Thursday, May 7, 2009

Back to Bobcageon

I kind of got caught up in and preoccupied by other things so I did not write about my second visit of the year to Barrie and Bobcageon on the last weekend of April. I wanted to see Bill and Ruthe again before I left for the summer in Nova Scotia. I'm afraid I did not take any photos this time of Bill and Ruthe, in fact the only thing I photographed were these easter eggs.

My sister-in-law's sister-in-law is Ukrainian, and she gives Tim and Laurene handpainted easter eggs. They had four of them on their dining table and I thought they were exquisite, so I had to photograph them.

Beautiful, eh? What a talented woman!

Usually Tim calls Corrine, Bill's wife, when we are going to visit Bobcageon and she usually meets us for lunch and goes with us to Bill's nursing home. But she was out of town this time so Tim and I surprised Ruthe and Bill.

When we arrived at Ruthe's, she was busy getting ready to go out for lunch with a friend. She seemed much more energetic this time than the last time we saw her. We had a nice visit with her but after 25 minutes or so it was clear that she was tiring and we didn't want to exhaust her before she went out for lunch with her friend so we said our goodbyes and left.

We dropped by Bill's place briefly to let him know we were there and would come back in the afternoon for a longer visit. Then we went for lunch at a local restaurant called the For The Halibut, and had fish and chips. I think we had cod. We went for a bit of a walk around town afterward, I saw a bufflehead on the river there.

Bill was waiting for us by the front door when we got back to his nursing home. I think we spent almost two hours with him until we had tired him out too. We chatted about a lot of things, about Josh's new job flying in northern Ontario this summer, the state of Tim's car that used to be Bill's and so he still has a proprietary interest in its survival. We talked about Bill's oldest brother Jesse and how smart he was. Jesse was hired by IBM to repair and maintain their computers back in the very early days of big mainframe computers. One of the car companies, I think it might have been General Motors, was especially impressed with Jesse's abilities in keeping computers up and running, so they created an office especially for him at their plant in Oshawa. I asked Bill if he knew anything about Grandad's family but Bill said that he didn't know much about that part of the family, Grandad had pretty much cut off ties with his family after having loaned someone some money and they didn't repay it.

One of the things we had talked to Ruthe about was Grandma's sisters. Apparently Grandma and her sisters all came to Canada together. Her sisters names were Agnes, Ruby and I forget the third one. One of them married an American and moved to the States, but the other two remained in Canada With Grandma ("Betts"). There was also a brother, but he didn't come to Canada, he went to California. Apparently he wasn't too friendly with the sisters, Grandma tried to visit him in California but it was not a pleasant trip.

After Tim and I got back to Barrie, Corrine phoned to say that she had been in Toronto visiting her new grandson, Kimberley's baby. Tim commented on how well Ruthe was looking and Corrine said that Ruthe now wanted to leave the nursing home and get her own apartment again. Or failing that, to buy a scooter so she could scoot into town whenever she felt like it. This from an 82 year old woman who last year was at death's door with congestive heart failure and kidney failure! We think the only reason she is in such good shape now is thanks to the care she is getting at the nursing home, so no one is particularly wanting to encourage her to leave it. And while she seems in good spirits and able to get around, she is still very frail and it is rather hard to picture her on a scooter whizzing into town! But Ruthe always was a fiercely independent woman, I'm sure nursing home life is irksome to her.

Tim took videos at both Ruthe's and Bill's places, but I am not sure how well the sound turned out. Eventually Tim hopes to put together a CD or DVD of the time we have spent with them to share with their families and with ours.


Barbara Anne said...

Hi Anne,

Playing catch-up as life has been busy with many daily things - and I made the huge mistake of embarking on a re-organization of my little sewing room. It's been a mess for 5 days. Sigh!

Oh, keeping up with friends as we all age is so important. Cheers for Ruthe's independent spirit that is in her yet!!

Isn't it sad when a family member long ago left by marriage or in a snit and no one knows what became of them or their progeny? My family has a few, too.


Zabetha said...

Hi Barbara Anne

Nothing like moving out twice a year to make you tidy up after you! My place is a mess right now but has to be all shipshape for subletting by tonight!

Since I never knew about the family split before this year, it didn't really affect me. Now I just wonder, who were those people and od I have distant relatives in Toronto that I never knew?