You can actually feel it and if you look closely, you can see it. Slowly, oh so slowly it comes nearer, creeping up to us, stealthily, so we are almost unaware of its subtle approach.
In the early morning it is most evident and with the nights drawing closer we become more aware of its approach. Quietly but surely fall is coming.
This has been a good summer for Oliver, a slower, cooler spring being evident in the abundance of roses and earlier plants which appreciate the temperatures being a little lower then, the heat but not in long periods. Several hot days followed by a few cooler ones made summer a pleasant experience. Higher temperatures put an end to spring flowers and summer blooms came into their brilliance.
The fire in the immediate north was a big concern but, after a few tense days for the residents of Gallager Lake, the huge amount of firefighters kept it higher in the hills and away from people and property. How lucky are we that a small city was erected on the airport grounds and Oliver could take a big sigh of relief.
The last few weeks have been full of conversations regarding the canning of various fruits and tomatoes. How lucky are we to live with such abundance on our doorstep? It is truly our Garden of Eden and many of us take advantage of nature’s bounty and prepare it so it is ready to bring out during the darker days ahead. How delicious is that taste of summer on a winters day?
Across the lane from our home the vines are heavy with grapes, the orchard to the side of us is filled with ripening apples, my own yard holds home grown fruits, how lucky am I to live in this little part of the world.
The past week has heard the sound of the chain saw as husband Dave builds our woodpile for the cold months ahead. We have never had to buy wood in the eighteen years of having a fireplace. Every year Dave has been asked if he would clear some trees from friends needing to be rid of them. As he aged he purchased a wood splitter which makes turning big logs into manageable sizes an easier task. His hard work has provided us with free fuel for several years to come.
Summer brings family and friends to enjoy spending time with us in the (almost) guaranteed sunshine, but this time of year seems to bring that last rush of visitors before summer ends, all of them going home with their cars packed with boxes of local produce.
For some reason our family and friends on the coast seem to dread the thought of the Hope/Princeton highway in the winter. I think they imagine ten feet of snow from October till April as they shudder at the thought of driving through the mountain passes. When my grandchildren were small they differentiated me from their paternal grandmother by calling me “grandma over the mountains”!
I honestly think that people who live on the coast have a strange view of things as they frequently ask us to visit them, which we did, for many years. For some strange reason they honestly think us driving there is an easier journey than them driving here, amazing!
Given the choice of driving the Hope/Princeton or driving through Maple Ridge and I vote for the mountains any day. The rat race that is any Fraser Valley town has become is where the danger lies. For sixteen years we lived and drove through that area with confidence but, having become accustomed to the easier pace of our Okanagan roads, I am now the little old lady who gets honked at if I dither too long at a stop sign. The hectic pace and short tempers of drivers on the coast, is not for me anymore. I feel I should stop the car and have a severe word with the person who gives me the finger for not racing through the traffic light before it even turns green.
As summer draws to its inevitable close and fall sneaks into the area, I thank God for binging us to this heaven on earth. Our main street has many empty stores and our petty crime rate seems to be rising but we have a wonderful live theatre, a great little cinema, a good selection of activities to keep us busy and a sense of community that is hard to beat. No, there is nowhere else on earth that I would like to end my days but our little, sleepy town.