Saturday 31 March 2018

What a Welcome to the Easter Weekend

    The photo shows the welcome we got to the Easter Long Weekend.   It was bad enough that we already had 8 inches (20cm) of snow on the ground, then we were given another 4 inches (10cm) just for good measure.  
    Snow is not all we got, today when we got up the temperature was -16C (2F).  Not too many people in the Robson Valley will be out wearing their Easter bonnets this year.

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Friday 30 March 2018

Dr. Cowburn Passes

    This blog is beginning to read like an obituary column.
    McBride doesn’t have a daily newspaper or a radio station, so up-to-date news is usually relayed mouth to mouth.  If you want to know what the latest news in the community is, there is only one reliable source--Pat, at the grocery store check-out.  I was buying some mushrooms and a green pepper yesterday, when she told me that Dr. Cowburn had died on Tuesday.   It was another blow, after still trying to get used to the news that Trevor Jones is no more.
    Dr. Geoff Cowburn had long been an essential part of the McBride Community, saving lives and patching people up.  Back in the late 1970’s when we arrived in the Robson Valley, he was the only doctor in the community.  He is in many ways what you would expect of a country doctor--kind, wise, dedicated, and knowledgeable.  When I was concerned about the color of my urine, his first question to me was, “Have you been eating beets?”--I had.  
    I don’t know when Dr. Cowburn moved to tiny isolated McBride, but it was before Hwy. 16 was built.  Access then was only by train.  On his first day, he and a nurse had to perform an emergency appendectomy, and deal with two tubal pregnancies.  Being the lone physician for such a large undeveloped and isolated area must have been a huge burden.  Previous doctors had left because it was just “too much work”, but Dr. Cowburn stuck around and worked until five or six years ago, when Jane, his wife died.
    Dr. Cowburn did have a life outside medicine.  We discovered some of his other interests when we boarded one of his horses at our place.  He would come periodically and spoil the horse with a warm mulch of oats and sorghum.  One year we ended up driving his horse to Spruce Meadows, Canada’s big equestrian center in Calgary.
    His other big interest was flying.  It was always a treat to see his bright yellow Tiger Moth biplane circling and puttering against the blue sky and mountains.  His plane also played a part in his doctoring.  There are stories of him flying to see isolated patients, landing in their fields, and delivering prescriptions to places as far away as Blue River, BC.  
    If there was an emergency at the hospital, when he was out flying around, the hospital staff would put a white sheet on the roof of the hospital to signal that he was needed at the hospital.  
    Below, is a photo of Dr. Cowburn, in his Tiger Moth.

You can see my paintings at:

Thursday 29 March 2018

Trevor L. Jones, Another Friend Gone

    Yesterday, the Robson Valley lost a gentle spirit and talented artist, and Joan and I lost a dear friend--Trevor Jones.  It had been hard to watch the rapid decline of his body to cancer, but throughout his doomed struggle, he maintained an amazing cheerful strength of character.
    We first met Trev in 1980, when he and Di arrived in McBride in a truck covered with the dust from the erupting Mt. St. Helens, immigrating from England to Canada.  Because he was a painter, he came to an Art Council meeting and was introduced.  Even long before my painting days, I had always been a fan of realism, and I was gobsmacked when I saw Trevor’s paintings of mountains with their amazingly blue skies.
    Trevor was the first serious artist I had met and we became good friends.  Having arrived in the Robson Valley ourselves just a couple of years earlier, we were happy to join together and explore the pristine mountains and valleys.  Trev and I did a back packing trip up to Mt. Robson’s Berg Lake, which was the only time I have been up there.  In between the exploring, we did a lot of socializing with the Joneses on weekends. We joined them in celebration when they had their child, Rachel.
    That first year was a struggle for them, because they could not find employment.  We weren’t rich either, but we bought a painting Trevor did of “The Helmet”, a feature on the back side of Mt. Robson, for some cash and a big bag of potatoes we had grown.  Fortunately, Trevor was eventually able to get an art teaching job at the high school.
    I was always somewhat envious of Trevor, for finding an art form and dedicating himself to it.  I was always floundering between photography, music, and other things without ever really excelling in any.  He had an extensive library of art books, and was always buying new ones, like I said, he was very serious about art.  I always felt sorry that he never really found the recognition, (beyond the regional) that he wished for.         
    There is a small group of friends that always join together to visit and feast at special occasions, birthdays, Christmas, and New Years holidays.  Trevor and Norma were always an integral part of those celebrations, and our future gatherings will not be quite the same without his presence.  We will miss you Trev,    
    Blue Skies.

Trevor's painting, The Helmet

Trevor and our dog on one of our hikes

Norma and Trevor on one one of their winter walks.

You can view my paintings at:

Wednesday 28 March 2018

Miserable Weather

    Yesterday we woke up to rain/snow, a bit of a setback when we are so focused on Spring.  Luckily by the afternoon the weather had loosened its grip a bit during for our walk.  There were geese in the fields and clouds were obscuring the tops of the Cariboo Mountain Range.  Some of the fields and pastures in the Robson Valley have partially cleared of snow, but the frost is still in the ground.
    Seeing the geese and pussy willows does give us some hope.

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Tuesday 27 March 2018

Two New Superstitions to Worry About

    There used to be a television show called “Kids Say the Darndest Things”.  I was reading through one of my old diaries from 1975 and came across a couple of those “darndest” things which fall under the classification of superstitions, that were told to me by two, long ago, ex-students of mine. 
    At the time I was teaching in an isolated one-room school deep in the interior of British Columbia.  Thinking back on it, I realized that “I’ was the school.  My duties not only included teaching, but I also had the chore of school bus driver.  There wasn’t a school bus, but every morning I would borrow one of the pickup trucks from the lumber mill where the school was located, and drive down to the big lake and pick up two or three of the Indian children that lived in a cabin down there.
    It was on one of these trips that I heard about this first superstition.  Here is what I wrote in my diary:

I heard an interesting story this morning from Madelaine and Hannah, they said they had seen a tail sticking out from behind something.  This, I was told, was a bad thing.  It meant an ugly skinny man with long fingernails and magic keys might get into your house (he hadn’t yet).  He had escaped from jail and had almost caught a friend of theirs, but fortunately, she was able to hit him on the head with a stick which knocked him out for two minutes.  Anyway, I guess you should be careful if you see a tail sticking out from behind things.

    The second new superstition I heard from the girls was very short, but even more dire.  They told me if you wear wet socks on a rug, you would die. 
     I am beginning to question the validity of that warning, because I have been guilty of that offense numerous times without the severe repercussion.

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Monday 26 March 2018

Where Do You Want to Relax Today, Lucifer?

    People that come to our house might think we have a lot of cats when they see the bench on our front porch, but no, we’ve only got Lucifer.  Joan just can’t help but spoil her.  Every time Joan sees a new comfortable cat bed in a store she is tempted to buy it for Lucy.  Fortunately, most of the time she will succumb to reason and pass up the opportunity.
    We really don’t need any more cat beds.  Besides these three cat resting items, we have another on the balcony, one in the bay window, and there is also one beside the wood stove.  Then I have a cardboard box with padding besides my computer monitor, and a pile of padded envelopes under my desk, where Lucy is resting now.  
    Of course, Lucifer isn’t limited to those places, she also likes to cuddle up on our beds, and on or tucked in tight beside us, when we are watching television.  
    I don’t know why a cat would need nine lives when the present one is so cushy.

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Sunday 25 March 2018

Spring Signs on Horseshoe Lake Road

    We do a lot of walking on Horseshoe Lake Road.  There hasn’t been much to see during out winter walks; snow, maybe nice light on the mountains, but those things weren’t very exciting.  Yesterday on our walk we perked up after we saw some definite signs of Spring.  
    Most obvious was the fact that the snow was gone from the road and we walked on gravel.  The big surprise was that the herd of horses were back on the pasture after being absent all winter.  There didn’t seem to be much for them to eat yet, but I guess they know how to deal with what is there.
    We have been hearing sounds of geese flying over last week and way off in the horse pasture we spotted a flock congregating by the ice.  The most definite sign of spring was the five robins that were flitting from fence post to fence post as we walked down the road.   I really don’t know what they are eating this time of year, since all the ground is frozen and there aren’t any worms about.
    I know my excitement over such mundane things shows what a low key life I lead, but I am happy with the simple pleasures that I find.

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Saturday 24 March 2018

Indian Givers, A Book Review

     The theme for the March book club meeting at the McBride Library was, “A Book That Opened Your Eyes.”   One of the books that did that for me was Indian Givers by Jack Weatherford.  Here is my review:
         Starting in the third grade and carrying on throughout my life, I have had a special interested in Indians.  As a child, I made a feathered headdress, I did beadwork, and worked on other Indian crafts, I read books about Indians, collected the flint arrowheads that could sometimes be found in the plowed fields of Indiana and visited Indian sites in both North America and Central America. 
        Through that interest, I had learned a great deal about First Nations People, most of that knowledge was either about how they lived or how the got exterminated.  Indian Givers, this seemingly inconsequential book, that I first read twenty years ago, made me totally change the way I viewed Indian culture because it showed me the immense contribution they made to the world and everyone alive today. 
       The first section of the book deals with the transformation that occurred in Europe because of the massive amounts of gold and silver, robbed or extracted through the forced labor of Indians, by the Spanish.  Although initially sent to Spain, this enormous wealth soon spread throughout Europe through trade. 
       Before it arrived, gold and silver was only for the rich, but soon there was so much of it, even common people had access to it in the form of coins.  Most of the gold and silver artifacts and decorations seen today in the cathedrals and palaces of Europe were made from the gold stolen, or mined by Indians in South America and Mexico.  Previously in Europe, land was the basis of wealth, the huge influx of gold and silver changed the economies of Europe so that soon wealth could be measured and accumulated in the form of currency.
         The enormous amount of silver from the Americas, spread across the world initially into Spain, then through Europe, then into India and China through trade and the  English piracy of Spanish ships. The huge amount that poured into Europe caused the value of silver to plummet.  It raised the economy of all nations effected, and created the rise of capitalism, but the Indians who worked as slaves in the mines got no benefit.
       The English piracy of the Spanish was initially financed by investors who formed a company for piracy. (Queen Elizabeth was one of the investors that profited, and who later knighted their pirate Drake, as a reward for the enormous returns on their investment). This company was so lucrative that other companies were formed to exploit other riches, like the Hudson Bay Company to exploit furs in North America. 
      The Americas were a vast warehouse of new items developed by the Indians, then exploited by Europeans:
They took North American cotton with its longer fiber.
They copied Indian Dyes to color it and started using sisal for rope.
Indians developed rubber for rain coats and hats, balls, and bungy-like cords for tying, and even invented vulcanizing rubber with sulfur, something that was later rediscovered by Europeans. 
             The ancient Incas specialized in agricultural experimentation and built numerous experimental areas where crops were grown in different ways.  When the Spanish arrived the Incas had already developed over three thousand types of potatoes in the Andes. For instance, they perfected potatoes that matured rapidly, others that grew slowly, some that grew best in moist areas, and others that needed very little moisture.  They created potatoes in a myriad of colors. Presently in the US, only about twenty varieties make up three quarters of potato production.  
        The introduction of the potato to the rest of the world had an enormously beneficial effect on both health and population.  Before its arrival, the European diet was based largely on growing grain, which worked well around the Mediterranean, but was a dicey proposition in more northern countries, due to shorter growing seasons, cold, rain, and pests.  This prevented these countries from really thriving, because of their large population of poor farmers, who often had to live hand to mouth.  
       Once the peasants got over their initial reluctance to the potato, their conditions improved greatly.  It grew more quickly than grain, produced more calories per acre, and provided more nutrients.  Once introduced, some country’s population tripled in one hundred years. 
       The beans the Indians developed (kidney beans, string beans, snap beans, frijole, the common bean, butter bean, navy bean, Lima bean, and pole beans) increased the amount of protein in the European diet.  In Africa it was the American Indian peanut that increased protein.  Next to the potato, it was the Sunflower that was the most important Indian contribution to Russia. 
      Corn, while a staple in America, never caught on as a food for the people of Northern Europe who used it as an animal food.  It improved the health of their livestock instead.  It did become people food in Southern Europe and along with the introduction of other Indian developed foods, caused huge population increases in Italy and Spain.
     The sweet potato gained a huge acceptance in Asia and China which is now the world’s biggest grower.  I noticed in The McDonald’s in Hong Kong you could buy corn and a red bean dessert.
       Amaranth grain has become one of the most important cereals in the diet of highland people in India, China, Pakistan, Nepal, and Tibet. 
      The Indians developed what we know as corn or maize from a small insignificant wheat-like grass.  Through the centuries they bred a wide spectrum of varieties.  
      Some of their corn varieties thrived in moist cool New England-type climes, others flourish in hot humid Southeastern settings, while still other varieties were bred for the very hot dry desert-like environments of the American Southwest and Mexico. Indians purposely bred corn to have the thick husk to protect the kernels from insects.  They did so much breeding on corn that,  because of the husk, it could no longer re-seed itself and must be planted by humans. 
       Other food the Indians developed for us:  chocolate, vanilla, tortillas, popcorn, hominy grits, maple syrup, tomatoes, sweet peppers, chilies, cashews, cranberries, turkey, tapioca, jerky, Cracker Jack (popcorn and maple syrup), Avocados, squashes, a myriad of nut and berries.
        Think about some “ethnic” food that you like from elsewhere in the world. Most of those dishes, as you know them, didn’t exist before the discovery of America and the contribution of those Indian-developed foods, like tomatoes, peppers, corn, chocolate and potatoes.
Indians gave the world three-fifths of the foods now produced.
     Another contribution was in the field of Government:  
           The book makes the case that democratic concepts such as “equally and freedom” were inspired and spread by people like Thomas Paine, who saw it in the Indian societies he witnessed.  The US government which was unique when it was created was largely based on the League of the Iroquois, a government structure set up by a handful of northeastern Indian nations.  
        People like Thomas Paine, Ben Franklin, and Thomas Jefferson all favored and contributed ideas based on the League of the Iroquois.  Ideas included, representatives to the large councils were chosen by everyone in the Indian bands, and in these large councils, no one was permitted to interrupt or heckle when a representative was speaking, unlike in Parliamentary governments.  
        Unlike what is commonly thought, Indians didn’t have “chiefs” (a European word and concept) they chose leaders, but these leaders  didn’t rule, but lead through the consensus of the people.  Supreme authority rested with the group, not an individual.  One of the most important Indian concepts was that of a caucus,  where a group would meet and talk through a problem. “Caucus” is an Algonquin word.  
      Both the League of Nations and the UN’s General Assemble were bases on the Iroquois federal system, where each country, no matter it’s size, is equally represented.  
                Indians were the first to develop a huge range of medicines such as Quinine to cure malaria, a vitamin C concoction to cure scurvy, willow bark containing aspirin for headaches, and petroleum jelly among other things. They used obsidian blades as scalpels for surgery that were sharper than anything until the laser beam was developed.They successfully did brain operations by drilling holes through the skull to relieve pressure on the brain, and their patients lived. 
       They knew more about the heart and circulation system than Europeans at the time.  The Aztecs bathed daily, something abhorrent to the Spanish.  Most Indians tribes used steam baths or sweat lodges. 

Drugs used by Indians 
      Coca- used to reduce hunger, later used by Europeans for cocaine and early Coca-Cola
      Chicle-chewing gum 

       Canoes, kayaks were invented by the Indians. 
       Amazingly engineered roadways through the high Andes mountains deep valleys, and jungles, that ran thousands of miles and were used by runners in a communications system similar to the pony express.

      I found the whole book interesting but the chapters that I found most fascinating were on the subject of food plants development.  It made me  realize that most of my favorite foods were all the results of the Indian agricultural technology.

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Friday 23 March 2018

A Hard Walk

    It is my habit in the morning to walk with the dog and cat around the pond.  I haven’t been doing it for the last week because it was getting so difficult because of the deteriorating snow.  The path which is hard packed snow was beginning to slump around the edges, thus becoming narrower and narrower.  As the edges wore down, every other footstep would slide off into the 15 inch (45cm) deep snow on the side of the path.  So I just quit walking the trail until conditions got better.
    Last night it rained and then froze which gave a hard crust to the 12 inches (30cm) of snow still left on the ground.  My path is now elevated higher than the surrounding snow.  Anyway this morning when the animals and I went out to feed the birds, they both walked over to the path like they wanted to do the pond walk again.  Since the snow was harder, I relented and off we went.
    I quickly discovered that the conditions were horrible.  Whenever I stepped down, at first it seemed like the snow would hold me, but then my foot would crash through and sink about a 12 inches.  It was hard going and several times I thought I would abandon the walk and return home, but whenever I looked at Skye and Lucifer, I saw their begging eyes, and they seemed to want to continue (the reason was that both of them were having an easy time of it, because they were able to walk on top of the snow.)
    Being a soft-hearted sucker, not wanting to disappoint them, I continued the walk.  Step, crash through, step, crash through, step, crash through.  It was a real pain, but eventually I made it all around the pond.
The one good thing about my difficult walk was the photo you see.  I really liked the color and foggy mountains.

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Thursday 22 March 2018

Cat Finds a New Hotspot

    Our cat Lucifer usually curls up and snoozes either underneath my desk, on in a box beside my computer every morning when I paint.  The other day she didn’t and I wondered where she had gone.  I found her in a snug little ball in my room underneath the grow light that I had just set up for my tomato plants.  
    There are dogs who are good at seeking out hidden drugs or missing people, we have a cat that can seek out warm cozy places.

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Tuesday 20 March 2018

Painting a Square

    Every day before I write a blog I paint.  I paint a two inch (5 cm) square section of the painting I am working on.  It takes me between 15 minutes to 90 minutes depending on how complicated the square is.  Sometimes I get lucky and have a square that is one solid color, because I am lazy, I am always happy when I get one of those.  Most squares however, have a lot of detail with different colors, those require a lot of mixing and are time consuming.
    The photo above shows the square I painted today.  It took me about 80 minutes to paint it.  The picture I am painting is of a bunch of autumn maple leaves lying on the ground, so most squares have a lot of detail and require a lot of mixing colors.
    The photo below shows all the tubes of paint I squeezed into today’s two inch square.

You can see the whole painting in "Current Work" on my website:

Monday 19 March 2018

Thinking About Seeds

    Even though there is still a lot of snow on the ground in the Robson Valley, tomorrow is the first day of Spring, and a few days ago I planted my tomato and pepper seeds.  The seed catalogues have been out for months, and now, while there is still choice available, it is the time to really get serious about what you want in your garden.  
    The local stores have put out their seed displays and so Joan and I picked and bought varieties we wanted to try this year.  I usually save a lot of seeds to plant from my last year’s garden, but it seems there is always something else that catches your eye or that you don’t have.
    With all these colorful seed packets it isn’t hard to be optimistic about the lush green garden you can see in your mind.  Reality usually sets in midsummer, when the weeds suddenly become uncontrollable or the weather isn’t cooperative. 

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Sunday 18 March 2018


    Midwinter, when I dream about Spring coming, I usually forget about reality and the transitional time that around here is called “Breakup.”  Breakup is the period when the snow begins to melt and everything seems to turn into mud.  I remembered all about breakup yesterday when I drove to the dump to drop off some trash.
    The area that slopes up to the trash bins appeared to me to be a wet plowed field.  Luckily, I had only one garbage bag to contribute, so I just walked it up to the bin.  The attendant told me some people had to use four wheel drive to get up to the bins.  
    It now strikes me that this sort of everyday life for us is probably a foreign concept to most people who live in places where everything is paved.  Around here, there are a lot of places where roads and streets are gravel.  The road we live on was gravel for many years, and during the spring it became a bit of a nightmare to slide and slop your way to town.  Fortunately it was finally paved, which certainly made it easier on our vehicles.  Unfortunately for us, McBride no longer has a car wash.
    Below is a shot of the road that goes to McBride’s Community Hall.  What footwear would YOU wear to an event?

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Saturday 17 March 2018

Re-emerging Woodpile

    Here’s another sign of Spring; I can see this woodpile again.  This 40 inch (1 m.) high stack of firewood, which I will use next winter, had disappeared, totally engulfed under snow.  It is nice to be able to see it again.

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Friday 16 March 2018

A Satisfied Mind

     Back in 1966,  I rushed into my bedroom with “Turn, Turn, Turn,” my newly purchased new Byrd album.  I ripped the cellophane wrapping from album, slid the vinyl record out of the envelope, plopped it down onto my turntable, and lowered the stylus onto the revolving grooves on the record.  
     The Byrds were my favorite group.  They had been instrumental in creating a new genre of music called “Folk Rock” which coupled the sensitive and poetic lyrics of folk music with the rhythms and instrumentation of Rock and Roll.  
As I had hoped, the album featured the rich high vocal harmonies of the Byrds, pulsing bass, and the jangling electric 12 string guitar which were their signature hallmarks. Beside the expected Dylan covers, and some of their own compositions, there was a cover of a song written in 1954 called “Satisfied Mind.”  I was unfamiliar with the song and was immediately struck by the lyrics, the chorus went:

  “For money can’t buy back your youth when your old,
                  or a friend when your lonesome, or a heart that’s grown cold.
                 The wealthiest person is a pauper at times,
  compared to the man, with a satisfied mind.”

The words reflected my view of wealth, but also what a mistake it was to make money the main focus of your life. The accumulation of wealth and power was not the goal I wanted in my life, instead I hoped for friendship, happiness, and satisfaction.

      The lesson of those lyrics came to life for me one weekend in 1969. At the time I was taking Peace Corp training in a long, tropical, tin-roofed former school building near Pepeekeo, on the Big Island of Hawaii.  The eight weeks of intensive training meant instruction from daybreak until about 8:00 at night.  We were only given Saturday afternoons and Sundays off and so like all of the other trainees, tired of the language, cultural, and training lessons, I sought to take full advantage of my allotted free time. 
       Once I got to Hawaii, I was surprised to learn that the Big Island had less than a handful of beaches on it.  The closest one was in Hapuna Beach State Park and this rural Indiana boy was eager to see it.  What was the use of being on the islands without spending some authentic Hawaiian time in the sun and surf. 
        Pepeekeo was on the wet side of the island, and Hapuna Beach on the dry side.  The trip to the beach would normally take a little more than an hour and a half drive, first skirting along and above the coastline of the island, then driving over the hump at the island’s interior, and finally descending into the desert-like leeward side to the beach, but since Peace Corp volunteers had no access to a vehicle, we had to rely on hitch-hiking if we wanted to travel anywhere away from our camp, so travel time to the beach always varied.  
        One weekend, a girlfriend and I decided to spend our weekend at Hapuna Beach, so with blankets and supplies in hand, we hiked up to the edge of the highway, put on a pleasing face, and stuck our thumbs out.  Eventually a big white Cadillac took mercy on us and stopped to pick us up. 
      “Wow,” I thought, “this is great, we will be riding to the beach in style.”  I was wrong, it was not the delightful ride I had imagined. The Cadillac was occupied by a wealthy middle aged couple, and after we had gotten in, closed the door, and answered some introductory questions, the couple soon forgot our presence in the back seat, and began to verbally go at each other.
        They bitched and complained, insulted and argued at each other as  Charlotte and I, embarrassed by the verbal tirades, tried to make ourselves invisible in the back seat. While I was thankful for the ride, I was even more thankful and relieved when we were able to get out of the car and escape from the really miserable rich couple in their fancy car. 
        Our beach time was idyllic, Hawaii was a paradise for the senses. The azure surf, the deep blue sky, and the blinding white sand all fit my  Hawaiian stereotype.  We even got to stimulate our tastebuds when we were even invited to help ourselves to the leftover fresh pineapple and other tropical fruit refreshments from a Sierra Club gathering that had been held at the beach.  At night we made our bed in the sand beside a van-sized rock, under a million stars, with the surf lulling us to sleep.
        After a morning of more swimming and lazing around in the sun, it was time for us to gather up our blankets and head back to camp. We hiked up to the road then once again relied on our thumbs for a ride, eventually we made it the main highway, halfway home.
        As we stood there hitching, a very old beat up and rusted truck slowed to a stop.  The driver, one of the two old grizzled geezers in the cab, spoke through the rolled down window and said, “There isn’t any room in the cab, but we’ve been out picking guavas and you can sit in the back with the fruit if you want.”  
        We accepted the friendly invitation, threw our bundles into the back, then climbed over the dented tailgate and settled in. 
        It was an uncomfortable ride, sitting cramped on our blankets, which we had bunched up to pad our bottoms from the hard floor of the truck bed.  Our confinement, squeezed between the baskets and cardboard boxes, full of the freshly-picked green fruit, didn’t hamper the enjoyment of our ride.   We watched, with the wind in our hair, as lush flowering bushes, green ferns, and tropical palms flew by, giving us the occasional glimpse of the Pacific on our left. 
         When they stopped to let us out, we climbed out of the back of the truck, our legs still stiff from the confinement.  As I thanked the old men, they told us we should take some of the guavas with us.  Seeing that they were poor men, who had already given us the gift of a drive, I tried to refuse, but they insisted.
        Those two very contrasting rides, one in the miserable rich man’s plush Caddy and the other in the poor man’s beat up truck, will be forever in my memory, and even back then, given the choice of what kind of life I wanted, I would have always chosen that of the poor content old men in their rusty old pick up, over the neatly dressed wealthy guy in his shiny white Cadillac.

Below are photos of the view of the Pacific from Hwy. 19 and Hapuna Beach.

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Thursday 15 March 2018

Snow Fall Danger

    We have been getting above freezing temperatures for about a week.  This has caused the deep accumulation of snow that is sitting on the roof to slowly, like a glacier, start moving down slope.  They are creating large overhangs of snow on both sides of my carport.  
    These overhangs are fairly cohesive or else they would have broken off, but I am always afraid that they might break off at some inopportune time and injure our pets or car, so after I took these photos I used a shovel and broke them off.  This happens every year, but the accumulation on the roof this year is much greater.
    Another result of all these sliding plates of snow is that huge chunks of overhanging snow are breaking loose from the upper part of the roof on our house and falling onto the lower roof causing loud “THUMPS” throughout the day.  Sometimes you can feel a slight vibration in the house when they fall.  It’s just another sign of Spring, I guess.

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Wednesday 14 March 2018

Saving Daylight

    Last Sunday we switched our clocks ahead one hour to give us more useable time in the evenings.  It really didn’t have much noticeable effect on me until last night, when I drove into McBride for our jam session.  For months I have been driving to the gathering in the dark, but last night on the drive in, it was still light outside.  The Sun had already slide behind the mountains leaving the valley in the shadow, but it was still shining brightly and highlighting peaks in the Premier Range back the Raush Valley.

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