Life in BC

peapod
#1
Well now that we got our own forum, I think I will start posting little stories from a place I visit often called thats life, island life that is. Here is one of the stories, about a place called tahsis. I have been there so many times, I lost count, I love the place


Spring comes to Tahsis in shades and tones of pink. The ornamental Japanese plum and cherry trees blossom first, then the bright pink curly lilies show themselves. I haven't seen these flowers anywhere else, but here there are masses of them, some growing in the thick moss on the rocks and bluffs along the bank of the river, some growing in "the wasteland" where the sawmills dumped their loads and loads of hog fuel, sawdust, and debris of all kinds.

These little curly lilies are tough, and incredibly fragile, just like this area I have chosen, again, as my home. I lived in Tahsis briefly more than twenty-five years ago. It was boom time then, three mills going around the clock, the noise rose from the machines and echoed off the bluffs, back and forth across the valley until I felt as if it was all happening behind my eyes, filling my head with rhythmic pounding. The town was full, then, and so were the bars. Too many unattached workies with plenty of money in their pockets and not much to do after work except go to the bar and tie one on. For entertainment, they went out behind the building and punched each other with work-hardened fists.

My daughter was twelve and came racing into the doublewide one evening, repeating a license number. Her younger brother came behind her, and headed for the phone. She wrote the license number on a piece of paper, then began to cry, between sobs telling how some guy had tried to force her into his car. She fought, her brother fought, between them they managed to get her away from the perv , then they ran home. He followed in his car so they left the roadway and cut across the unpaved area. My husband grabbed his hunting rifle and headed out of the house, I took the phone from my son and told the person handling the police calls that they now had a second problem, an enraged Metis with a gun. The police headed him off, suggested he give them the weapon and go home, then they tracked down the car of the offender and put him in handcuffs. I expected we would have to testify in court but that wasn't necessary and my husband got his gun back the next day.

I started packing. To hell with this! No job is worth this! Wouldn't be caught dead in this damned place!

We moved and, for years, when I thought "Tahsis" I also thought "no way!".

Just a look

The mills are gone, the bunkhouse has become a lodging house, the streets are quiet. I came back three and a half years ago just to "have a look" at the changes. I saw Tahsis, the new Tahsis, with different eyes, and now, here I am, firmly settled in, owner of a modular and a piece of what we call land. It isn't land. This, before industry, before progress, before the boom, was a wetland, a resting place for the unbelievable numbers of migratory birds. My daughter-in-law's family tell me their grandparents told them of coming here with nets, to catch geese and ducks. But the mills needed a place to dump their waste and now my modular sits on about forty feet of slowly composting sawdust topped with maybe three to six feet of round rocks probably dredged from the river.

It wouldn't be allowed today, of course, but it happened Before and nothing will return this to wetland, nothing will undo what was done. I don't mourn it, I'm slowly learning some things just are, and you do what the birds have done, and make your way around what you can't change. Trumpeter swans still come here, they form up in distinct family groups, each group has it's own place in the river, in the estuary, in the bay. Right now the bay is full of ducks of all kinds, a birder would think this place Paradise.

The forsythia is blooming yellow, someone came to the vacant lot near my place and dug up several clumps of bamboo to take back to his place. He'll be sorry, the stuff is invasive as hell, he'll be whapping it back in a few years. The hummingbirds are back, we have The Hummingbird Society, we put up feeders for them, we plant the kind of flowers and shrubs they prefer, we want to fill the Tahsis air with the brightly coloured living jewels. We mutter about the scads of wild cats, try to figure out ways to keep them away from the feeders.

We got snow the first day of Spring, we muttered and mumbled, then the sun came out and the snow disappeared in the valley but not up on the peaks. The dog salmon need a good snow pack; just when the small ones are ready to leave the nursery-river the snow pack will melt, the rush of water will take the young dog salmon far enough out in the bay they will escape the ducks, the swans, the hungry bigger fish who would eat them. Without a good snow melt, the dog salmon would be reduced in numbers.

Love these islanders :P
 
Ten Packs
#2
I worked with a guy here in Kamloops (before I retired) who went to see some friends in Tahsis, about 5 years ago. He totally fell in love with it - talked about it for weeks afterward.
 
peapod
#3
I am not surprised he did ten paks, it is a paradise, just for the bird life alone. The writer of the story now has alot of her stories published on the island. Her name is Anne Cameron.
 
galianomama
#4
yeah, things run a little differently here on the big island than on the mainland. you either love it or hate it. if you are born and raised here you generally love it and can't stand any change.
 
Ten Packs
#5
A bit like the Okanagan (if you can avoid that cess-pool, Kelowna....). Folks in Summerland consider working past 4:30 in the afternoon to be an case of oppression, a dire-peril being answered, or an abomination.
Sometimes a combination thereof....

5 pm is "Miller-time".
 
peapod
#6
Every couple of years I make the trip through BC. My sister lives in castlegar. Its so beautiful!!! you can find all different kinds of landscape. Mountains, prairie, rainforests, tumbleweed :P My only beef with the island is vespericola columbianus I wish they would go away!
 
Ten Packs
#7
Only In B.C.

Our Provincial election is fast approaching and not only do we have the usual array of suspects, but there is an Officially listed BC Marijuana Party (has been for some time now). The kicker is that one of their candidates, Donald Briere, from the Vancouver area wont be making any public speeches or appearances.

You see, he is serving a four-year sentence IN JAIL, for having a grow-op!

 
Reverend Blair
#8
Doesn't that make him a political prisoner.
 

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