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Saturday, July 23, 2011

Family Time in Penticton

The main reason for our trip to Penticton was to celebrate Dave's mom's 90th birthday on June 29.  Dave's dad died in 1994 and his mom carried on quite well on her own for a number of years until the mid-2000's.  She started to suffer from short-term memory loss and would occasionally have some sort of 'spells' where she would black-out but not lose consciousness. It was decided that Dave's sister and brother-in-law would move into Mom's house, so that she could stay in her home as long as possible.  This was a good idea, but the way they went about things has caused a lot of friction between Dave and his sister.  Some of you know the story.  I won't go into details.  But one thing that illustrates the problems is that Joan and Bob decided the house needed renovating and adding on to. That would have been okay, but they decided that Mom would have the added on part that is a bedroom and bathroom and they would take over her bedroom and have the rest of the house.  I always thought that was kind of tacky, to make her move out of the room she slept in for 50 years....In essence she has the mother-in-law suite, although it is her home!!

Anyway, Dave's mom was a nurse for many years and when she retired she was Head Surgical Nurse at Penticton Hospital.  She took great pride in her job and did it well and was highly respected by her colleagues. She used to garden, cook, bake, and make jams and preserves.  She loves word games like Boggle, Scrabble, etc. Above all she loves her family and is very forgiving of their foibles and faults. I am afraid I am not such a forgiving sort!!! She is the best mother-in-law that I could have hoped for and we have always got along wonderfully well. She is one of the 3 surviving offspring of her mother's 2 marriages which produced a total of 6 children.  One of her twin sisters, Gwen is still alive, as is Jack, her half-brother.  She is now the eldest, as Uncle Bill passed away almost 2 years ago.

One of the highlights of being able to take Duffy with us, was that Mom was at last going to be able to meet Duffy.  She has seen lots of pictures and heard all about him, but never met him.  I was excited about it too! Well, Dave had taken along his laptop. but we couldn't get a connection in Blue River, so it was Sunday before he could check his emails.  And there was one from his sister.  She said that because the 2 Spaniels that her and Bob have, are not well socialized with other dogs, that it would be better if we did not bring Duffy over to the house, and she hoped this wouldn't be a problem!! HA!! Dave and I were both incensed and I fumed for hours about how to handle this. The nerve!!  Just because she hasn't bothered to train her dogs, Duffy is supposed to pay the price and be exiled while her bratty dogs raise havoc?? Dave had met them before and said one was friendly and the other not, and that they were not well behaved. And how was Mom supposed to meet Duffy--at the motel room?? Right! We decided the next day, when we went over, that we would just ignore the email--like we hadn't got it!! Joan was out, but Boob, er I mean Bob had to keep the dogs in the house, as we were sitting outside.  Now was that so hard to figure out? Duffy was good as gold, wandered around, knew there were dogs there and peered in the screen door, trying to see where they were.  Aww, poor Duffy--no fun for him after all!! Duffy and Mom got along fine and he really liked her. He ignored Bob---hahahahahah!! Do I have a smart dog or what???!!! And he ignored Joan too, until we were leaving for home, then she patted him and thumped him on the side--kinda hard I thought. He wasn't too keen on her. We also brought him over to the open house that was the celebration for Mom's birthday. There was a thunderstorm and downpour, so everyone had to be in the house for awhile. He wandered around, but then they wanted to take their brats out, so I was told round him up.  I took him back outside.  While in the house he kept looking for the dogs--he wanted to play. The 2 spaniels were not very nice dogs.  One jumped up all the time--by the way, they are 2 years old, not puppies-- and they barked incessantly.  You could think that you were making friends with them and pat and scratch them, and then all of a sudden, one would turn and be growling at you, while the other jumped up and barked all the time. Joan's "excuse" for them was that there are no off-leash parks in Penticton, or ones easy to get to, or something.  Yeah, well, off-leash parks are highly over-rated and are not the place to 'socialize' dogs. If the dogs are not already well behaved, all you get is a bunch of wild running around, badly behaved dogs and there are the risks of fights and biting.  As well, these kind of parks are breeding grounds for diseases, as many owners don't bother to pick up after their dogs.  Duffy has never been to an off-leash park in his life.  We have had doggy play dates with neighbor dogs, I walk him with a dachshund, he plays with some of the dogs we meet up with on walks, like Ranger the Bernier and that's sufficient. I'm sure Joan and Bob complained bitterly to their golfing friends about how rude we were to bring our lovely, friendly collie over to THEIR house!! Who cares!! The rest of Dave's family loved Duffy, and Uncle Jack said that it's been years since he has seen such a well-behaved dog.  Oh, and he said that Joan's dogs aren't socialized with people, never mind other dogs!! Hahahahahaha!!
Mom and Duffy getting acquainted

Off to see the garden
Duffy making himself at home on the upper patio.

At the birthday open house.  Left to right: Dave, Al Larsen, Mom, a friend of Joan's and Bob's behind the flowers,  Val Larsen--she one of Dave's cousins, Auntie Gwen is her mom, and Uncle Jack.

Uncle Jack, emphasizing his point!! Haha!  He loves to talk and tell stories. Another of Dave's cousins, Lorraine, sits to his right.She's one of Auntie Gwen's daughters.

The Aunties!! From the left, Aunt Brenda, Uncle Jack's wife, Aunt Reeta, Uncle Bill's widow, a neighbor from across the street, and Auntie Gwen. Aunt Reeta was the only one paying attention to the fact I was taking a picture!! There were no photo ops for family pictures to commemorate the occasion--sadly. So by the time I realized that, and started to take some pictures, the event was over. There was no cake either:(

After the open house was over and we all had to leave(!), we went to Jack and Brenda's and kept celebrating Mom's birthday! Meanwhile Joan and Bob took her out for dinner at the Golf Club and then they, along with a bunch of their golfing friends went to see the Cirque du Soleil performance. The rest of us were concerned that this might be too much for Mom to do all in one day, but they carried on with the plans. And we weren't invited. Quelle surprize!! But no cake or pictures of Mom and her family--that's kind of poor.  In fact the familiy was marginalized for the whole event. It was all about Joan and Bob, as usual.  Dave and I did take Mom out for supper the night before her birthday to Theo's, the Greek restaurant in town, which we all enjoyed.

Aunt Gwen and Dave

Lorraine and Dave--and Duffy! And yes his ear has popped up again!! It was staying down and I thought we had it licked, but no.  So it's back to the glue!

The "boys"!! We had a good time, ordered in pizza, had a lot of laughs.Too bad Mom wasn't there. 
Happy Birthday Mom!! May you have many more!! We love you!! ♥♥♥♥


Squishy said...

Family is weird. I can do without a lot of them, especially the ones I am now unfortunately "related" to via T. I'd rather ride my horse or play with the collies. Dave's mom looks great and she probably figures she's lived a good life and no sense in getting worked up about the move to the other part of the house, but they do sound rather rude. And, icky on the dogs. Duffy looks like he was a very good boy during the whole trip!

onecollie said...

awww such wonderful pictures!! I am so glad that your mother in law got to meet Duffy :)
That is terrible about Joan & Boob!! oopsy, I mean Bob !!! hahaha!
There beasts do sound horrid :( I drives me crazy when people make excuses for their dogs bad behaviour.
I am so glad you & Dave just took Duffy, I would have done exactly the same thing !


Dog Dad sez he can relate. There are times he just wants to be away from his family when he heads north. We are glad to see your mother-in-law and hope you get to see her more.

Essex & Dog Dad