BUT ACTUALLY, we had rain today! Blessed rain!! I cannot call it a downpour, not even a storm-of-sorts (Environment Canada generously described them as showers – must be the kind with water-saving heads) but it has been raining lightly for the better part of sixteen hours. Thank God! We are currently cloaked in a very damp distance-obscuring mist, like a wet fog. Lovely. Beautiful. And, I think, very necessary. The forest was looking a bit parched….especially for an area that is renown for being a rainforest! I am pretty sure that we have had no rain for two months and a rather too-dry Spring before that. August 7th and it is finally raining – even the tourists are appreciating it.
Ten or twelve years ago, in a gesture of support to one of my lower income neighbours, I pre-bought two roasting chickens in advance of a real-live chick or even a chicken coop in her sight. And, tho it took a few more years, chicks came to be cooped at some point but, before the chicks became man-hating Karens, a cougar ate ‘em. And, in the chicken business, a cougar is the very definition of a force majeure (an act of God). She was very disappointed and, of course, my $50 was forgotten (by me). No problem.
But we hired her a while back to assist in one of our volunteer programs (volunteer for us, not the worker-bees) and, I guess she has still been dreaming of chickens all that time. You know how chickens die easily but chicken dreams die hard, right?
“Hey, Dave! It’s a bit late but I am pretty sure I can fulfill your chicken order finally. I just now received some new chicks but I have those chicks in a really substantial coop. This time, I am very hopeful. I hope you still like roast chicken?”
“All good things come to he who avoids cougars or something like that. This just might be my first successful seed money investment! Ya did buy the seeds, too, didn’t ya?”
We have more guests coming. Most of them we know in advance. Friends and family. But, sometimes, we get guests we don’t know. Typically, such a strange arrangement comes about because we were volunteer hosts to a school run by a friend of ours in Hong Kong and the guests were Chinese young people visiting his weird, gweilo friend who lived in the forest. That was always fun. East meets West. Young meets Old.
Other unknown guests came by way of WWOOF Canada, the work-stay volunteer program that puts international young people on Canadian ‘farms’ (or wilderness places) to live, work and stay for a week or so as they travel around the country. We have some great young friends from the WOOF program. Many have come back years later just to visit. Very rewarding.
But we have also found ourselves hosting the odd reader of our book. Not often. Once in awhile. And mostly just an all-day visit with lunch and happy hour thrown in with a little ‘tour’ of sorts. That, too, has been pleasant and, in a few cases, very rewarding in that the visitors eventually became neighbours. They came, they visited, they searched and they bought a place out here or nearby. That is very cool.
But J and his wife are likely to be the new distance record-holders. They are coming to us from The United Arab Emirates, originally from South Africa. This family of three have such an adventuresome spirit that they left their home in the UAE, traveled to Germany and have just landed in BC – all in aid of getting a feel for OTG, BC style. In a few days we’ll pick ‘em up and give ‘em a quick tour around. And then, there they are, sadly, – in Campbell River. We would ‘keep ‘em for more than a night but, due to theirs and ours Covid-disrupted schedules and other forces, there is a scheduling conflict and we have three ‘normal’ guests arriving the next day (for the record: we do not have any truly ‘normal’ friends). Still, we will give it our best shot and also try to score them some extra time somewhere else nearby so that they get more of a ‘taste’ of OTG.
Write a book. Make friends. Who knew?
And, finally….I sprang for the lumber. Yes, it is still too expensive but life is short and I simply cannot stand by NOT building my little new shed that is just at the ‘start’ stage still. That little shed will have a story. At least half of that story is that it was built by cobbling materials from ‘salvaged’ used wood. The floor of this new shed is almost 20 years old already! The other half of the shed-tale has yet to be written but it is almost certain to have some blood spilled and damage done to tools, skin, bone and bank accounts. After all, we are employing/deploying all the usual suspects (Sal and me).