Monday, June 7, 2010

Colour in Kamloops

I am a B.C. girl, born and raised. With my B.C. upbringing I spent part of my summers on Shuswap Lake. Friday night, we would jump in the wood-paneled station wagon, take the Trans-Canada away from Burnaby and up the Fraser Canyon, (stopping in Cache Creek for Dairy Queen, of course, and lifting our legs over Spences Bridge bridge) and stop at a motel in Kamloops for the night. Early Saturday morning, we would drive along the Thompson river to Chase for groceries and then to St. Ives on Shuswap. Racing the train along the way.

Ritual. Tradition. Travel. Family memories.

Needless to say, this is what Kamloops always looked like to me via my memories.

I managed to catch a few minutes in downtown Kamloops a few weeks back and saw another side of the tracks, we might say. Now, Kamloops looks like this to me:

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Swing low

Just about nine years ago, I was barefoot and fancy free, drinking fresh coconut juice in the morn' while swinging on the hammock, a few footsteps away from Playa Zipolite's deadly shoreline. My hair was tangled from days, nay, months filled with sun and surf and minimal soap. An acquired tan complemented my faded red bikini well. 

Ah, life was good. Our journey (for any travelling holiday over 4 months long can't easily be called a vacation) had led us to a campground across from the "beach of the dead" and we settled the camper between a few palm trees for a spell.

The hammock went up. The machete came out. Tony, also barefoot, climbed to the top of the palm and hacked down the coconuts (who needs a modern day Romeo when you can get a modern day Robinson Crusoe?). Kje slept in the hammock while smiling Mexican children pushed him in the shade. I kept sipping.

Fast forward to last month. The hammock hung in our living room between two beams. It was the most frequented spot in our house (okay, so I'm fantasizing a bit here.... computers, bathrooms, beds....yah, yah, I know. But AFTER all those necessities....). It was the place where visitors congregated and kids goofed off. Alas, it was also one of the cat's favourite toys. Whack, whack, chew, chew...

Fast forward to today. The hammock now hangs in our hallway. Not between two beams, but between two hooks in the wall. Some might call it art - a giant red, blue, green, yellow, black, purple smile hung on a white background - deep and meaningful in an esoteric way. Some might call it just plain ugly - gaudy woven thread with a big hole in it hanging from a bicycle hook. Some might call it a lazy way to not have to throw something in the garbage. (Are hammocks recyclable?)

I call it a way to keep memories in the house.

p.s.  Thankfully we have a backup. Ah, life continues to be good.Coconut juice, anyone?