December 2022 – a note from Lannie & Ralph

Dear Friends,

Here is another update from the homestead home-front, life behind the scenes at CME!

We are well, busy, happy, challenged, and glad to be island dwellers on this beautiful wild coast. As the years roll forward, our patterns (and energies) have shifted and there’s even some slower time. This year we’ve watched another baby turn one, and his brother turn three; we’re again blessed with precious little ones! Highlights included grandson Koda’s energetic imagination and his awed delight with everything – running around naked, the wonders of water, and Grandpa’s new tractor. He was an enthusiastic co-creator of the fairy house that evolved in a stump behind Grandma’s lodge kitchen. All while the smiling Shiloh simply observed his own wondrous world with equanimity – so easy to please until the day he decided it was time to go exploring and life got way more exciting for everyone… Now their devoted parents are always on the run!

Of course, it’s awesome that Albert and Kate are also now directing most of the Coast Mountain trajectory, and here on-island for the active season. Kayaking trips seem to be more popular than ever and summer months are still a hubbub of CME guests and guides and all that fun. Ralph started offering a last-morning “coastal forest ecology” walk and talk, complement to his now-classic kayak trip welcome that introduces guests to the area’s geology and First Nations history. We’re glad to share these nuggets of our experience.

In the hands-on department, Ralph is still always improving “systems” and fixing what’s fixable. He’s had lots of fun with an old sawmill and a new tractor — and now abundant lumber from the many climate-stressed and dying trees and the odd ocean-salvaged log. He stays busy with visioning better things, including active planning for protecting local forests. Lannie remains the details person. Her garden is still an abundance of flowers and weeds and food, and mental refuge. She’s still a fixture in the lodge kitchen, the steady producer of healthy deliciousness that nourishes our wellbeing. Her other priority efforts are aimed at protecting biodiversity, while the oft-requested CME cookbook is again not very far forward. We both enjoy community activities, especially exploring and trail-building with the school kids. And, of course, friends and family sustain and nurture us and since we rarely travel, we are grateful for those of you who come our way!

We’re also beyond-delighted that our daughter Emily has made Quadra Island home while continuing her work for Environmental Youth Alliance. It’s so great being able to visit often, and her helping hands (and youthful pup) are very welcome at the Read Island homestead. Our dear Cedar dog also provides unconditional love, and endless enthusiasm for exploring with his less-bouncy humans.

We take many deep breaths, sometimes because we are awestruck at the wonders of life, and sometimes because what’s happening in the world is incomprehensible. Living oceanside at the edge of a forest is a front row seat in the drama of climate change; its here and now. Our 2022 was not traumatic, but it was memorable for the long record-wet “Spring” that challenged growing things and outdoor projects. That was followed by a (thankfully) picture-perfect long summer, except that it went on and on, and on, becoming an unprecedented 100-day drought with late-season wildfire threats and returning Salmon stranded at dry creeks. That made for hungry bears – with a relatively minor trickle-down for us being loss of a few chickens and a fortification project at the hen house. Then it rained, finally, but only a tiny bit before real cold set in, and December has been very snowy. Lucky for us, firewood is plentiful and the cellar is full.

So… with another year of life experience and the fortune of good health, we’re still doing what we do.

The carousel of time and how it flies (!!) resonate as theme for 2022, and as the years turn into decades there are new challenges, but overall, we are deeply grateful for the routines of our daily lives and opportunity to watch the seasons going round and round, for the beauty of the earth, the simple comfort of community, and for friends near and far… Be Well!