I’m sitting on a picnic bench in Water Valley Campground. I take a deep breath, the scent of pine (or spruce or fir) fills my nasal passages, conjuring up happy feelings and sending me on a journey to so many places in my memories.
- Jasper National Park in the 70s on a family trip. My first and ever-so-memorable time in Canada’s Rocky Mountain parks. Possibly what brought me to the area I’ve lived in now for thirty-five years, with the Rockies just an hour away.
- Mount Gambier, Australia in 1990. After almost three months of tropics and desert, a hike into the pine trees at the top of a mountain transported a homesick young woman to the Rockies for an afternoon. And now, thirty years later, the same scent in a campground in Water Valley returns her to Mount Gambier.
- And a plethora of hiking, skiing, and horseback adventures since moving to southern Alberta in the mid-80s.
Just over a year ago, my husband and I were in Toronto, there to accept his Volunteer of the Year award from Sail Canada. We flew in a plane. We stayed in a hotel. We dined in restaurants. We enjoyed what would be our last indoor live music event for more than a year. And we attended the Sail Canada awards reception and banquet. It all seems like another life now, a different reality. The idea of being in a room full of people, shaking hands, taking food from trays circulating among the guests, sitting shoulder to shoulder at dinner, all seem impossible now. A year ago, it was just life as we knew it, a life filled with people contact.
“Last one in close the door!”
There’s a great irony in Britain voting for Brexit largely based on concerns and fears over immigration. Through its long history, Britain has been a nation of emigrants, spreading to all corners of the globe. They may have called it colonizing or settling prior to the 20th century, but it was done in search of a better place, a better life, not so different from today’s immigrants. Continue reading
As far back as I can remember, I’ve been going to Frieda’s place. Frieda is my aunt, my mother’s older sister by eight years, and Frieda has always been a part of my life.
When I was a child, many summers we travelled to Frieda’s in Kamloops, BC from our home in Charlie Lake in the northeast corner of the province. My mother at the wheel, we’d make the trek in two days, stopping to camp somewhere along the way in whatever unit we had that year, a tent (or two), a small trailer, and there were varying configurations of the family unit depending on which of my older brothers were not yet old enough to avoid family holidays like the plague. Continue reading