Road trip! A small semi-road trip, but a road trip day none-the-less. Big White was our destination. It was time to check on our place at the mountain. My first problem I faced was getting my darling daughter out of bed and in the truck with me for the trip. We managed to roll out the door at 9:00 am. I was looking forward to some one on one time with my wonderful kid.
Sunshine brightly lit our way as we drove highway ninety seven through Ktown. Traffic was getting heavier and it seemed like the town was awakening from a slumber. Our gorgeous lake shone like a mirror cracked by the reflection of the mountains overhead. We crossed the bridge and shared our admiration of the scene in front of us. Marijke then startled me by stating she would prefer a big city, there are more people, more action. I tried to understand, when you are young the energy of a big city has a certain attraction. Right now I am very happy not to be anywhere near a big city.
The road to Big White was a pleasant cruise on an open road. Very few cars were there and the one we followed pulled off the highway to let us by. When we came to the Big White Road turn off the remnants of winter snow lay in the shadows of the trees and built in size as we increased our elevation. We followed the switch backs up and came around a final bend; the glory of our winter ski hill filled our vision. It’s surreal how the season ended in what felt like a half an hour just over six weeks ago. The beauty of our winter home welcomed us and we enjoyed the last stretch of our drive to our house on the hill.
My kid and I got straight to work and cleaned up our place, pleased that it was still pretty clean. It felt real good to be at Big White again. I connected with neighbours and friends from our little ski community. It was heart-warming to run into friends.
Inevitably the topic of conversation turned to our situation and the reactions to it. Is it an over-reaction? No, because we are winning. Why are hospitals empty? The social distance measures are working. Is the cost to the economy and society worth it? Yes lives are saved. The consensus seemed to be that it is working and maybe it is time to open things up a bit. Camping, golf, half full restaurants, we can slowly return to some normal. But concerts, sport events and other things where people are jammed together will have to wait until there is a vaccine. Happy to connect with more friends we said our goodbyes and agreed that we’re very fortunate to be in this place of quiet majesty.
My daughter was getting impatient to go back to town, to return to her friends. I told her we were stopping to see my friends Jon and Liane. She groaned with dismay and resigned herself to the tragic fate of visiting with Dads friends. Half an hour was all she wanted to stay.
We parked in front of their home in Snow Pines and were greeted at the door by a very excited LIane. It was obvious she had not seen very many people in the past month and we were given a warm welcome that lifted our spirits to another level. “She’s nice” my daughter commented as we walked up the stairs to Jon’s studio. Jon was there and was equally enthused at seeing us. There is an uplifting feeling when someone welcomes you into their home with such openness and excitement. Our friends recording studio was fully equipped and he joyfully paraded us around the room, sharing his accomplishment in the last month of self-isolation. I felt honoured and amused by his resplendent attentions. The creative energy and power flowing from our friend was awe inspiring.
The tour completed, we sat and spent the next hour making connection and catching up, sitting two metres apart. Amazingly my daughter seemed caught up in their positive energy and forgot that she wanted to leave in thirty minutes. We reluctantly decided to leave, Jon was getting ready to work on his next project; a fully produced video for a birthday being created as a surprise gift. A fantastic idea and good way to provide a musical service in times when we can’t go see a show. When we left we agreed we would see each other again, keeping our distance yet still connected.
When we drove away, my kid commented that we stayed longer than expected. I asked her if that was a problem, she smiled and admitted it wasn’t. When we left, I realized that we had broken our rule of not going inside other people’s houses. Somehow it didn’t seem to matter as we shared a pleasant visit with friends who are probably some of the safest, nicest people we could have seen. I ache for concerts, sports, for human contact and connections. We reveled in these small moments that we had.
Our drive back down the hill into town was as pleasant as the trip up. We talked of my youth, of days gone by, music and change. We drove out of the mountain and rounded the bend above the peaceful town below. I thought of the changes since the first time I saw the amazing scenic view of Kelowna and the Okanagan Lake. My life has changed a lot since then. Change is the only constant in life. We will adapt and thrive in change.
We arrived back in the safety of our home and Captain Rob was there. He installed my new fish finder on our tour boat. Not a fishing boat he told me four years ago. Every boat is a fishing boat I told him. Life is much like fishing. You will never catch anything if you don’t put your hook in the water. I look forward to getting on the water and putting my hook in.