Friday, June 27, 2014

Am I Old Enough to have a Graduate?

The age-old question has hit once again - where does time go?  Seems like just yesterday that our oldest daughter was entering kindergarten! And those few short days ago seemed to zoom by, and arrive at the moment when we watched her walk across the stage, accepting her diploma, and entering a new chapter in
her life.

My Mom was able to come and be with us for the big day, and it was a huge surprise for our kids when she arrived.  My husband had gone to pick her up, and as they pulled into the driveway, I told the kids that Dad had brought a surprise for them.  Imagine their surprise when they saw Grammie step out of the car!  The dogs and kids, and Grammie had a wonderful reunion, and I don't know who was happiest.  I think Cosmo got the prize for the loudest squeals of joy! It was a happy and wonderful reunion for all of us to see Mom, and we were all so glad she would be here for all the excitement of graduation!

The weekend of the graduation turned out just beautiful, warm, and sunny.  As we arrived at the high school cafeteria, the school colors of orange and black were everywhere, and seeing all the graduating kids mingling, saying their goodbyes, snapping pictures, and hanging out for the last time in the school hallways, brought back memories of my high school graduation.  It is a time of bittersweet happiness, and sadness. There is joy that graduation has been complete, but there is sadness because everyone will move on and things will never be the same again.

The graduation ceremony was beautiful, and blessedly... short!

The kids chose one of their own graduating students to give the final address.  This student was quite hilarious and kept the crowd laughing, and it was just a very upbeat fun time for all.

Finally came time to walk across the stage to receive the hard earned diploma.

We were very proud of our daughter, and her accomplishments in high school.  Now we have to look forward to the next chapter in her life, which is college.  She is enrolled at a local college and will begin her studies there this fall.

After the big day of celebrating graduation, we took a day trip on Sunday into British Columbia.  Again, the weather cooperated, and it was a simply gorgeous day to be out sightseeing.

As we drove along the winding road, the gorgeous Selkirk mountains along the Kootenai River caused us to pull over many times to get out and take pictures.

We couldn't have asked for a nicer day to take this drive.  There were plenty of fluffy white clouds in the sky overlooking the snow-topped mountains, and sparkling blue water.

A wild rose that had just opened its bloom.

We had so much fun stopping at different pull-off areas along the road, and getting out to look at the view spread out before us.

We stopped at a Provincial Park, and walked along the beach.

Finally, after looking at the clock, we knew we could stop no more, but had to hurry so that we could get on the ferry to take us to the town of Nelson.

When we pulled up at the waiting area, there were already 7 lines of cars, and we weren't sure if all would fit onto the ferry, but they did!  We were very glad that we made the ferry, and didn't have to wait for another 2 hours to get on the next one!

Just as the ferry pulled away, about 6 motorcycles zoomed down the hill, just barely missing the ferry.  I know just how they felt!  Growing up on an island, we had to take the ferry to get off the island.  Many times we experienced the same thing... arriving just a bit too late.  I again was very glad that we were able to get on the ferry, and continue to enjoy the beautiful day!

This ferry is free, and runs back and forth about 4-5 times a day, more in the summer.  It holds an amazing number of cars, and provides top decks that passengers can climb to, and enjoy the views of the mountains, and lake.

There are beautiful homes, and cabins along the river as we chug along, and it is a charming view to see. Finally, it is time to get back in our car, and the ferry is docking.  It is just a short drive, about 15 minutes or so, until we reach the scenic town of Nelson, BC.

This is the beautiful golden bridge that you cross into Nelson, BC. For some reason, I did not take any pictures while we were in the town of Nelson, go figure!  It is a beautiful town with lots to see.  Our first stop was at the KFC.  We all love fried chicken, and KFC really can't be beat!  After that, we headed to the Wal-Mart to stock up on our favorite Canadian snacks that we can only get across the border.  Then, we toured Nelson for a bit before it was time to head back towards home.

As we headed home, we happened to spot something large and furry in the river below.  We were able to find a place to pull over, and get a glimpse of a momma moose and her baby calf.

This is the baby standing still in the water.  We could hear momma downstream.  The baby saw us, and absolutely did not even move, but just watched us.

Finally, we could hear (even though we couldn't see) momma getting closer, and then the baby turned and ran out of the water into the cover of the woods to meet up with his momma. That was a nice ending to a really wonderful day that we had together.  Mom just loved being able to see more of British Columbia than she was able to on her last visit.  It was a great day and time together had by all!

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