Our summer is nearing an end!  My favorite songbirds are gathering their offspring to go south for the winter and I am reminded of how incredible and amazing the past months have been.  I have two new little great granddaughters! Little Zoe Arianna was born on March 22 and I do hope to meet her sometime soon.  She, with her parents Mariel and Ryan, live in California, quite near her proud grandparents Kim and Wendy. 

Shirley's Travels Babies Birthdays Rock Climbing

Baby Kyla May chose to arrive in the early morning of July 26th, a very special birthday surprise for me!  Her delighted sisters, and parents Robyn and Chris, live in Calgary.  The proud grandparents of this little one are Sue and Dave, who take the opportunity to cuddle the baby and help entertain their three year old granddaughter Aerilyn who loves her baby sister.  I am excited at the thought of meeting my new little great granddaughters.

This really was to be a special birthday!  Kim and his daughter Ellen from Sacramento surprised me with a visit. It has been some years since Ellen visited  this part of Canada and so it was fun to spend some quality time with her and her Dad.  Ellen has her own business as a photojournalist and loves adventure.  She has a passion for climbing which works well with her profession. Her amazing ability has taken her to challenging heights.  Her cousin Jordan has been her inspiration!

Our grandson Jordan became a member of the Canadian Youth National climbing team when he was eleven years old.  He and his parents climbed out of the Stronghold climbing gym in Calgary.  He competed internationally and at a meet in Oakland,  California in later years, he placed second in his 14 to 15 age group.  Ellen, with her parents, attended the event.  She was so impressed with his ability that it inspired her to become the climber she is today.

rock climbing birthday

Shirley climbing indoors on her 60th birthday

I am reminded of other special birthdays!  In 1996 I celebrated my 60th birthday with our Calgary family.  We visited the Stronghold to enjoy watching them climb.  Suddenly I developed this strange desire to test my strength or determination.  The thrill of climbing the wall was exhilarating!

climbing at Heart Creek

Celebrating 65 years young at Heart Creek, Alberta

Five years later we were again in Calgary to celebrate a birthday and to enjoy the day with our family and with Dave’s parents Bill and Jean.  We had become dear friends and thoroughly enjoyed the afternoon hike.  We were treated to the scenic beauty of Heart Creek and an afternoon of quality time with friends.  Sue and Dave and their friend Mike chose to do some climbing. As I watched I developed a yearning to climb the rock.  It was an amazing adventure and a wonderful way to mark my 65th birthday. It was also the completion of my climbing career!     

birthdays and rock climbing

Proving age isn’t a barrier. Shirley heading up the rock face at Heart Creek

My 70th birthday was celebrated at a family reunion at beautiful Cape George in Nova Scotia but of course that is another story.  Perhaps our life time should be measured in memories rather than years.  With recent good news from my oncologist I know that both are great and that life is extremely good. I feel truly grateful for the medical expertise and technology that today finds me cancer free! 

rock climbing birthday celebration

The joy of birthdays and rock climbing

Shirley has been sharing her enthusiastic storytelling ability all of her life. Proud to call Saskatchewan, Canada home for more than 80 years, her love of new experiences, challenges, and adventures reach far beyond her prairie roots. Once retired from farming and working as an administrative assistant, Shirley studied and received her high school diploma at the age of 70. At 77 she published her first book and now in her 80’s has agreed to be a regular contributor at Travel Tales of Life.

Shirley travel writerYou can find Shirley’s previous post here. Or if you would like to start at the beginning her first post is here.