About thirty years ago I built our retirement house halfway up on Sumas mountain facing the Valley with the mountains of the united states in the background, where we lived longer than anywhere else in Canada or in Holland, but after my wife Anne passed away I started thinking of living somewhere else, yet it took another five years when I finally made the move.
Several things I had on decided already, and one of them was that I did not wanted to remarry because at Anne's death I was close to eighty years old, and determined that was too old to start over again with another woman and in my mind I was still attached to Anne, I still am.
I chose Menno Place where I now live, because of an incident that happened when I as an immigrant landed in Canada and found work at a pre-cast concrete factory in Winnipeg. There I teamed up with a French-Canadian who taught me English. However, he taught me English words that should not be repeated in front of children, but he told me something else which I never forgot -
“If you have a Mennonite as a neighbor, you will never be hungry,” that is why I chose Menno Place which has been my home for four years.
It was quite a change from living solo for five years in a roomy house halfway on the mountain with an unobstructed view over sky and valley, to a a two-room unit on the second floor of Menno-Pavillion, where the view is obstructed by the regional hospital, and a tall one-hundred year old Douglas fir in front of the living room window preventing the sun from transmitting light and warmth to my home but keeping it nicely cool on hot days.
The reasons for continuing writing my stories are threefold
one, to relate that growing old does not have to be a sad and miserable ending of life
two, to tell you something about the history of our extending families and
three, perhaps something about my discoveries in, and about, life and faith
I believe now that everyone has been created for a purpose. This purpose is not chiseled into a rock somewhere or written in black and white on parchment. We may not know what the purpose of our creation is but the creator, who I know as GOD, does know and would not have created us knowing that we were unable to do the tasks he created us for. This is part of what I believe.
In most of my stories you will find some of these reasons, but there is also something in it for myself – I find enjoyment in writing, maybe because I never really studied the subject at a higher level and feel a lack of knowledge and skill about it, yet I am driven to do it.
I have heard repeatedly that writing, like puzzling, is good for the brain and may forestall dementia and that is another reason for me to keep on writing.
Who knows, writing short stories may well be the purpose of the remainder of my life, and if
so, I am grateful to the creator for making it such a pleasant purpose, even though I continue to struggle with the computer which is, however, pleasantly countered by the guidance of my able granddaughter Megan.