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Published: February 15th 2016
Incheon International Airport, Seoul, Korea
They have these comfortable loungers for travellers to rest between flights, and they were a great place to rest and nap.
On October 23rd, Linda's mother experienced more heart trouble and was admitted to hospital for tests and rest. After spending a week in hospital, she returned to her home in Langham. We decided that a trip home to help her adapt to her new limitations was in order. The school very graciously granted Linda a 2 week leave, and as soon as arrangements were made, we were off to Canada. We flew from Kaohsiung to Seoul Korea and then crossed the Pacific to Vancouver aboard the new 787 Dreamliner. We found it a much more comfortable flight because the plane flies 10% higher and faster. They also have higher oxygen and humidity in the cabin, the windows are 33% larger, and the ceiling is higher and the storage bins larger.
We arrived in Saskatoon on November 7th and next morning headed out to Langham. We found Linda's mother very weak and not able to walk any distance at all, even with the help of her new deluxe walker. She is no longer able to do stairs so the first order was to help Linda's brother Doug move the washer and dryer upstairs. Jerald and Greg got the plumbing done and
Doris' Bathroom before Reno's
Bathing is one of the most dangerous activities for seniors, and so we removed the tub and installed a proper walk-in bath tub.
Maurice and Doug moved the pair upstairs and hooked it up. Next on the list of modifications necessary was the bathroom. Linda, along with Homecare, convinced Doris that a walk-in bathtub was a necessity in order for her to continue living in her home. We were able to find one in stock in Saskatoon, and so Maurice and Doug removed the old tub and installed the new one. More shelves were added, kitchenware was moved, and Doris was set up to live on one level. NO stairs allowed!
Our 10th grandchild was born on November 4th, and we were pleased to be able to travel to Marshall to meet Hadley Ryanne. What a little sweetheart! Maurice spent some time with Leslie, Ryan and the 4 children at their home. We made a point of visiting Maurice's mother as often as we could and were lucky enough to be there to attend Remembrance Day celebrations. We also travelled to Marshall again to attend Hadley's baby shower which was held in the Hall. We got to meet Ryan's parents for the first time, and it was a treat for all of Hadley's grandparents to be able to be there. Because of
Renos in Progress
Out with the old and in with the new improved model.
the warm weather, we were even able to play football outside with the bigger kids. We then went on to Marc's at Livelong and enjoyed Saydi and Ally-Anna.
Back in Saskatoon, Linda spent time with her mother, helping her to adjust. She was pleased to have the opportunity to visit her sister-in-law who was critically ill in St Paul's hospital and our prayers went out to Janice. We had a bit of time to squeeze in visits with family and friends before it was time to return to Kaohsiung. We wanted to thank KAS for their support in enabling us to make the trip back, and we were very happy we did. We felt it was very good for us to have returned to help out.
Jack arrived to visit a few days after we returned from Bali. Because he was here last year he knew the ropes on getting around and arrived off the High Speed Train as expected. He was really happy to be back on "his scooter". On Friday night, December 4th, the three of us attended the annual Christmas Gala held in the top floor restaurant of one of Kaohsiung's finest hotels.
Doris' Great Grandchildren
Her new walker works well and the children enjoyed it too.
It was, as usual a very elegant affair and we all had a great time. Jack had met quite a few of the teachers last year, and was pleased to see them again. After the party, we all jumped in to Grace's CRV and made our way to Mercury bar where they had live entertainment. We were home by midnight! (Such Party Animals)
On Saturday, we decorated the apartment for Xmas. Linda went to school to do work, then we headed out for supper with Pearl, the preK teacher at KAS. What a fascinating character she is! We enjoyed her stories as we shared a Northern Chinese style hotpot meal at a restaurant near her apartment.
Sunday morning, we jumped on our scooters and headed for Meinong, one of our favorite towns north of Kaohsiung, about an hour ride away. We have 3 scooters now so we were able to each ride separately which made for a pleasant trip. In Meinong, we met up with Vincent and Caroline at the Haka Cultural Center. We wandered through the center before climbing into Vincent's Escape to go and find some Haka lunch. Then we scootered to Quishan to visit Old
Born on November 4th, Hadley weighed 7lbs 11ounces
Street where they have an interesting market every Sunday. We wandered through, bought a few grocery items and then rode home. We went out for supper to a crab restaurant with Lulu, Jean, her boyfriend and Leah. We had a nice time and were home at a reasonable time because Linda was teaching on Monday.
Monday, Jack and Maurice prepared a huge meal for supper because we were expecting a house full of guests for supper and an evening of "majong". We managed somehow to fit 10 of us in the living room for a traditional Canadian ribs meal, while David, Margaret, Bennie, James and Diego brought traditional Taiwanese food. Chris and Annie joined us as well. After the terrific supper, Bennie took out 'our' majong tiles, and we learnt how to play. Well, we learnt a little about the game at least. It reminded us, somewhat, of tile rummy but it was hard to learn the Chinese symbols on the tiles. We enjoyed an evening of great fun and bid our guests farewell around 10PM.
On Tuesday, Maurice fell ill, and was pretty much house bound for the next month. Jack meanwhile inherited the chores that Maurice
St. Anne's Nursing Home
Maurice's mother Irene is a resident of St. Anne's. They had live entertainment in to celebrate Remembrance Day, and many of the residents gathered to listen to old songs commemorating the war.
would usually have taken care of. Jack enjoyed his new found ability to maneuver around Kaohsiung with the help of maps that Maurice would draw for him. On Friday, Maurice and Jack made their way to the school to attend the annual Christmas concert at KAS. As usual, the students preformed remarkably. We followed up with supper at an authentic Vietnamese restaurant. Saturday evening, Linda and Jack joined our "majong" group for an evening of karaoke at a KTV. It was Jack's first experience at KTV. There, you rent a room. You can bring in snacks and liquor and you must sing your heart out. Each group has their individual rooms. How nice, you do not embarrass yourself publicly, only in front of your friends. And of course, as the evening progresses, the singing improves. A few others joined the party a bit later, so they were moved into a larger room. Jack was very surprised at how much he enjoyed the evening spent with so many of our friends.
On Sunday, Chris and Annie lent us their CRV and we headed south of Kaohsiung to the National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium. Maurice rested in the car
Irene and Maurice
We enjoy visiting at suppertime because then we are able to entertain all of the residents that eat at Mom's table,
while Linda and Jack made their way through the huge facility which is beyond incredible. The main building houses a sunken ship where sea life abounds. It's a great place to bring our Canadian guests.
Sunday evening Maurice was in so much pain that he emailed his doctor at 9:30PM. The doctor responded 15 minutes later saying that a VIP representative would call Monday morning. At 10AM, Chloe called, asked about symptoms, then made an appointment for 4PM with a specialist. She met Maurice at the information desk of the Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital, took him up to the 22nd floor where he was seen by the specialist. Chloe then picked up the medication prescribed by the doctor, took the payment (1900NT) and delivered Maurice back to the hospital foyer, all in an hour. They have an incredible health system here in Taiwan.
Monday evening, Pearl joined us for a scrumptious supper of clams and Greek salad. We enjoyed a few bottles of wine while Pearl totally enthralled Jack with her experiences and travels. On Tuesday evening, we bade Jack farewell as he was off on the high speed train to Taipei to catch his 11PM flight back
Dining at St. Anne's
We've come to know the residents that dine with Mom, and we do our best to bring some colour to their lives.
to Vancouver. We had a great time with Jack this year and he seemed to blossom while with us, showing pride and confidence in his abilities to find his way by scooter around the city.
We spent the rest of the week preparing for our trip home to Saskatoon for Christmas and Linda finishing up her last few days of school before our 3 week Christmas break.
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