What began as an innocent dip of my toes into what my dad likes to call the “boat life”, became a complete lifestyle transformation. I lived in rolled up jeans and bare feet, showering became a choice that I didn’t make as often, and crafts in the morning sun with my father were the main point of each day. I was living in paradise.
The day my fiancé left, I dove right into busying myself and, lucky for me, the huckleberries were big, juicy, and ready for the picking! If you’ve never had a huckleberry before, just let me tell you flat out that they are the yummiest, most delicious berry there is (at least out of the berries you can pick or buy in Northern and Western Canada). Anyways, I picked and ate a lot of them after Riley left. The raspberries (which are at a tie with huckleberries for being my favourite berry) were also ready right after so I picked a ton of those as well!
In the afternoons, we would usually either work on building onto the cabin on the big boat, go swimming, or just keep doing crafts. The sun seemed to shine every day which was nice until all the fires started…
One of the first and best things that my dad and I did together was go out canoeing for an afternoon. It had been quite some time since I had been out and it felt so good to work those muscles again. It was also super hot out that day so we would paddle to lots of different swimming spots. The water was beautiful and I was really satisfied with that day. It was perfect.
So here I am, living out of a tow-along trailer with a leaky roof, too low to stand up in and spending my days in a land based boat. At first, I remember wondering why I wanted to sleep in that little trailer but after a couple nights, I was hooked. I was hooked on what my dad jokingly calls “the boat life” and I quickly became a “boat person”. This was more than living like weirdos up on the hill, this was therapeutic and an experience that brought a lot of self reflection into my life.
I began waking up extra early right away. Between 6-7am was pretty normal for me to be getting up. Once awake, dad and I would go sit in the morning sun for a few hours with our tea and our crafty stuff. This was my favourite part of each day and I always looked forward to it. Somewhere in there, we would fit in some sort of interesting breakfast. Being quite creative, there was a lot of one-pot-cooking and well as weird food combinations. We really enjoyed fitting toast into our meals in some way or another which made our food pretty fun.
Being apart from my finacé was hard but I am really glad that I got to spend some one on one time with my dad. It’s crazy to think about but this was the most time I have ever spent with my father. I never lived with him growing up so I would just see him on Saturdays when he wasn’t out in the bush looking for gold, hunting, and being a mountain man.
Lots of exciting stuff happened during this time, creatively as well as socially. Since I was out wandering around more and going to the beach lots, I began to meet some people in the area. It was so nice to finally know some awesome people other than family (you know who you all are) and slowly try to wean myself off of the hermit lifestyle that began to quickly take hold. I will admit that I probably didn’t get out as much as I could/should have (socially because let’s face it, I was ALWAYS outside haha) but that’s okay.
I wasn’t only spending time with people either. This special little guy came hopping into my life one afternoon while dad and I were working on the boat. I still am not sure where he came from but he must have fallen from a nest not too far away. We tried looking but we could not figure out where that nest was so we took him into our care. He was by far the sweetest little guy and it was so easy to fall in love. I named him Louis. He had the cutest little grumpy old man face and he was really cuddly.
Unfortunately, I only got to spend one day with him. It turned out that he had a puncture in his neck and died the following morning. It was really devastating for me but I’m really glad that we got to meet.
I also got to spend a lot of time with Poochie. Dad and I got him back in 2001 and he is the best dog in the world… at least according to me anyways 🙂 He’s getting old and it was nice to be able to snuggle up with him at night (something I hadn’t done since I was a little girl) and go out and do so many different, fun things with him. I am very thankful for that amount of quality time we got to spend together.
Working on the boat was a really nice time. I am by no means a professional at all but I learned a lot while I was there and got a good sense of how much I am really capable of. There’s nothing that compares to that. Once we progressed on the boat enough, I was able to move out of the trailer and into Dad’s smaller boat that he used to stay in before he moved into the bigger one (that we were working on). It was amazing to be able to stand up straight when getting in/out of bed. Living with dad made me appreciate so many more of the little things in life. In the end, those little things aren’t actually so little at all.
When we weren’t doing crafts, picking berries, or working on the boat, we would either be at the lake or visiting with some family usually. The weather stayed so hot that it was unbearable some days, and we just had to get to the water. Even writing this now, I can admit that I still didn’t get my fill of the lake even though I was there most days. I can also admit that I still never got my fill of everything that comes with living there either. Most places lose their magic after five months time but I can confidently say that this place is just as magical (if not more) as before.
One day we (my dad, my uncle, and I) ended up going to my Grandpa’s place and hiking up in the bush behind there. That was a really nice day. I continuously fell behind as I couldn’t help but take a bunch of pictures. It was so beautiful!!
We went to my Grandpa’s a few times to visit and I am really glad that we did. I didn’t grow up around my family so there is a lot that we all missed out on. It was so good to connect with them all again. Especially the ones I see less often. However, I didn’t spend tons of time with them all since I was ultimately there to be with my dad but I am very thankful that I at least got to see them and spend some time.
By this point now, I had purchased a greyhound ticket to go all the way up to the Yukon to pick up some of my things. The big trip was only (at most) a couple weeks away! When I left last winter (my big move), I had to leave a lot of it in storage so I was getting excited and nervous for the journey… To be continued….