At our door

It seems inconceivable now, but there was a time, children, when the old guy and I had two papers delivered to us every day. One in the morning and one at night. We would read them both, cover to cover. At the end of the month the delivery boys (few girls) would go door to door to collect the money along their route in cash. They would have to come after dinner when the clients were home from work. In the dark! Twelve year olds all around the world were gainfully employed.

Christmas 1983 we were newlyweds living in a basement suite on 41st at Maple. As have most basement suites on the west side of Vancouver in December, the sidewalk access to the back door was unlit, wet, rainy and uninviting. It was 5 pm on December 24th and there was a knock at our door. The door led to a dark, damp miserable laundry room which stood between the creepy back yard and the door to our tiny basement suite. We heard the faint knock through the two doors and answered. Standing in the rain, barely visible was our twelve year old newspaper delivery boy. He stuck out his hand and gave E a hearty Merry Christmas as he personally delivered the news. E of course quickly scrambled through his pocket for his wallet and money for a Christmas tip.

It has been a nice weekend. I finished up some Christmas baking and E and our son started on the wood pile. Even with a really nice wood splitter E finds the chore hard on his back and is eternally grateful when our kids visit and offer to help. Of our four wood sheds, one large one is empty. All of those sheds need to be full to give us a two years supply of wood by the end of the winter. There is nothing worse than an empty wood shed and nothing more satisfying than four full ones.

The drier the wood the better it burns and on this island I find our neighbours like to have it two or three years old. It is also a safety net kind of thing. One year something might happen to stop us from adding to our stash it and it is reassuring to have plenty in reserve.

It is nice to know where our next firewood is coming from. We have two or three trees which are dead, dying, or in the way and we know they are the next to come down. Money in the bank so to speak.

Every winter the wind can also give us unexpected supplies. It has been crazy this week so the barge with the lumber for the greenhouse was cancelled. As with any project on this island you need to be flexible. Everything, and I mean everything, is weather dependent. The plan is for the barge to now come next Tuesday.

I have found, traditionally, the absolute worst weather we experience on this island is the week before Christmas and Easter time. We have had several miserable trips on the boat trying to get to Vancouver for Christmas to see family. I once asked John (he has been on this island since forever) what the worst storm he had ever seen here was and he said it was the one on Dec 20, 2018. Before that, it was December 15, 2006.

This Christmas there will be no to storms to worry about. If there is a bad one we are safe inside and aren’t going anywhere. There won’t even be a paper boy to knock

At our door

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