Hambrook, Ruth

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                                  RUTH HAMBROOK
                                By Edna Williston


Eighty-one-year-old adventuress Ruth Hambrook just recently returned from the Domincan Republic and she is ready to go again. It was the first time Hambrook had been there, but it may not be her last. Her reason for going was to attend her son’s wedding. But that didn’t stop her from taking in every activity available in the spare moments she had.

Hambrook’s granddaughter said she is thrilled that her grandmother is so active and fun-loving. “When she saw people parasailing, she said that she always wanted to try it. Both her and my mom decided to go. She had never been horseback riding so they decided to do that too,” she said. “My grandmother is the most exciting person I know. She is the picture of good health, attends a senior dance almost every night of the week, drives with confidence, helps out other seniors by taking them to get their groceries and she loves to travel. We call her ‘Road Runner,’” she said.

To say the granddaughter is fond of her grandmother would be an understatement. To mention Hambrook’s name in her presence is get her started on the long list of why she is one of the most thoughtful people she knows. “She often spends her time writing letters to people for all occasions. She has a strong interest in genealogy and has kept accurate accounts of many families. She is an excellent cook and is very creative,” said Mutch.

She says her grandmother was a maternity nurse before opening a general store in Renous with her husband Mark Hambrook. (He passed away in 1999). She is a mother of four, a grandmother of eight and great-grandmother of four. “Everyone that knows her, loves her and after seeing the parasailing pictures, I felt I just had to share this with the rest of the community. Those that know her won’t be that surprised,” said Mutch.

                                     Lady on the go

In fact, Hambrook wasn’t surprised to hear that her granddaughter was singing her praises. “That’s just like her. She is such a lovely girl. It doesn’t surprise me one little bit that she would do something like this,” chuckled Hambrook when contacted for an interview.

Hambrook didn’t hesitate too long – in fact, just moments – before agreeing to talk about her life’s adventures. “I guess I could but I’m not certain how interested anyone will be,” she said, admitting she was up for another adventure. “And why not?” At 81, Hambrook says she is interested in many things and does not like to turn down an opportunity to try something new… including, she says, an interview. As for the parasailing and the horseback riding, Hambrook said it was an opportunity she just couldn’t pass up.

“I was sitting there watching all the activity going on at the beach and I saw a group of people parasailing. It looked like so much fun. I decided I wanted to try it. I decided what the heck. I said to myself, if I go home without doing this I will be disappointed. I knew I would be saying, I wish I had done it,” she explained. “Horseback riding was the same thing. The opportunity presented itself and I just knew I had to take advantage of it. I had never been riding before, either.”

While the parasailing, horseback riding, and going to an island resort are firsts, it is certainly not the first time she has travelled. Hambrook has been to England, to Scotland, to Florida several times, to Washington, to Los Angeles, to the West Coast of Canada, on a couple of cruises…this woman has been active and there are no signs of her slowing down any time soon.

“At the resort we went swimming in the morning, took a tour or something in the afternoon and got dressed up for dinner out in the evening,” said Hambrook. “I’ve had a busy life.”

In fact, the very day she arrived home from the Dominican Republic, she was busy planning a trip to Moncton for the following day to see songwriter Anne Murray in concert. The ticket was a Christmas present from a family member.

Hambrook readily admits she can always find an interested travel companion, whether it is among family or friends. On friend in particular, Theresa Regan, is what Hambrook describes as her ‘partner in crime.’

The active Hambrook takes one thyroid pill a day and that’s it. “I really have no complaints,” she says (her fingers crossed). “So far so good.”

She belongs to the Newcastle Seniors Club, is an active participant in square dancing on Thursday evenings in Burnt Church, takes in a seniors dance on Friday evenings and attends church on Sundays.

“I can’t wait for Ritchie Wharf to open for the summer. It is a great spot to go to. There is always something going on,” she adds.

Many sentences start or end with Markie, her late husband, a person Hambrook describes as being “the best-natured man in the country.” “He was a great father – he had patience. If the kids were to do something that may have been questionable he would always sit them down and hear their explanation of the event. He would always let them tell their story. There aren’t many people like that,” she smiled.

There is one thing Hambrook says she wishes she had done. She was visiting with her daughter and son-in-law this past winter. They had built a large slide down a steep embankment to the river, and everyone was enjoying the sliding so much. “They made this big slide that went right out onto the river. I sat there and watched them for quite some time but eventually I had to go into the house because I just wanted to join them. I wanted to slide so badly but I was afraid I would break a bone or something. But, I wish I had done it. That’s why I decided to go parasailing and horseback riding. I don’t want to have that regret again,” said Hambrook.


Source: Miramichi Leader – April 25, 2008

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