Where to start? Trump? Trudeau? Covid? I don’t think so….this is a local colour kind of blog today. This is back to OTG.
As you know, this area is home to the best bookclub in Canada (maybe the Galaxy?). And they prove it every month on the 3rd Sunday. Rain or shine. But Covid threw a wrench into the longest running bookclub ever (35+ years) a few months back and they had to do two meetings by way of Zoom. They didn’t like it. So, in typical OTG fashion, they opted to have the meetings in an open space. And that was first practiced at the site of the school playground. It was good. But not good enough….so…this last gathering was held ‘at the beach’.
Our island has a few nice beaches but there is one special one. It is a classically beautiful three-boat anchorage with a gradual slope from the sea that merges from beach to forest in a natural and sublime way. It’s a great spot. In fact, it is so great the local guys have, over the years, erected a rustic stage and bar and outdoor kitchen complete with outhouse and random seating areas. Log-and-beach wood style. The site looks like a fantasy setting for Hobbits or something…gorgeous.
It gets better.…this weekend 20 or so women came together at the beach and this time a good portion were younger women. Usually the younger women do NOT bring their kids because the kids are disruptive, especially in a house. But this was the beach and kids and beaches go well together. About 8 or so kids, the oldest maybe 12 and the youngest about 5. And they all played in the water for hours while book club was held with the oldest kid caring and watching out for the youngest. There was the classic log and old-rope raft, the usual beach toys, some beach-made toys, several dogs, old vehicles, lunch and, of course, perfect weather and calm waters. Norman Rockwell would have painted it a dozen times.
I know that beach-fun is no big deal but in the days of Covid and so many screen focused activities and habits of the kids (and parents) these days, it was ‘the good ol’ days’ all over again. Very nostalgic. Organic. Casual. Real. Family stuff…..
Covid prompted a lot of things this year. We have a help-get-the-wood-in program whereby some of the younger guys assist older homeowners to get in their winter wood. The local logger gave up some non-merchantable timber, some folks have trees on their property needing processing and some work is just firewood related like stacking and hauling. They’ve been at it for a couple of weeks so far and their efforts are being much appreciated. It is good.
The food delivery system has settled in somewhat. They get about $2000 worth of food delivered by water taxi and distributed by a few volunteers every Friday around noon. That works out very well and is also a very good thing to do.
We got funded for a one-day-a-week home care worker who has approximately 20 older clients currently getting some kind of personal assistance. The funding is minimal ($15K) but that is enough to hire two workers in the winter and keep our current worker going throughout the summer. And that is good, too.
Sal and another neighbour got inspired and applied for a small grant to ‘collect stories’. It seems that many of our neighbours have great local history to share and we want to record it, print it, podcast it and the like. The volunteers got enough of a grant ($7500) to hire some interviewers (including some of the school kids) a technician and coordinator. We anticipate at least thirty (or more) short-stories of derring-do and adventure from the 70’s and up until the present day. Do we make it into a book? I dunno….prob’ly the bookclub will take that on.
While all that has been going on in the neighbourhood, Sal and another two women reprinted a very old book about homesteaders out here during the last depression. The author lived here for 10 years. That was no small feat back then (piece of cake today, tho). It was interesting to read because it is similar-but-different to our history out here so far. And, it was good to ‘save’ the long out-of-print book for historical reasons.
We’ve had a few guests. Some friends have dropped off some fish. A few happy-hours. We have 90% of a solar oven (awaiting Fresnel lens) and 90% of the new water system is sitting up the hill awaiting installation.
Sal has also made a few quilts so far and I have done the very least I can do to not appear too much of a lump – which is impossible. It is hard to keep up with woman like Sal who now has a new knee and is cranking up the odometer with it. Sheeesh…………..