20180610_200800Joan and Gary’s rented condo comes with one underground parking space. To park their second vehicle, they have to look carefully for a spot in the busy downtown. Usually by some miracle they can find one within a block or two.

This cute purple moose graces a small veranda roof in the residential area nearby.

There is a lot of wealth in Kelowna, as well as obvious poverty. There are many impressive large homes and older well-kept properties, while the homeless are in evidence on all the core streets.

Gorgeous flowers, shrubs, and trees make it a pretty city nestled in next to Lake Okanagan. Traffic speed and congestion pollute it with noise and hustle. It’s not the lovely little town it was back when I lived there in 1983. We (me and my beau at the time) were four miles up Chute Lake Road; had we still been there a few years ago, our place would’ve been burned out completely by a forest fire.

Joan did a lot of driving. Not only did she go back and forth between her place and Dad’s (usually we stay with her and Dad comes over, but her family’s squeezed into the condo and, since the sale of their house was uncertain when we planned our surprise visit, we didn’t want to add pressure to her to-do list by camping on her doorstep), but she took us shopping and out for some meals and we rode along as she picked up her kids from school.


I took a back seat whenever possible, as I’m jumpy in all that traffic and when I startle, so does the poor driver. Here we’re waiting for Ben’s aide to bring him out of the school so he and his wheelchair can be loaded into the back of the van. 

We also took a run up to their empty house once or twice. They’ve bought a lot in the vicinity because they love their neighbours, and plan to build a home that will accommodate their son Ben, who at age 11, even though he doesn’t have an ounce of fat on his bones, is becoming too long and heavy to lift and manage without aids. He’s changed so much since we saw him last summer! Maybe some of that is the approach to puberty, but some could also be a change in drugs that he takes to avoid seizures. He seems to focus much better, and oh that chiseled jaw! Not a baby anymore, our Ben.

Their new house will have an elevator and whatever else is necessary to keep him at home for another 10 or 15 years, which is the earliest they’ve been told there’s likely to be a place for him in care once he becomes an adult. Crazy! Not the best services in BC, that’s for sure. Even for a few days of respite once or twice a year, they have to take him all the way to Abbotsford. You’d think a city the size of Kelowna could do better than that, wouldn’t you?

The house? Almost empty. In the garage there were still two huge flat-screen TVs and a kayak they hadn’t yet managed to sell or give away, and time was running short before new owners were to take possession of the property. We took one last tour of the place where they’ve lived for the past 12 years or so. I took a shot of the “driveway from hell,” which is what most Saskatchewan people think of it because it’s incredibly steep. My picture, below, doesn’t make that clear at all.

And now, my little duckies, I must get on with the day. It’s going to be a hot one and the heat is expected to continue through Wednesday.


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