On the Waterfront

There it is: the highlight of the day – a lazy(ish) stroll along the Nakusp waterfront with Abby.

It’s really all about hiking tomorrow – Old Glory. But today, I caught up on laundry and cleaning (so mundane – why even put this in a post? Oh – because I’m a tad OCD – duhhhh). I thought about cleaning up the garden. But then thought, I’ll bake cookies instead. And nap. And eat chocolate. And drive to Nakusp. How’s that for avoidance?

But I put garden on my list – so it will get done. All I have to do is take a deep breath and do it – darnitall!

I also started my bucket list. Surprised and not surprised what went on it: two things really (broken up into details). I have travel and finding/creating a wonderful home.

Sounds like a plan.

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Cody Trails

Today, it’s going to be about photos. Simon drove me up to Cody (I left the car in Sandon) and showed me the trail up. Very cool for a number of reasons. First, another new trail! Second, I found the sunglasses Simon lost and third – hey! My new boots got their first really good workout and proved themselves very well indeed!

I got to the end (sort of) of the bluebird trail and made the mistake of trying to continue by climbing up a slag heap. Bad idea.

Coming back down was a bum slide.

But then onward – over to the Reco trail and up and up. I had set a turnaround time or two: either 1 p.m. or at the snow line or at the top of the ridge – whatever came first. And hey! at 12.45, I popped out on top of the ridge. Lovely! Great views, sunshine and a super place for lunch.

Along the way I crossed an old mining site complete with ancient outhouse – and several sketchy trail parts that required going back down with a low centre of gravity, especially when I missed a switchback and found myself on a steep scree slope thinking, “I don’t think this is quite right!”

It was wonderful to get out on a good day – lovely to do 1200 metres and feel strong – and even better to come home and find that Simon had heaved a gazillion huge logs of firewood off a mountain and into the wood shed! Wow! And he drove me to the trailhead. How amazing is that?

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In the Details

Sometimes, it’s all in the details – especially when you have to work with the government. And today it was both Service Canada and Service BC.

Who knew that living together common-law would require so damn much paperwork. I mean, isn’t that one of the reasons not to go through the formal process – so that you can avoid all that?

Apparently, there is no avoiding. The funniest thing was sitting with one of the commissioners this morning. She read a statement (I can’t for the life of me remember what it was) – something about living together. And we both had to say “Yes.” This, I suppose, was in lieu of “I do.” I almost giggled – because neither one of us wanted to “get married again.”

Well – no name changing was involved – so that’s good.

But seriously, it felt good to get all these details handled – and my new driver’s license and BC Med card – and I finally became an organ donor. Hell, I even took it one step farther and donated my body to research. What the heck, right?

So we did miles of paperwork with extremely helpful people at both service centres. And I got an early birthday present! Yay! Great shoulder-season gloves!

And then this afternoon we took the pups to Bannock Point and Shanara got to fetch sticks in the lake, so that made her day.

And hiking tomorrow with my sweetie! Double yay!

Although, after a day like today, with all the driving, I am so tired. It’s that mental tiredness that’s so hard. A good physical tired feels wonderful – the mental kind is like a blanket over my brain. Don’t like it one bit. Still – hiking tomorrow, right?

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Sunday Idling

I wish I could get over this feeling that idling is NOT a good thing – that I should be doing something constructive. I have been indoctrinated (like so many of us) into being a human doing rather than a human being).

At any rate, I did do laundry and bake bread and then took Abby to the Awesome Trail where we almost avoided the rain but not quite. And, truth is, I quite liked walking in the rain. That’s what living for years on the West Coast will do to you.

I thought about a lot of things today – about my love of walking. Perhaps this is more accurately described as a love of movement. My gosh, I do love travelling. Foot power is certainly my favourite form of transportation, closely followed by trains. I don’t know what it is but train stations, the simple act of getting on a train – love it!

Movement.

Change.

I like change.

I also don’t like it but, in the end, I do.

I am probably making no sense at all but there it is.

I thought about my recent embrace of the truth about me – that I am an introvert. I thought about how hard I worked at being an extrovert – starting at about age 14. Really – I worked at it. I wonder how different my life might have been had I embraced my true nature. I think I would have been more peaceful, centred and focussed. But these are suppositions. My life is what it is and because it is so, it’s perfect.

Everything has been a choice I have made. True, not all my choices have been reasoned and certainly many have been far from optimum – but they were mine. And they brought me here and this is the perfect place for me to be.

I feel changes just around the corner (again – sigh) but I’m excited about them. Can hardly wait to see what they are. And, for once, I feel completely ready, completely at choice and eager to embrace and embark on what is next.

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Dog walk, house showing and sheets

We had a house showing this morning – no idea what will come of it but it did get the house spotlessly cleaned and it did get me and the pups out early and on the trail – so that’s something.

We headed for Payne Bluffs, namely because I felt like I need a good uphill. Stunned myself by going up and back in just over an hour. Really? Gosh – guess I got really strong on my “long walk.” And what a treat to do the up without 25 pounds on my back.

Most importantly, the dogs enjoyed it tons. Abby, for some reason, was in a totally giddy mood, grabbing sticks (and practically entire trees) and dashing about with them, tail wagging furiously. Total goof!

So that was fun. And then back home and feeling soooo lazy. After lunch I napped and couldn’t motivate myself to get off the couch afterwards. Very unusual. But then I was back online with sheets.

Let me explain. I told Simon this morning that my new brilliant idea was not to buy a new fitted sheet at all because we had some old ones in the shed somewhere in a storage container. But then I remembered that they were really old sheets and – well – I happened on to the Daniadown site – and there they were: the right colour and all. So I ordered one. Yes – one. Only ordering what I need because, well, I also happened to buy two books that cost as much as the sheet: hiking the Slovenian Mountain Trail and hiking the Traumpfad from Munich to Venice. Both are 500 some kilometres in length and both are calling to me.

Fun bedtime reading.

That’s it – my exciting life today!

Did I keep you up?

I do have two things on my list that must get done before the end of next week: a total winterization of the garden and a good full day hike. Both are waiting on a sunny day.

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Bed Sheets

I have a spent a good deal of the day pondering – actually, agonizing, over buying bed sheets. Yes – these are the important things.

I don’t waste a lot of time over small decisions – like whether to dash off to Europe on a minute’s notice. Oh no, I save my fingernail biting for the big stuff:

Sheets.

So – here’s the dilemma: Our fitted sheets appear be going threadbare to the point of having holes in them. This simply won’t do. They’ve been around for 8 – 10 years so they’ve done pretty good. And I love them. They are the perfect sheets and in the exact right colour. I would love to find the exact same sheets again. Ain’t gonna happen. Not on-line. Believe me, I have looked.

And you can’t buy sheets in the Koots unless you are willing to spend a fortune in Nelson. And I don’t want to drive all the way to Kelowna for heavens sakes.

So – back to online shopping. But I don’t trust online because the colour is never accurate. And I want a sage green. Okay – so here’s the thing: do I buy just fitted sheets? And then the colour doesn’t matter so much. Or do I invest in two sheet sets?

What if the colour isn’t exactly right?

You see?

Nope – I can’t decide – and so I shall procrastinate. (sigh)

A week ago today, I was touring the Chateau Chillon, marvelling at the old castle, being deeply moved by the history – today I am worried about sheets.

Really?

Yeah – really.

On another note, we have a house showing tomorrow and in addition to sheet searching, I spent the entire morning cleaning and scrubbing the house as well as working on my sourdough bread. I even dusted. Hell, I even mopped floors!

So this means taking the pups for an early morning hike to get us all out of the house. Something uphill I think… take my mind off sheets…

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Where to call home

Today I took my first mini-hike since I got back. I was surprised how strong I felt. I still have some knee issues on the downhill but nothing serious. but given how I was feeling, I think I’m done with jet lag.

And we got lucky with the weather – no rain, shafts of sunlight now and then which was beautiful on the green moss. And it started raining about an hour ago – after the hike and even after my nap!

It was also rather lovely running into Nicky. And of course the first question everyone asks: how was it?

Answer: wonderful and epic and fabulous and beautiful!

Second question: Are you glad to be home?

Answer: not really.

That requires some explanation. I am so very, very glad to be back with Simon – to be back with the puppies (who adored their hike – especially Shanara) but I am not glad to be back in the Kootenays. And it’s a relief to be totally honest about that – to stop equivocating.

I realized this for certain while I was away but especially when I came back – the Kootenays are not for me. They are not my home. After two years here, they still feel like an alien landscape – a place I don’t belong.

I think I’ve put in a good effort at making it work. I’ve hiked everything, I’ve skied and snowshoed and gotten out. But I no longer want to put in the effort at making it work. It’s an uphill battle and I’m tired of it. I also understand that you can’t go back – in my case really not. I lived in a place I loved for many years. That is not to say that I loved Vancouver Island. I loved my little place on the farm and I’d created a life there that worked for me. I had my issues with the island: the ferry system for one. But it really worked for me. And I had the climate and the mountains and the freedom to go where I wanted when I wanted, even in the winter.

Now VI is out of reach financially. It’s going the way of the Lower Mainland – and fast. And so what I want is a place to come home to that feels good – that feels right. I’m surprised by how important place is. But here’s what I know: whenever I left the island (to visit my brother in Ontario shall we say) and came back, it was always with a sigh of pleasure.

This time, getting on the plane from Vancouver to Castlegar felt wrong – I looked longingly at the gates that were sending planes west instead of east. That said, knowing I was coming home to Simon was a huge joy. It felt so very good.

The question now is, where can Simon and I be happy together? Where is there a place that feels good and right for both of us – a location in space that we want to call home. Where is there a place where we can grow things, have room to roam and feel free, where we can both have what we need to be happy?

I don’t have the answer to that. At the moment, it’s just a good question.

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