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S: Fifty Years of Alida Anne Visbach

BC: Text by Linda Robinson With input from her loving family Compiled by Helen Visbach | Made with love on the occasion of Alida's 50th birthday

FC: Fifty Years of Alida Anne Visbach

1: Once upon a time in the Land of Visbach, there was born a beautiful baby girl named Alida Anne. (It should be noted that while Alida 'Anne' hated her middle name, and insisted that it should be 'Antonia' as befitting her regal stature, 'Anne' it remained.)

2: Her Mam and Pap and her older siblings: sister Dieuwke, and brothers Dirk and Mark were overjoyed that they finally had a baby sister; especially because the grapefruit could now be divided equally into fours, and there would not be a dried out piece for the rest of them to eat.

4: With her 'Doctor Zorba' hair, and capricious nature, Alida Anne, the baby, ruled the Land of Visbach | Who in the Land of Visbach could resist those big buggy green eyes and sunny disposition?

5: When shopping at Tingley's, who was it that made other shoppers smile and feel happy as she made faces at them?

6: Who else would be made by her brother Mark to lie on the floor, face down, | so she could breathe her germs into the floor so they would not spread and infect the rest of her family?

7: Now it must be said, that as Alida Anne grew up, and being the youngest sibling, that she did experience far greater leniency from Mam and Pap than her older siblings, | for which she was truly grateful; and she never took advantage of the situation

8: Although there may have been resentment from her other siblings,

10: "She who must be obeyed" got to stay out late as long as she wanted; | She got to drive the car when she wanted.

11: She travelled to distant lands with Mam and Pap | Across Canada | and to St. Lucia

12: ... while her other siblings stayed home ; | ... and she got her bra without begging for it.

13: In later years, Alida Anne (now known as Lida) would never forget her early years in the Land of Visbach. | Her trips to the Lake (no peeing please!) | Candies at Christmas time (who was that mysterious Sinterklaas, and how did he disappear so quickly?) | And her many joyful hours playing with her adorable brother, Mark, at Katimavik

14: ... and especially skipping arm-in-arm, singing at the top of her lungs, in her favourite store - K-Mart with Helen and Dirk.

15: When she returned from her travels to distant lands,

16: ... she welcomed any and all opportunities to have quality time with her brothers and sister

17: ... especially with her adorable brother, Mark. For he always listened to her; he always took her advice; and he always knew that she was right. One particularly favourite time spent with her brother, Mark, was when they both went fiddleheading and their canoe became incapacitated (even though they tried to patch the holes with plastic bags). Alida Anne and her adorable brother, Mark, worked stoically together as one, without rancor, and safely made it home safe and sound. Thank God for that Indian man!

18: On occasion, much to Alida Anne's delight, her adorable brother, Mark, also insisted that Alida Anne 'look up his nose' to ensure that Alida Anne was grateful for the time that her adorable brother, Mark, spent with her.

19: As Alida Anne moved from a precocious teenager into her | 30's | and 40's | 20's

20: ... she sought various avenues of employment, ever increasing her level of responsibility, confidence and awareness of herself. She demonstrated a perseverance to succeed through sheer will and persistence - basic Visbach family roots relating to hard work and fortitude showing her the way. | She worked at the Hilton and bought a beautiful old home in Hampton.

21: ... and then moved on to work at Howard Johnson's, | ... and then on to Kings Landing

22: All through her journey, her family was steadfast in their support and their belief that she would find her way, eventually. There were a few ups and downs along the way - giving a presentation with a panty liner down at her feet; attempting to operate on ever decreasing budgets at Kings Landing; having the heat die out at the home in Hampton one bitter night and wrapping herself and her niece, Lindsay, in warm blankets to keep from freezing; etc. But all in all, Alida Anne stayed the course.

23: During this period of time, Alida Anne met a boy from the Land of Barkers Point. Up to this point, Alida Anne had experienced love and loss in her love-life like any other princess, but when this strange man told her on the first meeting that he was going to marry her, it caused her to sit up and take notice!

24: While he talked in strange tongues on occasion, and was fastidious in his mannerisms, and somewhat stubborn in his ways, Alida Anne, as she alway did, took him on as a challenge.

25: In1994, they tied the knot.

26: Alida Anne's life was now full. She had the man she loved. | She had a good job at Kings Landing (albeit somewhat stressful at times!). | And she still had her wonderful devoted family; especially her Mam. Each lunch hour Alida Anne would partake of food and listen to wisdom from her Mam. These times were most precious.

27: Another addition in her life were her nieces, Lindsay Pindsay and Rosie Posie. Many hours were spent honing their culinary skills,giving them expert advice on love and relationships, fashion and beauty tips. | and being a role model as an example of a powerful, confident woman.

28: Alida Anne also fortified a bond with her nephew, Jonathan. Although most of his life was spent in the Land of Ontario, Jonathan did manage, with his parents, to visit often and spend happy times with Aunt Alida Anne | cooking up a storm | and exchanging conversation, | giggles and laughter with his Aunt.

29: Alida always had time for her nieces and nephew, which has continued to this day with special shopping trips and cooking special meals for the family during the holidays. | Her early life, and the lessons taught to her by her Mam and Pap concerning the value of family, struck a cord to which she definitely adheres and follows.

30: A few years ago, Alida Anne finally grasped the big golden ball and moved to her present position at Heritage Park in Calgary. Alida Anne's last voyage to the Land of Alberta was difficult for her. Leaving her family behind almost broke her heart, but she knew that she had to face this challenge.

31: From time to time, family getaways in Calgary and Canmore filled with hikes, food, wine, 'the Incredible Shrinking Woman', and laughfter salved the ache for home | Alida Anne's visits home during the Christmas festivities and occasionally during the summer months, is filled with cook, cook, cook, and drink, drink, drink. | Martini anyone?

32: As our story ends, and Alida Anne has now, at age 50, matured like a fine wine, we must reflect on her life as a whole. It is a good life, a life filled with love and nurturing and sometimes angst with her spose, fellow siblings and parents ... | ... but through it all she struck her course, kept it straight, and DOES IT HER WAY! Happy birthday and many more.

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