Let’s get the niceties out of the way first and I’ll wish everyone a
very joyful Canuck Thanksgiving! We spent ours with my sister, her
family & friends. Thanks Kelly for an awesome spread – we ate far
too much and now the Prez is napping as a result!
Well, I recieved a flood of emails last week, almost all on the "go
travel" side. I guess the thought of the "Suit and Tie Chronicles" or
the "Big City Chronicles" was simply too much for all of you .
Now, coincidentally, the Prez and I started to do some investigating
and the more we investigated the better the idea of running away to the
tropics again began to seem. So, at the risk of jinxing the whole
thing, I’ll let you know that we are in negotiations with a very nice
resort in the Caribbean. Wait! Benny, Martha & Debbie Mac, before
you say, "Hey, didn’t you turkeys learn anything
from the last fiasco???!" let me just assure you, we are not entering
into this lightly. Experience is the best teacher; we’ve sat down and
thought about all the problems that came with our Bahamas job and we
are taking every and all precautions to make sure that doesn’t happen
again.And, yes, we will miss you all like CRAZY but we have to follow
our hearts on this one. Life is far, far too short – ask anyone over
the age of 65!
If I had any doubts about our decision, they were certainly put to rest
two nights ago at a party that I’m about to tell you all about.
It began with an invitation from Barry, a friend of ours who owns Image
West Gallery here in Ukee, to come to a little get together at the home
of Lance the whale watching guy. I should say, Lance the
whale watching guy as no one else compares to his level of service and
expertise. Anyway, I didn’t really feel up to the fiesta as I was
nursing a bit of a fat head from our sushi party the night before, but
I thought I should go just to be polite.
It was a lovely get together of some really cool Ucluetians and, in
typical west coast style, really laid back and relaxed. Lance is an
avid diver as well as operating his whale watching company and his
house is chock full of marine art, native carvings and dive
paraphenalia – just my kind of place! Among the guests were Skip (a
retired US Navy man of 25 years) and his wife Denise. They have sailed
the world racing yachts and exploring and now call Ukee home most of
the time. This ‘mature’ couple also built and ran the premiere B&B
in Ukee, A Snug Harbour Inn,
(check it out, very romantic) and, through work with the Chamber of
Commerce, helped to put Ukee on the tourist map. The B&B is now
under new ownership but still world class. I also had a lengthy yet
fascinating discussion with local naturalist Bill McIntyre. Bill leads
interpretive hikes and storm watching tours around the area and in the
off season travels and works around the globe.
What struck me about this party was the nature of the conversations,
both my own and those going on around me. Far from the "So how’s Ted? I
hear Jim & Mary got a new car. Can you believe the weather lately!"
fare of many get togethers, these folks were discussing subjects like
marine conservation, geology, foreign cultures, politics, and important
current events. Though I Knew very few people there, I quickly
found myself engrossed by the conversation. And it wasn’t all serious
and hoity-toity either, there were lots of good laughs. Now I’m not
saying that all parties have to be like this to be fun, I’ve had many
memorable evenings where the conversation bordered on gibberish, but
boy it feels good to stimulate the grey matter now and then!
Another thing I noted about this party was how well-traveled and/or
adventurous most of the guests were. And every one I spoke to said that
the Prez and I should definitely go out and see the world while we’re
I have to agree.
I have to stop worrying about all the "what ifs" and the "maybes" and just live my life. Bad things can happen anywhere.
I spoke to a woman this weekend who said she and her husband had just
bought a new 5th wheel and they’re going to drive down through mainland
Mexico this winter…with her 97 year old mother. She said most people
are aghast when she tells them that; they say, "But what if something
happens and she dies while you’re there?" to which the woman answers,
"What if something happens and she dies here?". She told me that her mother loves Mexico and would rather spend her final moments there than anywhere else.
In the end, we have to be true to our heart and that means different
things to different people. A lot of people told me I was nuts when I
decided to become a stunt person, until I started making money but I
never did it for the money. For some of our friends, the Roneys and the
Macs for example, following their heart means creating a loving home
for their family and enjoying time with friends. For others, like the
Bennetts and the Kozaks, following their heart means attaining a
certain lifestyle and striving for the means to enjoy it (with family
and friends of course). For folks like the Rippels and yours truly,
it’s about adventure and discovery. We are all different; there is no
wrong answer…except trying to be someone you’re not or trying to fit
yourself into a way of life that makes you unhappy.
And so the Prez and I have decided to diligently (and carefully) pursue
an opportunity to work somewhere where the skies are sunny and the
water is warm. Emily, naturally, hates the idea but then she hates
Baneys keep a porch light on, we may be stopping by the Sunshine State
on our way through! We’ll keep you all posted and I’ll leave you with a
little poem that the lovely Miss Judi passed along to me. It gave me
shivers the first time I read it, many years ago, and still does today.
On a wall in ancient China
where a brooding Buddha blinks,
deeply graven is the message:
"It is later than you think."
The clock of life is wound but once
and no man has the power
to tell just when the hands will stop,
at late or early hour.
Now is all the time you own,
the past a golden link.
Go cruising now my brother-
it is later than you think.
Happy Thanksgiving all and until next week I hope this finds you happy, healthy & lovin’ life!