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at least we’re better off than the Donner Party

March 7, 2011

After six winters here, I know it’s reckless to say this, but here goes: I believe the

worst of this one is behind us.  A look out the office window reveals a windless,

sunny day.  The thermometer reads a robust 5 degrees C. (42 F.).  A second look

out the window shows the windless, sunny day continues.  Yes, the weather here

can reverse itself in the span of a sentence.  Recently rain blew in from the south

one minute and snow came from the north the next.  Literally.


It’s looking more and more like we’ll make it to spring without saying the most

desperate words anyone would dare utter in the darkest depths of this darkest

season: “At least we’re better off than the Donner Party.”


Currently we are being honored by two swans resting on the near pond.


I got the feeling that Slinkee was fighting off every synapse of her canine heritage to

keep from going after them, but she’s being a gracious hostess.


Yesterday Jude, Slinkee and I walked and crawled through deep snow to check the

springs feeding the micro-hydro system.  Jude cleaned one of the tubes from the

upper spring.


That bumped us back up to full power.  That’s a big deal because it means we don’t

have to run the diesel generator to boost the batteries.  And we don’t have to go out

in the middle of a cold night to turn off said generator.  It’s only automatic about

half the time.


We also were blessed by our neighbour Jay Saturday.  He plowed our driveway.

Now we can get up and back to the main road in the truck and will soon be able to

bring the car back and forth.


Jay and his wife Sonia embody the ideal business model for living here.  They do a

bit of it all.  Jay is a commercial fisherman, a contractor and owner of a mobile saw

mill, among other things.  Sonia is a craftsperson and works at an upscale resort

on the island.  She’s also a licensed traffic control person.  The woman is a wizard

with a stop sign.


They have a 16-year-old daughter named Chelsea who is a ringing endorsement for

home-schooling.  She is a charming young lady, quite artistic.


The three of them run Treasured Ocean Products.  Please check them out.  If 1000

of you mention my name when you order, Jay will plow our driveway free.  Thanks.

Also in consideration for this promotion, they had Jude and me over to dinner.  We

had a terrific venison sausage stew, which fit in perfectly with my new more-red-

meat diet.


I found out after our meal that Jay is also an avid photographer.  I think you’ll enjoy

this video he and Chelsea did to a Gwen Stefani song.




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2 Comments
  1. Dave Schellenberg permalink
    March 7, 2011 9:55 pm

    Hey Allan, I wish I could find time to read your blog on a daily basis. It just makes me want to move up there sooner than ever. I’m glad I don’t have to deal with the snow on a daily basis here, but sure look forward to spending a snowy winter once we move up there.

    We look forward to seeing you guys soon!

    Dave and Carla

    • March 8, 2011 9:11 am

      Don’t worry about the snow, guys. You’ll be much nearer to Jay than we are. The community misses what you add to the group. When will you be up again? We’re having a pot luck/cookout/bon fire to get rid of winter Saturday
      afternoon the 19th. We’ll save you a choice spot by the woodstove.

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