Hello from the land of whales, Wallys & wetness!
To all my regular Chronicle readers…welcome back! You have NO idea how much I’ve missed you. And to those of you just reading for the first time let me give you the whole long story the way hollywood would do it in a movie trailer:
“They were a couple of thrill seeking stunt performers living life on the edge until one day they walked away from it all to start a new life in paradise… but paradise had a few surpises for them! Now they’re on the adventure of a lifetime. Join the Princess, the Prez and their grouchy cat Emily as they battle the raging sea in the Bahamas, party with the rascals of Key Largo, save the turtles in the jungles of Costa Rica, search for the meaning of life deep in the Baja desert and wind up washed up on the shores of Ucluelet – the end of the world!!”
So here we are in Ucluelet – or “Ukee” as the locals call it – wondering, yet again, what we are going to do with the rest of our lives. For those who are curious, Ukee is located on the West Coast of Vancouver Island and is about as far west as you can get in Canada. Rugged, remote and rainy…three good words to describe our home but also stunningly beautiful with wicked sportfishing and tons of wildlife.
The Prez’s internet business continues its long, steady climb up the search engines and there isn’t much to be done in that department for awhile so we have actually gone out and gotten real…it’s almost hard to say…JOBS…ouch!!!! The Prez is working as a sportfishing guide (and a damn fine one too, I might add) out of one of the local resorts and I am working at a rival resort as a kind of guest services/boat liaison kind of person. Emily has found that she can eat, sleep and make our lives miserable just as well here as in any of the many countries she’s lived in recently. All of our jobs are temporary as the season ends here, basically, at the end of September. After that…??????????
Believe me, I will have lots of juicy tidbits about living and working in a small town at the end of the world in upcoming Chronicles!
But let me start off my new rants by speaking a bit about patriotism. I hope that everyone in Canada and the USA enjoyed their respective National birthday celebrations. I’ve never been a big Canada Day celebrator, like most Canadians I tend to keep the flag waving to a minimum as to not offend anyone, but this year the Prez and I actually went out and attended an actual Canada Day Party and actually had a lot of fun. OK, the party was in Ukee (population 2500) and consisted of a band playing cover tunes on a flatbed truck with two lights and a miniature disco ball suspended from a crane but it was a party nonetheless. At one point the band (The Fish Net Stockers – we’re a fishing town, how can you tell?) broke into ‘O Canada’ and everyone, including yours truly, proudly sang along. I feel proud of my country for the first time I can remember. Why? Good question.
I am proud that we stuck to our guns (not that we actually have guns, they’re really frowned upon here) and did not jump into a war that is turning into Vietnam part II. I am proud that, however flawed our medical system may be, the doctors in Nanaimo gave my sister-in-law top notch treatment for her cancer and she didn’t have to go bankrupt for it. I am proud that my brother-in-law and his partner can legally be married – they love each other and deserve that right.
I do not consider myself patriotic. Countries are merely lines on a map and it is only through sheer luck that we are born where we are and not living like most of the people of the world in poverty, sickness and hunger. Our flags often become blindfolds, preventing us from seeing ourselves as other countries and cultures see us. Still, I do feel it is important to celebrate when our country does something good – positive reinforcement, if you will – and so, to ‘my home and native land’…Happy (belated) Birthday, eh.
Until next time…
I hope this finds you healthy, happy & lovin’ life!