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Published: April 12th 2014
Mom's 90th Birthday
We gathered at the North Battleford's Co-op Cafeteria to celebrate Mom's 90th birthday.
Once back from Borneo, we settled back into the school routine, up early, have breakfast, then Linda heads off to school and Maurice cleans up, does travel research, and looks after all the details of daily living. Maurice also managed to sub a few days in December and really enjoyed his time with the students. On December 12th, Maurice left for the airport and home. He and Luc had meetings scheduled in Calgary on the 15th and so he had to leave prior to Linda's Christmas Vacation.
Maurice arrived home in Saskatoon to find that our home sitter wasn't fulfilling his part of the bargain! Also, Tai, our grandson, had experienced a stroke affecting his right side on December 9th, and was in hospital. Arriving home around midnight, Maurice made the mistake of opening the mail and that resulted in a sleepless night In the morning he headed to the hospital, only to find that Tai, Vicky, and Cory had left the hospital a few hours before. When he checked with them, they were tired and just happy to be back home, and not really up for any company. So Maurice got the truck registered, phone reactivated, bills paid, met
Such a handsome Couple
Mom's 90th birthday, Dad is 96. They are so sweet!
with the banker and also with the insurance people and worked on clearing the driveway to alleviate the stress that had built up. By Saturday when Maurice went to see Tai, Vicky and Cory, Tai had regained the use of his leg, but was not moving his right arm much at all. It was very shocking to see.
Sunday, Maurice headed to North Battleford with Luc and Colette to celebrate Mom's 90th birthday. They gathered for lunch at the Co-op and enjoyed a family meal together. Afterwards Luc, Colette and Maurice headed for Calgary and arrived at Annette and Lionel's in the early evening. They spent the evening visiting, then attended their meetings on Monday morning after the short meeting they headed back to Saskatoon. They got home around midnight.
Maurice managed to get to Marc's in Livelong to spend a few days with them, and enjoyed attending little Saydi's Christmas party. Tyler's rig was working in the area, so he stopped and visited with him before heading back to Saskatoon to look after affairs there.
Meanwhile Linda kept busy with teaching and attending Christmas parties in Kaohsiung. She and her Taiwanese EA's went out for a
Saydi's Christmas Party
Saydi's pre-school class held a Christmas Party for their guests at the Turtleford School.
fun filled evening. The lower school held a Christmas party by having a sports day on Friday the 20th, the last day of school. On Friday night, KAS held their annual Christmas party in Tainan, a city just outside of Kaohsiung. Attending staff were loaded in buses and driven to the center where they were treated to an 11 course supper followed by entertainment. Some of the students' mothers put on a belly dancing performance, a saxophone player serenaded the crowd, and some of the high school students performed various songs and skits. The following day, Linda boarded a plane and headed back to Saskatchewan for Christmas.
Late on December 21st, Linda landed in Saskatoon and was greeted at the airport by Maurice, Kristen and Brett. Sunday morning, we headed out early and stopped in Langham to see Linda's parents. We bundled them in the truck and drove to Jerald and Lorna's in North Battleford to attend Lorna's Christmas feast. Due to basement renovations, it had been 4 years since she had been able to host this event, and she was elated to be able to do so again. All the Tarasoff's gathered for an incredible meal and then
Tyler and Marc's Work
After the party, I stopped and visited Tyler at his rig, which happened to be close to Turtleford at the time.
spent the evening visiting and doing a Chinese auction gift exchange. Later, we headed back with Linda's parents to Langham and then on to Saskatoon.
Monday, we had our final preparations to do before Christmas. Linda's children stopped in again, it was so nice to spend some time with them. Christmas Eve morning dawned with a spectacular display of color, Maurice had to rush out to take some pictures. Winter in Saskatchewan can be so beautiful, we need pictures to show our friends in Taiwan who have never seen snow. Linda prepared hors d'oeuvres for the afternoon, unfortunately, both Kristen and Cory had to work, and only joined us at Mayfair United Church for Christmas Mass. They put on such a lovely service, and this year was no exception. Then, after mass, it was off to Colette and Luc's for the annual Reveillon! Most of Luc's family was there as well as the Blanchette's. We always have such a wonderful time and value this tradition. It seems however as we age that the evening ends earlier than in years past, though perhaps we start earlier as well. We were back home and to bed by 2 in the morning.
The Taiwanese EA's that Linda works with took her out for an evening of fun.
Christmas morning, we were up as early as possible, and headed to Langham to help Linda's parents prepare for their families arrival for the Tarasoff Traditional Christmas Dinner. We think the whole family was there, and we value this time very much as it may not be possible for much longer. Linda's parents are getting on in age. Then Christmas evening, it was off to Beatrice's for yet another meal, and another family gathering. It was wonderful as both Pierre and Rob from Edmonton and Annette and Lionel from Calgary were there. So we were once again able to take family pictures with all of us there.
Boxing Day morning, we headed out on the road once more, and drove to Marshall to be with Maurice's children. Leslie hosted us wonderfully, the day was warm so we were able to go sliding on the school hill with the grandchildren. Marc and Holly, Leslie and Kevin, Tyler and Kim and Aaron and Delphine were there too. We were all able to be there. We played games with the kids and had a wonderful evening. Next day, we hit the hills once more, this time Bennett and Briar joined Ally,
Last Day of School
Before Christmas, the lower school children played games in the sportsday.
Saydi, Gracie, Sawyer, Easton, Linda and Maurice. Winter can be so pleasant when the weather cooperates. We headed back to Saskatoon with our 3 musketeers, Gracie, Sawyer and Easton. They are so much fun to be with, and we enjoy having them to ourselves in Saskatoon.
New Year's Eve, the kids brought their finest clothes, we dressed up and headed to the Holy Family Cathedral for a family NYE Party. The music started right at 9PM, and people of all ages were up and dancing right away to the music of a live band. After a somewhat slow start by our kids, they seemed to hit their stride around 10PM and danced the rest of the night away. At 11PM, a full turkey supper with all the trimmings was set out for us. At midnight we greeted the New year with Auld Lang Syne, and cheered in 2014 with our 3 grandchildren, Luc and Colette, and Mel and Gisele. What fun! Then, around 1AM, Easton's legs gave out on him, and it was time to head home. We were blessed with a memorable New Year.
And finally, on Saturday afternoon, the 4th, we all headed to North Battleford
and the Tropical Inn. As a Christmas gift to Maurice's 4 children, we rented 5 hotel rooms and gathered for an afternoon and evening of water-sliding with everyone having a poolside room. We brought in pizza for supper, and swam and played till they shut down the water complex at 10PM. Next morning, we again played in the pool and then checked out around dinnertime. The weather was bitterly cold, -40 and a wind chill besides. We managed to get all the vehicles running, and left town.. Just out of North Battleford, there was a little car stuck in a hard packed snow bank, so we went back to provide some assistance. It turned out to be a fellow from Serbia who had only been in Saskatchewan a few weeks after spending about 6 months in Toronto. He was not dressed for the weather and was trying to kick the snow from under his car. We were able to pull him free after an hour of pulling and tugging every which way, and finally, he was back on the highway. He was incredibly grateful, and we were acutely aware that no one else had stopped to give assistance. It feels
The girls in Linda's Grade 4L class.
good to be a good Samaritan! The next few days were spent getting appointments made for Tai to see the doctors again as well as physio therapists. Tai was walking normally again, and had initiated some use of his right arm and hand. Little Gracie was a great therapist during the time she spent in Saskatoon, always reminding Tai to use "your other hand", and he would immediately switch. Cory and Vicki did a wonderful job of working with Tai on the exercises that the doctors had given them when Tai was discharged on December 13th. We were able to get Tai in to see a child therapist, and she was amazed by the extent of Tai's recovery. By the time we left Saskatoon, he was throwing a ball overhand! Quite a feat for a 2 year old who 3 weeks before could not initiate any movement with that arm at all.
On January 8th, Vicki had another ultrasound done, they were expecting a second child at the end of April. The ultrasound showed a major heart defect, with the baby having no chance of surviving even to term. It was decided that the only course of action feasible
Kaohsiung American School Christmas
KAS held their staff Christmas Party in Tainan, just outside of Kaohsiung. Staff were loaded on buses and driven to the event.
would be to terminate the pregnancy....this was so difficult and sad and emotional. We helped Cory and Vicki prepare as best as possible, and Vicky went into the hospital the morning of the 9th. Max was born at 4:15AM January 9, 2014 and lived about 5 minutes before slipping quietly away. So heartbreaking!
Maurice went to the airport and cancelled our flights for the next morning with Air Canada, and made arrangements with Westjet to fly on the 11th. It was the most we could delay our return to Kaohsiung and still meet our commitments with the school.
It was withe great sadness that we boarded the plane for Taiwan, leaving behind a devastated young couple who were facing life's trials as best they could.
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