Christmas Letter 2015

Merry Christmas 2015 from Ruthie

We are all another year older and another Christmas is on the horizon. I hope you are well and have had a good year.

My year has been somewhat dramatic. The arm I broke in March 2014 never healed (the humerus); finally a surgeon in March 2015 did a reverse shoulder replacement (You can see him in one of my blogs on my website.) I was coming along nicely with my rehab when I fell on hard pavement two months later and broke my wrist of the same arm. That set me back for a bit. Actually 46 years ago I broke the same wrist! Is this history repeating itself?

Fortunately I don’t walk on my arm, so I got back to hiking on short trails gradually getting stronger so that by mid August I really felt like I was on the mend and my hikes got longer and longer and higher and higher. That is always a good indicator as to how well I am doing.

Winter came along and after one snowy, cold hike I realized that it is too difficult to manage all those clothes, and hike and/or snowshoe with an arm that has only about 50% mobility, so I’m not snowshoeing this winter. I guess we all have to pull back at some point in our lives whether we like it or not. The shoulder replacement takes one to 1.5 years to heal and because it was a reverse shoulder replacement I will always have limited mobility. I don’t want to risk another injury or another major surgery.

I always enjoy hiking to beautiful places in the Rockies, so the hikes I did are very much appreciated. I did go camping for one night with my hiking buddy Trish and we did a hike. A few years ago we used to do multi-day backpack hikes.

Ruthie’s Little Hiking Group is still going strong. It is now 10.5 years since I started the group although it isn’t always the same people as lives change, some drop out and others join.

Just because I am not snowshoeing this winter that does not mean the group is cancelled. Wayne, one of my regulars, is now leading the trips for me. I hope to be back hiking in the spring. In the meantime I joined the Exshaw gym and am using the treadmill to keep my fitness up.

One project I did this year was to set up my slide projector and screen in my spare room and gradually I viewed all the slides I had taken over the years. Although I can no longer do big trips in the backcountry I have these photos to remind me of all those beautiful places. Twenty-two week-long backcountry ski camps, plus several multi-day ski trips on the Wapta Icefield, several ski and hiking trips to the Lake O’Hara region of Yoho National Park staying in the Elizabeth Parker Hut, plus lots of day ski and hiking trips; and a lot of backpack summer trips. I am so grateful to have seen these marvelous places and I am grateful that I was once strong enough to carry a big pack. It was nice to review the three trips to the U.K. and Europe and I also looked through all of my 30 albums of people. You could say I was kept amused!

There are still several committees I am involved in and when I am not in hospital recovering from something I am still the greeter at church and involved in the ladies Bible study. I’ve discovered several good English who-done-it TV shows and the famous Downton Abbey show and its reruns, and occasionally I do absorbing jigsaw puzzles, and read good books, so my quiet evenings are entertaining.

One nice thing about living in the Bow Valley at Christmas time is being entertained at the Seniors Christmas tea at the Banff Springs Hotel, the Exshaw Seniors Christmas tea, my church’s Ladies Christmas Banquet, our Exshaw seniors Christmas party, and the candlelight service Christmas Eve at Silvertip Golf Course in Canmore. Four of those events are occurring in the same week this year!

I hope you have had a good year. Best wishes for a wonderful Christmas as we celebrate Jesus birth and all that means.

Much love,



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