Just in and out under the wire….(and with observations)

We went to Victoria see Sal’s mom for her 93rd birthday (she, me and Sal have all been vaxxed. She lives alone, so do we. It was safe). The day after we arrived, the province ‘closed the doors to travel’. There are now some stronger restrictions. Our daughter in Alberta was intending to visit in a few weeks but that was cancelled because the ferry won’t take her. Our son came out to great grandmas with his family and they are extremely cautious, too, and his wife is a health care provider and so was vaxxed. But they considered a 30 km visit was a bit of a risk. We visited outside.

There is a ‘heavier cloud’ of restriction now very evident in Victoria. NOT depressing but NOT even close to enjoyable. And I saw no one without a mask this time. Don’t misunderstand me, it was necessary and too long overdue but it is a smidge depressing.

Naturally, our trip was more than just a visit. It was also a BIG, GIANT town-day (Home Depot, Costco, etc). We went primarily to visit but, of course, no one ‘visits’ all day long and so we do our chores as well. And the chore list is endless. And exhausting.

We have an old car coming to the island and it needed some extra spare tires (OTG vehicles pop tires like popcorn). We now have three spares for it! To carry them home in a chock-full SUV (from all the other chores) we put the tires up on the roof rack. Sal climbs up on the roof, I lift the ‘load’ up to her and then she dances around the top tying it down……and the tire-store guys jaws are on the ground. “Holee! She’s good!” “More than that, dude, she’s in her 70th year!”. “Are you f’ing sh”’ing me, man?! I can’t get my wife to carry the groceries, let alone climb up anything and she’s in her thirties!”

We were in a mall. I had parked near a handicap zone space. As we were loading in some stuff, an old couple crawled in to park beside us. They were vey cautious. Then the passenger door slowly opened and this old guy, even-slower, lifted one foot out and then a minute later, the other one appeared. We closed our car doors and adjusted our stuff to make it easier for him. After four minutes, he was out. “I take a while, now. I’m old.” “So, how old are you?” “I’m 75!” (I am 73. I honestly felt as if I could carry him into the mall over my head and I was not 100% sure he could even carry himself).

We picked up a package from FedEx and Sal was outside and back up on the roof. The office staff remarked, “Hey! There’s someone on your car’s roof!” “That’s my wife. I’ll pass her the package (it was as large as a big suitcase). She’ll tie it down.”

“Dave! What’s the point?”

The point is simple: we are staying fitter and staying fitter longer than our urban cousins. Of course, that is a very generalized statement and there are plenty of urbanites fitter than us, I know that. But, had we continued to live in the cul de sac as we had, neither of us would be as healthy as we are and we both acknowledge that. Even Sal. Life OTG is good for you.

The time wasted spent in line-ups and traffic, alone, would have put me in the nuthouse.

Further to that….we have a 41 year old friend who just bought a couple acres two islands away. He’s single (now) and fit. He’s skilled as hell at anything mechanical. Nice guy. And he is an outdoors nut. Huntin’ and fishn’……really very able. He was here today. “Oh, man, I am tired. I am so busy. I only have a couple of jobs to do for others but I am also taking care of myself, fixing the old cabin, trying to get in a garden and just going all the time. I can hardly earn a penny! I had no idea living OTG was such a full-time job!” (He has been single for four years and doesn’t like it. Any great 35-42 year old females who love being in nature, are hardy and have simple wants and needs should apply to his agent* as he is not likely to find anyone in the time of Covid out here or on his own. Pictures are required because the agent is nosy and wants to see).

And finally, (as in the observations department) we had to take a short detour at one point (road work) and passed through a new subdivision. I saw a For Sale sign on a nice looking new house. “Sal, call the realtor, would you? I am curious what a nice but simple house in what looks like a crowded neighbourhood 40 minutes outside Victoria is going for.” She called. “$929,000! It’s 2000 sft and has five bedrooms. It must be jammed tight in that house. The lot is only 3000 sft. It is a postage stamp. AND it is all strata title!”

Some poor sap will go in to debt to the tune of a million dollars (when the dust has cleared) and will remain in servitude to that debt for the bulk of his life so that he can be incarcerated in a ‘normal’ house and raise a family. And judging from the construction going on all along the lower island, he/she is not alone. The south island is exploding!

Bottom line: the government has restricted life-as-we-knew-it, the cost of living is further restrictive and the cost of housing is crazy-prohibitive. And I just read that 2020 is considered the year of mental health erosion or ‘languishing’…not quite ‘mental’ but definitely not health.

And I am NOT in the least bit surprised.

16 thoughts on “Just in and out under the wire….(and with observations)

  1. I hope you do better for your 41 year old neighbour than you did for me! Remember, the one you were going to fix me up with that enjoyed cauliflower and trips to South America? I don’t remember all the details, just that I was excited about the possibility. Anyway, the fact that I’m twice as old as he might have some bearing on your success rate.
    I COULD tell you about a young (55 year old) lady that just dropped in and shared a glass of wine, and as we chatted she said to me “when you were 55 did you seek out a relationship with an 80 year old woman?” , which kind of put me in my place! We still communicate but sadly she won’t be accompanying me to Mendoza.

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    • I can understand her point of view, but must be difficult to hear it for you! Dave might see this as a challenge though to find you your “perfect match”

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    • Well, since you do not remember………we sent a good lookin’ 65 year old up and she had a wonderful long weekend at your place but she reported that the best part was the cauliflower. Said you were pretty funny when you were awake, tho.
      She is still thinking about Mendoza. Her name was Hope. Remember? If not, no worries, you can reacquaint yourself later. In the meantime, there are plenty of fish in the sea…..

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  2. OTG relly has a good influence on your health and mobility! I think it’s all about staying active, and out there, you don’t have much of a choice, do you? I will try to stay active as well on grid, so that it won’t take me 4 minutes to get out of my car when I’m in my seventies. Prices of houses are also sky high and rising, crazy and nearly impossible for young people to buy a decent house (or they have to pay back the loan for the coming 30 years…).

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  3. I have always said that society works very hard to trap us within it. First a loan to buy a car, next a full time job to pay the debt, possibly a mortgage if you jump in to buy a home or servitude to rental life style, next family when life really changes. I was fortunate enough to fend this off until my 30’s. A really good book to read about health is by Dr. David Agus :The End of illness” where he states the fountain of youth is walking vigorously an hour a day. I know Dave and Sal’s life style accommodates that requirement in many different ways.

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  4. My Uncle is 90.
    He worked at physically hard jobs his entire life.
    A social drinker, smokes the odd cigar, likes a good book or a good joke.
    And when he goes brook trout fishing now?
    His 50 something kids can barely keep up….

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    • Sal’s dad was 94 when he passed on. We had to stop him from climbing on the roof every Xmas to do decorations. We had to stop him from single handedly sailing his 27 foot boat. He stopped both at 92. And he stopped playing badminton at the local community centre when the doctor refused endorsing his driver’s license – somewhere around the same time. His eyes and mental focus were wandering and so it needed to be done. Still, the guy was bucking rounds and hauling weight until the day he died. Strong and muscled and within ten pounds of his weight when he was in his twenties. He was going down the driveway to get the paper one morning and just gently lay down on the grass beside the driveway and that was that. Sal’s mom at 93…dad at 94….ol’ Sal will be on her third husband by the time she moves along at somewhere around 120.

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  5. Physical hard jobs indeed seem to have a positive influence on health and age. But on grid, most people just sit in front of their tv’s or computers the whole day. So we’ll have to keep busy to have a long and healthy life! And Dave, where would Sal find another husband like you? I think they only made 1 of you and threw away the mould

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    • They did throw away the mould. That’s for sure and for good reason. And Sal would not have to find anyone. They would be sending in resumes’. Making application. Lining up. Hell, I could put my finger on three right now, maybe four if you count John’s Aghast (who operates primarily on optimistic imagination right now).

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      • Hey, don’t count me out yet! I’m still looking after 20 head of cattle and innumerable fish, as well as tending my cauliflower plants. I’m much too busy to send out resumes, but if a likely candidate should happen by…….
        Then, there’s always ‘Hope’!

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  6. Yep, I agree. Time spent in the garden and in manual work does keep you young. I’m too close to the supermarket and it shows.
    On the other hand, there are many in our country areas that do not have access to suitable healthcare which can be a disadvantage. Farm accidents do have a way of cutting people’s dreams short. Perhaps it is the same in some of your less populated areas?

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    • Yes and no. It is more than likely that one gets hurt every once in awhile out here but most things can be addressed at home. A severed limb from a chainsaw might require a trip to town but almost anything you can walk away from can be addresses at home. If you want, I can take out your appendix, too. No problem.
      But we are also blessed with a very attentive and visiting doctor. He comes once a month. But telehealth and the ZOOM type applications make even that less necessary. Dr. Steve is also just a phone-call/email away. We’ve had crushed hands, chainsaw cuts, severe burns and any number of ‘disorders’ all dealt with at home or by some distance-covering technology.

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      • The pain issue is real but usually the pain is all at the time of the accident and no one can help with that anyway. I burnt my leg very badly a few years back – about the whole of my right thigh. The skin crackled and burnt and it was painful as hell. But you can imagine what getting to a hospital two hours away would feel like so I simply bathed the area in salt water twice every day for the next two weeks. By then, it was healed. Completely. No scar. The ‘at home’ treatment was better than any medical process. Am I anti-conventional medicine? Not at all. But even our good doctor usually just writes a prescription. GPs don’t often do even the smallest surgery (sutures, skin tags and cysts is about the limit). And I am, I admit, somewhat anti-hospital. I should not be but I am. The dirtiest place for germs is children’s day-care, of course, followed by elementary school but hospitals are pretty dismal at third place. A Calcutta sewage culvert is next on the list after those first three. Sheeeesh…everyone knows a hospital is full of sick people – it is the last place you wanna go.

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  7. Excepting amoung other things, kidney stones that will not pass, on the bright side the jolting crossing might be enough to loosen them.

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