Our First Year - Nov 2007 until Nov 2008


Here are a few things that we did together or that happened to us during our first glorious year of marriage.


We spent both Thanksgiving and Christmas together, naturally.  We managed to get Lois down to Portland for Thanksgiving (or was it Christmas) at Connie’s place.  Then, in December, Jason, Darryn and Darryn’s girl friend, Glory, all came to visit for Christmas.  This was also grandma Cap’s last year of life.  We all got to have a good day together at Chuck’s mother Pat’s home.  Lois gave Chuck a great sweater to keep him warm that winter.  Lois got a couple nice gifts herself.


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We spent the New Year in B.C. and then in the middle of Jan we went to Seattle for a couple days and did some sightseeing and went to some art museums… including the SAM.


Later on, for Chuck’s birthday around January 26th, we took a short vacation to check out Whidbey Island.  And we celebrated Lois’s mother Ruth’s birthday at their place on January 27th.


Chuck began taking cholesterol pills and Lois began her search for a cure to her tummy problems which seemed to get worse when riding in the car with Chuck.


The stock market sucked during at least the first six months of the year and the U.S. politics was hard to get away from too.  Chuck began looking harder for a JOB.  Our immigration process moved on to the State Department phase.


Pat’s and Darryn’s birthdays were in March.  We went to Ron and Ruth’s to celebrate Ron’s birthday in March also.  Chuck started his next business, Transform Me, Inc. on March 26th as well.  That was a busy month.


In April we were together, one way or the other, all but one or two days that month.  Chuck spent 21 days in B.C and Lois spent 8 days in Portland were we attended grandma Cap’s memorial and Lois got to meet way too many of Chuck’s family and friends.  Grandma Caps lived about 100 and 1/2 years.


Chuck got his speed fixes by attending a few track days and races in March, May and June.  We set up our joint checking and credit card accounts to help on the money management side of things and then Lois managed to slip away to Europe for two weeks in late May and early June.


By June summer was finally arriving in B.C. and we spent several days going to the park for picnics or taking some short hikes and walks.  Still no job offers for Chuck.  And his house was not going to sell in the slow housing market either.  That was depressing.  The only good news, if you can call it that, was that Jameson (one of Chuck’s friends who at this point owed Chuck around $100,000 on a loan) let us know that his attorney was making some progress on a couple cases filed against some other investors that owed Jameson some money.  There are always hopes and prayers. 


We went and helped celebrate Linda’s 50th birthday on June 14th also.  Here are some photos from that day.



We also celebrate the 4th of July together.  Had a fun day but didn’t really take in any fireworks.  Vancouver, WA looked like a war zone as we drove home that evening though.  We actually managed to spend 18 of the 31 days in July together, one way or the other.  It was a pretty good month.  Still waited for word on Lois’s

 Immigration application though.  We also managed to spend 19 days out of 31 days together in August.  This month Chuck had to deal with Jameson and Ramona’s bankruptcy issues.  They later dropped their case.  More on that front later.  Wal-Mart interviewed Chuck a couple times on the phone and a few recruiters gave Chuck some leads but still no real luck on the job searching front.


Chuck told Lois 10 reasons why he loves her.


We managed to go for a few hikes during the summer also.  We hiked in Minnekhada Regional Park in BC one day.  We could see White Rock from the top of the trail there.  And, we did one hike up Cherry Orchard Trail which Chuck repeated again with Jim Hodel later in the summer.  On the same day we did the Cherry Orchard hike we also drove up and checked out Mt. Adams and then took the back roads home. 


Chuck instructed at a couple more track days in August and September.  And we spent a great weekend at Whistler, BC and took a nice day hike around some lakes near Mt. Baker, where we had a good view of Mt. Shuksan (which we thought was Mt. Baker until someone told us we were lost)… this was after spending the Canada Thanksgiving Day (U.S. Columbus Day) holiday at Lois’s mom and Ron’s place.  Plus, we managed to do a real long 8 mile hike up Mt. Si near Seattle on October 18th.


Once upon a time we did Pinnacle Peak near Mt. Rainier too (see below).  When was that?


 Sometimes LIFE is like climbing up Pinnacle Peak, isn’t it.


Click For Larger Image


Lois turned 48 on October 2nd.  But we celebrated her birthday a few days before, in Seattle, along with Jason for his birthday, at Safeco Field, watching the last home game of the M’s that year.  We had a great time together and a good dinner at Bellevue Square afterwards also.  Lois also got breakfast in Seattle the next morning, even though Chuck made her follow him to a park and ride to get her there.  And she got the carving knife she had ordered for her birthday months in advance.  Chop, chop, chop.  When she got back home she got to have her birthday all over again at her mom’s place with her brother Craig… and probably at her father’s place also.  It seems like there is always a birthday party for someone in Canada these days.


Chuck talked Lois into helping to pay half on some new tires for his car so he could keep driving 500 miles round trip to see her about 125 days during 2008.  Lois managed to spend about 34 days in the U.S with Chuck also.  Plus she kicked in for Chuck’s new backup hard drive system for his lap top and his Christmas present… way before Christmas.  And Chuck helped Lois buy a new PC to replace the old Windows 98 unit that she wanted to get rid of.  We made out like bandits on the PC front and Chuck had fun configuring everything into a small home network as well.


Well, life goes on. 


We finally got a date for Lois to go to Montreal for her “immigration interview”.  That was scheduled for November 26th… the day before the U.S. Thanksgiving Day holiday.  By then we had also spent some quality time together for our very first anniversary on November 14, 2008. 


The Saturday evening before, we took in a jazz band in White Rock and had a couple drinks.  They were good!


Then, for our anniversary we decided to spend a couple nights in the town of Port Townsend, WA.  We stayed at the Manresa Castle Hotel.  The bed was big and comfortable, the bathroom was small but had a shower, and it had baseboard heat which was hard to set right.  But, we got by quite well. 


The first afternoon we drove to Sequim and back and Chuck managed to say hi to his old friend Thor who works at an auto repair shop there.  That was a nice drive.  That evening, on November 13th, we really enjoyed listening to a Bluegrass duo while eating a nice dinner at the Upstage Restaurant in down town.


Kate Long & Robin Kessinger 

Robin Kessinger is a
Bluegrass Flat Picking Champion and Kate Long is an Award Winning Songwriter. 


The next day, on our anniversary, we romped in our king size bed before we finally got up.  We then located the Blue Moose for breakfast, went and checked out a couple area forts and museums, and looked around town at most of the historic buildings.  Eventually we had a great dinner back at Manresa where we also got to listen to some more great music while we dined.


The Castle Key and J&J Music Present

The Monarch Duo
Friday, November 14th — Castle Key Dining Room

Spanish, Gypsy and Klezmer melodies are among the many influences that shape the original music of The Monarch Duo. Composer/Guitarist/Vocalists Eli Rosenblatt and Cameron Peace follow each other through musical landscapes that range from tightly arranged, precise melodies reminiscent of Piazzola to hypnotic ostinatos recalling the music of Northern Africa.

We stayed the last night in Manresa, had breakfast there the morning after and then headed south to Poulsbo, grabbed a bite and looked around.  Then we caught the ferry back to Edmonds and headed back home.  It was a GREAT ending to our very first year together.


Even though we had a lot of good times together, the last couple weeks in October and the first few weeks of November were not a cake walk.  Thanks to Chuck being unable to find work, and the housing market having gone in the toilet, and the Canadian dollar dropping back to about $0.80 U.S., and some other issues we were struggling with in our relationship, we were not happy campers sometimes.  Lois wanted to stay put in BC. Chuck wanted to find a place we could move to in WA, as we had planned all along.  Naturally this had to turn into a few differences in opinion on the best way to proceed with making a life together… as soon as possible… and which we had to make a point of contention for more than one round of debates.  Add to all that the Canadian and U.S. elections and 2008 could have easily been a lot better than it was.


But, we made it, we had some awesome times together and we still LOVE each other.  And that’s what REALLY counts.