The only thing occupying my mind these days is Kinder Morgan and, of course, the colossal, slo-mo, ongoing train wreck that is the clown-prince Trump. But you know how I feel and what I think about both so there is little point in repeating it. So, I won’t. I will add this, however, Trudeau is stupider than I first thought (and that was pretty damn stupid) and Rachel Notley is showing more and more of her ugly side (the one I personally encountered eighteen years ago when she was a privileged intern with the then Attorney General, Ujjal Dosanj.) She was a nasty piece of work back then and hasn’t lost a bit of the poison it seems.
And I am kind of pleased with the way Horgan is deporting himself….but, we’ll see how that unfolds. At least he is understated and calm.
Instead, let us turn for the moment to community. I’ll keep it short.
Our community – such as it is – is spread out over approximately 250 square miles and includes not quite that number of people on a busy August day. We have a density of less than one person per square mile but I am including the water between islands and so, for the sake of simplicity: one person per square mile. Say, 200 people including everyone and that may be a bit generous. At any given time, I doubt you could find 100 people (not quite true – when there are the fewest people out here, it is winter. When winter is well-established fewer people travel. Still, the 11 student, one room school can usually count on 100 people in the audience for the kid’s Xmas play.) But getting 100 people at just about any other time is next to impossible.
The other day, we had a community potluck (40 or so people) and a show-and-tell slide show about a local environmental project underway. It was good. Interesting. Sal and I will contribute. But the real message for me was the make-up of the audience. Everyone was 55 or older except a few (maybe 5-8) and their children (maybe another 5-8). The balance were older people. Like me.
I sat with S (70+) and R (also 70+). J and K were just behind me (70+). The presenter was 60. This was a senior segment of the population. They are also – almost 80% – of at least modest means. These folks ain’t rich. Not in financial terms, anyway. They are not poor, tho. Not ‘homeless’ types but old clothes, old boats, older, beaten cars. Minimalists without working at it. They don’t spend BIG. But they are healthy, active and well-fed. They do what they want. They go where they want. They are pretty free. I sorta feel I am amongst my peers.
Of course, I take Ibuprofen, occasionally nap, eat less red meat and drink less scotch these days so, if age is attaching itself to me, it is to them, too. Our potluck was populated by white-haired people who appeared a bit shorter than they did last year. But they are all on-the-go and none needs a walker or oxygen bottles. These guys still chop wood, go to sea in small boats and carry heavy things around. They are doing good.
But age is showing by…well,. not showing. What I mean by that is that more and more old-timers are either moving to town or spending a helluva lot more time there. Some, actually spend a helluva lot more time in a warm climate over winter but, no matter how you look at it, more of the community is NOT here more of the time.
To be fair, there is always an inflow to counter the outflow but, being part of the inflow requires energy and less years. Older folks (and the teens) tend to be the outflow. I am aware of this. Increasingly so. If I project, I can see Sal and I doing something similar. I figure by the time I am 80, I will be spending more time in some ‘easier’ place. By 90, I may not be here at all (in every sense of that). We’ll see.