Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Saying good bye to the North

I check out my new home today and new work today. It is in Southern Alberta ( I am from the north and that means something) I won't talk about work because this space is not about work, even though work is a part of who I am I don't want it to take over....and neither do you, I can blab on and on and on about work because I love it so and  I don't want to do that to you.

It was as I had thought and remembered from a drive down here long ago, no trees. The few trees that managed to survive look sad, crooked, wind beaten, brittle and slowly drying to death, they look like they have given up hope and are just waiting for death. The land has been hayed over and over, raped of all its nutrients, it looks dried up too. The terrain is hilly and full of valleys, which  would be beautiful covered in canola or flax but it's all hay. I don't see any wild life, not even a skinny coyote, there is no place to nest and hide for any wild life.

There are roads everywhere and people everywhere, on the 4 lane highway that is squeezed in between the hay fields cars pass me on both sides. I can feel the negative energy they give off, I cringe at the thought of having a 15 minutes commute to work every day, it's only 15 minutes, people do it all the time I tell myself, but I cringe. In the afternoon it will be during rush hour, I almost cry in my car as I think of this. All those people on the road, some had a bad day at work, some hate their job, lots hate their job, some in a hurry to get to their second job, some in a hurry to get home, all in a hurry to get home, some talking on their phones, some are texting, some have cranky children in the car, some are drugged, drugged so they can keep up with rat race they are in, some  drugged so that they don't kill themselves....and here am I, in front of them, trying to keep myself from crying as I am singing along with Anna Gabriel as she sings the Clieto lindo and telling myself that once those 3 trees have green leaves this scenery will look so much more alive.
 I realize on this trip that being from the north is more than just being able to live without a Walmart and a starbucks, or shopping at a mall, it's more than living in a place where everyone knows your name and all your business. It's about the vitality of life, things are so alive in the north. If you are not careful a deer or a moose will run you over on the road, rabbits will steal your carrots in your garden, the beavers will block your waterways, the birds will wake you in the mornings and the bears will steal your garbage....and the trees, oh the trees, tall majestic proud trees, no end to the trees, trees give off oxygen and oxygen gives life, so much life. The north is so alive.

I check out the campground where I have chosen to life, well, not really chosen, I don't have too many choices. My glamper is too old to be allowed into the "RV Parks". Which makes no sense to me, these RV parks with their weekly potluck dinners and shuffle board  and bridge tournaments are nothing more than old folks homes, and now my rig is too old for the old folks home?.

So I check out the place, it's on a farm (a hay farm) it's cute and quaint enough but of course not enough trees for my liking (I promise I will not whine forever about the lack of trees in my life now) Maybe he will let me plant some trees. The units are parked facing each other which means my view out of my front windows will be of the rig in front of me, I have never had to have curtains in my windows. There is no chance of me seeing the sunrise or sunset from my glamper. I'll be at work during sunrise anyway, maybe I can see the sunset from my paddle board on some lake, the sun sets early here in the south.

I realize that this reads like a long whiny tale, I sound so ungrateful. I shouldn't write when I am sad or have a heavy heart. There are some good things in all this. There are many lakes close by, paddling lakes and fishing lakes. My grand kids are a 3 hour drive away (instead of 8), first thing I will do is teach them how to plant trees, take care of trees and love trees. Maybe I will become the crazy tree lady, driving around with a trunk full of seedlings, like Johnny Appleseed...but different.

"glamping" Glamorous camping, instead of the plastic plates and cups and eating wieners on a stick and beans out of the can you eat off of china plates and crystal drinking glasses, you serve real meals out of vintage Pyrex while wearing a polka dotted hoop skirt (just kidding..maybe) all of which you have carefully collected from thrift stores or bought at yard sales. 

"glamper"  a old "vintage" camper which is restored, usually with a retro theme. Cushions and curtains are made to match your polka dotted hoop skirt (just kidding...maybe) Every glamper has a sewing machine inside it and usually a friendly long eared dog lying in front of the door.

My glamper is a 1974 Country Squire, it's beautiful. I bought it from the original owners who have loved it since they bought it in 1974. There is a sewing machine in the closet and a record player, it has flower stick on decals in the tub (so I won't slip) It has 2 bags of wool and a spinning wheel in it, an old (vintage) popcorn bowl just like my mom used to have ( you know the kind) , and a mismatched set of crystal wine glasses (my first big find at Value Village) . There is a long earned dog lying in front of the door, but he is not mine. I am still looking for some mismatched china plates and a polka dotted hoop skirt (just kidding...maybe). I am also looking for some Roy Orbison records or maybe Patsy Cline or Emmylou Harris. And.....she needs a name, or a song or title, a decal or a catchy phrase, something cute and happy to make people smile as they pass by ( you know, on that 4 lane road with all the drugged people) . Maybe "crazy tree lady" or "The Canexican" or maybe just "The country squire" What is a squire? I'll think on it.

"glampers" Are not allowed into most "RV parks" We are too cool for your typical old folks home, they are afraid we might start ........ I have no idea what they are afraid of. Maybe they are afraid of the brightly colored gooseberry pyrex bowl stealing the thunder at their color coordinated Tupperware potlucks, or my green polka dotted hoop skirt will look out of place against their Lulu Lemon capris (just kidding...maybe) or maybe they just don't like Roy Orbison. The only explanation they could give me is "it keeps the riff raff out". Really? Riff raff have sewing machines and wear polka dotted hoop skirts? And collect vintage pyrex? But I digress before I start offending people, I have some good RVing friends, they are good people too.

By the way, if you have a Roy Orbison record or a gooseberry pyrex bowl collecting dust in your basement please come forward now and I will trade you for a Tupperware bowl of your choice, my address is.....oh right, I have no address yet.

And by the way, I don't have anything against Lulu lemon pants, except that they cost a $100, do you know how much green polka dotted fabric you can buy for a $100?. Now that I have beaten the polka dotted thing to death I'll stop. 

hippi flowers, a blast from the past

My glamper last fall

Can't wait to bake a pie

As side from a paddle board and a bike that are on the back of my truck all I own is right here. 

Saying good bye to my home up north

once last glimpse behind me

ok,,,one  more

The South

Trees in the south

Add caption

Vintage pyrex, gooseberry is second from the left but they are all pretty

My record player


Barbara Lane said...

I can't tell you how much I love this. Your life. Your writing. Your everything. You inspire me, make me smile, make me ponder, make me dream bigger dreams and look closer for the wonder. I try not to be greedy but please keep writing this summer. (Always.) Such a gift you are.


Mary Klassen said...

OH Barbara you flatter me, thrill me, and make me blush. I will try to not let you down......yes yes dream bigger dreams.

Contessa said...

Well said Barbara.

So sad about the trees, so sad about this entire post. However you will not be denied those RV Resorts for long as vintage trailers just like yours are making a come back. we saw several being sold all along I5.

Janet Ashworth said...

Suffered the same fate, truck and camper, read vagabond. Not welcome in many locations. Not in wonderful Mexico! Sad that The RV life has become all about show not substance. We all want to enjoy what the lifestyle offers, why are we hampered by our rig? If it is clean, roadworthy, and not offensive to the general public? What the?