Off The Grid

Living off the Grid on a west coast island

going to go


Our neighbours are packing up to leave. Their summer is over and they have to go back to the States to serve their six months residency before they can come back… There are quite a few Americans or Ex Americans on the island.. quite a few neighbours from away…. Scotland, England, Alberta…  Everyone from different backgrounds, different work histories and family make up.. All brought together by a desire for a simpler life.. A life where you come to learn more than to rest.

When I was a teenager I couldn’t wait to move away from Vancouver… I would argue with my Mom that Grandma left Scotland when she was eighteen and Mom joined the air force and left Fort William when she was nineteen.. I wanted to leave and start fresh somewhere too. But Mom and Grandma would just say.. “But we left there to come here”.. “Here. Vancouver.. no snow, beaches, trees, parks , no snow.. “

When I was eighteen I spent a summer in Kingston, Ontario and I fell in love with it. Weekends in cottage country Ontario are beautiful. Cozy cabins on the Canadian Shield.  The bottom of the river flat rock, as if it was a paved swimming pool. We swam up and down the river every weekend. Warm evenings sitting behind the screens away from the black flies you forgot that in Vancouver we didn’t have screens on our windows.

The next summer I attended a French Immersion program at Dalhousie in Nova Scotia.. (I picked the farthest campus from Vancouver) I loved Nova Scotia too. The girls residence was right near a path down to the edge of the ocean. My friends and I would go sit on the rocks at night and stare off into the sea. We took a field trip up to a small town and went cod jigging.DSCN9183

I caught a huge cod.

But my favorite part of the summer, the part I remember frequently was sitting on a rock at the edge of the ocean looking out at the fishing boats and listening to the waves on the rocks.

But I came back to Vancouver when the course was over, met and married E and we settled in L to raise our family.

I wanted E to move away with me.. I even ordered the real estate weekly from Charlottetown PEI to be delivered by mail.. I thought living on an island with the ocean at my door would be amazing… E wouldn’t go.. he would say why would we leave here!! We have beaches, we have an ocean.. and no snow!!!

Somewhere in there my Mom sold the family house. We had lived there for 22 years and I think were probably just the second owners. The day we left for the last time.. I sat on the edge of my bedroom window, just as I had sat a hundred times before, looking out into the big back yard… My eye caught two labels stuck to the one of the windows.. You know the kind people get when they are traveling and they stick them to the bumpers of their car.. These two worn labels had been on my window my whole life and I don’t think I had ever actually looked at what they said. I mean really looked at them.

One was for Halifax, Nova Scotia and one was for Kingston, Ontario. There weren’t any more. There was only just the two….

So now I am living on the edge of the ocean listening to the waves lap at the rocks. E is under the house figuring out how to reinstall the pressure tank for our hot water… I just made 3 more quarts or tomato sauce and 2 dozen hermit cookies..

It looks like I have been everywhere I am

going to go

Author: Off Grid Islanders

We are a retired couple living on an off grid island on the West Coast

4 thoughts on “going to go

  1. M – I’ve known you since Kindergarten and yet there is so much I don’t know about you.
    I love your blogs – don’t stop.

  2. Your vivid writing puts all of us “right there.” I especially loved the line, “…a life where you come more to learn than to rest.” If anyone is in doubt, they can just read the rest of your blogs. Probably you’ve heard the Decourcy quip Mares coined, “It’s a problem solving lifestyle.” Love that you are living and loving it!

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