Kicking it with the GP’s in Osoyoos, BC

She depressed her index finger against the door bell and it chimed inwardly into the light brown stucco home where the GP’s were enjoying their mid-afternoon conversations. Moments later the door swung inward with her Grandfather standing on the opposite side just beyond the entrance mat enticing you to take off your shoes and stay awhile.

SURPRISE! We made it!” shouted my wife at the same time the door opened far enough to see her Grandfather’s face looking out the doorway to see who had rung his doorbell.

He was all smiles when he first noticed whom was standing at the doorway followed by a warm welcome and a “come on in you two! where did you come from today? and how long are you staying?” Under normal circumstances we would have our overnight bags in tow as we typically spent two to three days in Osoyoos kicking it with the GP’s.

Unfortunately this was a wham-bam-thank-you-mam kind of trip, and would only be in their presence for the next couple of hours to chat them up then depart on our way as we needed to be back home by Sunday night. In order for myself to make it to work at 8:30am on Monday morning.

“Look whose come for a visit grandma,” he says as we flipped off our shoes by the front door closing it and entering into their home. Her head swivelled around from the couch to see her eldest granddaughter and her husband approaching from the entry way.

The room as it always was, was dark. The drapes were drawn and their back patio and yard faced East. Great for waking up in the morning and terrible for the rest of the day as you have no direct sunlight. However it did make it easy to keep the back of the house cooler because here in Osoyoos its the desert of the Okanagan.

Each of us leaned over and gave her a hug as she stayed seated on the couch because of her current foot and ankle issue. We both flopped down onto the c-shaped couch and Grandpa turned off the television then Grandma says outloud “Alexa play soft relaxing music in the background.” Following these instructions Alexa provided the soft tunes of jazz fusion as we began our idle chat.

Grandma began the conversation with catching us up on her current assessment by her doctor on her ankle and foot then showed us a few photographs on the iPad of when she fell over a few weeks back. They giggled about their episode at the hospital as the doctor’s and nurses were trying to understand if any domestic violence was occurring in their home because she incurred a black eye after she had fallen. Of course the answer was there is no domestic violence going on. It was simply her blunder and the black eye a result of this mishap.

We heard several other stories about mobility and getting around the house. Things happening to her balance getting out of bed, or doing laundry or just moving between rooms. There was concern in her voice and in his too. They weren’t sure how to handle this new stress on their day-to-day operations of what will happen next.

The doctor’s were suggesting an improvement in her mobility by offering her a recumbent exercise bike which now stood in the entrance hallway. She was to be on it twice a day for minimum twenty minutes to ensure her ankle and foot are being moved around at a low speed.

When aging gracefully one must keep in mind that MOBILITY is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT and you have to keep up with exercising to ensure a fit and healthy body, mind and spirit!

After her laundry list of ailments and prescribed remedies we heard about grandpa’s recent golf outings and how he’s still shooting around an 80 on Tuesday afternoons on the desert course and high 70’s on the meadows course. He informed about his most recent walk down to McDonald’s for coffee with the guys and the plethora of dog treats he’s been handing out along the way.

After this it was our turn to talk about how our lives have been doing, what work we’ve been involved in and as Shauna began to say something about Astrology a topic I’ve been hearing more and more about around our own home, I began to doze off in the comfort of the couch. Within five minutes my eyes were closed and the observations of this conversation were over for me.

Another thirty-five minutes went by then a cool hand shook my arm with a soft voice saying in my ear, “hey Aaron, its time to wake up. We should get going.” Surprised by the cool hand my body flinched but my eyes remained closed. She tried again and on her third attempt I realized this cool hand was in the actual life surrounding me and not the internal one jumping around inside my thoughts.

My eyes fluttered and coming into view was her hand on my arm, “oh good, you’re awake!” she says. Followed by “we should get going soon.” Arms up above my head, neck rolling left then right, I pushed down on the foot rest and it sprung back against the seat I was in. Feet back onto the floor and with a bit of pressure my body lifted off the couch tensing as I stood up then bent over at the waste to adjust for the getting up. Everyone watched my movements as I stretched upon waking up. Then grandma says, “are you sure you kids don’t want to just stay here the night? He sure does look like it.” Shauna shook her head and apologized as she knew we had a long travel day ahead of us and any distance north would be helpful for getting out of the valley tomorrow.

We hugged grandma on the couch then headed for the front door where our shoes awaited our departure. Slipping the shoes on Grandpa asked “What vehicle did you drive down here in?” Smiling I thought its because you think we trade in our vehicles as often as you do, then replied with “the Tacoma.” He smiled not understanding the response and says, “we should go take a look at this vehicle of yours just in case something needs repair.” I smiled knowing full well this was his way to get outside and see us off from the yard.

Outside we stood on the patio and he began explaining his battle earlier in the day with the eavestrough and how it was leaking water into a pool on the ground. Then he had to get out the ladder to inspect it and learnt there were leaves up there blocking the water from exiting down the drain spout. He unclogged it then checked the rest of the downspouts to ensure they weren’t also blocked.

We idly chatted about the exterior of the stucco house, the patio flower pots, the watering system and the grass out front. He pointed out where the neighbour to the left had removed an old tree that the previous owner did not take care of.

We walked over to the truck as Shauna was excited about getting us further up the road and I was excited about finding a place to sleep, like the bed inside the stucco home. My vote was vetoed and we pulled backwards out the driveway, waving to Grandpa standing in the plush green grass of his home.

“Alright, why aren’t we staying here?” I asked as we pulled around the corner departing their small community and headed up the road to the highway. She sat idle starring out the window at the neighbours stucco homes then said, “I love my grandparents but their bed is just too soft, and I wanted to be a bit further up the roadway for tomorrow is going to be a long drive.”

~ Aaron JacksonCrabb