Off The Grid

Living off the Grid on a west coast island

grand parent shuffle

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When you live on, build on or even visit this island and you need something, you had better have brought it with you or you are going to do without.

There are no stores. What is in your pantry or your workshop is what you have to work with. Sometimes, in a pinch, nuts or bolts, eggs or cups of sugar are borrowed from a neighbour.

It is summer time on the island and most of us are expecting our children or grandchildren in varying numbers to show up for days or weeks at a time. Sitting an infant on your lap for her pablum would work well enough, but a high chair would be better. Before cars came to the island, our kids were often transported around the island in a wheelbarrow.

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How much easier a stroller would have been? Children sleeping on piles of blankets surrounded by pillows on the floor worked well for the Flintstones, but again, a playpen would have made a better bed.

Whenever I have mentioned that our granddaughter is coming to the island and that is often, my neighbours have been quick to ask what we need and to offer what equipment they have to share.  Everyone is quick to offer anything which might enhance an island visit for our collective children and grandchildren. Baby baths, high chairs, strollers, playpens, water toys, and life jackets are not so much passed down but passed around. For the older kids, bikes and kayaks are offered kindly.

The island high chair is ours, and we have a playpen from back in the day but we had to borrow a stroller for this weekends VIP guest. E’s back isn’t what it used to be and his wheel barrowing child transport days are over. Everything we need is ready for her arrival and what we don’t have, she won’t miss.

At the end of the summer my island friends will likely heave a collective sigh, and probably have a well deserved nap but right now we are enjoying the summer dance I could call

the grandparent shuffle

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