This summer it seems especially true for some reason. Life has been pretty hectic since our return from our winter hiatus. Visiting far off places has always been intriguing to me and always will. I love to meet people of different cultures and visit historical sites. Places that you have seen in the movies are especially interesting even if they don’t quite measure up to their movie set image. But there comes a time when you have to stop looking over the fence and start grazing in your own pasture.
My wife and I worked hard while we raised the kids. We still managed to get our fix of travel by way of a motor home back in the 90’s. It was an older model but got us to where we wanted to be. We moved from Edmonton to Calgary so that we could be closer to the mountains and the border. It was quicker on a weekend to just drive a few hundred miles (or just down the road) to immerse ourselves in mountain air and high trees. In the summer we would always make our “BC Run”, taking us along the Crows Nest highway to Osoyoos and North to Kelowna, Vernon, Enderby and finally to the Shuswap. We saved all year and burned up our holidays getting to the Shuswap, even if it was only for a few days.
In 2002 we started looking at the possibility of some day living in the Shuswap full time. Only a dream back then, but something we kept talking about. In 2003 we rented a house in Blind Bay and loved the area so much we bought the house we were renting. A couple of years of renovations later it was time to retire. And retire we did in the area we had once dream of living in.
The winters in the Shuswap are a bit of a let down compared to the summers. No matter how you look at it, that is just a fact of life. The climate is milder than Albert but the cloud cover makes it quite a bleak place in winter. And so it was time to travel again, only this time it would be in the winter.
For the past three years we have been venturing to Arizona. We bought a cute little bungalow in a small city called Maricopa, just south of Phoenix. The “Valley of the Sun” as they call it has over 300 days of sunshine each year. It is hotter than Hades in the summer but just right in the winter. With hundreds of new places to explore and different food to enjoy it is a great winter get away.
This summer we have been extremely busy. We have had two of our grand-kids out for their vacation. It has been great. Boating, beaching water skiing and tubing. Bar-B-Q-ing our dinners and playing checkers on the deck have made the summer perfect. Just yesterday I was down by the lake watching all the boats in the bay, seeing all the people on the beach and the motor homes and trailers moving slowly down the road. And then I wondered if these folks (tourists) had saved all year and are burning up their holidays to make the trek to the Shuswap and wondering in the back of their minds what it would be like to live here full time. And then I thought “The Shuswap may not be Heaven ……… but it’s a local call”.