Tuesday, February 13, 2024


Sunday was a bummer. It was wet, wet, wet! I knew it mean that the day would be long, slow and gentle. Thank goodness for escapist literature and the fireplace. At 10:30, there was a break in the rain, so Her Highness and I were out the door in a shot. We did the same thing at 4:00 when there was another respite from the rain.

Monday dawned just as wet. The prediction that Monday – Thursday would be sunny and cool went out the door. Instead, we have more rain and lovely warm temperatures. I’ll take the rain any day because I love the warmth.

Monday I was out early. We went walking at 7:20 so that I could be back in time to change and then go to my fitness class at 8:30. At 8:30 am! Jesus, who decided it would be fun to do jumping jacks so early in the morning? Regardless of the hour, I was glad to go. I’m very happy that the drive to attend is surviving. It feels good to have regular exercise back in my life—especially at my advanced age. I’ll be 77 this year. Seventy-fucking-seven! Soon, I’ll be 80. I hope I’m still alive and going to fitness at 80.

The class was hard. I am thoroughly beat when it is done. Rhonda went long yesterday, but I left after just over an hour and a beetled home to fetch Sheba and then I went to find my friends walking their dogs. And I not only found them, I found them under cloudless skies. The day had turned beautiful. I was glad I made the effort to find my friends and walk with them a bit. I love my dog walking friends. 

When I got Sheba and left with her to get into the car, there are two steps down off the deck, and when I took the first step, I almost collapsed. But I made it and when I got home after walking for a bit with my friends, I loved slipping into the warm embrace of the hot tub. Oh yea!!! Then everyone needed lunch, and then I needed time with my book on the couch. I desperately wanted to be outside, but I was beat and needed to rest.

But the resting didn’t last long. I could not stay inside on so lovely a day, so I decided to rake the driveway. But first, I thought, maybe I’ll go into town to get some groceries. I am so glad I made that decision. 

I parked, picked up medications from the pharmacy, and was on my way to the market, and there was Christine. Wonderful. She was talking to Sharon. Horrors! I adore Christine, she is a very unique person who’s spark and joy absolutely thrill me. Sharon is my neighbour who is banned from the ferries, from the local vets, the medical clinic and who is loathed by all hereabouts. But we had a great chat. We are all dog owners.

Then, I went into Nester’s. I didn’t have a lot to get, so I was not feeling pressed. While oogling the sweets that I cannot buy, I heard someone call my name. It was Kate, with whom I met as a colleague at Emily Carr University. She worked in the gallery with my friend, Greg, who was the director. I left ECU 19 years ago.

We must have talked for 30 minutes. It was wonderful getting caught up. I truly deeply enjoyed chatting with her because she was quite different that she was at work. I found her terribly warm and interesting. I deeply enjoyed being with her. My speech was dreadful, but she just didn’t care at all. 

After we parted, I went 20 meters and ran into Mog. She, and her husband Chris, have been here twice for Thanksgiving dinner. Both times have been when Dianne is here. I hope our visits are annual events. We had a quick catch-up and then I headed off to the till. And there was Eoin.  What an amazing afternoon!

I came home feeling fabulous. I was glad I’s been to fitness, I wasn’t in any pain anywhere, but it was the conversations that mattered most. 

I remember fun it was to go to school on Monday because everyone would have watched Ed Sullivan the night before. That’s how North America first saw The Beatles and many, many other acts. It was a ‘must watch’ show that everyone loved to watch on Sunday night at 8:00.

Years later, I came to yearn for the fabulousness of the universal shared experience, but communications have exploded, and we are the opposite now. Everyone is embedded in their niche.

Living on an island with one major chain grocery store has brought that experience back into my life again. That’s why I loved my time in Nester’s yesterday. Also, we have community pages on Facebook. City people say that they, too, have community, and they do. We make out communities. I did that for almost 70 years in one of the nicest cities in the world: Vancouver. 

Here is different. I came here knowing no one, so I went to a Welcome Wagon gathering. Then I joined a dog walking group, and made, through Sheba, every friend I have here. Every one of my relationships here happened through her.

I have a community of friends here. It’s a wonderful group, and all I need. But we life in a greater community of fellow islanders. The greater community here is extremely present. I have volunteered, bought, and joined to support our island life. We are run by volunteers. We have no mayor; we are governed by a provincial agency, Islands Trust, and serviced by the Nanaimo Regional District. (Nanaimo being the large city where you catch the ferry to reach Gabriola.)

This is one very active democracy. It is so, so satisfying to have so much interaction with my local community because it interests me and provokes me, and it helps me ignore Trump etcetera. I now listen to French CBC because it’s easier to tune out the news. I lack the vocabulary for the news in French.

I am allergic to the world. But this little world, surrounded by water, I thrive.

Back to rain after a stunning day yesterday. Sigh. But we will cope with walks, food, a warm fire and good escapist reading.

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