Bits and Bytes

I am alive. I am fine. I’ve just had a lot going on.

To my friends and family who have inquired: “Nothing happening on your blog Jennie. What’s going on? Are you OK?” Thank you for inquiring. Yes. I am alive. I am fine. I’ve just had a lot going on.

At the end of January, I drove from Whitehorse, Yukon to Healdsburg, California. We’d sold a property and I needed to be in Healdsburg to close the deal. I stopped in Smithers for a day to visit my very good friend (good woman post to come). On Saturday, I carried on to 100 Mile House. On Monday, I got up as early as I could and started into Vancouver. I had to pick my older sister up at the Vancouver airport. (My sister pulled her Big Sister Card on this trip and said she was going to fly out and help me with packing and moving–even if I didn’t think I needed help). What can I say? She was right (as big sisters usually are). I’m glad she did.

Anyway, I picked her up and we carried onto my cousin’s house in Surrey, BC. We showed up around 3 pm. We visited for a while, then went for a walk along the waterfront. On the way home, we (my sister and I) decided we were going to cook dinner–so we planned a menu, went to the shops, bought the groceries, and cooked dinner. I think my cousin quite enjoyed it. She now says we can just show up anytime and cook her dinner.

DO YOU KNOW WHERE ALASKA IS?

Early the next morning, we drove the five minutes to the US border and crossed into the United States. The border guard kept asking: “Where are you from?” and “What is your purpose in the United States?” I told him three times that I was from the Yukon before I realized that he wasn’t hearing “Yukon”. He was hearing, “Utah”. When I finally realized that, I asked him if he knew where the Yukon was. He said no he didn’t. I’m not offended that he doesn’t know where the Yukon is, not too many people outside of Canada do.

But, I have explained it so many times before: “Do you know where Alaska is?” I put my left hand up in front of my face and splayed my fingers in a vague array of a map of Alaska. He nods but looks a bit affronted (probably because of my tone of voice, but I couldn’t help myself). I smiled to alleviate the annoying tone and put my right hand up beside the left and flipped it over mimicking the border of the Yukon and Alaska. “The Yukon is the Canadian part of Alaska.” And the light went on in his eyes (as it does when I mime this description). “Ah…Right. Way up north. OK.” He lets us through.

STOP! FOLLOW THE PLOUGHS

We stopped in Oregon for a break and something to eat. We actually stopped at Costco — to pick up healthy munchies for the road. And I practically danced out to the car in the parking lot with just one layer of clothing. I think I started singing: “It’s warm enough for one shirt. One layer! Wwwooohoooo!” I’ve been in the Yukon for three months and I wore a minimum of three layers at all times. I was never comfortable being so bundled up. All of those clothes restricts my movement.. My Mum would say: “You have to grow your own layers Jen. Grow your own built-in layers.” I told her that I already had 20 extra pounds of my own built-in layers. I am not comfortable in them either.

We carried on to Healdsburg (through Washington, Oregon, and Northern California.) We had to stop for the night in Redding because from all of that driving from the Yukon, the worst weather we encountered was in Northern California. The weather really was terrible. At one point, we were the one car behind three snow ploughs that were staggered across the highway ploughing snow. Then, all of a sudden, they just got off the highway. And I was stressed and anxious about not being the driver (even though my big sis drives in conditions like that all the time in Ontario). I was so stressed about the weather, that when I saw the plows exiting the highway, I literally shouted, “STOP! FOLLOW THE PLOUGHS!” because all I could think of was: The weather is so bad–EVEN THE PLOUGHS are leaving the highway. And non of the exits were ploughed. The snow was too deep for my wee Honda (even if I had snow tires). I just thought the weather was so bad, that the ploughs were leaving and ploughing the ONE exit from where we might actually be able to leave the highway.

My sister thought totally the opposite. She thought the were leaving the highway because it didn’t need to be plowed anymore.

She was right (as big sisters usually are) and we carried on. We carried on because there was a line of big trucks coming up at high speed right behind us and there was only one option–to keep going. And she was the driver. We kept going and we got through the snow storm and we stopped in Redding. Because I was so stressed about the driving and I’d stressed my sister and we just stopped and got off the road and out of the weather. The hotel was definitely worth

TREE DOWN

We finally arrived in Healdsburg the next day. We arrived to a two-ton tree that had fallen on Fitch Mountain Lookout. Well..not exactly on, but against. And, it could definitely have been worse. Three feet to the left and it would have been on top of the house. Regardless, it did do damage and we now have to figure out how to fix it.

In the meantime, we sold the other property (HealdsburgBungalow.com) and had to get all the personal property off that property and relocate, redistribute, or resell the household furnishings. Fitch Mountain Lookout got an update (which is nice). It is now a notch above what it used to be.

I had to sign papers left, right, and centre for the sale of the bungalow. Just when I thought things were finished, there were papers missed, or new forms. It was all a bit of a nightmare, but I think we got it all sussed. I’m quite relieved that it is done and off my plate. Moreover, I think I am just relieved that I am no longer responsible for half of the mortgage.

My sister was here for three weeks and was a godsend for help. And if she couldn’t help pack or move, she cooked us dinner. You gotta love somebody who can cook you dinner: exactly what you need and just when you need it. Have I mentioned that she is a pretty good cook? So, luckily, for three weeks, I enjoyed the wisdom and company and cooking of my older sister.  Thank you Redd. I enjoyed every minute of it.

Today was the first day I’ve had some time for myself. Today, I took a break. A break from my personal fixations and worries and stresses and I had a coffee and a great chat with Jennifer Becnel. We were talking about ideas for her website and family business: BecnelFamilyVineyards.com. I had a few good ideas for her site and she reciprocated some of her own ideas, perspectives, and thoughts for me.

Then, I thought I’d take a bit more time and make my first official blog entry of 2010.

Leave a Comment

Comments (3)

  1. You gave me plenty to think about today and I know it’s just the tip of the iceberg! I enjoyed spending time with you today and look forward to future Yukon Jen updates.

  2. You are very welcome, Baby Sister. It was my pleasure. And remember, I can play the Big Sister Card any where in the world. So you can run; but you can’t hide.