Our life off the grid is still very, very interesting. A bit less so as to construction and various mechanical things these days (as it gets colder) but significantly more so as the ‘world turns’. Our community is getting more active. They are doing stuff.
The community is currently engaged somewhat more than usual and SOMEWHAT is a huge word in a group of people who are notoriously private, independent and generally disengaged on most matters that require more than four people or dinner. Their basic and very common OTG operating philosophy is something like, “I came out here to be mostly alone and in nature. I am NOT into being overly social, especially just for the sake of it. I will contribute when I am needed but, in the meantime, bu**er off!”
I say that like I know their minds…but I do NOT really know. I know most everyone to say ‘hello’ to, maybe twenty or thirty rather better, but I really just know me. And that ‘remove’ is largely how I feel so I attribute that feeling to everyone. Of course, many old grumps seem to carry that same ol’ crusty ‘vibe’ with them so I am mostly just extrapolating and projecting.
Don’t get me wrong about the people, tho. Any encounter with anyone out here is pleasant, polite and often fun. But, unless it is a problem that needs their assistance in the solving, the encounters are usually brief. Blessedly so.
Especially now. ESPECIALLY NOW!
Our first guests arrived in June. Our last guests left November 1. That is six months of entertaining. I am done. D-O-N-E! I would not even host a Victoria’s Secret Slumber party right now. NOT EVEN IF THEY DID THE COOKING!!!
But, I digress….back to the rumblings in the community……our community is officially represented by a community association, registered and all that. A real bona fide society. Tax receipts for donations. Meetings. Minutes. The whole shebang. And, for the most part, they are pretty good. I say, ‘most part’ because, like all societies, there are elections and sometimes you get good, hard-working, unselfish people who carry the load for a couple of years….and sometimes you get a board full of dufusses or those with some kind of personal agenda that mostly just annoys everyone. But we have been very well served these past few years and we seem to be getting better and better.
There is the land purchase initiative (see Go Fund Me – lot 302 Read Island, BC). We are buying 20 acres for ‘posterity’. There is the land-already-purchased initiative (purchased by the Regional District and soon to be leased to the community for a possible ‘village’ site or something). We have a world famous lunch-on-the-dock every Wednesday in the summertime that is a real ‘bonding casually’ experience and well received by tourists and locals alike.
We have added a Winter Cafe on a similar schedule (coincides with the doctor visits) and we have a one-day-a-week home support worker who travels around five islands using her own ATV and boat. Of course she keeps her bear spray and a chainsaw handy. That initiative was also privately funded and it has so impressed the local health officials they are looking at how they might make it more sustainable. We need only about $18K a year for the program so it is not the money that is spooking the bureaucrats, it is the bear spray, the small boat, the ATV and the chainsaw that makes them cringe.
And there is the water-taxi food delivery service. There is the day-to-day ongoing volunteering for all sorts of small issues that crop up (Sal is teaching the school kids sewing skills today) and people just handle all that without fuss. There are visitors, students, politicians, tourists, new-comers and out-goers. The place is a ‘hive’.
Well, a remote hive…..
Sal now sits on the Quilting Guild executive (neighbouring island). I have been ungraciously enduring meetings for the local Health Society. We have managed the home support program. We have engaged in the ‘properties’ activities. Money is moving around from donation to cause. The people are coming together….but….but….Kumbaya will not be sung all the live-long day. That is just NOT our style.
Me? I am warmed by the general goodness of it all, I am motivated to help where I can, I see it all as productive and necessary….but…..right now, after the last six months, I am tired, looking to slow down, stay away, hibernate, get some rest……and leave it – at least for now – to others…..