Time moves slower here. We seem to pack so much into our day. But when we look at the clock, it is usually two hours earlier than we anticipated. As I was waiting for my latte, impatiently, it suddenly struck me. This is not Starbucks in Vancouver. What's your hurry? It is so interesting to wake up when you feel rested, not in response to an alarm clock. It makes you wonder if we were constantly sleep deprived. It took a while to recognize we were on this go, go, go treadmill unnecessarily.
Over time I learned our property produces a variety of fruit: cherry, apple, peach, apricot, strawberry, raspberry, blackberry, and grapes. The apples were in season, so I took a break from the renovations. I made time to do some canning: applesauce and apple/pear chutney. I added cinnamon, raisins, and a little brown sugar to the sliced fruit. We sampled some chutney, heated up and wrapped in warm crepes. It was a triumph, and will definitely be on the B & B breakfast menu.
We also try to make time for a daily hike in the hills overlooking the lake. It is instant cardio but the view is spectacular. It provides new perspective while enjoying nature and the changing seasons. Someone told me the First Nation Elders said this land was very spiritual. Young braves came here in their rite of passage into manhood. There is definitely something special here. We are gradually learning to embrace this slower rhythm and simpler lifestyle.
My hope is you take some time for yourself today. Go for a walk, meditate, read a book, knit some slippers, or whatever gives you joy. Give yourself permission to slow down, rest, and reflect on what is really important to you. That's my view from the deck.
The next day two nice young men from 1-800-GOT-JUNK drove up in their truck. It was looking promising. However, a phone call to their boss confirmed the previous owner had arranged to pay for 1/4 of a truck load. The boys estimated our heap was at least a full truck. Unfortunately, they could not take the junk away until they received the okay from the previous owner, old gal #1. She was on her way to Alberta and didn't own a cell phone. Not good. The boys told us this happens all the time, and they just finished working on a home removing 10 loads of garbage.
Photos of the pile were taken to prove this mess belonged to the previous owner, not us. These photos were sent to old gal #1's daughter to see if she would agree to pay for a full truck. We told the boys if she didn't pay we would, and asked them to please come back tomorrow. (Another sleepless night worrying if we would get stuck with the bill).
The next day, we were so happy to see the boys come back with an empty truck. As they worked through the pile,
they realized there was more than their truck could hold. They kindly offered to just leave us the recycling materials which we could return to the recycling depot at no charge. They were great.
Next stop was the recycling depot in town. We walked in and were hit by a barrage of noise of locals sorting out bags of bottles, cardboard, and metal. We were obvious newbies. A young man waved us to the back and handed us a cart. We loaded up the cart with broken down electronics: 4 toasters, mixers, electric frying pans, kettles, food processor, lamps, and more. Even he was surprised at our heap of goods. Only three items remained, so off to the dump we went.
The road to the dump winds up the hill with a spectacular view of the lake. Luckily, we had five minutes before they closed. We said, "No problem." Again, they recognized us as rookies. Away we drove into the dump looking for the sign indicating household items. We kept driving uphill on a bumpy road, unable to find the sign. Suddenly we realized we were at the top of the dump heap. It was only us and large machinery. I was afraid the road was going to drop off. We maneuvered a quick turn around and headed downward. I instructed Rick to stop the truck and pull over. I chucked the items anywhere, hoping we weren't being observed on camera. "Start the car!" I exclaimed and we sped out of the dump. The man was waiting to lock the gate. We gave him a friendly wave goodbye, feeling like comrades. We laughed and drove into town for a bite to eat. It was a good day. Our friends said only WE could get lost in a dump!
Oh, and old gal #1 paid for the truck load of junk! What I've learned from this experience is that worrying is lost energy. Things usually have a way of sorting themselves out.
Finally, we have internet! So let me tell you about the nightmare we refer to as "moving day."
It is good that things happen in threes, as nothing else could have possibly gone wrong. It was 4:00 p.m. when the movers finished loading up the two trucks. One truck was to drive half way, and then stop for the evening. The other truck went back to the shop to plug in our freezer over night. The plan was for both trucks to arrive Thursday morning around 9:00 am. Rick and I began the 4.5 hour drive and arrived in our new town tired but happy. Our friends provided a place to stay which was a blessing. The previous owner, a little old lady, was meeting us the next day at the house at 8:30 a.m. to hand over the keys. It seemed like a good plan.
The next morning, we arrived at our new house and were welcomed by a large heap of unwanted "stuff" on the front lawn. This was somewhat upsetting as I had made sure to leave our previous house spotless. The old gal assured us that she had arranged for 1-800-GOT-JUNK to pick everything up the next day. Okay, we can handle that. Then we noticed she was stuffing things into bags. She was still packing, and our truck was to arrive in half an hour. We decided to step away and grab a coffee. We got a call the truck was delayed and wouldn't get there until 11:00 a.m. Okay, we can handle that too. We saw the old gal drive away and hurried back to the house. The downstairs tenant, old gal #2, handed over the keys. Finally, we could go in. That's when we saw it.
There was stuff everywhere: a bed, dishes in the sink, food in the fridge, cinder block shelves, boxes of old tiles, a composting toilet, automotive products, paint, old mirrors, and a shed full of tools, a lawn mower, old lumber, and more. We had a house full of junk and our truck was due to arrive in two hours. There was no room for our stuff. We looked at each other and resisted the urge to cry. The fight or flight instinct kicked in. We started throwing everything unto the growing junk pile on our lawn. Unfortunately, as fast as we chucked things unto the pile, old gal #2 started pulling things out just as fast. Who knew that was her rake or that the library could use those books? She was spry, but we were mad. That's when the second call from the movers came. One truck broke down in Hope and was being towed back to Chilliwack. There they would transfer everything unto a new truck. The good news was, it bought us some more time to empty the house. The bad news was, it was the truck with our freezer of frozen fish on it. Murphy's Law. But, when they finally arrived, everything miraculously was okay. After unloading the trucks at our new home and Rick's new office in Penticton, we retreated back to refuge at our friend's house. Thank the good Lord we had a sanctuary. Two days later, Rick said it was time to stay at our house. I replied, "Can't we stay here? It's nice here."
Our junk pile created quite a stir in the village. People came by to pick through and retrieve treasures and we met many new neighbors as a result. Our thoughtful friends made us an amazing "welcome" dinner. We now have more new friends who are ready and willing to help with our project. Feeling rejuvenated, we entered our home to stay in for the first night. We were met with rain dripping down from the deck above. As we searched for buckets and towels, I felt like I was in the movie "The Money Pit" or "Under the Tuscan Sun." We just had to laugh.
Below are photos of the junk pile we walked into. It doubled in size after we cleared out the house.
Rick & Gayle Grant
Naramata Lakeside Guesthouse