November 12th 1981

posted in: Innocents Abroad | 0
Liz (typically) with her tongue out

Our last day in Canada, our last day with Brent + Liz.  We’ve really enjoyed our time with them.  They weren’t over-solicitous, yet managed to make us feel at home + comfortable with them.  Moving on, moving on – I’m beginning to look forward to having a home again – bourgeois of me, I know.

A fruit salad breakfast, prepared by B, the finishing touches were applied to the rucksack, we packed… + then time to go.  L + B drove us across the border to the bus station there – we had considered hitching, but the freeway system didn’t make it very easy.  The usual fun + games at US immigration – even Liz had to go thro’ that – but no real problems.  As usual, we were dressed up for the occasion, then into the bus station, bye-byes.  A bit of a wait for the bus, but the time passed very quickly, reading, writing, Space Invading.  Bus journey about 3 hours – very boring, just freeway, so we read.

Arrived in Seattle at just about 4, the sun going down, + silhouetting the skyline – an impressive sight.  Immediately off the bus, got busy on the phone, trying to arrange a car to drive away.  The first one I tried was useless – they had to have a phone no.  AACON only had a Cadillac (again!) to Santa Barbara, so we nearly despaired.  However, tried a small company, A1, + they said they had a car going to San Diego, right on the Mexican border.  We offered to go out there straight away, until we were told it would take us one and a half hours to get out there, so that was deferred until the morning.

We walked from the Greyhound station to the Youth Hostel – only getting lost once.  The YH was a very big, impressive place, + we splashed out a bit of money on getting a double room, tho’ all there was in it was I single bed + 2 mattresses.  Went out for something to eat – the Old Vienna restaurant, nothing special, then back, watching television in the lounge, drying some clothes, taking baths.  I sat thro’ 4 sitcoms to watch a Clint Eastwood movie, “The Beguiled” before my bath.  Also was consumed with sudden last-minute hunger pangs before bed, so bought a couple of snacks from the machine.

And so, farewell to Liz and Brent. Not permanently, however; unlike with some of the friends we made on this trip, we kept in touch, still do, have visited each other several times over the intervening years. We knew Liz before this, of course, but not well, so really this was our first opportunity to get to know them.

And they have had a good life… though hard at times, I would guess, maintaining the farm, and being a part of the island community. Frisbee golf (or, more precisely, disc golf) is the sport of choice, giving them regular social occasions, and on our visits we too have very much enjoyed sitting around on a collection of old car seats, before going off to throw a few discs… which both Val and I were appalling at, by the way.

More sadly, Liz has increasingly been affected by memory problems; some years ago, she was hit on the head by a lump of metal thrown up by the tractor, and that had a dreadful effect for some time, but it was thought that she had made a full recovery. But recently, she had had increasing problems, and in the last couple of years, we have heard, she has lost the power of speech. And this happening when we have been unable to visit… though we hope to do so soon.

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