When Pam and I married, the then management of Rotary Villas arranged a beautiful Reception for us in the Multi-purpose Room with us sitting behind a head table which was decorated so nicely (I hate to keep using the word ”beautiful” but that’s what it was).  On the floor beside us was a huge box full of lovely gifts from various residents.  It was done so well and was so unforgettable and very much appreciated.

We moved into suite 215 on the 17th of October, 2015.  Pam had already moved her F & E (furniture and effects) from her original suite on the ground floor while Donna had hired two gentlemen to do the heavy lifting moving my F & E.  Donna brought a wheelbarrow from her house which was most helpful, especially when (as I was physically unable to lift her) I transported Pam over the threshold.  It was then confirmed what I already knew, Pam is a great sport.

We enjoyed the suite there until… well first I must explain that Pam is a dog lover and had a dog when she lived at Victoria Landing but because the surcharge fee for having a pet at Rotary Villas was an absurd $250, found it necessary to give her Pet, “Tippy Two” to her very good friends Carol and John English.  Pam was then working as a “Proof Reader” at "The Phone Book Company".

She was at work one day when I was told that the pet surcharge was eliminated.  I texted Pam to that effect and she replied, “Great!  Let’s get a dog”  I agreed.  Some months previously, Donna had bought a very cute tea-cup Chihuahua from a breeder from Morden. Her dog's name was Lily and Pam loved her.  Donna would bring Lily when she came for a visit and we became quite attached to her.  Donna enquired from Lily’s breeder if he had another Chihuahua puppy for sale.  He did not but what he did have was a brand new puppy whose mother was a Chihuahua and the father was a Pom.  Pam was very disappointed as she had her heart set on another Lily, however I was excited about this new puppy so we decided to get her.

She was eight weeks old when we made the trip just outside Morden. She was so tiny that she fit nicely into the palm of my hand.  On the journey home we discussed a name for her.  Pam suggested the name, “ Mandy” as that was a name she liked and wanted, but did not name her youngest daughter Louise (Lou).  Well it didn’t take all that long before we both fell in love with Mandy and she has been our baby ever since.  Oh! I forgot to mention that because we couldn’t have a pet in suite 215 we had to move to Suite 102 in Pet Alley, which incidentally has a sun room with a southern exposure and we love it.

When Pam and I married we each had our own car.  I had my 2011 Hyundai Santa Fe which I bought a new way back then.  Pam had her Chev Sonic.  After a year living at Rotary Villas, we decided the expense of having two cars was totally unnecessary.  There was of course the running and maintenance costs, but on top of that there was the insurance and a $100 a month parking fee for each car! Imagine… $2400 a year for the privilege of parking. Of course we finally decided to go with one car only.  Pam ‘s Chevy went to her youngest daughter Lou so we carried on with my Santa Fe.  I believe it was our second trip west that we put it to great use.

First we drove to Moose Jaw and stayed overnight at a hotel which was famous for its pool with water straight from hot springs.  From Moose Jaw we drove to St. Paul, Alberta to visit my favorite granddaughter Kyla and family.  Kyla’s family had recently grown with the addition of Kaynee whom I think was the smilingest baby I had ever seen.

The family had just recently moved from their house in the town to a huge place just outside which was huge and roomy. After a stay of a day or two we then went to Heather and Ken’s new place at Mundare. They have a lovely place adjoining a golf course and a slough which I found very interesting as at that time it was inhabited by dozens of ducks.

As is the custom during our visits, on the weekend Kyla and her family, Andy and Jenna, Josh and Azen, David, Yolanda and Ziah all came to visit. Of course Shawn and his partner Ryan arrived which I have to admit was good for me because Shawn as always gave my laptop a needed "cleaning". Wonderful to see them all.

After our time at Mundare we proceeded to St. Albert to see Pam’s granddaughter Courtney and her family. Courtney is Philip's daughter and has two sons Kieran and Evan and a daughter Sadie who by the way was taking a gymnastics class in which we went to a most enjoyable session. Her husband Shane worked away at the oil patch so we  didn’t have the pleasure of meeting him on that particular trip.

Our next stop was in Calgary to visit with Philip. His two sons, Aidan and Niall were not available for that visit but we did enjoy seeing Philip.  It was during that visit I purchased a top quality Ipad from Philip which has served me well to this day.

After an enjoyable stay with Philip we went on to Coeur D’Alene, Idaho to visit my wonderful and favorite sister Gloria. This was her first meeting with Pam and again we had a wonderful visit.  Gloria treated us to a cruise down and around that beautiful Lake Coeur D’Alene.  We had the pleasure of going to Spokane to meet Shawna and Doug, on top of the hill to Chrissie and John’s beautiful home and lastly a great supper at Misty and Scott's lovely new home.

On the way home yet another stop and visit. This time at Medicine Hat where I had, for the first time, the pleasure of meeting two of Pam's many grandsons, Devon and Ryan (Ali's sons) and their families.  On the road home we were two  hours out of Brandon and received a telephone call from Louise informing us she had made reservations for us at a hotel in Moosomin, therefore we had a good night's rest before arriving home the next morning.

It actually wasn't very long before we were on the road again headed back to Calgary.  Poor Philip had been biking deep in the bush with Aiden and Niall when he had an accident and was badly injured, damaging both his jaw and a leg.  As is the much to be admired trait of the O'Brien-Morans, when one is in trouble and needs assistance, it is given quickly and freely. Philip was still in hospital when we arrived but thankfully on the road to recovery. He did need further surgery on his jaw and eventually enjoyed a full recovery.

I believe that nowhere in this Narrative have I ever expressed my love of music ranging anywhere from light classical to country western. Luckily the lady I married (Pam:-) had the same tastes in music as me, therefore when the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra came to town, we would go to the Centennial Auditorium to very much enjoy their wonderful concerts. We attended almost all the excellent plays  produced locally. Come to think of it, there were a number of excellent productions during this time period, one being my very much loved, "The Nutcracker Suite" performed by the Moscow Ballet.

Pam's daughter Louise has been a long time employee of the Manitoba film Industry and kindly invited her Mom and me to attend a "Premier" of a brand new movie called, "The Hyena Road" about the Canadian Army in Afghanistan.We stayed overnight at the Radisson Hotel and before the film started at the Centennial Concert Hall, we mixed with notables in the VIP section. I even had a hug from "North of Sixty's" star Teena Keeper and a handshake from the Grandpa on "Blue Bloods", Len Cariou.

The movie was very much enjoyed and I might add was produced by Pam's youngest son, Richard. Lou again invited us to attend yet again, another premier, this time right here in Brandon. The film was, "A Dog's Purpose".  A wonderful movie.  Thank you Lou! .

We were also fortunate to attend, as guests of Jacqui and Don, the "Sound Of Music '' held at the Centennial Concert Hall in Winnipeg.This, by the way, was an anniversary gift and was very much appreciated.

I don't believe that I mentioned buying a new "Santa Fe" back in 2011, therefore, along with Pam's  financial assistance, purchased a used 2016 Santa Fe. This car had all the bells and whistles and served us very well. I've always claimed this car was the best I've ever had, however, and now I'm bringing you up to the present date, Feb 2021, Pam and I were listening to the CBC television program, "Marketplace" when it described the Santa Fe as being a fire risk in that, the engine, even while the car is motionless, would catch fire. Moreover the car was at risk of stalling while driving at highway speed.

Hearing this, Pam immediately had visions of the engine quitting while speeding along the highway with a giant semi on our tail.  For this she said she would never again be comfortable driving on the highway with our Santa Fe. I must confess, partly because of our ages (90 and 89) I thought now is the time to buy our final car. We went to see good friend Rob Fowler to see what kind of a deal he would allow us.

Now Rob, not only owning the Hyundai dealership, had recently taken over the Nissan Dealership as well. Yes, we walked away with a brand new Nissan Rogue. Although a new car, it was a 2020 and therefore classed a year old and for this reason $6000 was deducted from the original price. We just could not afford to say no. Thanks to Rob for giving us a good deal and making the whole day a pleasant experience. Tomorrow will be the first trip as we are planning on a very quick (because of the Pandemic and we'll discuss more on that later) visit to Jacqui and Don's at Holland, Manitoba.

Pam's grandson, Matthew, was scheduled to graduate from University after studying the legal profession.  He had the great honour of clerking in his final year for one of the Supreme Court Justices in Ottawa. We had the pleasure and honour of being invited along with his parents, Sue and Rick, to his convocation in Ottawa.  Needless to say, it was a grand affair in which we spent three days in Ottawa having a wonderful visit with Matthew and his girlfriend, Suzanne. Ali and her son, Sam, came up from Toronto and we all had a great visit.

Instead of returning by air to Winnipeg with Sue and Rick, Pam and I went to Toronto via rail. This was my first trip by rail in a long time so Pam and I really enjoyed it.  Ali met us at Union Station and drove us to meet Pam's daughter Debi who was harness racing that day at Woodbine Mohawk Park.  We spent the remainder of the day there so to speak, behind the scenes in the world of harness racing. When the races finished we drove with Debi to her home where we stayed overnight. After a fun visit with her, we went back to Toronto and stayed there another 3 days with Ali, Carl, Sam and Maive.

This had been such a wonderful week but of course it ended with us back to reality and Rotary Villas.  The following year saw another trip to Toronto, again courtesy of Ali. She again procured tickets for us to see the Broadway play, "The Sound of Music" which of course is a classic and was much enjoyed.  Other highlights of that particular trip was a visit to the 48th Highlanders museum which was followed by a visit to the Veterans section of the Sunnybrook hospital to visit an old friend, Bobby Taylor who had been a fellow piper with the 1st Cdn Highland Btn during our two years in Hanover, Germany.  Unfortunately, Bobby had Alzheimers and although he didn't know me, I enjoyed my visit as I played a selection of our old tunes on my Bazpipe(electronic Bagpipe) which had an impact on him.  Also on that same trip I accompanied Pam's son, Richard to the top of the CN Tower after which we met Pam and Ali and had a 3 hour sail about Lake Ontario in Richard's very lovely sailboat.

It was on the 21st day of May, 2019 that tragedy struck the Petterson family. Our precious Yolanda succumbed to an extended battle with the dreaded cancer at the age of forty-seven.   She was a wonderful wife and mother and I was always so proud to have her calling me, “Grampa”. Pam and I were happy to attend a very touching and sad “Celebration of Life” held for her. This was of course a very sad trip but we had a number of wonderful trips to Alberta but one that stands out in my memory is because after visiting my family as well as Courtney and Philip we headed south with the intention of going to Coeur D'Alene to visit Gloria and family.

First we wanted to take in the sites of the famous tourist destination,  Banff.  This was the spring of 2018 as I recall Pam and I listening to the Stanley Cup Playoffs on the radio as we were driving south.  Our beloved Winnipeg Jets were playing the brand new franchize that year, Las Vegas Golden Knights.  It was the seventh and final game with the score tied as they went into overtime. Las Vegas scored to eliminate the Jets from the playoffs.  To this day Pam has never forgiven them and dislikes that team with a passion. :-)

We took a suite at a beautiful hotel just outside Canmore and spent about three days at that very pretty town and of course at Banff. After enjoying that whole area we were ready to leave for Idaho but such was not to be.  I was sick, so I cancelled Gloria's visit and instead went home to Brandon.
We were so fortunate when we went away that we were able to leave Mandy with Donna. Lily and Mandy were best buddies and every time Donna came to visit she would bring Lily and that would make a huge fuss.  All we would have to do was to say the name, "Lily" and Mandy would be excited and run for the door.

Andy and Jenna had originally planned to have their wedding at Panorama B.C. but unfortunately the Pandemic happened so this was at that time, impossible. They therefore rescheduled it for June of 2021 but again it had to be postponed because of the pandemic. The third wedding date was planned for 13th August and the new location was the Botanical Gardens at St. Albert, Alberta.  Jenna's parents have a lovely home in that beautiful city which made it the logical and ideal location. They had asked me to play my pipes at the ceremony and of course I accepted the invitation. Not having touched my pipes for a few months, I started to play a little each day to build up my then 91 year old body. I have to admit if not for Pam encouraging me along the way, the pipes would probably have been too much for me.

Pam and I and this time Mandy, left Brandon 07 August, spent overnight at Swift Current, Next day at Medicine Hat, had a great overnight visit with Devon and Ryan and their families. Devon took us for a tour of his nightclub, "The Silver Buckle" which we enjoyed very much. He also took us to his new plot of land which will be the site of his new home expected to be completed in approximately two years.

The next day on to Calgary for a three day visit with Philip. Although I enjoyed Philip's Omelettes I have to say the highlight of that visit is that much of it was spent with the company of Aidan and his lovely girlfriend, Megan. Each day at Philip's, I would go out the backdoor and have a short  atworkman were working on a landscaping job next door and each time I played, they would stop working and reward me with a much appreciated applause.

Our next stop was of course the Holiday Inn at Saint Albert. It was with great pleasure that we met all the Petterson and Reid families  there and our first meeting with Brixlyn, our newest great granddaughter. We hadn't met Shawn and his partner Ryan until the next day at the wedding. After a wedding rehearsal at the Botanical Gardens, we had supper at the very beautiful home of Jenna's parents. The weather, up to that point had been, "iffy", a little cool and windy, however, the day of the Wedding, Friday, August 13th was beautiful with the temperature in the low thirties. It was a beautiful wedding with a most enjoyable reception held later, again in Jenna's parents backyard.

After the reception Pam and I went back to Courtney's to fetch Mandy. It was our good fortune that Courtney and family live in Saint Albert, close even to Jenna's parents and she, Courtney kindly consented to take Mandy while we attended the wedding. By the way, Mandy knew and remembered Donna right away and just couldn't get enough of her.  Donna left Saint Albert before us and had Mandy with her so that we missed the big reunion between her and Lily.

Next stop for Pam and me was of course at Heather's lovely home in Mundare. We were there for only one day when we were treated to a wonderful night out when Heather took us to the West Edmonton Mall and A a much enjoyed dinner theatre at Jubilations. The theme was "Rock and Roll" and was hilarious.We had met the newly married couple Andy and Jenna there as well as Shawn and Ryan.  A great time was had by all.  The day before leaving for home, we went to St. Paul with Heather.

Don Roy Welcome
Narrative I
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 Narrative III
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Narrative X
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A Lifetime of Piping
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