As readers know I have recently returned from a trip to Victoria British Columbia. Just a short 2 3/4 hour trip by catamaran, the Victoria Clipper, across the Straits of Juan de Fuca. We had been once before 7 years ago at Christmas time. A wonderful trip then, and a wonderful trip again this time.
Canada is our near neighbour but really I know very little about its geography and politics and history. I think my first awareness that there was such a place as Canada came in third grade where the required reading was Paddle to the Sea by Holling C. Holling – Miss Sawyer was our teacher. It was a beautiful book, published in 1941, so my third grade required reading followed not too long after it was published. I can still find this book on Amazon today – I asked for it recently in Magus Books here in Seattle. I was told that they often have it but not at the moment. The illustrations were memorable – moreso maybe than the text. But we read it all year – that wasn’t so satisfactory. I finished it well ahead of the posse and wanted to skip on to something else.
here it is, still with the dust jacket as I remember it. The story is about a little canoe that makes its way through the Great Lakes.
At my Early Music Workshop down in Tacoma at the University of Puget Sound, there were 10 people who had come south from Kelowna B.C. Where was Kelowna? I had never heard of it before. One of the bellmen at the Chateau Victoria where we stayed in Victoria said he was a college student at the University of Northern British Columbia in Prince George. Where was that – I had never heard of it before. I have a high school friend who has lived in Vanderhoof for many years – at last I bought a map of B.C. to get some idea of where these places are. For some years now I have been reading the blog of sockladyspins – I know she lives “up there” somewhere and I really enjoy her tales of seeing bears practically on her doorstep. Then there is “Kristie in BC” – she is in Kamloops North of 49 – the 49 being the 49th parallel, the boundary between the U.S. and Canada. Kamloops, a point on the map when we have flown between Dublin and Seattle.
Then there is one of my Dublin friends whose daughter has a home on Vancouver Island – now I will have to find out more exactly where. And our nephew and his family who live in Victoria and have their cabin on Lake Cowichan. Again a search of my new map – I now have a better idea. Friends in Edmonton, a great niece-in-law who used to live in Campbell River and now lives in Calgary, a brother-in-law and an Online Guild textile friend in Winnipeg, a friend from Berkeley days who grew up in Saskatoon, a visit a few years ago to Toronto where one of our sons and his wife were living, a post-college trip to Montreal. Well, I think I have just scratched the surface and there is so much more to learn and do. I’m just eager to take another trip and go further afield to visit these places in real time and not just on the internet and the map.