2022 Highlights: Week 26

It’s been a full week around here with the start of summer holidays. We kicked off with a birthday party and potluck at our friends’ beautiful family farm. We swam in the ocean, ate seafood, and enjoyed a bouncy castle.

Peter then defended his Masters and handed in his final project and he is DONE! This guy has worked so hard and continuously over the last few years, all while working a full time job and being an involved dad and fantastic partner. We’re so proud of him! Later in the week we joined together with some of his cohort to celebrate at the local ciders.

But as soon as he finished his defence, Peter and Pearl packed up and headed for Powell River. About a year ago, Peter mentioned to Pearl that he’d like to hike the Sunshine Coast Trail with her. She really grabbed hold of this idea so they’ve been planning this trip together. The whole trail is around 161km but there is a loop near Saltery Bay that they did over 3 days and 2 nights. Overall it was around 22km that they hiked.

Meanwhile, Rose and I had a fun at-home time, staying up late, eating Rose’s favourite foods, and playing in the kiddie pool in the backyard.

Once we were all back together we continued to kick off summer with some beach time and a hot dog roast with friends.

Friday we celebrated Canada Day. This was the first return to large scale Canada Day celebrations since 2019. 2020 was a very scaled down, watch-from-your-yard, pandemic style parade. In 2021, Canada Day followed closely after the discovery of 215 bodies at a former residential school here in BC. Along with many others in our town, our family joined the Sechelt Nation in a March through town on July 1st, wearing orange instead of red.

This year, once again, the Sechelt Band invited the community to join in on an orange shirt walk to lead the parade. We wore orange and walked and then lined the street to watch the classic cars and kids on bikes and other floats. There was a mixture of red and orange in the crowd and in the parade and it felt like a good balance of celebrating what is good in this nation and acknowledging where we have gone deeply wrong. And hopefully, also a promise to do better and work in righting those wrongs.

Rose also got the thrill of being in the parade, riding with her grandpa on the local search and rescue float. (He volunteers with them.) Pearl was on their float in 2019 but opted to watch with us this time.

In another return to pre-Covid times, festivities followed the parade. There were vendors, live music, and bouncy castles and the girls tried cotton candy for the first time!

The end of June marked 10 whole years since Peter and I moved to the Sunshine Coast. We took a bit of a chance when we packed up everything we owned and moved to a town where we had nowhere to live and neither of us had jobs but we’ve never regretted it. We’ve seen a lot of change in both this town and in our lives in the past decade. I truly love this funny little place and I feel so fortunate that I get to call it home and raise my kids here.

This past week was also the anniversary of when we bought our house. It was 7 years ago (Pearl was just a baby) which also means that this is officially the longest I’ve had the same address ever in my life!

Tell me the longest you’ve ever lived in one spot!

8 thoughts on “2022 Highlights: Week 26”

  1. Oh, Peter! Hooray! I remember defending my thesis, which was a novella for a creative writing program, and being scared about not knowing the questions they would ask beforehand.

    I do love the pictures of Peter and Pearl hiking. I can see how she’s stopped many times to look around or to bend over and inspect something. That, to me, is some good hiking.

    I’m always jealous that your community sees something wrong and collectively acts on it. It’s almost like I can’t understand it because that doesn’t happen where I live.

    The longest addresses for me would be the house I grew up in (18 years) and the apartment Nick and I just left (9 years).

    1. Peter and one of his classmates did practise runs of their presentations and asked each other questions and I think that helped a lot. It does seem nerve-wracking!

      Pearl is definitely one of those hikers, bringing it back to your post on hiking! She is very observant when we’re out which can be lots of fun.

      I think there are probably plenty of people in the community who are either ambivalent to something like the orange shirt walk or think residential school survivors should “get over it” but they are aware that that is not a popular opinion to voice and are able to keep quiet. I’m thankful that the local band has made several overtures to include the broader community and that has really made a difference. The Sechelt Nation land is literally in the middle of town so there is a lot more integration here than in some other places because you have two governments that have to work together.

    2. I grew up on reservation land (weird, I know), and the main part of the reservation seems like a different town from the city in which it is located. Own courts, police, fire department, laws, etc. And it’s just the tiniest bit outside the city. Very strange. I don’t see them as integrated the way you’re talking about.

    3. That’s how I’ve seen many reservations function, as more separate. It is unusual here but I think it works well for the most part. The hospital, for example, is technically on reservation land and there is a strip mall that belongs to the band. The local movie theatre is there too. Then five minutes away you have our main downtown. A good chunk of the band land goes along the waterfront and there is a walking path from downtown through there that everyone uses. Where downtown and the band land meet they put a playground that’s really popular. So the boundary between the two doesn’t feel so strict as I’ve seen in other places. The band is self-governing so they have different laws etc but shared fire and ambulance and the RCMP serves both communities. There can definitely be tensions but overall it feels to me like an extension of the community.

    4. Yes, reservations are self-governing, and sharing resources may mean a lack of resources. The tribe where I grew up put in a casino and then another casino and got their own departments.

    5. The tribe here was actually the first in Canada to become self-governing. Their land is quite rich in resources so they have a substantial gravel extraction plant there.

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