The Okanagan Valley

It’s beautiful in the valley like something out of a Hollywood drama about the new rich and the wannabes who hanker after their wives and daughters, but it is stuffed like a California roll with people in search of a good life that doesn’t exist anymore and never really existed for most anyway.

To clarify, this has not been a vacation. Anything with family attached to it is not restful and is fun in only the most abstract of ways. There is always too much to do, and too many errands or odd jobs to take care of.  Elderly parents in particular are needy. There are things they cannot, or simply don’t do, on their own. They wait for opportunities like “vacations” to catch up on these things. For the past two years, all our trips have entailed duty. Our obligations as adult children took precedence over anything that we might have wanted to really do. We did manage to sneak in a couple of getaways, but they always felt rushed … because they were.

I have stated repeatedly that post this trip there will be a year long moratorium on vacations that include “family obligations”. We are going to rest and the family be damned. Anyone with the temerity to get sick, die or in any way need us does so at his or her peril.

We finally got a decent span of sleep Sunday night. It was not enough to right either of us, but I no longer feel like falling down. I am just a little light-headed and feel a tiny bit detached. Actually, I should say that I got a good night’s sleep. Rob was awake on and off waiting for a phone call or a text from ED, telling him that she and her sister had gotten back to Edmonton.

Despite reminding both the girls that he worried and wanted to hear from them that evening, neither of them called.

“They probably decided to stay over with Cee and Why (the newly married couple),” I said, trying to be reassuring.

It certainly made sense to me. Neither had gotten to bed much before 6AM Sunday and when we saw them before heading out, they were loopy from lack of sleep.

Around noon Rob broke down and called Cee, who was surprised to find out that Rob hadn’t known the girls had made plans to stay on a couple of extra days. Rob made his disappointment known to MK who passed it along to her older sister, who in turn sent a Facebook message trying to convince Rob that he had indeed been told about their plans. If he was then it was when I wasn’t around because I don’t recall that at all and I am the one who would have remembered it anyway.

I was always one to call my mom and let her know if I’d arrived safely. I still do that. My siblings never have and still don’t. People will scoff, but I think it’s a simple thing that requires nothing by way of effort, so I do it. That is just me.

The weather hasn’t been nice. Sunshine’s sporadic and it’s still quite chilly. We didn’t get outside much and Monday was eaten up with little things needing care and a futile trip to Apex Mountain only to discover the resort had closed for the season just the day before.

A highlight was our first sushi experience at a little place downtown. Rob was the only one who’d had sushi before and he walked us through the menu. The restaurant was just about empty as the ski season is over and the summer season hasn’t begun. Even BabyD managed to eat a bit of salmon which she liked more than the tuna. Mostly though she worked up an appetite trying to work out the chopsticks.

Our homeward journey begins tomorrow. Perhaps it will afford me a few more “vacation” like moments similar to the one of strolling Revelstoke in the hazy early morning or when Rob helped me work out the kink in my Night Dogs novel (I can finish it now) and helped me come up with the draft outline for a new idea (another novel with an “end of the world as we know it” feel and a strong female lead character). I can dream, can’t I?

8 thoughts on “The Okanagan Valley

  1. Hope you get some rest and relaxation on the way back. I’ve been to the US side of the Okanagan, and I love it there. Sometimes I wish I could just live out in the woods, and watch the birds and animals.

  2. it was probably 5 years after we were married before we took a vacation that did not have a family connection. it was wonderful – stick to your moratorium! you deserve it!

    funny how we still need that phone call, or e-mail. my son – surprisingly – is the consistent one, always texting me a short note when he’s settled in after a trip. my daughter? took 2 days before i got an e-mail telling me she was safe in Beirut…

    1. I love my relations but I just want a break from responsibility. No one is so old or so sick right now that Rob and I can’t step away from the plate for a while.

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