We hit plus seven today!!!!! It was sunny earlier, but the fog is rolling back in. No matter, I feel revitalized!
We’re heading into a subzero week, but nothing worrisome so far, with nothing lower than minus five overnight, which is what we’ve been hitting most nights. To put that into perspective, the only heat I’ve had on for several days now is the one electric heater. I set the furnace thermostat to 15 at night and 20 during the day and it doesn’t kick on. Feels nice!
Two years ago at this time, we were just starting the bitter stretch that contributed to my decision to flee Oliver, not just the RV park I was working at. So far, this winter has been fine, even with that horrible stretch in November. We’ve had some snow, but it always melts. I’m not happy with the fog and bleakness, but I can deal.
Add together the reasonably satisfactory weather, an RV park I really enjoy, and a post office staffed by cheery clerks and I’m so far not regretting my return to the Okanagan. I feel so far away from the bleak nastiness of Oliver that I could be three hours away instead of just thirty minutes away.
I was going to start on the loft tomorrow after running out today to get the final missing bits. I’ve been waffling on the flooring in there, wanting to put in vinyl tiles, but thought I was being silly. Lying in bed last night I realised that I need to use vinyl for the loft flooring! The current flooring is porous fiberboard. Even though there is no longer any leaking there, there is enough condensation to get into the flooring and cause mildew. The ideal thing would be to complete spray down the existing floor with a mildew-fighting agent, apply peel ‘n stick tiles, and then caulk all the edges to make them water tight. Great, I have a plan, let’s get going!
The Home Hardware in Oliver is closing, so I went up there to see what they might have for the final touches of the reno projects. I got a few things at ridiculously low prices (like a large tube of No More Nails for $6), but they didn’t have any flooring materials left. No problem, I’d just hit the Home Hardware in Osoyoos on the way home. I struck out there, too!
Home Depot has what I want, but it’s available in store only. I’d feel rather silly going down to Omak for a $15 box of peel ‘n stick tiles, but that Home Depot is much closer than the one in Kelowna! So, next question: are there any flooring people in Penticton? In some ways, I feel as isolated in Osoyoos as I did in Dawson.
It wasn’t until I passed Oliver town limits this morning that I realised just how much I loathe that town and had no desire to come back to this part of Canada.
I know that ‘loathe’ is a loaded and serious word, but I do not use it lightly. Other than the friendships I made, nothing good came out of that place and I am a worse person for having been there. Since then, I have found myself to be wary of people in a way that is completely unjustifiable. I have been treated so well by so many since I hit the road, but the experience in Oliver poisoned my mind. I can barely recognize who I was while I was there and I know I am not the same person who pulled into that town just a little over two years ago.
In some respects, the changes are good. I’m more self-assertive and take much better care of myself, but in others the changes are devastating. I’m so wary of people’s intentions now and so much less willing to work hard and pitch in without a clear job definition and remuneration agreement.
It’s been two years and I’m still ‘not over it.’ Perhaps this winter in Osoyoos will help me pass through whatever mental obstacles I need to pass through. This RV park will probably be a refuge: it is beautiful and a good distance from the southern part of Osoyoos so I do not feel like I am even remotely in familiar surroundings. I don’t want to say too much lest I spoil surprises for Donna, so I’ll share pictures when she gets here. 🙂
The game plan now is to take the weekend off, tidy up the rig, and then start looking for income on Monday. I have a head start on that this time around in that I know that going to the wineries and handing out resumes on foot is a waste of time. Instead, I’ll head straight for the employment office and see what’s available. I’d really rather find contracts than a job so that I can have better control over my time this fall, especially since I’m flying to Montreal for a week on November 4th and I also have a lot of stuff to put together for that thing that’s coming up that I still can’t talk about.
I’m hopeful that coming back here was not a terrible mistake and will instead help me to close one of the darker chapters of my life. Knowing that I will literally be surrounded by friends soon enough makes all the difference.
That, and a pool. 😀
After much option considering, I have decided to spend the fall and possibly part of the winter back in the Okanagan, in Osoyoos and I’m optimistic that this fall will be different. One of the motivating factors for going was that I will be joining my friend Donna. I miss you! Osoyoos is definitely more appealing than was Oliver, being a slightly bigger community with better stores and restaurants.
I have a firm booking starting October 1st, so I am thinking of heading out of Dawson early this year so as to be able to take a partially new route. I’ll be in better shape financially than I was last fall, I’m better at mountain driving, and I’ve worked my tail off this summer. So, I’d like to take two weeks to get back south and see new things.
The cold season is going to shape itself as it goes along because of something I’m not ready to divulge yet, so I don’t know yet if I’ll be looking for work in Osoyoos. I’ll focus on getting there then regroup.
It feels like I only arrived in Dawson yesterday and now I’m already making plans to leave. Where did the summer go? It’s August tomorrow!!!
When I hit the road and headed off into the wonderful world of temporary work, I made a promise to myself that work would be just that, nothing personal, just a way to get to the next place.
My first stop, Oliver, tested this promise. I passed and still failed miserably. I didn’t realise then that I would be facing two challenges as a temporary worker. The first is the temptation to change things that aren’t working, even though I’m just passing through. The second is that I might meet bullies who would want to take advantage of my work ethic.
The nursery job in Oliver sucked, but it was clearly a case of it sucking for everyone. I could deal with it, there was nothing personal. What was going on at the RV park was personal, however, and I handled it very badly. I know that much of my bitterness about what happened there has to do with my decision to just take whatever that manager and colleague dished out and not give them a piece of my mind. I let them attack my integrity without putting my foot down and telling them ‘What you’re saying and doing is wrong and I won’t stand for it.’ I left without any resolution.
Something similar was happening with a colleague this winter. The job has otherwise been fine and I made a friend for life out of one colleague! That said, the one problem colleague made me I snap this week and I did what I should have done in Oliver. I told a bully that what he was saying and doing was not okay even if I’m moving on shortly. This prompted another colleague to stand up to him. I broke my first promise, to not try to change ‘corporate culture’, but it was worth it to regain that little piece of my soul I left behind in Oliver and to know that things will be better at the gas station from now on.
Sometimes it takes a stranger breezing through town, as an objective outsider, to see things that complacency and habit have blinded you to, even if they are very, very wrong. My business in Campbell River is done! 😀