Sunday, 16 October 2016

Goodbye Thing. Hallo Margie!

Letting Go is a part of this stage of life. 
Stuff, people, abilities, and finally physical life itself.

But let's start with stuff. We have lived in the same place for 35 years without interruption, longer if you count the tipi/log house years. So much stuff! Much of it was in disrepair but still clung to because you never know, it might come in handy some day. We all have different categories we do that with. Mine is books and garden supplies like plant pots and chicken wire. The husband's was vehicles and parts for them. Sadly, his driving days are over. 

I miss our trips with the motor home, which gave us so much pleasure. We used to call it "The Thing". I had almost forgotten that. Below, Chris enjoying dinner on the aborted spring trip in 2008.
Dear Thing had been parked in place since the brief trip to the Sweet Grass Hills in September 2010, when we had limped home with brakes that wanted to seize up. 

The joy of having a unit the size of a Toyota truck is that you can easily tuck yourself into free places for the night. Above, on a small pullout along the Okanogan river near Tonasket, WA.

Thing was no spring chicken when we got her in the spring of 2004. The unit dated from 1982. Her inside was in beautiful shape and all systems worked. But still, we were no strangers to mishaps and tow trucks. Below, being towed into Ritzville 
in 2008. Earlier we had been towed into High Level, Alberta (2006) and spent 5 days waiting for a part in Dease Lake in 2007. 

After the brief trip to the Sweet Grass Hills she was parked on a level spot and served as guest cabin. Sister Margreet considered it her private summer home.
Here she is in the summer of 2008 during some soccer championship. When she received her diagnosis of inoperable lung cancer in 2011 a final stay here was high on her bucket list. She came in October of that year, and we made the most of the bittersweet time. Her favourite activity was retreating together to her quarters to play the board game "Globe Trotters" in the evening after dinner. 
Bouts of vigorous competition were alternated with visits to memory lane, hysterical laughter, and unflinching talks about her impending death. I still miss my sister a lot. I often imagine the phone calls, laced with black humor, that we could have shared about life with dementia. 

Brother Jaap and sister in heart Marielle camped in it with pleasure during their stay in the fall of 2014. But otherwise Thing just sat there, looking ever more sad and neglected. It was time to let it go. 

I did not think it was possible to drive it anymore, so I put it on the Nakusp Communicator Facebook page as potential guest quarters for $900. I figured whoever took it would have to spend some money getting it towed away. Response was instant. The couple who came for a look fell in love with the compact size and functional interior just like we had done. What's more, Bud is a fixer, and he wanted to get her going.
It took a few days of going back and forth, but miracle of miracles, he did it! Below, the coming and going man. Bud was kind enough to include Chris in the test drive.

While all this is going on Darlene told me they are in the habit of naming their vehicles, and how about naming the new toy after us? Ien is no name for a car, nor is Chris. But what about Margreet? Margie! We both liked it. I get a bit teary by the thought of commemorating my sister in this way. Margie left us under her own steam. This final picture is blurry, because she is moving!
Finally, courtesy of Facebook and Darlene Mcintyre-Adair, Margie in the glory of her new lease on life on a beach near Nakusp. It gives me such pleasure to see this.
Goodbye dear Thing, and thanks for all the pics.


  1. Hello Ien,
    Having read a number of your thoughful comments on Dmitry Orlov's website I thought I'd drop by for a visit. You write well and I admire your honesty and dedication to finding the best in life. I'm sorry about your husband's illness.
    Coincidentally, I lived in Vancouver, BC for about six years around the time you arrived on the west coast. Then I married an American and spent nearly thirty-five years there on the east and west coasts. Now, and for the past six years, we live in Halifax - no garden unfortunately but we keep ourselves informed, entertained (regular laughter is essential) and spend as much time outdoors walking around as we can. I also like to draw and paint and pass on the odd thought on the blogs I've had since 2007.
    All best wishes to you and may winter be gentle there in the Kootenays.

    1. Thanks for your visit! Will go check out your blog.

  2. Tell me a better place to leave a first com(pli)ment than the one my dear Susan left her first comment on what would have been my father's 114th anniversary.
    From what I read so far, I am so impressed that I might even drop in once again, now and then – despite my legendary laziness.
    The peace of the night.

    1. Thank you! This one is my daily life blog. The more thoughtful posts are on the reflections rants one.

    2. Ah, I read some of those posts, too. And I found interesting what I read. As for your name: Is Ien a petname? I ask, because I have not heard this name before. By trying to check it I only stumbeld upon one Dutsch politician: Catharina Isabella "Ien" Dales.

    3. You know what? I will make the answer into a quickie blog post. Soonish. But yes, ms Dales had the same name.


Comments have been set to anyone, un-moderated, and no captcha. So if you were here, wave to me? Spammers will be deleted and acquire bad karma to boot.