Off The Grid

Living off the Grid on a west coast island

we ever lived

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It was 11:15 PM, we were watching Sports Page, and our phone rang. E answered it and got a strange look on his face. He put the phone down on the side table and went into our bedroom and picked up the extension. A few quiet words spoken and I heard him call me “can you come here for a minute, please?”

I went in the bedroom to find E standing behind the curtain peeking out the window. On the outside was a man, dressed in black with socks on his hands. He was climbing up and over the lattice around our ground floor patio. Our upstairs neighbour had seen him watching us through our curtains. She phoned us, then phoned the police.

We had thought the location of our new apartment was perfect. A brand new condo complex, with a courtyard garden, just off Denman at the gates to Stanley Park. It was owned by a friend of my Moms, an investment property, she just wanted occupied. She charged us $220.00 per month rent. It was 1980 and the price was right.

We both played recreational soccer on Sundays so we would walk around the animal pens at Stanley Park before we left for our games. The park was empty at that time of day and we would have the park and the animal enclosures to ourselves. Evenings, we could walk around the seawall. Lost Lagoon was at our front door.

The condo was on the ground floor with the driveway to the underground parking beside our patio. One night, months after the incident when the neighbour called us, we came home after an evening walk at the sea wall. I don’t remember why, but instead of going through the front door to the complex we walked down the driveway with our beeper to go to our car in the garage.

At eye level on the driveway retaining wall, stacked in neat rows side by side were  2X2 towers of five maybe six skins of meticulously peeled oranges. They sat in varying degrees of decay at eye level from the driveway looking into our apartment. Someone was watching us, and they were fond of their citrus. We gave our notice, moved to south Granville and paid double the rent.

My daughter has been here for the last week. While here she had a deer at our front door, whales under our deck and a new puppy to cuddle… It was a great visit, and it was agreed this is a great place to live.

Over a glass of wine one night she reminded me of the creepiest story I had ever told her and the worst place

we ever lived

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Author: Off Grid Islanders

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

One thought on “we ever lived

  1. The vermin and pestilence in the urban jungle is far uglier than anything we deal wih out here. I should know; I grew up on the eastside and worked in skidrow. We have characters, eccentrics, lunatics and drug induced psychotics out here but there is very little verging on nasty. Nothing close to evil. The worst we have is antisocial. And THAT is me.
    It’s good to be out.

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