Happy New Decade! Although maybe “happy” is too lofty a wish. Given the news of the day, it seems that “safe” would be a better word. Environment, climate, geopolitics. All bad news. Rampantly mutating antibiotic resistant microorganisms. Population growth. Species extinction. It’s getting harder to even have a merry Christmas.
But we try, christening 3605 20th Street with a Neville Christmas. Only a handful of us this year as Quintan is with girlfriend Alex in Wales and the Esterhazy folk stay put. Craig’s mom, Curtis & Wendy, Mackenzie & Eric, canines Stella and Blue grace our new home.
The year ends in an epic snowstorm. One for the history books. Two feet and more in two days. We delay going to the cottage on the 31st because of the snow. The next day it stops and we head out onto a highway that is sometimes clear and other times looks like it’s not yet been plowed. Trees are down on the lake road and the road has not been plowed in front of our property. Snow drifts over my knees block the cottage door.
The power is out and has been for two days. We huddle in front of the propane fireplace. Marvel at the power of mother nature.
It gets dark early and without lights we are forced to drink wine by candlelight. Retire early. Sleep like we are hibernating in our own snow cave.
The power is still out the next morning. The propane cooktop and french press mean we can make coffee without electricity. A not small luxury.
We bust out the new snowshoes and take to a nearby trail. See the hydro truck spinning its wheels trying to get up a hill to where the line is down. They’re stuck in the snow, on the ice. “Working 16 hr shifts”, they tell us when we stop to talk. Not sure when we’ll get power.
A taste of the future? We wonder. Laugh out loud at Bill Maher’s take on the world in 2020: The greatest generation saved the world, the boomers wrecked it and the millennials are fixing it by staring at their phones.
It’s been a year for the history books all round. The move. The Vancouver house sale. Packing. Unpacking. Aunt Nell passing in May. Cleo in August. Janice in September. Did I mention the move?
The move. To a new life in Vernon. Friends Donna and Ron our only touchstones to any semblance of a familiar life. They take us hiking, skiing and snowshoeing. Get us out to the Performing Arts Centre for an evening of jazz. Then to the Banff Film Festival presentation.
And from Vancouver come Sharon and Ray, Seonag and Geoff. From Kamloops Steve and Lisa. We’ve met a few neighbours. Mostly when everyone is out shovelling. Otherwise the street is pretty quiet.
Now we are getting ready to pack and move again, as we begin renovations. Looking at properties for sale in our ‘hood, for a house to buy, live in while we reno and then keep as a rental property. Wondering if we have the energy it will all require. Well, Bev wonders. Craig seems to have a bottomless reserve of the stuff.
Visitors still welcome. Wherever we land, the welcome mat is always out. Just call ahead to confirm our address!
Wishing everyone a safe 2020 at the very least and, if we are all lucky enough, a happy one too.