The world takes one last breath before winter

Trent Ernst, Editor


It’s autumn again, a time of introspection tinged with sadness as we look back on a summer once ripe with opportunity, killed off by last week’s early frost.

The leaves have already fallen from the trees on main street, the first victims in winter’s eventual victory over summer.

Don’t get me wrong, I love autumn, but it is too brief. Too sharp and short and full of cold mornings, harbingers of things to come, too soon.

After nearly five solid months without wearing pants, I have put aside my shorts for the season. (Much to the publisher’s delight; she seems to think hairy legs are not professional.)

I love summer in Tumbler Ridge, but each year, summer seems to come slower, to go faster, to last less long than the year before. Each year I feel like I accomplish fewer things on the various to-do lists that I have.

There’s the to-do around the house, which keeps getting longer. There’s the list of places I want to hike. While I’ve managed to get out a few times this year, I have gone no place new.

A while back I had a bit of an accident. It was a stupid accident, falling off my bike and landing on my hands. Nothing broken, but nearly a month later, it still hurts when I put pressure on my palms, meaning I haven’t been out for a bike ride since it happened. With the weather starting to set up for winter, I’m not sure that I’ll be back in the saddle again this year. Which is making me morose, so forgive me if this is a bit of a downbeat editorial.

Another sign that winter is just around the corner: we went up to the Community Garden and harvested the majority of what we had planted. That also was a tad disappointing, as the largest carrot was only slightly larger than a baby carrot you can buy in the store. We got a bucketful of carrots, but they’re all tiny. The beets weren’t even worth harvesting, as they were mostly too small to peel.

Fortunately, we weren’t hit very hard by the great carrot caper that’s been happening up at the Community Garden. If you haven’t heard about that one, someone(s) (and fingers are immediately leveled at bored young ’uns in town) has/have gone into the garden, on at least two separate occasions, and randomly pulled up handfuls of plants, mostly carrots.

Rather than eating their ill-gotten (and tasty) gains, they’ve cast the carrots on the ground to rot.

Which, in the grand scheme of things, is not on the same level as, say, Watergate, but is pointless, petty and annoying, especially if it were your carrots that got yanked. The suggestion has been made to install a security cam up there, but this is Tumbler Ridge, not London.

With the weather turning, most people are digging up their own plants and several boxes are already barren, waiting for next year.

That wind? That’s just the world inhaling one last time before it holds its breath for winter.

Tumbler Ridge has survived the latest in a series of day-long power outages. This one was not at -40 (yay!) and did not take everyone unaware. (Double yay!)

I spent the day outside as much as possible, which was a common theme when we asked you how you survived. Jaqui says she spent the day outside by the fire playing beer pong.

Amanda says she taught five kids how to be kids “like we were in our younger years…you know, before iPads and cable TV. They built forts outside, had picnics, climbed apple trees and went on a bush trek.

The other thing people did was go to Grande Prairie to shop. This list included the publisher, who wants to give a shout-out to the restaurant in the George Dawson Inn, where she stopped for lunch.

She didn’t do a head count, but she says that when she got to Grande Prairie, she recognized about half the people in the stores she went into. Walk into Safeway? Oh, look, there’s the person from down the street. Walk into Home Depot? Hey, there’s my next door neighbour!

Fortunately, everyone survived, and hopefully we won’t have to do that again for a while.