Only a Week, Away…..

We are on the road again and are once more spending some time bonding with Madden, as his folks spend a few days away. It’s good for them, good for us, and we think good for Madden. I hope he thinks so too. At his age it’s hard to tell.

He and I have walked every day, rain or shine, and I literally mean ‘rain’ or shine. Yesterday we were 2 for 2, started out dry and ending wet. He didn’t seem to mind however, he was spending most of his time in the stroller, covered with a blanket and snug as a bug in a rug. All the really hard work fell to me.


Today was another wet one. The go-gen was long but not as fruitful. Again he missed out on the chance to actually walk, everything was wet and there were puddles everywhere. Neither of us planned far enough ahead, although at least this time I brought an umbrella.

The last little while the words “go-gen”, or “go-agin” (go again) are synonymous with heading out into the wild blue yonder for another walk. He’s said the words himself (or a semblance of them) a couple times but mostly it seems to be part of the adult’s repertoire, asking Madden if he wants to go-gen. Seems like a dumb question as he bolts for the door like a bullet from a gun. Tell him to get his hat and shoes and he easily complies. Many days he goes for his gear before we even pose the question, he knows the drill and has the go-gen times nailed down. Let him down and his angst is apparent, loudly.

We’ll head home tomorrow and perhaps even bring him for the ride. His Mom will follow the next day, coming for the long weekend and she’ll join my sister and her family as they visit. It should be an action packed weekend.

Stay tuned.

Busy Summer So Far

Many apologies for the gap between my posts, it’s been an action packed summer and there’s been either little time available, or a diminishing energy in the available time, to sit down and write. I also often feel like all I do is apologize here so I will attempt to change that. So there, I’m not sorry.

So far this summer vacation we’ve either been camping, visiting Kelowna, or out and about gallivanting to other locales. This past week we’ve had some quiet time at home and so far we are relishing it. Our original plan was to go to the GoodGuys car show in Spokane Wash. this weekend but we ran out of steam and said “Hey, let’s do something different and just stay home”. So we did.

There have also been very few calls about Dad this week, or requirements for attention, and that helps. It seemed I was making frequent trips in to see him and either take him to the Doctor or the hospital. Thankfully he is at his home now and let’s hope it stays that way for a while. He is having more and more challenges walking due to a numbness in his right leg. That could be due to a pinched nerve in his back or it’s possible he’s suffered another minor stroke. Whatever the cause it is handicapping him even more and making him prone to stumble and fall, of which he’s done enough lately, thank you very much.

As I mentioned we’ve made a number of trips to Kelowna to see the kids and while I thoroughly enjoy it I also miss the quiet and solitude of home. I think I must be becoming a curmudgeon or something, my old age (joke) is starting to show in my love of just sitting in my rocking chair and smoking my pipe. To be truthful I have neither a rocker nor a pipe but the analogy stands, I like my space and being away limits my options to write, putter in the yard, or read. And I’m not complaining either. I know I have a great life!

Don’t get me wrong, I love being with the fam and after even a week away from them I’m looking at pictures of them and wishing I were there. Ah….., the inconsistencies of life.

We have also been camping, a few times, sometimes alone and once with some friends from Japan. Our friend Yuzo brought his 13 year old daughter Lisa to Canada from Japan. It was her first time here and he brought her to broaden the English skills she’s acquiring in school. Yuzo was once one of our homestay students for a brief time, taking the ESL course (English as a Second Language) at Selkirk College. We tried to fill their visit with some memorable occasions, tours of Mission Hill winery, camping, and of course dinner at the Colander. Lisa loves Justin Bieber and at the Colander we were fortunate to be served by a Justin lookalike.

For camping we were very fortunate to get one of the best sites at Syringa, totally by luck and Maureen’s hard work (I also think Karma). Lisa thought the water in the lake was a bit chilly but it was sure refreshing on the hot days.

Maureen and I certainly had a great week as well and loved spending time with both Yuzo and Lisa. It’s been about 11 years or so since I saw Lisa last, the last time was during my visit to their home in 2001. Lisa was just a toddler then, and as evidenced by the photos below she created a new way to signal “peace”. We used that method numerous times during their trip. Yuzo has come ‘home’ to Castlegar to visit a few times.

So when all is said and done “a good time was had by all”. I look forward to our next visit, perhaps it will be there. Only time will tell.

New “Old” Photos Added

Some progress has been made on the genealogy front with the addition of  new ‘old’ photos to the Photo Gallery. For those of you that are not aware of this feature you can click on the words “Photo Gallery” in the menu at the top of any of the website pages, in this case the Blog page. That will take you to the website location where all the photos are stored. There are Madden photos as well as Genealogy photos. As with the blog and website in general it is a dynamic site, that is the photos may change a bit over time, if I do some cataloging or adjustments to the pictures.

As I’ve mentioned before I got many photos from family that I’ve scanned and begun organizing. In some cases I’m not really sure who the family is in the picture, with that I’d like some help and feedback. Also some of the photos seen in this post may not (or may) be seen in the Photo Gallery yet.

In this case I know who this is in the photo below. I always have a warm feeling looking at old pics. Where the picture was taken I’m not sure.

Bernice (Grandma) Sklapsky and her sister Aunt Eleanor
Bernice (Grandma) Sklapsky and her sister, my Great-Aunt Eleanor (Renshaw)

Another photo I like is:

Sklapsky Family
Sklapsky Family – left to right: Audrey, Verla, George, Bernice, Lou, Dallas, and Gene kneeling

These folks I know. Unfortunately Aunt Muriel (Gale) is absent.

(Grandpa) Frank Sklapsky and ??
(Grandpa) Frank Sklapsky and ??

This one above is of course my Grandfather Frank, my Dad’s dad. I’m not sure who the young girl is.

I’ll put a few more in a collage below. Just click on the photos to enlarge.

This was only a fraction of the photos I’ve scanned. I will continue to add and update. I should also add I’ve been spending quite a bit of time on updating the family tree which includes Sklapsky, Reeves, Olsen and a number of others. I’m not sure how wide I’ll go at this time. This research is done and recorded online on a site called I’m not sure at this time how visible the site is to those who aren’t members of I’ll look into making it more widely visible.

As always any comments are appreciated.

I’m Baaaack

Like the prodigal son I’ve returned home. I brought Mom back from Edmonton yesterday and because my sister Brenda is doing so much better we felt now was the time.

Brenda woke up on Friday and while she is still a long way from ‘good’ she is doing much better, and actually improved over what the doctors had expected by this time. She was off all machines and could communicate a little through hoarse whispers and raised eyebrows. Funny, attitude can be found at all times and in all places.

While she is recuperating to the next stage of wellness we thought a reprieve would be in order for us. Mom certainly needed a break from the daily visits to Brenda’s bedside and I’ll admit I was yearning for one myself.

Mom, Me, Auntie Muriel, Linda, Lloyd
Mom, Me, Auntie Muriel, Linda, Lloyd

We came home in two days, leaving Edmonton on Saturday morning and stopping for a short time in Carstairs to visit my Auntie Muriel. At the same time we also had a brief visit with my cousin Linda and her husband Lloyd. I was really glad to be able to see them. Sometimes I feel like we don’t do that enough.

After our visit we got back on the road and headed south again to Okotoks, where we stayed overnight with my niece and family. It was one of their many busy weekends, with many sports events for their kids and my great-nephew Dryden’s First Communion on Sunday. We weren’t able to take part in any of the events but were with them in spirit.

Sophia, Me, and Bretlyn
Sophia, Me, and Bretlyn

The morning we left I was able to get my photo with a couple of my great-nieces though. Unfortunately I missed a photo with my great-niece Sawyer as she was already out in the morning, off to one of her ball games, but I did snag a couple pix with Sophia and Bretlyn. The boys were not really interested and were playing hockey downstairs.

Something about being with the younger ones makes me yearn to see my own family (I’ll admit it, I’m really thinking Madden), and I suspect a road trip is in order very shortly. It’s a strange power they have over us, it’s almost like I’m going through withdrawal. That being said I made my request known to the powers that be that I’d like frequent photos sent to me while I was in Edmonton.

Madden and Ayron
Madden and Ayron

The almost daily pictures and videos helped boost my spirits and recharged me somewhat. They also reminded me of the good things in our lives, something we too often forget. It inspired me and once I get my feet back on the ground at home I’ll be planning my next road trip to Kelowna. You can never go too long without a hug from your grandchildren, or that’s my experience anyway.

First I have a few things to put to bed. I’m waaay behind in posting the pages from the Reeves memoir, and I haven’t really even begun to scan all the photos Noreen F. was kind enough to lend me. It’s another mystery to me why I find it all so interesting, the history of our families. I’m not even talking just the Sklapsky side, there’s all facets of ‘family’, my parent’s families, their parents, my wife’s family, their parents, the list goes on. Ultimately I’d like to have a bit of it all here, on Kinda like one stop shopping.

Reeves-Sklapsky family
Reeves-Sklapsky family

On that note I’ll post one more photo. I know many of the folks in this picture, some I’m not sure of. Eventually this picture will be in the gallery and I’ll have most/all identified. If not I’d sure appreciate any help. As always an email or comment would be greatly appreciated.

Be Thankful…There is so Much to be Thankful For

We must give thanks, have gratitude for those things we have and the blessings we receive.

No, this is not some sort of obscure prayer but a mantra we should choose to follow. It’s not lip service to a pie in the sky lifestyle but a way of life we should all follow. It’s the way things should be.

This has been brought home once again by my experiences here at the hospital. I could say I always follow this credo, but that wouldn’t be true. I TRY to be cognizant of the blessings I have and grateful for my good fortune but there are times, such as I have now, when we lament our turns of fate. We will cry “how can I deal with this”, or “my life is so poor” but we haven’t far to look, really, to see those less fortunate than ourselves.

I’m at the hospital, visiting my seriously ill sister, and yet when I enter the building I can see those many other souls whose lot in life is one of missing limbs, significantly damaged bodies or minds, and perhaps the tribulations of ongoing pain.

Are they better off, or worse than I, or does it matter? We each have our challenges, but we only need look around to see those with less.

My mother tells me a quote:

“I complained I had no shoes, until I met a man who had no feet”

I haven’t found the source of the quote, and would be happy to give credit were due, but have not seen a definitive author. The point is that if we look around we can always see someone less fortunate.

The opposite of that is that there is something good in every aspect of our lives and we only need recognize it, it’s there but for our attention. An example is the flowering trees on the path to the hospital. While we had finished our blooming at home it is happening here (in Edmonton) now.

Spring here
Madden and Dad

So, give thanks and be grateful for those things big and small in your life. If we look there are so many. It may be a beautiful bird, or the scent of a flower, or the love for your family or someone close. Notice and appreciate.

Behind the Times

I’ll have to apologize, I’m behind the times, late in any Reeves updates or any other info for that matter. I seem to be a day late and a dollar short.

I hope to have a little more time to spend on the blog coming up. It’s not that my circumstances will have changed (sis is still quite sick) but more that my use of that time may be modified somewhat. Regardless I’m optimistic, and that in itself is a good thing. Optimism, or positivity (I like that word) is a good thing to have and build on.

Part of the issue is that I’m away from my home computer and with it the photos, Reeve memoir, and any other associated family history info I might want to use. C’est la vie, I may have to improvise. Work with me, not agin me, eh?

Nice visit

It’s been a great few days, filled with family and love. This is what ‘life’ is supposed to be I think, and retirement is supporting that.

I’ll post more when I get home but for now I’ll say I had another nice visit with cousin Noreen and her husband Stewart.

I came away not only with a great memory but a bag full of photos to scan and put on the site. I look forward to posting them for you.

Lineage for Maureen

Here’s the lineage for Maureen. Not quite as complete but the information gathering exercise can be a bit onerous. If you have any additional info please share.

Lineage Chart for Maureen Murphy-Sklapsky

Patricia MURPHY
Michael MURPHY
Frances MURPHY
Maureen Michelle MURPHY

Francis Edwin MURPHY (Father)

Vivianne Helena GIBEAULT (Mother)

Leslie Michael MURPHY (Grandfather)
b. 31 Oct 1881, Silver Hill, Norfolk County, Ontario, Canada
m. 1922, Calgary, AB, Canada
d. 21 Oct 1964, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Amelia Louise LIBKE (Grandmother)
b. 21 Feb 1905, Edmonton, AB, Canada
d. 24 Mar 1977, , Alberta, Canada

John MURPHY (Great-Grandfather)

Elsie Elizabeth FORBES (Great-Grandmother)
b. 15 Jan 1842, Banffshire, Scotland
d. 1911, Silver Hill, Norfolk County, Ontario, Canada

Patrick MURPHY (2nd Great-Grandfather)
b. 1 Mar 1817, , County Kerry, Ireland
m. 12 Feb 1839, St. Mary’s Church, Milltown, Ireland
d. 2 Mar 1886, Silver Hill, Norfolk County, Ontario, Canada

Nancy Anne MORIARTY (2nd Great-Grandmother)
b. 1 Jan 1818, , County Kerry, Ireland
d. 21 Oct 1886, Silver Hill, Norfolk County, Ontario, Canada

Patrick MURPHY Sr. (3rd Great-Grandfather)

Mary LATCHFORD (3rd Great-Grandmother)