|Written by Susan Hollingshead|
|Tuesday, 19 September 2006 12:27|
I was born in Manitoba on a cold winter day in 1955 joining my sister Christine who is a year and a half older.
My Dad and Mom immigrated from England after the war as young newlyweds. My Dad joined the RCAF as a pilot in 1951 and was stationed in Manitoba until 1958. We moved several times over the course of time and grew up on or near a few European Air Force bases. We always seemed to have a trailer and our family vacations consisted of exploring other countries. Dad finally retired from the armed forces in 1967 to the small community of Coldwater, in central Ontario.
Together, we continued to operate the resort but finally after a particularly challenging summer, made the decision to put it up for sale in the fall of 1995. In 1997, we had accepted an offer to purchase from a German company and we started to make plans for our future. We thought we would buy a transport truck and use it to finance our travels around North America and I would write. However, the deal went sour and we waited for the next one.
In the fall of 1999, on November 1st, the resort finally did sell but by then the price of fuel had skyrocketed and the trucking industry was no longer a good option to earn an income. We decided to take a couple of months off to explore our options. Just one month later, Jay, my oldest son and middle child, learned he had melanoma, a deadly form of skin cancer, which required a lot of our time. (He has had a recurrence of it in 2004 but to date has a clean bill of health.) Then on February 1st, 2000 my dad, Dick Ainsley, suffered a massive stroke.
Traveling was no longer a possibility because we moved my folks into a granny flat beside our house. Helping Dad in his recovery became our priority. We decided to convert our house into a Bed & Breakfast and hobby farm because we were home bound anyway. We had two dozen "pet" chickens, two goats, four pot bellied pigs, two sheep, three llamas and a vegetable garden. Between the care of my parents, running the B & B and looking after the farm, our lives were very busy. On April 9th, 2001 Dad suffered another stroke which he succumbed to on May 18, 2001.
Rick and I rented a Class C motor home and took Mom to PEI for a much needed vacation. While we were on our vacation we met some people who lived in their motor homes, full time, known as "fulltimers". What a concept! When the time was right, we too could live in a motor home and travel all around North America!
Well, Mom went into a retirement home in June of 2002, (she passed away in April, 2006) we sold our house in December of 2003 and hit the road a few days later. On December 29th, we started to live our dream, traveling around North America, sleeping nightly in our own bed and following our hearts.
|Last Updated on Saturday, 29 August 2009 07:12|