short by the Pandemic and she returned home where she had to finish her semester classes online in the middle of the night on Pacific time. She has continued online with her studies and most of her other SFU activities. She has also been organizing competitions for JDC West.  Jeux du Commerce West – JDC West Business Competition or informally,  JDC West is an annual business competition featuring top business schools and students from across Western Canada, as well as the largest undergraduate business competition in Western Canada.  She has accepted a job offer which starts after she graduates next Spring, with McKinsey Global Management Consulting Company.  From the description, it sounds like a dream job from which to  develop a very successful career. Lauren, now in Grade 12, has her first job which is working out well. Her driving lessons are on hold and she has decided to leave the competitive skating world – well not much happening with skating competitions now anyway – but is doing some coaching of little ones. She did much of her classwork online from home in the earlier months of the pandemic but has been attending school in person for a couple of months now. And she is glad to be back with her friends.

During the year, we two have challenged the medical system with old age type complaints and, like many other elderly folks, are routinely investigated, tested and probed. We are very fortunate to live where there is great availability of services and a system that doesn’t break the bank to use. We are apparently in pretty good condition and could resume our travels if we could go somewhere and be allowed to come back.

We are trying to be responsible and moderately healthy by doing a lot of local touring on foot in neighbourhoods, trails and along the shore. We are very fortunate to live in such a scenic location with many accessible different venues. We are missing our regular dog walks with Lola, the Mini-schnauzer and Inka, the Toy Fox Terrier. Since someone in their family is at home most days, the dogs are well looked after.

Jean is taking full advantage of online Calligraphy and painting classes from all over the world during the pandemic. My only outside activity of note is golf and I am certainly not getting better. It is also getting more difficult to arrange games because the other folks are becoming increasingly incapacitated. Golf has benefits other than exercise and good company such as encounters with wildlife. We have seen thousands of geese and ducks along with squirrels,  sandhill cranes, herons, deer and even an few otters. No bears this year.

Otherwise, we are becoming more aware of our local creatures. We provide seeds for some Towhees, Juncos and Steller’s Jay beauties, plus some gray and black squirrels who are the back patio cleanup squad. The front patio is the location of a well used hummingbird feeder that attracts various gray, green and  Ruby throated birds year round. We often have raccoons in the area and one of our Strata neighbours encountered a bear on a complex path last week. (the bear was not only lost but should have been hibernating by now.

The Advent and Christmas season usually bring us carol concerts and all sorts of other festive events. Most are cancelled this year of course but on December 9th, unexpectedly, we did enjoy a magical adventure at the Capilano Suspension Bridge and Cliff Walk.  The Suspension bridge is one of the main tourist attractions in the Vancouver area and normally attracts thousands of visitors on a year round basis.  It was a moderate day with clouds, showers, some vestigial fog and clear breaks. We thought we would take a walk among the trees. The annual Christmas light show was already installed before special events were declared cancelled and all the lights were switched on. We found it magnificent, even in late afternoon. There was almost no-one there except us and the staff so it was very safe. Entry to the “event” is not allowed in the evening because of Covid. Yes, you might well ask why.

We do look forward to a resumption of more extensive travel in 2021, more dog-walking and the end of pandemic and US election news. We especially look forward to watching the granddaughters progress on their journey. One from University and the other from High School.

We hope that everyone everywhere will appreciate the joys and hopeful message of the Christmas season and the journey through  2021 in good health and happiness.




August 2020

I have changed my site to be easier to navigate. Some smaller card-style art will still appear in POSTS but more in ARTWORK. I will try to add more to that particular page, including some calligraphy before September.

Happy Christmas 2019

Greeting to all:
Jean’s turn to write this year!
I am writing our annual letter at the beginning of the third week of Advent. It is hard to believe we are so close to Christmas already. Our tree and crèche were put in place during the first week of Advent, as were the outside lights and the wreath on the front door. We finished the inside decorations just before we hosted our Strata’s annual Christmas Social evening. Lovely to spend time with our great neighbours and to catch up with their news before they start leaving for winter in sun and various cruises and other holidays. We are a ten unit townhouse strata and many of our neighbours travel a lot.
We have been to our first Christmas concert – a performance of the Messiah with the Pacific Baroque Orchestra, the Vancouver Cantata Singer, a 35 member choir, along with the soloists. One of many varieties of the Messiah and one of our favourites. Not so big and flashy as others and a lovely start to the season. Next Sunday we will go to hear Chor Leoni, an all male choir singing mostly traditional Christmas carols. Music is always an important part of this season for us.
But back to the “year that was”. Thankfully – no major upsets here. We continue being grateful that our immediate family members live close by and that we can be a part of their lives. It would be nice to have brothers and sisters and their families around too – but sadly, families tend to be more scattered in this modern world. Thanks to the internet, cheaper telephone calls to distant lands and – yes, social media – we are more in touch now though than we were for many years in the past. We have also very much enjoyed getting back in touch with old friends of many years ago in Ontario and Alberta through social media.  We both meet former colleagues from our working days at lunches from time to time during the year and really enjoy the shared memories. No one seems to miss working though! We carry on with golf and lettering and art, church volunteer work and walking granddogs. While we are certainly aging and slowing down, we have been blessed with decent enough health but we do not take it for granted. Myles will be 85 next year and I just passed 80 and had to have my first government-ordered driving licence physical. No problem passing it but I think I resent the discrimination.
During Spring Break (end of March beginning April) we went with Jennifer, Randy and Lauren on a Caribbean cruise. This was during the time of that huge Max plane mess and we had pretty awful trips to Fort Lauderdale and back. Not on Max planes, because we were never booked on them, but our own flights were disrupted by passengers from those planes being given our seats! It would be a long story to tell of all the disasters involved, but imagine 5 airports and about 23 hours from when we left our house to get to Ft. L.  Vancouver – Calgary – Ottawa – Toronto- Ft. L. But the cruise was fun! To finish with holiday stories,  we took a 10 day cruise to Hawaii in October.  Five “at sea” days were troublesome to think of but after all were not a problem. We read lots, I painted and Myles played games on the top deck..boules etc. Hawaii was hot and, in Honolulu for one day, as wet as I have ever seen any place anywhere – including Indonesian rainfalls. Waterfalls from the sky. In Bali people were often barefoot or in thong sandles to start with. It was funny to watch the well dressed Honolulu shoppers paddling along the sidewalks trying to protect their designer shoes by carrying them in their hands. Well, it wasn’t so funny when a big car deliberately splashed me from stem to stern in a roadside “lake” though. An interesting trip and our first time back to Hawaii in 40 years, so we saw many changes. There was another nightmare trip flying home via Alaskan Airlines. No. Don’t worry I won’t bother you with it. …but maybe try another airline if you have a choice.
The kids are all well and busy as always. The older ones are working stiffs of course. Molly is 19 now and at Beedie School of Business at SFU. She is in a co-op program and was hired as a TA at SFU and also worked at Telus in the fall. After Christmas she is off to study in Prague for a while. She did very well with generous scholarships and prizes here and there and will be able to see some of other parts of Europe while she is in Prague. She seems very busy and happy with her life. Lauren is still a competitive skater and it is a joy to watch her skate. Yesterday we went to watch her skating in the “Nutcracker on Ice”. She was in a couple of the group ice dances but also a solist as the Sugar Plum Fairy.
Christmas dinner will bring all the family to our house, and we have additional guests this year – a family from Seoul in South Korea. They are friends of Randy and Jennifer. We are very much looking forward to meeting them and sharing a traditional North American Christmas dinner with them.  I wonder what they will think of turkey, stuffing, cranberries etc. Parents and two young children.

I will include a few family photos below this letter/news. Not much updating of pages other than this post. I have not added any artwork for a long time.  Not that I don’t still paint and go to art/calligraphy/lettering workshops, but I am not willing to give the same time to the computer that I have in the past. For anyone who might care, I apologise.

We do wish all of you all the blessings that Christmas can bring.
Peace – Joy and Love
Jean and Myles