Off The Grid

Living off the Grid on a west coast island

septic systems once

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The island was pretty busy for Thanksgiving. The marina filled with boats, the parking lot empty, as families fetched their guests from the dock for what is likely the last family dinner of the year. Speaking with neighbours on the road they spoke of winterizing cabins and return trips in March.

Most of our friends had visitors for the weekend. Their children come, some bringing grandchildren. The weather was perfect, the waters flat calm for taxiing back and forth. The farm could probably make a go of raising turkeys for I suspect everyone would rather not have to lug the extra weight up the ramp…Much food and drink was consumed and rumors of a few who actually went swimming..(running in and out of the ocean constitutes swimming in October and January) .

But once the kids had all gone.. A few of our good friends joined together at the R’s for a potluck dinner. Twelve of us around the table. Eighteen months ago I didn’t really know any of them.. Now,  in my mid fifties, a circle of friends who we have somehow been welcomed. Driving home from a dinner like this E and I usually remark how surprising it is that such nice people continue to include us.

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The menu was gorgeous soup, pate stuffed ham, salads, pies and cakes.. The conversation was varied. There was the hilarious story by BF of accidentally dropping a 4 X 6 board on his wifes head during construction of their cabin. (hard  to believe that story could be hilarious but he has a way with words).. There was a very long discussion about alternate diet choices.. vegan, gluten-free, paleo (?) .. and their merits.

My favorite though, was a discussion with our hostess.  We had been speaking about movies  which we were sharing on flash drives for winter entertainment and she commented that she had enjoyed , Out in the Wild.  The movie about Christopher McCandless on his journey of self discovery. The quote from the movie which struck her most and seemed apropos as we gathered to give thanks  …”Happiness (is) only real when shared.  I think McCandless was paraphrasing Tolstoy.. but you get the drift.

We all come to this island for the next chapter.. Hopefully the longest chapter of our lives. Most of us having raised kids on a cul-de-sac (figuratively if not literally) come here to realize a life post kids. Our kids are adults. We did our job and will be here if they need us. But now we need to leave them be. We need to build a different  life without hockey practices and curfews. We come for peace and tranquility and solitude… But this chapter of our lives would be nothing if we didn’t have these opportunities to share them with  family and friends.

With all the laughter and good conversation, I didn’t notice til we drove home that it was a rare night indeed that we didn’t talk of

septic systems once.

Author: Off Grid Islanders

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

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