I haven’t been online much in the last month and a half.
Part of that was the fact that I was working hard on a variety of outdoor projects for my family. Not only managing most of the garden, which included having to come up with some way to curtail two tomato plants that started growing out of control, ending up taller than me. The part that took the majority of my time though was a water feature I agreed to design and build for them.
It was the kind of work that ended up taking all of my energy. I would spend my day performing manual labour, and by the time the sun set I would be so exhausted that the only energy I would have left is to feed myself and collapse on a patio chair to read a few chapters before falling asleep hours earlier than usual.
Then mid September, I was lucky enough to get the chance to fly out to BC for a couple of weeks. The wonderful man I’ve been seeing for over a year and a half lives out here, and it’s a rare thing that we get to see one another in person.
It’s been a wonderful trip so far.
Thanks to the assistance of friends and my family, we were able to invest in a cheap vehicle so that I would no longer have to find obscene amounts of money for a rental car. While the temporary insurance turns out to be ridiculous in terms of cost, it’s still significantly less than the rentals have been. Hilariously, the best deal for a cheap car we were able to get was a manual, so I’ve spent a part of this trip learning how to drive stick.
This is a completely new experience for me, and learning how to do it in mountain foothills has been an experience. Still, I’m doing pretty well and for the last week we’ve been able to do a bit of exploring and cruising, like we usually do when I’m down. I even manage to start without shaking or stalling almost every time now.
I love BC for its wilderness and all the amazing natural resources. Being from Ontario, it’s always such a culture shock, when I can actually drink directly from a stream without having to worry about ending up with some horrible illness or poisoning. I thought I didn’t like water, until I managed to drink some from a cold mountain stream.
Part of wilderness is the wildlife. We saw a pair of yearling bucks, practicing fighting with a little rough-housing. We’ve seen eagles, herons, hawks, and vultures.
We go fishing, and for the first time ever, I caught a Salmon! It’s the biggest fish I’ve ever reeled in. We cured it overnight in some maple syrup, brown sugar, and salt, before smoking for several hours. Other fishing trips were a bit less exciting but still lots of fun
One of our favourite activities is to go out on a river and look for gems. BC is rich in quartz, agates, serpentine and jade, and I seem to have the eyes of a magpie. Oooh shiny! We now have access to a rock polisher so we can really clean up what we find. One day, it would be great to get out to some of the rivers reputed to have actual garnets, but that’s going to have to wait till I’m a bit more confident with the car.
My lovely scavenger blacksmith of a boyfriend is also one of the people who helped teach me how to wood carve. He has access to a bunch of amazing tools, including some he has made, which have made certain aspects of it a lot easier. As a result, I was able to work on some projects I had long wanted to try – like carving my own wooden spoon. I did so, using a blank of cherry wood from a log rescued from being tossed out after some trees were cut down at the park. I even carved another one for a friend and am currently working on a carving of a deer.
My sweet man has raised two Starling birds from the time they were chicks. One of them, Jack, has been with him for almost two decades, while the other Branwen is only a few years old. The latter was found a little older than the former, and so is a little wilder. Still on one of the nights we let them out of the cage to stretch their wings, she spent the evening sitting on me and sometimes even cuddling in. There is nothing quite like having what is essentially almost a wild bird decide to trust you enough not just to sit on you, but to show affection.
In addition to the Starlings, he has some quail hatched from the eggs laid by my lovelies. They’re my grandbirdies you could say. One is a silly little roo Trunks, who seems so far to be a sterile male with the most adorable little crow. Unlike the loud crows of most roos, his is quiet and so almost melodic. It’s really sweet.
I’m still here for a few more days. Like every time I visit, I can feel something resonating with me about this province. The air, the views, the rivers, my love, all of it makes it feel like home here. It renews my determination every time to find some way to move here. I’m looking into the possibility of signing up for OSAP and maybe coming to school here, since that is one of the few reasons why I would be allowed to leave the province while on disability. I really need to figure out how to make this happen. Leaving here and leaving him, with no idea of when I will get to see either again has been rough.
We have this dream of getting a little home on some land somewhere, where we could raise happy animals and spend our winter making art by the fire.