Fathers Day

It has been quite some time since my last blog post and much has happened around the world. And while I have been remiss on providing updates to all my readers on the Captain’s and Debbie Dewdrops ongoing (mis)adventures the time for that is not right now. This post is not about CC and DD, although indirectly it is. It is our about all of my family. It is about my mother. It is about my brothers, sister, nephews, nieces. This post is about our celebrating our Dad as we face our first Fathers Day without him.

John Edward Cowell (The Coach) September 28, 1928 – May 5, 2021

Dad definitely loved his food

Where to begin? How to begin? I have no plan, no outline on how to proceed. As usual I’ll just stumble along with my thoughts and feelings. When I first gave Dad the moniker of the “The Coach” in this Blog I didn’t do it after a lot of deep philosophical thought and meditative contemplation. No, it was quite simple. When we were kids, Dad was our hockey coach. That’s what he was and a darn good one at that. But of course nothing is ever that simple and being a Dad is being a life Coach for your kids. That’s what he was and a darn good one at that also. More than a darn good one.

Never too old to learn from the Coach
The Coach’s most challenging player

It is next to impossible to try and figure out the life events that impact and ultimately determine the character of the people that you know and love. Maybe knowing about those events doesn’t really matter all that much but then again maybe it does help in our understanding. So I will pontificate for only just a little bit here. Dad’s childhood experience of growing up in foster homes undoubtedly had a bearing on his development and character. My suspicion is that not having his immediate family with him growing up was a major factor in him wanting to start his own family and to make sure that his children were loved and provided for unconditionally.

Never done until the dish is clean

And so it came to pass. Dad hooked up with Mom, they started a family and had four (lovely I might add) children. So just what kind of father (with Mom’s help of course) was Dad? So here I need to go back to the “coach” idea. Who can be a good coach? In particular who can be a good life coach for kids? Dad was more than good coach. Dad loved us unconditionally. He put us first. He led by example. He didn’t need to talk about being a decent person, he just was one. He didn’t need talk about himself and what he did for others, he just did good things. He didn’t need to be praised for what he did; he just did what needed to be done.

Now that’s not to say everything was always “Leave it to Beaver” perfection in the Cowell household. Although Dad was mostly patient with his not so always well behaved children, there were a few times that Dad lost his cool, so to say. As an illustration I present you with the infamous backyard “Mad Man Monks” episode. One hot summer afternoon at 64 Boothbay Crescent, Newmarket, the backyard grass was desperately in need of mowing. Dad apparently had too many other things to do so he asked for one of his kids to get the job done. So after 30 minutes with nothing being done Dad once again asked for someone to help with the grass. Well the second request received the same non response and at some point Dad kinda lost it a little and fired up the mower and with steam coming out of his ears got that backyard lawn mowed in record time. We, the kids, witnessed this amazing feat from our lookout in the upstairs bedroom and one of us remarked, hey look at Mad Man Monks mowing the grass, he’s getting it done in record time. We all avoided any contact with MMM until he cooled down a bit which he did in short order.

Dad lived a long (92 years) healthy and happy life. He was grateful for this and pretty much everything he had and experienced over the years. He was grateful and thankful that he was able to share his life with our Mom and they were devoted to each other. He loved his kids and would do whatever was necessary for their wellbeing.

Dad always had your back

We miss him mightily, particularly on this Fathers day. As thankful as Dad was for his life and family, it is we, his family, who give thanks that we were so fortunate to have “The Coach” as our father. See you at the rink Dad. Happy Fathers Day.

Love Mom, Don, Gary, Barb & Jim and all the Grandkids.

By stubbs99

An Aud (and Coach) Affair

For the most part my blog posts are about the goings on of the Captain and Debbie Dewdrops, after all it is our Blog, however exceptions can be made and this is definitely one of those times. As the title suggests this post is about an “affair” involving the Coach and the Aud One.

When one thinks of an affair it is usually something of a passing fancy and often possibly illicit as well. However in my humble opinion there can be affairs, like love affairs, that can transcend boundaries.  So guess what kids, herein I will relate to you an exception to the rule.

On a cold wintry Saturday afternoon on January 14, 1950 the Coach and Aud One recited their marriage vows and began their lifelong journey together and on January 14, 2020 they reached the incredible, some might say impossible feat, in this day and age, milestone of 70 years of marriage. Yep you heard that right, 70 YEARS.

an invitation to the BIG Day

the “young” happy couple

the family on site of future homestead -Boothbay Crescent, Newmarket circa 1954

Now I could fill up numerous pages providing all kinds of gossipy minutia about the Aud Couple’s life and times but really it’s not about the details. What really matters the most (of course I am biased) is the love they have shared together and the family they created and selflessly loved and provided for over the years. I know, kind of mushy talk from the Captain, but just so you don’t think I’ve lost it completely I was going to say in the foregoing sentence “the family they spawned” but DD threatened me with grievous harm from a frying pan if I did so there you go , I didn’t.

the “spawn” Don, Barb, Jim and CC

Aud One and the Coach at Lake St. Peter family reunion

the whole gang

doing what we do best – eating

 

So even though it was a little bit late the Cowell kids (Don, Gary, Jim & Barb, in order of age not looks) arranged a 70th Anniversary Tea for Mom and Dad on the afternoon of January 26th at their house in Bath.  About 24 family and friends attended (despite the inclement weather) and despite their slight apprehensions the Coach and Aud One were delighted and appreciative of the affair (thankfully just a passing fancy).

the newlyweds 70 years later

it says so right on the cake

the gang of 4 – the Coach, DD, son/grandson Aaron and the Aud One

friends and neighbours Doreen, Pauline (a young 97) and Tom

CC claiming the veggie sandwiches while Roy, Craig and Sylvie look on somewhat bemused

the Coach with grandson Arlo, great grandaughter Nora and “the Don”

Sylvie and Julie get into the picture

Kayla, Athena and Grandson Pedro

Barb with the Coach, Aud One and CC

The Don, the Aud One and Jimmy

 

By stubbs99

The Trials and Tribulations of Miss Ellie

And so this “tail” begins. In early December 2018 Ellie suddenly stopped eating and within a couple of days stopped drinking as well. Regardless of what we offered her (meaty bits etc.) she just wasn’t having any of it. The Captain started syringing water into her to stave off dehydration however when she started to be sick to her stomach we rushed her into town and saw a vet on an emergency basis. At the vets she was put on fluids and xrays were taken. The vet thought that perhaps there was an obstruction in her GI tract but he wasn’t sure from the xrays, but thought perhaps an ultrasound would be needed to confirm if there was or wasn’t an obstruction. Miss E spent the night at the vet and appeared to be a bit better so we brought her home and kept her hydrated and force fed her a bit of food. It was obvious that within another day that she wasn’t getting better so we were off to the vets again.  The plan was to re-hydrate her again and then look at an ultrasound or perhaps some further tests.

One of Miss Ellie’s baby picture (about 3 months)

We thought this through over night and decided we weren’t prepared to spend another $2000.00 Cdn. on a test we thought was dubious and offered no realistic solution. We called the vet to discuss further and on the call the vet advised he had reviewed Ellie’s blood work and now suspected she had a condition known as Addison’s Disease and he was doing confirmation tests. Shortly after he called and confirmed the Addison’s. Addison’s, simply put is a condition where the adrenal gland has stopped functioning. While not terminal it is a serious condition that is treatable by a combination of daily Prednisone and monthly Desoxycorticosterone Pivalate injections. Ellie was started on the medications and gradually over a period of 2 months she managed to return almost to her old self. The cautions for her condition however meant that she needed to be watched carefully as over stressing her could cause cardiac arrest.

Miss E and Sophie at Valley of Fire. Yes Sophie is there if you look close

Over the next several months we watched her carefully she was able to resume her daily walks and playtime with her friend Sophie. However her ongoing issue of separation anxiety was causing us concern as we unable to leave her alone for more than 20 to 30 minutes without her becoming frantic. We observed this behavior by remotely watching her in the trailer via a “baby cam”. Her distress was obvious and so was ours seeing her like this. And if this was not enough for the poor little girl she had to go back to the vet in Vernon to pull a couple of baby teeth that hadn’t come out on their own. While doing this dental work the vet found she had dental condition that had caused several other teeth to lose their enamel and start to rot and break off. She ended up having 6 teeth extracted and because of the extra anesthetic she did very poorly post op and had to go back to the vet for further hydration and nourishment. It looked like for a couple of days that she just wasn’t going to make it but she did hang in there and started recovering again.

Ellie and one of the Captains buddies

As a result of her ongoing medical issues we thought long and hard about what we should for her as our plans for the next year or so was to continue our travels. This meant Ellie was going to be left alone and stressed quite often or we would be for want of a better term house bound. We had already gone through this for the past year where one of us was always home or staying in the truck with Ellie and our options for doing things together were very limited.  We agonized in deciding what to do but in the end we opted to see if we could find a new home for Ellie.

Ellie with bald patches on both from legs from intravenous medication

We posted an ad to rehome her on a local website. The ad received over 200 views within the first week but no contacts most likely due to her condition and ongoing costs ($500.00 per year) which we had spelled out in detail. Then out of the blue we received a reply from a very interested family in West Kelowna (about 60 km from us). The very interesting thing about this family was that the mother had to retire last year due to a medical condition that required her to take the same medications Ellie was on so she understood quite well the side effects etc. and she was also able to be a stay at home Mom to Ellie.  We both felt it was as about as perfect a match as we could have come up with. In addition the family also had a very laid back 7 year old basset hound named Clover who would be Ellie’s big sister and help to keep her calm. The Captain took Ellie to have a meet and greet with the family and the family’s young daughter of course fell in love with Ellie at first sight and we agreed to having Ellie being adopted by them.

Ellie with some of her new family. Clover the basset wondering who let the white dog in??,

Needless to say we had second thoughts about doing this but believed in our hearts that this was the best thing for Miss Ellie, so on July 23, 2018 Ellie moved in with her new family. We dearly miss our little girl but we do occasionally see pictures of her on the internet and see that she is doing well and loved a whole bunch.

We remember our Miss E as a beautiful, loving little girl that brought us 2 years of love and joy.

By stubbs99