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Retirement has been a wonderful time for me. All of these 6 or 7 years later I can look back and easily say that these have, in many ways, been overall the very best years of my life. Retirement has allowed me the opportunity to pursue those things that are a priority to both me and to my wife, Joy. Time spent with family, grandchildren and friends is perhaps the most important thing of all. I love to fly-fish and explore the wilderness around me. Joy and I savour all that the fall brings as we collect wild mushrooms and wild mountain huckleberries. Together we paddle on the ocean a couple of times a week in huge outrigger canoes. We actually paddle twelve months a year here in the wondrous place of Gibsons, the place we call home.

In short, we try to stay very active in these "sunset" years of retirement. One of the things we do is walk both as a means of exercise and as a time of reflection. And one of the very nicest of walks is at Bonniebrook Beach. I've done several paintings of the Bonniebrook area simply because it is such a beautiful and inspiring place, particularly as the sun casts its final warming rays of the day at you as it drops behind the mountains of Vancouver Island.

It was on one such evening, as we walked together, that we stopped to sit and just watch as the day came to a close. There on that bench at Bonniebrook we soaked up the final warmth of the fall day that had been. A time of relaxation, it was also a time of reflection. In this time of life after a career one does come to realize that this is a part of the cycle of life that's closer to the end than the beginning. It is appropriate to reflect and remember, and what a perfect place to do it.

I suppose then that the title of this piece speaks not only of the immediate time and place we found ourselves on that evening of the fall of 2008; it speaks too of our time of life in retirement. I found a comfort on that warm evening with Joy, but I also found a wonderful satisfaction at this particular time of our lives together. My painting speaks of my appreciation of the opportunity for Joy and I to spend - SUNSET TOGETHER.



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