“Well I’m not the kind to live in the past
The years run too short and the days too fast
The things you lean on, are the things that don’t last
Well it’s just now and then, my line gets cast
Into these time passages”
And I must also make note here that the following snippets are presented somewhat in chronological order as an attempt to; avoid a void that would be devoid of incoherence. Now that I’ve cleared that up, it is early December here in Vernon BC and backtracking a bit to Al Stewart, the first two lines of Time Passages go as follows:
“It was late in December, the sky turned to snow
All around the day was goin’ down slow
Night like a river beginning to flow
I felt the beat of my mind go”
which paints a better picture of my life here in winter.
The Garage Sale
The last time CC and DD held a garage sale was when we moved out of our house and into Eagle 5 seven years ago and began our life on the road. So one could ask, and rightfully so, just what could these kids have left that would warrant another garage sale? Well to be honest garage sale might just be a bit of a misnomer so please continue reading for the full lowdown.
While returning from Ontario in May 2020 (along the Covid Corridor) we were contacted by our Swan Lake Resort neighbours, RR and LL (see previous Blogs – Bikepacking Vancouver Island). The Cookies had just sold their RV lot and were now our ex neighbours. Our devastation (feigned or otherwise) at this news quickly evaporated upon hearing that given the Covid factor, RV lots and the like were selling like proverbial hotcakes at crepe suzette prices. The fact that our RV lot was our home base etc. etc. and selling it would require a major overhaul of our future plans did sort of give us pause, but what the hell, we’ll test the waters and list it for sale and see what happens. So back into Eagle 5 we moved and set the wheels in motion. Well actually Eagle 5’s wheels didn’t move but our planning did.
Our long range plan had always been to move back in to our house (rented out) in July 2022, so the worst case scenario was that we would live in Eagle 5 until then and if we sold the lot, no big problem!! Well like within 3 or 4 days we had several potential buyers ringing us up. One fellow just happened to be another Swan Lake Resort resident who lived just down the road from us. Not only did he want to buy our lot, he wanted to buy Eagle 5 as part of the deal.
Okay so how do we deal with this bit of a conundrum? The offer was very tempting regardless that accepting would leave us homeless as of July 1, 2022. Homeless for a year, sounds like a splendid plan except DD was starting back to work again (3 days per week) and needed a place to house her shoes etc. For some reason living out of the back of the truck didn’t appeal to her. Really!!! It would only be one step down from trailer trash (and cheap too).
Oh yeah DD just reminded me of another little item we sold. The camper. Too small for us old people to do a lot of travelling in especially for those numerous late night sojourns to the potty and without a truck a bit difficult to drag around. We were also able to sell it for what we paid for it two years ago. A no brainer I’d say.
A solution then magically presented itself. Our neighbours (just down the street from our house) Pauline and Uncle Normie just happened to have their basement suite empty and offered to rent it to us for as long as we liked. The stunned look on their faces when we accepted their offer spoke volumes (just kidding). As I have often said in my blogs we have been beyond fortunate to have so many wonderful friends who step up to help us when we need them. We have known Pauline and Uncle Normie since we moved into our house in 1996. They are like family to us and now with us moving in we would be like them having kids in the basement. Also as Pauline and Normie have been storing some of our furniture in their basement suite it is almost like being partially at home.
So this was not really like a garage sale was it. But hey there is more! Okay so we no longer have our RV lot, no longer have Eagle 5, but we still have a massive one ton Ford Super Duty 350. So did we really need this truck? Nope. So let’s get a small car and trade the truck in. Again as luck would have it our local car dealers were offering crazy money for used late model trucks. We are offered more money for the truck than we paid for it 3 years ago and had put on at least 75,000 km. We then bought a new 2022 Hyundai Tucson Hybrid and got some cash back (that DD tried to confiscate for her shoe fund) on the deal. Everybody’s happy except DD who wanted a Toyota Rav 4 Hybrid. In hindsight she may have been right (and believe me she’s not shy about reminding me). The Tucson is a good car but has some quirky issues that had we known??????.
Like many of our recent summers in the Okanagan, the summer of 2021 will be remembered for the heat and fires. The last week of June saw sweltering temperatures in the 35C – 40C (95F – 105F) range arrive for an extended but unwanted visit with a handful of days reaching close to 45C (110F). As uncomfortable as the weather was during this time the result of the heat wave and a very dry spring did not bode well for the fire season. Now normally “fire season” does not start until early August but this year things lit up in late June and some fires continued to burn into September. A summary of the fire season can be seen here: A look back at the 2021 B.C. wildfire season. At one point (August 7th – DD and CCs Anniversary) parts of Vernon were put on evacuation alert. At times the fires could be seen burning around us. Fortunately we remained safe but too many others were not as fortunate.
Life without an RV. This just wasn’t right. After seven years of being happy Italians (no a mads – must be read with an Italian accent kids – get it??) being housebound just wasn’t going to work. We still wanted to travel and living in motels along the way wouldn’t work at all for DD. I want my own bed I can hear her wailing incessantly. So CC in desperate need of peace and quiet went out into the internet to search for a suitable RV for Queen DD. Suitable as defined by DD included: not too big and not too small, bathroom, shower, “queen size” bed of course, fridge stove, generator, solar power and the list went on and on and most importantly copious shoe storage capacity. Given the dearth and prices of RVs this royal command seemed an almost impossible task even for CC the king of shoppers. However when you are retired and living in a basement you find that you have an inordinate amount of free time and CC used his time earnestly and within a few weeks found the Queen her new palace on wheels.
What we found, and ended up buying, was a 2011 (64,000 km) Regency 24 MB (Murphy Bed) Class C motor home in excellent condition. And as a bonus the rig was built right here in the GWN. After doing a few modifications to the solar power setup we were ready to take her out on our maiden voyage.
So on September 14th we loaded up our bikes on the back of the rig and headed out to one of our all time favourite provincial parks at Shuswap Lake. At his time of year the park is sparsely populated and makes for a very peaceful and enjoyable campout. We were in luck as we found a campsite on one of the lanes that was occupied by no one but ourselves and only one or two other campers on the lanes on either side of us. The best part of this isolation is that we didn’t have to worry about angry neighbours paying us a visit to complain about DDs infamous sneezing fits.
The one downside was that fire bans were still in place for the first two nights so no campfires, however the ban was lifted on out last day so we did get to sit around the campfire on our last night in the park. I don’t even have any little calamities to chat about as everything worked fine and we got to enjoy the solitude of the forest, our bike rides and hikes. Although I do believe I thwarted a feeble attempt by DD to fold me up into the murphy bed one morning when she thought I was still asleep. Had I not been awakened by a sneezing fit I would have been rolled up with the fitted sheets. DD denies it and in reality I could have just been dreaming??? Couldn’t have asked for a better experience the first time out in a new rig. Well we possibly could have asked for a visit from a little green leprechaun handing out gold coins, but leprechauns have been restricted from travelling due to Covid so didn’t bother.
Stay tuned for Time Passages Part 2