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  • Angela Louie; images Allan de la Plante

"...But I'm Shy"

What is the thing that a shy person needs the most? A person who can talk to anyone. My reticent “I’m shy” was met with the time and location that we were meeting our next set of friends. When Allan first suggested travelling around BC in a motor home our trip was a blank slate. By the time we started, a number of people already suggested that we come to visit them; some were with Allan’s long time friends and some were friends from Facebook we were meeting for the first time.

Rick Jennens was our first stop. He was with the Kelowna Fire Department and has a passion for antique fire trucks. His specially built workshop houses up to 15 fire trucks. Early 20th century painstakingly restored La France fire trucks lined his workshop. Allan was in love with them. I was impressed with Rick’s dedication to the history of firefighting.

From there it was a visit with one of Allan’s earliest childhood playmates Bonnie and her partner Sue. It was great to hear the stories of their youth in North Bay. Bonnie’s paintings lit up all the walls of their home. We envied their travels between their 2nd home in New Zealand and courses in Paris. What a life!

On a whim Allan contacted a friend from years ago. Garry and Liz were not only available but graciously invited us to their home for a home-cooked meal and an evening of reminiscing about their years of skiing and water skiing, all the adventures of Garry’s brothers George and Greg Athans and Garry and Liz’ sons, another generation of athletes. All against Kelowna’s scenic and barren backdrops.

On to Armstrong with Facebook friends Cathy and Steen. They invited Allan to see their 7 new baby horses. How could we resist? Fields of horses. And to be nuzzled by foals is especially sweet. A totally different life to ours…to mine.

Cherryville and another Facebook friend we were both meeting for the first time. Did I say I was shy? No matter. Robert put us right at ease, welcoming us onto his beautiful property for the night. He and Cheryl were so easy to be with we talked all afternoon and into the late evening about Formula One, racing and the many lives some of us (not me) have lived. Hummingbirds and their beautiful log home made a relaxing backdrop.

I never thought I would feel this way but the best part of our trip was visiting with old and new friends. The next time we go through your neck of the woods, let us know if we can stop by for a visit!

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