Real Life Stories: Mulberry PARC, Jim

in Active Aging

Written by Christine Thompson

Mulberry PARC Resident Jim

For Jim, life began in the Kootenays, and although he left as a young man, his heart remains in Kaslo, BC. So much so, that Jim and his wife Ruth, hobbyist tour guides for 35 years, regularly take groups to the area, where Jim recounts colourful tales of miners and early settlers while leading treks on wilderness trails. Last year, at the age of 89, he hiked to the top of Idaho Mountain, enjoying a view that has captivated him for decades.

Some of the Mulberry PARC residents have been on Jim’s tours, but all get to enjoy the bounty, as he picks huckleberries from the Kootenay mountains, brings them back and bakes them into pies in he and Ruth’s kitchen.

Jim and his wife Ruth drove to Vancouver in 1951 in a motor home of sorts, which Jim built himself. The couple have deep ties to south Burnaby, having built their own house there in 1954; as young UBC students with little money, they did everything, even mixing and pouring the foundation themselves with a borrowed wheelbarrow. Over the years, as their three children arrived and grew up, they added on to the property. “Where there’s a will, there’s a way”, grins Jim. “It’s the pioneering spirit.”

Jim and Ruth’s children and grandchildren meet regularly for family dinners, and have even had Christmas dinners in Mulberry’s private dining room. “They cater to our every whim here”, says Jim. Sounds like the adventure continues on!

That’s how it is at Mulberry PARC: it’s easy to travel without the ties of living on your own. And with PARC Retirement Living’s focus on maintaining a healthy body and mind through our Independent Living+ program, it’s easy to see how life’s just better here.

Seeing is believing

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