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).
I did like the chook story. Cheered me up. Not the cougar eating the chooks part, but I guess it needed to get into them before Dave did.
Hooray for the rain and time spent with interesting friends.
Cheering up is necessary now and then – especially since Oz is going through Covid Hell these days. You and community OK?
Cheer up! Things could be worse!
So I cheered up, and sure enough, things got worse!
To be honest, we’re pretty depressed, Dave.
I am not surprised. Depression is appropriate. Confusion seems to come with it. Hopelessness and fear are nearby, too. There is very little to inspire dreams and plans and things-to-do. Total sympathies. But no real advice from me ‘cept, “This, too, shall pass.”
You do know of the medicinal benefits of Scotch, right?
I come from a long line of alcoholics so I self-medicate on chocolate.
52 days without rain in Burnaby and then we had 24 hrs of showers, drizzle and mist.
Cooled everything down.
I have some friends visiting from Quebec.
They drove out to BC over a 7 day period.
They said the sky was hazy/smokey almost from the Ontario/Manitoba border to Vancouver.
They couldnt see the tops of the Rockies when they were driving through.
They’re retired so they plan on hanging out here for a few weeks before heading back and hope the sky will be clear for the return trip.
Live chickens eh?
Brings back memories of my early years as a small child.
Arriving at the grandparents farm as my dear old grandmother was killing chickens behind the barn for our dinner.
Nothing quite as show stopping as jumping from the car and running behind the barn and seeing dear old granny standing there with a headless, flapping chicken in one hand and a bloody butcher knife in the other.
18 years ago, when we were staying at a ‘farmstay’ on the other island, a friend (huge, muscled, skilled, younger guy with a massive pick-up truck came up to help us build the stairs over here). The host ‘farmer’ was a nerdy, odd guy, small-ish, with a weird perpetual grin and a tendency to wearing white lab coats was in the first of his sheds on the driveway killing chickens inside. Blood everywhere. As my friend slowly pulled in, naturally going slowly, nerdy-guy stepped out from the shed just as friend’s truck was coming up to it. Knife dripping blood, leering like a nut and wearing a white lab coat with swatches of chicken blood greeted him. He didn’t see any chickens. He just saw a mini Jack Nicholson coming for him. To this day, that incident is his first recollection and, to be fair, his only memory of his weekend on Read almost two decades ago.
It seems everything is going to hell these days! Weather in Belgium has been wet and bad all summer, with huge storms and rain causing massive floods. This seems to be the “new normal” for the future. Can’t believe some people are still denying climate change….Economy is going crazy as well, prices for electricity are doubled, prices for gas (heating) have tripled, price of gasoline is also extremely high. And still shortage of about everything (building materials, microchips, cars,….Perfect cocktail for the next financial crisis….
THAT is the way I see it but humankind has weathered this and more before. I do not think the climate is going to get better, however. How can it? We are currently a negative force and a powerful one. We are NOT a positive force at all. Running away may not be positive either, it just may be running away. And the climate cannot be run away from……If not Doomsday, then TEOTWAWKI at the very least.