From setting retirement goals, to following through, to planning, moving, travelling and everything in between - what a ride. Did I mention the parties? My parents can party. There were toasts and kind words and slideshows. There was incredible family, friends and people they've worked with - all out in full force. I'm so grateful that I got to watch them transition into such an awesome new place.
I'd spent a good amount of time thinking of something meaningful to give them to mark this milestone and nothing seemed to make the cut. When it dawned on me one day that they were moving away from their home on the lake. They were really making the best of their last few months there. In that moment I knew I would do a painting for them. Come Fall of last year they had already moved into what would be their "retirement" home and had worked hard to paint and reno it into their style. So before they got too comfy, I bought a great big white canvas and took it to them. I had written a poem congratulating them on this new beginning and letting them know my intention to paint the canvas with a picture of a sunrise over Lake Simcoe. I asked for a few pics they had taken over the years so I could have a visual and then spent almost a year making them wait for it! lol.
They were very patient and knew I had lots going on, but saved a space on their wall for what was to come. If you've been to my house in the past year, you've probably seen it as a work in progress in the corner. However, I'm happy to report it is finished. I love how it turned out and if you're familiar with looking at down from Kempenfelt Bay out at Lake Simcoe, hopefully you recognize this.
We had so much fun out at the Lake over the years. I am going to miss visiting them on the water, and best believe Charlie will as well. Could I give you my favourite memory from that home? Hmmm... for some reason I very clearly have two other images vividly carved in my mind from Canada Day 2010. One of my Dad and Charlie sitting on the new boat blowing bubbles in the back seat and one of my Mom and Charlie playing in the shallow water and pebbles at the bottom of the stairs. Of course campfires on the water with Julie and Adrian, fishing on Christmas day off the dock, the "wind-ups", I could go on. We were so lucky to have that at our fingertips.
And while one might think moving away from the water would be crazy, think again. Now that both of my parents have officially retired, I barely see them! They still have wave runners, kayaks, mountain bikes and the entire new region of Georgian Bay to explore. Oh, and the parties! Let me tell you, if this is what retirement looks like - bring it on!
Congratulations to my wonderful Mom and Dad! I love so much.
Oh ya... here is the painting. ;)