Our continuing struggle

Wednesday, July 15 2020

Having failed to cross the border to retrieve our belongings, we returned to our new home in Longview, Washington, to lick our wounds. Immediately, we received abundant words of compassion from our Gabriola friends, many accompanied with offers of support. Soon after we accepted the offers, a small army of volunteers was organized and set about sorting through our things, which are valued in many different ways: mementos of our lives, special tools, brewing equipment, books and other articles. Then there were pieces of furniture we would never be able to bring home, things of no real value and stuff that could be sold or donated to GIRO or PHC. All of this was managed by teams in the house, in the tool sheds and the brewery with lists and answers supplied by Louie and I. One never realizes how much one has until he/she has to account for it. However, our team stayed with it and after more than a week, the house was declared cleared for the new owners. Now our belongings are spread around the neighbourhood waiting for our hopeful and too brief return. The following is a list of all the wonderful Gabriolans that helped preserve our memories: Julie Stewart; Gary MacDougall; Gary’s friend Hector; Rick Wilkins; Adam Velsen; The Hooton family; Jeff and Warren Woodruff; Rachel Dubois; Brenda Fowler; Carol Heinrich; Dean Clark; Michelle MacEwen; and probably some others I forgot (I wasn’t there!).

The bad part of this is we don’t know if we will ever get back to Gabe to thank them in person. They have shown the true side of Gabriola and we will miss that forever. The best part for those reading this is that you still get to live with these people. We’re very jealous.

~ Al and Lou Strano