Gone Backpacking (and then we'll party)

This summer my parents celebrated their 60th birthdays. They were both born in the same year, one month apart, to the day.

Mont Richardson

My grandparents were friends. And so my parents have one of those love stories. The kind of love story that made me wonder as a child, which boy, out of those I'd known since toddlerhood, would one day be my husband.

Next week my parents will celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary. They've actually known each other for 60 years and have spent 40 of those years as life partners. 

Mont Richardson

I think this is a pretty big deal, the whole thing.

I think it's a big deal that my parents are so vibrant, healthy, and active as they enter their 6th decade. And their marriage, still going strong after 40 years is a definite cause for celebration.

So next weekend that is what we're doing. Having a 60/40 celebration at their home.

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It's easy to suggest to my parents to throw a party. My mom is the hostess with mostest. I grew up in the bosom of family parties and get together's. Throwing a big do is second nature to my mom and one of her gifts. But I want to help cook and clean and decorate and then sit in the warm embrace of their friends and few family (most of our family lives out west) and celebrate this milestone year in their lives. 

Mont Richardson

It's also Canadian Thanksgiving on Monday.

At the end of last winter, as I was coming out of my worst bout ever of the winter blues, we left the house on a whim to celebrate Easter with my parents. At the beginning of April, I was already emotionally fragile and the thought of spending a holiday apart from my parents (even though we have spent more apart than together in the past decade) broke me.

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You know I'm desperate when I get really spontaneous, which is what I did. On a Thursday morning (I still remember the e-mail I sent my mom), Damien and I made the 5 minute decision to head out early the very next day to drive to Nova Scotia to spend Easter with my parents. 

That trip showed me that it's really not that hard to get together for holidays. Not when our work is mobile and school is optional.

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I decided that weekend, in the beauty and love of my parent's home that we would make the trip for Thanksgiving. It's a good eight hour drive, a full day, but totally doable. 

(We saw my parents a whole lot over summer also. Here, there and everywhere it seemed. It was wonderful.)

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Here we are. Thanksgiving weekend. And since we were going anyway, we thought, "why not take a weekend backpacking trip also?"

So, that's where we're headed tomorrow, the Bluff Wilderness trail outside of Halifax, with my parents. I told you they were healthy and active. Two days of rigorous exercise to kick off a week of celebration.

Mont Richardson

Have a great Thanksgiving weekend!

Mont Richardson

(Photos from last weekend's hike on our home turf of the Parc national de la Gaspésie.)

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  • Kika

    Kika on Oct. 11, 2013, 1:03 p.m.

    How wonderful to have that beautiful role model of enduring marriage and friendship in your life. Happy Anniversary to your parents!!!


  • Sarah m

    Sarah m on Oct. 11, 2013, 1:31 p.m.

    Have a great Thanksgiving to you guys, too! That is one thing I am wonderfully surprised by--how much time Canadians get off from work. Stefan gets a day off every month and then a few weeks whenever he wants it. I love it.

    The nice thing for me (being American and all, and ahem, wanting my Thanksgiving in the thick of November) is that our little town hosts a free Thanksgiving dinner every year at the community center. I get both! :)

    PS-The pictures are just stunning. What a landscape. 

    Sarah M


    • renee

      renee on Oct. 14, 2013, 11:55 a.m.

      Sarah, I don't think it's like that for all Canadians. Most regular-job working Canadians get stat holidays (maybe 2-3 more than the US calendar) and 2 weeks vacation. Our own lives don't reflect that at all. As self employed folks, we don't get any paid holidays (smile). 

      For the years we lived in the US I enjoyed Thanksgiving in November but was never attached to it or hosted it. I'm not attached to Cdn. October thanksgiving either. What I am really attached to, as a holiday, is Christmas to New Years. That's our big family holiday. 


  • Kris

    Kris on Nov. 19, 2013, 7:46 p.m.

    Sounds like you have an excellent relationship with your parents. It's quite a blessing that they are still so active and willing to do "adventure" trips with your family. I hope to be the same with my kids and grandchildren! 


    • renee

      renee on Nov. 21, 2013, 2:14 a.m.

      Kris, I do have a great relationship with my parents. I am so blessed and I share my appreciation with them often that they are healthy and adventurous to join our family on our trips. We plan to do the same with our grandkids!


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