New to Vernon and a recent widow… Now what?

When my husband and I bought our acreage in Vernon’s BX, we had great plans for our new property.

Coming from a townhouse at Cloverdale in the Lower Mainland, we were anxious to plant a garden and some fruit trees in our big front yard, get a dog and hunker down.

We were done with traveling, cruising and snow-birding. We planned to spend our retirement years together in the peaceful countryside overlooking Swan Lake, and to take some active living courses for fun and to meet new friends.

That was our plan.

However, during our move to Vernon, my husband was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. And then he was gone.

Here I was in a new city and alone. I knew I needed to re-invent myself.

I needed to get back to exercising, find something to stimulate my brain, make new friends and address my spiritual needs.

Thankfully, Grace Bible Church was close by and supported me during that difficult time.

Regarding my other needs, I knew I didn’t have much time to take a lot of different courses, as I had a farm to take care of as well as finish unpacking and sorting through my late husband’s belongings.

When I read in the newspaper about square dance classes, I was thrilled that I might exercise my body and brain and also make new friends, all at the same time.

It worked, and I’ve been a fun-loving square dancer ever since. I highly recommend it.

I also want to give a shout-out to a couple of friendly local businesses that went out of their way to welcome me: Peter’s Tirecraft and Fisher’s Hardware.

I knew I’d found my new home town when these businesses recognized me and called me by name as I entered through their doors.

I heard that Vancouver was named the most friendly city in Canada. Well, having lived in both places, I’d say that Vernon is friendlier and I’m proud to call it home.

Darlene Poetker

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