Thoughts and Considerations

Nine years ago this week, Kim and I left Malaysia after a six-week visit. It had been my first time to Malaysia, and it was a most wonderful experience.

Not only did I get to see, for the first time, the country and city where my wife had been born and grew up, I got to meet, in person for the first time, the two daughters from her side of our blended family and our grandchildren. That was so special to me.

Since then, I have been back to Malaysia four more times, in 2015, 2017, 2019 and 2020. Kim and I went for four weeks in 2015, in 2017 we flew over together with Kim staying four weeks and me for eleven. In 2019 I was back in Malaysia for eight weeks by myself. Kim and I traveled for six weeks in 2020 and were joined by daughter Anita and her husband Aaron for the first three weeks, allowing her to meet her sisters in person for the first time.

And then came Covid-19. And it came fast. We actually had to cut our visit short by ten days so that we could get home. Then we had to isolate for two weeks and then Kim got laid off. But that’s a story for another time.

It is now closing in on three years since we’ve been to Malaysia. And we really have no idea of when we’ll be there again. No idea of when we’ll see our daughters and grandchildren in person once more.

Now I started this blog post more than two weeks ago and walked away, leaving it uncompleted. Following that it just sat when my brain kinda went blah. Until today.

To be honest, I have been feeling great frustration within myself. I have things to do, why am I not doing them! I created this “Wee Internet Empire” thing so that I could keep myself involved in something. So what if few people seem to pay much attention.

In reality it’s more than that.

Yes, I want to be in Malaysia, see our daughters and grandkids, but even more I want Kim to get to be with them. She worries so much about them as they have struggled through Covid (most of them actually caught it at one time or another) and the economic turmoil the pandemic caused throughout Malaysia.

And still more than that.

Pre-Covid I had been placed on the list to have a complete hip replacement. As the medical system was stretched so thin during the pandemic it took quite a while to work my way through all the required tests and procedures to be ready for my surgery to be scheduled. At the end of 2021 it was. However, just prior I had developed a bit of an issue on my lower leg and the surgery was cancelled until it could be dealt with. Long story short, ten months later we are still dealing with it. Once dealt with, I’ll have to begin redoing some of the tests and procedures to prepare for surgery as they must be done within a certain time period pre-surgery.

Don’t get me wrong, all is not doom and gloom.

We have been out on the motorcycle over the summer (limited a bit by my leg condition) and have enjoyed traveling around in the Mercedes convertible. We often enjoy our regular dim sum and get together with fellow veterans on occasion. We see our daughter and husband here in Edmonton, my sister from Calgary, while our son from England and his wife came for a lovely visit.

I guess it kind of boils down to the lingering cloud of uncertainty. It seems to fluctuate between shades lighter and darker grey, never becoming black however white remains elusive.

We are trying to make some decisions. Do we hold off on traveling until all is complete, leg issues and surgery. Or do we call our travel lady and book a trip. Certainly something we are trying to work out.

Our future path remains to be seen. I am hoping though, that by sharing these thoughts with you, my readers, it will help me get back on track doing some of the other things which I should be working on.

Thanks so much for reading. Your feedback is always welcome, as is your support.

If you have not already done so, you can keep up with my “Wee Internet Empire” by subscribing to my newsletter, “Old Guy, New Tricks“.

Until next time, be well and take care of yourself.

虎年 – Year of the Tiger

2022 年 2 月 1 日

February 1, 2022

新年快乐! 恭喜发财!

Happy New Year! Wish you prosperity and wealth!

对于我们家来说,农历新年是按照中国传统来庆祝的。 我们是一个混合家庭。 我的妻子是来自马来西亚的华人,我们有两个女儿,他们的孩子住在马来西亚。 在我这边,我们有一个女儿和她的丈夫在加拿大,一个儿子和他的妻子在英国

For our family, the Lunar New Year is celebrated with Chinese traditions. We are a blended family. My wife is Chinese from Malaysia, on her side of the blend we have two daughters, with their children, who live in Malaysia. On my side of the blend we have a daughter with her husband in Canada and a son with his wife in England.

由于农历新年对我们家来说是一件重要的事情,所以我选择用中英文写这篇博文。 我使用谷歌翻译,它做得非常好(虽然不完美)。

Due to the fact that Chinese New Year is an important event to our family, I have chosen to do this blog post in both Chinese and English. I use Google Translate which does a most excellent (although not perfect) job.

在新的一年里,我代表我自己和我的家人,向所有人致以健康、幸福和成功的祝福。 愿我们在和平、和谐与理解中生活在一起,共享这个地球。

For the coming year, on behalf of myself and my family, I sent along wishes for good health, happiness and success, to all. May we live together, sharing this earth, in peace, harmony and understanding.

谢谢!- Thank you!

Melaka Home – High Waters

As I spoke about in my podcast earlier this evening (link here), our second home is in Melaka, Malaysia. I am retired and my wife is close to retirement, but still, since 2015 we have been spending part of each winter there, except for the last two years (thanks to Covid). With children and grandchildren in Malaysia, it is a natural place for us to go, not to mention all our friends, and oh yes, the food. This photo is a selfie of me standing on our balcony in 2020. Behind you can see the small farm I talked about and in the distance are the buildings of downtown Melaka.

Recently, Melaka, along with much of Malaysia, has been receiving a great deal of rain, very much more than they have seen for many years, particularly when one considers that January is typically one of the driest months of the year, whereas November can be one of the wettest.

What I have done here is to provide you with a number of photos taken around Melaka and posted on the Melaka Facebook Page, so that you can see the impact that the flooding has had.

While many in Canada or the US would typically experience vicious storm conditions associated with flooding, that is not always the case here. The flooding comes from a large amount of rain, causing the rivers to overflow their banks. As well, Melaka is a coastal community, hence ocean tides can have an impact also. The lunar new year is approaching, and generally this is the time of the year’s highest tides.

Regardless of whether the water comes from a storm surge or constantly rising levels, it manages to do a considerable amount of damage and create many issues. The photos in the gallery below will certainly give you an idea of that.

I know a number of the areas shown very well, and am hopeful that our family and friends will not be greatly affected.

With Covid still playing it’s games, we have no idea when we will be able to return to our second home, however we have been assured by our daughter that all is well there up to this point.

Thanks for reading this blog post. I do appreciate any thoughts or comments you may have, so please do share them. I also invite you to visit my web page and check out some to the other sites that I share.

Thoughts About Family

Aging is an interesting process, and of course there is only one thing that can stop it, seeing as how nobody has discovered the Fountain of Youth, or if they have, they are certainly not sharing that information.

As I am continuing to age, I have become increasingly interested in knowing more about my family history. To this end I have been doing research using a number of genealogy and family history archive sites and have constructed a family tree using Ancestry, having been a member since 2014.

For me, delving into family history runs in spurts, at times on the front burner with the heat on high, and other times on the back burner with the heat turned off. One thing though, it’s always on a burner somewhere, not put away in storage and forgotten.

Yet, with all this interest in family history, I have had very little contact with my cousins or their families, either in real life or social media (which is only a shadow of real life). Not for any specific reason, just that life happens and we were all on different roads.

Recently however, my sister forwarded an email to my brother and I from our oldest cousin, that he had just become a grandfather. As I am a grandfather of seven, this struck a note with me, and I sent him an email of congratulations, along with a little blurb of happenings with me. In return he sent along a recent family update that he produces each year, and a blurb of happenings with him.

A few days later I received an email from another of my cousins. It seems that my email had been forwarded to all the cousins. Lo and behold, this particular cousin also had an interest in family history and soon we were exchanging information and we look forward to further collaboration.

Not long after that I heard from yet another cousin and we corresponded as well.

As I continue to age, I have been the family patriarch for a number of years, and am known by some family members as the Old Guy In Edmonton, or by some folks simply as the Old Fart (which is okay).

That being said however, I am excited and very happy to be connecting with my cousins and their families, yes, their families as well. I am reasonably active on social media and, since sending congratulations to my cousin, I am now connected with not only him, but a couple of his siblings, and several of their children. It is so interesting learning things about all of them, and sharing things from Kim and I as well as our children and grandchildren.

Maybe that is all part of what aging is about. Life, learning and family. Certainly much better than some of the other things we have to deal with in our daily lives.

Thoughts about family are important, because family is important.

In this world we are all different, and it would be most interesting to hear your thoughts about family.

Comments and thoughts are always welcome.