Well, it’s been quite a summer. Propane prices have moved around slightly, but have stayed a little on the high side. The outlook is that they won’t come down and will probably rise some as the crop drying season gets into full swing with winter to follow directly after that. Do what you can to button up the house against ‘Old Man Winter’ (I wonder why they call it Old Man Winter?) Maybe put on a sweater so you can keep the thermostat down a couple of degrees. Whoa! What am I saying, as your propane supplier I’m secretly thinking you should walk around the house in shorts and a T-shirt with the thermostat cranked right up. Now that would be every home heating supplier’s dream, but not too practical or likely. So, back to reality, and do what you can to save on your winter heating costs.
This spring my sweetheart contracted a painter to paint the outside of our house. A lot of the outside of the house is wood (board and batten) and about a third is stone. Hasn’t been painted in quite a few years, so it’s due. One side of the house has a large veranda. In the thirty three years we have lived here, we have never had a bird make a nest under the veranda roof. This spring, just before the painters were to come, we had two robin’s nests built either side of the main entrance door, and what we thought was a wren turned out to be a Phoebe, built a nest right above the man door that goes into our sunroom, next to the hot tub. When the painters showed up, there was no way my sweetheart was going to let them remove the nests, they would just have to paint around them while they put up with the adult birds squawking and flying in and out. Luckily, no bird or painter was harmed while accomplishing the painting of the veranda wall.
Last spring (2017) my sweetheart and I were supposed to go see my brother, who lives in Prince George, and my sister, who lives in Vernon. But, with all the fires out there in British Columbia, they advised us not to come. Instead, they suggested we come early next year, before the fire season. So, that’s what we did. Early in May of this year, we took a flight to Abbotsford, BC, then rented a car. Spent the first night in a B&B in Abbotsford, then drove to the Harrison Hot Springs Hotel for a couple days of sightseeing and soaking in the hot springs. Then, on to Vernon to spend a few days with my sister. We certainly saw some marvelous sights while driving through the mountains, and had a good visit with my sister, whom I don’t see that often. I might mention the reason for this trip, apart from a holiday, was because we are all getting older and you never know when someone might fall off the raft, so to speak. I didn’t want to be one of those individuals that says ‘I should have gone to visit sooner’.
After Vernon, we drove to a guest ranch in the mountains called Echo Valley Ranch. It was a fairly long drive, but with my faithful navigator by my side (my sweetheart), we came extremely close to turning onto the correct road that would lead to our guest ranch destination. Had we taken the proper turn, the bush road would have been about 60km, however we missed that turn. If I recall correctly, my faithful navigator said after we missed our turn ‘It’s ok, there is another turn up ahead’. We took that turn, and this bush road did eventually get us to the ranch, but not before it looped almost 60km in the opposite direction from where we had to go. Lots of time to test our in-car compatibility.
The ranch was a spectacular log structure, with other just as spectacular log structures as our cabins, spa, meeting hall, and horse riding facility. Meals were prepared by a very competent, and I think French, chef. Needless to say, we ate very well. Did most of the touristy things like hiking, had a spa day, watched local wildlife like deer and black bears. Went fly fishing one afternoon with one of the long term stable hands to a place called Riley’s Lake. I was expecting Riley’s Lake to be, well, a lake. Upon arrival to the site, I saw it was a creek that had been dammed up to form a lake (pond) above the dam, maybe one acre in size. The fishing gear provided had seen some hard miles, but nevertheless we both caught about twenty rainbow trout. Most of the fish were small at about a pound, with a few in the three pound range. My sweetheart and I also went horseback riding one afternoon, for about two and one half hours through the bush and mountainous terrain. We have both ridden horses before and were quite at ease mounting up and heading out, as they say in the old Western movies. My trusty steed, it seemed to me, was quite wide across the back, and as time wore on my hips were starting to complain. As the ride continued, my hip discomfort escalated, and by the time we dismounted back at the ranch, I was one sore cowboy. Took me about one and a half days to be able to walk without discomfort. Great trail ride, maybe if I do that again sometime I might try side saddle.
Now we were on to Prince George to see my brother. British Columbia is beautiful country, but it can be a lot of driving, especially if you are going from Abbotsford to Prince George via Vernon, and a side trip into the interior. Did have a good visit with my brother, his wife, and their children and grandchildren. One day my brother took us to a place called the ancient forest. It was a section of forest that had never been logged, and was now protected. I’m a bit of a tree hugger, so I can appreciate a substantial sized tree. Well, these trees, which were mostly cedar, stood about two hundred and fifty feet tall and the girth was, on some, fifty feet around. If I put my arms straight out, the distance from fingertip to fingertip is just over six feet. I stood pressed to this one large tree with arms outstretched and must have looked like a hummingbird against this mammoth tree. When you think of how long it would have taken for those trees to grow this big, it can make you feel like our time on Earth is but a blink of an eye.
Man, this newsletter is starting to look like a travelog, and I know how they can turn into sleepers. Next newsletter I’ll try to rev things up a bit.
Go out of your way to be a good neighbor, and not just to your immediate neighbors. At times we can all use encouragement or a helping hand. You could be the one to offer it.
Appreciate your support.