Rhymes, Rants & Accolades from North Central BC


I took a run over to the North Shore where our old cabin stands, skeleton-ized but still in a jaggedy upright position. Not so the outhouse- so tippy you’d have to stand on your head to pee! Lots of memories. The petals & glorious scent of the Braithwaite Rose that Ivan Ray once gave me twigged my senses. The plant has multiplied wildly. It’s bright pink plumage peered out from the tall strands of uncut grass on what used to be our lawn. The grassy cavern nearby was the hole that Bruce dug for our septic tank when he was about thirteen. What really gets me is the row of pines, all healed up from the scourge of the mountain beetle, which did attack them during those epidemic years. They are now completely green and tower high enough to obscure the neighbor’s view. I think they could be marketable timber. Leon planted them the year Fern turned two.
Reminds me of the spruce trees my dad planted the summer I was twenty-one. My brother has put cables on them to keep them from falling on the house. Who needs clocks and calendars? Just plant flowers and trees!

I have been re-reading some of my favourite non-fiction books this past while. I love the stories told by those who were there, who personally experienced the happenings. The ones that others in later years gloss over, too often re-telling those same tales, tainted by their own predudices, experiences and misinformation.

Local history books are great and i am especially proud of our own “Deeper Roots and Greener Valleys” Right now I am emersed in Chapter 9 “Stories From The Past.” Those particular stories were collected and compiled by Dianne Lewis and Gina Baker in June 1978 and included in the book published by our historical society in 1986.

George Seymour’s contribution which begins on page 303, is interesting and enlightening. He worked at the Lejac Residential School Farm and described how the children were put to work digging potatoes etc. Well told stories told by an intelligent and hard working man who lived a hard life back in the day.

Early Morning Blurbs

Well, my arm still hurts a bit but feels better than it did last night. I have none of the other possible side effects mentioned by the nurses who arrived at Silver Birch Lodge yesterday morning to provide us “oldies” with our second shot of the coronavirus 19 vaccine.

We are good to go. But now I’ve learned that there’s been a few cases of people not being totally immunized by even the second shot? Covid 19 is a nasty bug. Possibly those same people would have died if they had not received those two shots of the preventative.

It was on the News yesterday that our province is almost up to the stage where the population has reached herd immunity. That apparently means our collective immune systems have the arnament – so to speak – to ward off future invasions by the virus.

Now that I’ve the age of maturity healthwise and have nowhere to go except downhill, I have become very aware of almost daily attacks on my immune system. Some days I can almost visualize the battle lines being drawn up. So far the enemy has been blocked and beaten by my heroic soldiers. The big thing is to know the enemy and it’s weaknesses.

And in some unhappy cases there happens to be what is known in military terms as “Friendly Fire.” That would relate to diseases where our immune systems attack themselves. There seems to be more and more of these quite debilitating diseases developing in unsuspecting people lately. All that can be done medically is to treat the symptons. We need to eat healthier, exercise more and sleep longer. We need to build up the strength and intelligence in our immune systems.

Another thing that affects us (me anyway) is the weather. My parents used to talk about aches and pains when the barometric pressure and weather changed. I remember snorting derisively to myself. But I am finding that it’s true. It’s not the sunshine, rain, snow or forty below that makes the bones ache. It’s the abrupt changes in climate. Lately there has been weather changes reminescent of all four seasons almost every day. The only thing constant is the wind.




How do I love thee, O small town edged against the northern wilderness and bisected by grey pavement that stretches east and westward like well-chewed gum? Let me count thy ways:

THE LAKE: Its azure and indigo waters sparkle and splash whenever the wind blows. Silhouette shapes of ducks, geese and swans bob back and forth on the waves. Quiet surfaces reflect lush green leaves in summer, laced with crimson and gold in the fall. And in winter a solid mass of white with occasional dark flecks of children and dogs.

THE MOUNTAIN: Its protuberance along the highway indicates home to its travellers. The pine covered bulge behind the ball-field looms skyward like a prickly pillow. The town rests below with neatly folded sheets, blankets and towels for buildings.

The sprawling structure in the mountain’s shadow houses sheets of ice for curling and a larger rectangle for hockey and skating. The building hums with activity from October ‘til April. It then rests sedately, except for summer weddings when whole families dance the daylight hours away until the sun sets at 10 o’clock and the children are ready for bed.

THE PAST: In my mind’s eye I visualize First Nations people skimming across the water in spruce bark canoes or following the shoreline in cumbersome cottonwood dugouts laden with freshly netted salmon. Sometimes they are accompanied by white fur traders such as Simon Fraser, after whom the lake and the town were later named. At the turn of the twentieth century, large clinker built boats straggle in, filled to capacity with survey crews and supplies. These are followed by the first few hardy pioneers who have ridden in through the bush on the backs of horses.

Once when the Nechako River was high, a steam-powered sternwheeler from Fort George laden with trade goods made its way up the steep tributary to the lake, to triumphantly churn up the length and breadth of its waters. After the railroad came through, settlement grew upon the hillside, above what is now White Swan Park. For more than half a century, a sawmill cluttered the waterfront with booms of logs and stacks of lumber. In 1965 Fraser Lake became the chosen town-site for the Endako molybdenum mine. People swarmed in from all parts of the world to work. They helped construct a brand new community alongside the freshly-paved highway.

As I embark upon

The closing segment

Of life here on Earth

(Seventy-two years since birth)

My long awaited journey to

The birthplace of my Faith



My concience reproaches

Husband’s recovered

From health issues

But if I really loved him

I’d stay home.

Although there’s money in the bank

And gas in the tank

Of our thirty-thousand dollar car

Money don’t go far…..


You can’t take it with you

And why would you want to?

Got a roof o’er our heads

We’re fairly well fed

Reasonably healthy


If we were wealthy

We’d have to pay that darn tax!

Might as well use up some slack


Off we go, my daughter and I

To Israel before I die.

Thirty-Nine Years Ago

At 2 pm on April 8th, 1982,
Thirty-nine years ago
I snuffed out
My love
The one whom I had created
I now cremated
Never to be found again

At her graveside
I paid homage to
Her gentle curves,
Her enticing scent
Which I’d thought
Was well worth
The money I’d spent
I’d swaddled and
Cradled her
Every waking moment
Since I was sixteen
A vulnerable teen

Now my health was
And it was infuriating.
The one I had craved
Was in her grave
Along with all the other
Cigarette butts.

Fish For Breakfast

Every once in awhile
I’ll have fish for breakfast
and eggs for supper.
I’ll give into an urge
to buck the system;
the everyday rituals
imposed by the past.
I’ll set out my cutlery
with forks on the right
and knives on the left.
I’ll make square pizzas
and round meatloafs.
I’ll have tea in the morning
and coffee at night.
And sometimes;
once in a very long time,
I’ll have a fried bologna


The trees are alive with tiny bodies
Bobbing, flickering, fluttering
Pecking at dead leaves
Still hanging in there
Dozens more peck frantically
Amongst the mounds
Of last year’s crop
Rotting on the ground

There’s a woodpecker
Lured by a free meal.
Suet encased in wire
Hanging in the tree
He too breakfasts

Why the hurry?
It’s snowing.
They wanna get home
Before lunch.

Photograph Albums

Old woman sits on
Her breakfast stool
She’s outlived
Two husbands
Who gifted her
With children.
Beautiful children.
She has photographs
Of grandchildren
And great-grandchildren
Encased in albums.

So many albums.
Memories of
Love, friendship,
Fun in the sun,
Fun in winter
Animal encounters
Life has been

Now she has fallen
In love again
Life is wonderful.
Soon there will be

More photographs

In a brand new

Photograph album

My Feet

My feet move
All on their own
No brain to guide them
Just me alongside them
Left foot, right foot
Faster now,
There they go
Where to, I don’t know.
Like automatons, robots,
In sync, no stumbling
As they do
When I am in control.
I press the red button
My feet stop.
Reluctantly they
Follow the rest of me
Off the treadmill.

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