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Two for the road

Zoomer / August 2023

He can fix things, she has things to be fixed

Vancouver Island natives Deirdre Laforest, 73, and Art Easthom, 81, have a hundred years of matrimonial experience between them. A mutual love of motorhomes and the great outdoors brought them together.

Deirdre Laforest: I was trained as an archeologist but morphed into social work, because I wanted to work with “live” people who I could talk to. I was married for 39 years when I lost my husband, who I used to camp with. I retired the next year and bought a motorhome, and later joined an RV club so I wouldn’t have to camp alone.

Art Easthom: Deirdre joined my club, where I’d been about 10 years. One of my girls said, “That lady over there is having trouble with her awning.” I helped with that, but next thing you know, there was a water leak inside. Things just carried on from there.

DL: I loved the fact that he could fix things, so I called on him a lot. My daughter-in-law visited the campsite one time and went home and told my son there was some guy there flirting with his mom.

AE: I was just trying to be helpful. But she was sitting there so cute and cuddly, so I thought, “What the heck?”

DL: Art’s very funny, as you can probably tell. He’s always laughing and cheerful, no matter what’s going on in life. He even dances with me. But he was dating one or two other women at the time, so that was a problem.

AE: We were casual at the time.

DL: Well, I went to a campout once and he had one of his other women with him. I told him I was not willing to be one of three. I said if he was interested in me, he’d have to pick.

AE: I picked her.

DL: Luckily the other woman was very understanding. She’s still a friend.

AE: A bigger problem was that we had two RVs. For the first year, we’d book two sites and take both. Hers would be the doghouse.

DL: We both had short-legged dogs. He had a dachshund and I had a corgi. That felt like an omen. But I eventually sold my motorhome. That’s when I knew we were getting serious.

AE: We did a lot of travelling together. In 2017, we took a 75-day road trip across Canada, from Vancouver to New Brunswick. She read the map and told me where to go. She knows all the non-busy highways.

DL: At some point, I needed new shoes, so we went to the mall. I couldn’t find shoes, but on the way out, Art took me to Peoples. He said, “Do you want to buy a ring?” And I said, “What for?” I was clueless.

AE: She had a nice chunk of acreage and I love woodworking, so it made sense. I sold my city lot and moved in.

DL: We got married right here, in the backyard, with just immediate family. Art has four kids and I’ve got two, plus the grandkids. We barbecued salmon and served carrot cake. We joke that we have a hundred years of experience being married, so we should be probably able to pull this off.