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Friday, August 26, 2016

Remembering a Key 1975 Hike

Although I did make it to bed before midnight last night, my break in sleep ─ and a bathroom visit ─ took place around 3:00 a.m.

Sleep was hard-won thereafter.  

I was a belly-sleeper for most of my adult life, and only in the past five or six years have found myself able to sleep on my back.

But when I do have trouble sleeping on my back, pulling the pillow under me so that my stomach and chest are lying atop it can help me drift into a sleep.

That was so last night, and I remained like that until I checked the time at 7:39 a.m.

I thought to try for more sleep upon my back, but my mind was too engaged; and so I rose after a few minutes.

My eyes were in sorry shape.  I could barely read anything on my computer screen.

I worked for some time at the post I began on Monday at my Latin Impressions website, but it was going to be impossible to complete it.   

My physical state was such that I realized myself to be incapable of exercise, even though I had a reduced schedule of it yesterday.

To my mind, that left me but one option ─ a government liquor store hike for another two dozen cans of beer.

First, though, I needed to seek rejuvenation, and so I sought a deep rest in bed with my aggravated eyes covered.

I may even have slipped into a nap.

But it all ended after about an hour when I heard my cellphone make a sound such as when a text message arrives.

I checked; it was indeed a message.  My wife Jack had asked if the Pattullo Bridge was going to be open today.  

I replied back that it was open today, but it would close this evening for the entire weekend as the rehabilitation work proceeded with earnest.

She said that she would be home around 1:00 p.m.

Well, that meant that I had to get out of here and make that four-mile round-trip hike. 

And so I started readying myself, knowing that today was going to be exceptionally hot.

My youngest step-son Pote was home, so I readied surreptitiously.

And at 11:49 a.m., my journey had begun.

Surrey Place (Central City) is about midway.  I had an optometry claim to mail off to Sun Life ─ my wife Jack recently had her eyes tested and new lenses prescribed for her prescription glasses.

In total:  $258.93.

Sun Life is going to be wondering what's going on with my account.  I've had the coverage for maybe 20 years, but until earlier this month, no claim had ever been made.

Jack's youngest son Pote broke the drought by having a prescription submitted directly at a pharmacy.

And now Jack was taking advantage of the optometrist examination and prescription glasses that are also covered.

I was sendng this claim by mail because the optometrist office told Jack that they were unable to submit her claim directly, and she would have to file a paper claim.

I don't know if they were just shirking on their end of the transaction or not.

Anyway, I got the claim mailed at Pearl Cleaners ─ they serve as the postal substation at Surrey Place (Central City).

I walked as slowly as I could throughout the hike to the government liquor store (located at 108th Avenue & King George Boulevard here in Whalley), and back home again. 

Obviously the trip back was the worst, since I was laden with two dozen cans of strong (8% alcohol) beer.  I was tempted to stop and have at least one of them, but I forged on.

Attired in boots, blue jeans, a black sleeveless top, and a black sleeveless denim jacket, I began sweating quite heavily.

The entire trip usually takes about 1½ hours.  

When I arrived back home, I found that Jack had been here and left again.  However, some frozen meats were in the sink to thaw, so it was clear that she would be returning.

Pote was still here, but he left around 1:30 p.m. to catch his bus to work.

It is 2:33 p.m. as I type these words, and I am still alone in the house.


I wish to post a fairly old family photo ─ the description below it is from the Google album where I have the scanned image stored:

This is my mother Irene Dorosh, although she may not have yet adopted that surname ─ I am fuzzy now on just when she married her husband Alex Dorosh.

It was either in October 1972, 1973, or 1974.

My mother did not leave much detail concerning this photo ─ just that it was "Me," and the year "1972."

I have no idea where the location is.

Pappy's Juice Stand means nothing to me, nor does what looks to be La Brisc.
I wonder what the chances are that my mother and Alex married in October 1972, and this photo was taken on whatever they did as a honeymoon?


Here to finish today's post is an entry from my journal of 41 years ago when I was 25 years old, and living in a basement housekeeping unit in New Westminster.

The house I was renting the room at was located on Ninth Street at Third Avenue.

I had gone to bed the previous evening at 7:00 p.m., trying to establish a pattern of early bedtimes and early-morning risings.
TUESDAY, August 26, 1975

I slept well till 10:00 p.m. last night; then I got up at 11:00 p.m., abandoning any further attempt for a spell, until midnight; from that hour, finishing my ecology reading, I had some difficulty still getting asleep, but did, and arose 4:15 a.m.

It was raining out then; probably this will keep up all or most of the day.

I had a delicious pancake breakfast.

My plan for today is to first mail a wrapper to the Bank Account Contest in Saint John; then I shall drop off the latest Good News and Plain Truth at Mark's (Cathy expressed she wished to read my Plain Truths, enjoying the last one); then on to Newton, believe it or not, if my boots allow, and from there along the tracks to mom's.

I shall leave here 7:15 a.m., discarding my pornography as I do.

Everything proceeded according to plan, except for my surprise encounter with Howie walking a dog at the foot of 1st St.

I reached Newton quite wet at 9:30 a.m.

By then I realized that my boots were a waste; they constricted my swollen feet and caused the burning sole syndrome.

I painfully progressed along the tracks, and reached mom's, who was out, no later than 10:25 a.m.

Before she got back, Cathy phoned to say everyone was going to come over shortly.

I ate heartily.

Mark & Cathy took me home with them about 1:45 p.m. or so, the latter hoping I would stay with her till Mark came home from work, having started work at the mill again this week on an afternoon shift.

Alas, my conscience would not allow me to bypass my home exercises, what with the caloric mass I ingested today (Cathy even gave me a piece of blueberry pie; I had apple at mom's); nor did I care to miss my early retirement as well.

By now, it was quite sunny; I got home slightly past 8:00 p.m.

My only mail was a notice re Coastal Ships postage stamps.

Bed at 10:00 p.m.
My younger brother Mark and his girlfriend Catherine Jeanette Gunther were renting a home together ─ it was located on Bentley Road in Whalley, and was very near to 108th Avenue & King George Highway.

I no longer remember who "Howie" was, but he and I worked part-time at the same charitable organization in New Westminster. 

I had long been a subscriber to both The Plain Truth and The Good News magazines.

So this is the very first time I tackled that route ─ it was to become my usual trek in reaching my mother Irene Dorosh's home at least twice a week.

She lived in the Kennedy Heights area of Surrey ─ the house no longer exists, but its address was 12106 - 90th Avenue.

From my room at Ninth Street & Third Avenue in New Westminster, I would hike over to the Pattullo Bridge and cross it, and then continue up the King George Highway all the way to Newton.

At that time, the BC Hydro Railway tracks cut right through town; today the railway is called the Southern Railway of British Columbia.

What I would do was either take to the railway tracks a little beyond 72nd Avenue, turning right onto them; or else I would just turn right on 72nd Avenue, and access the tracks from there.

Then I would hike them to where I would turn off from them and access 90th Avenue where my mother lived close by. 

That avenue does not quite reach to Scott Road.

Apparently the trip that day took me two hours and 45 minutes.  And I would have been walking fast.

My mother's home was my main mailing address, but all I had that day was a notice from the Post Office telling me of the latest issue of commemorative postage stamps.

I must have answered the phone in my mother's absence after I arrived, and spoke with Jeanette ("Cathy"), learning from her that she, Mark, and Jeanette's two little girls would be coming over for a visit.

Where they lived in Whalley, the drive to my mother's home would be roughly 4¼ miles.

They apparently did come over; and after their visit, I left with them to go to their home.  It would have been a little closer to New Westminster than the hike would have been for me from my mother's home.

I know that I would have loved to have kept Jeanette company while Mark put in his afternoon/evening shift at the mill he was employed with ─ I loved the young woman dearly.

But Mark wouldn't likely have gotten off work until possibly midnight ─ and then I would still have to get to my room in New Westminster after he got  home.

Evidently I still wanted to exercise at my room after all of that long, long walking, and then get to bed at a decent hour.

So I bade Jeanette a good-bye and hiked for New Westminster with probably a heavy heart.

As I became accustomed to traveling that route to my mother's home, I would soon find myself leaving before daybreak and ─ upon reaching the Pattullo Bridge ─ I would actually run from there all the way to 72nd Avenue in Newton.

And that was two or three times a week!

The walk along the tracks to my mother's home was my post-run cooling-down period.

And after all of that, at some point in the afternoon after I had spent time at my mother's home, I would leave and take the direct route from her home back to New Westminster.

It was possible to follow the railway tracks to where they crossed Scott Road (120th Street) at 99th Avenue, and then continue traveling them as they cut across country and again crossed Scott Road not far at all from the Patullo Bridge.   

Believe me, I was unusually fit back in those years!

But let's speak of today.

My wife Jack returned around 3:00 p.m., and remained home until near 5:45 p.m. before she left to return to Vancouver.  She had cooked up a couple of dishes to leave for us.

I have no idea why she is still staying downtown now that Mango Thai Restaurant ceased operations and she no longer has to work downtown.

She said that she will be helping her friend Fanta tomorrow and maybe Sunday at the latter's Thai restaurant in Langley ─ does it not make more sense to be here?  She's going to have to use the Port Mann Bridge and be charged the hefty toll with the Pattullo Bridge closed for the whole weekend.

On Monday, she has a noon dental appointment here in Surrey.

I wish I could win free of my financial bondage to this house and my essential imprisonment here, and move far away if she and I are truly through.

But prayers go unanswered ─ mine always have....
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