Sunday I spent lots of good time with the Chamness family near Barriere, BC. Luana and Larry hold hands. Hey, maybe that’s all you need to know about them! Luana is a poet and homemaker and Larry is very mechanical. He’s an expert on installing septic tanks and is working on his own design for a 70-foot floating irrigation pump. Farmers have trouble with pumps that aren’t on the water and Larry’s prototype could make a big difference for them. Waydago, Larry! It wasn’t important that I didn’t understand a lot of what he was talking about. I got him – the human being.
Brady is Luana and Larry’s 16-year-old son. Like any kid, school is not a bed of roses. He talked though about an English teacher that he really liked. She listened to him and was always ready to help when he had a question. Yay for teachers.
Ron is the older son, 30 or so. He’s a whiz with engines and is a good big brother to Brady. Like the whole clan, Ron is willing to get his hands dirty, diving into his mechanical problem-solving with gusto.
Tashina is Brady’s girlfriend. She loves having fun with him on their longboards (really big skateboards, for the uninitiated). They seem very happy together. I gave a few of Jody’s books away to the family and I was thrilled that Tashina dove into it right away.
Jackie is the 19-year-old daughter. She too has Brady’s back and helps her mom and dad a lot. Jackie is off to Chilliwack, BC in January for nursing studies. She’ll be a good one.
These folks are so close, forged in part by some experiences they’ve had on the land. Once Brady, Tashina and Ron were hiking and she slipped down a slope, grabbing on to a tree to break her fall. Ron scrambled down and somehow pulled Tashina up to safety. It must have taken incredible strength. Can you imagine the bond created between them? Wonderful.
Another time, Luana was determined to reach a waterfall high up on their property. She has some balance issues but kept going, on her own. Brady noticed that mom had been gone a long time and went looking for her. There was a very happy ending, which included falling water.
While I was there, Brady, Tashina and Ron headed off on a trip to the BC coast
Wait a minute … interlude time. I’m sitting in the lobby of the Delta Town and Country Inn in Delta, BC, tapping away, and a mite bit concerned that I’m writing about events which happened two days ago. How am I going to ketchup? When what to my wondering ears should appear but a group of folks singing “O Canada” in a meeting room. So cool. I’ve decided to take on as a personal project to have every Canadian sing their anthem. I think I’ll start with maternity wards and branch out from there.
Okay, where was I? Oh yeah.
… for some kayaking. As they piled into Herbie, their Volkswagen bug, Brady made sure he said “Love you” before his mom could get the words out. And a few minutes later, he said the same to Jackie. It’s truly what makes the world go round.
On Sunday evening, Luana wanted to show me the path that led up through their property, so we went. She pointed out berry bushes, now past their prime, and the creek was roaring downhill beside us. Plus all those tall cedar trees. Wow. I got a photo of Luana and Larry holding hands as they climbed.
Yesterday morning, I hugged Luana, Larry and Jackie before I left for Vancouver. We all waved. And they were still looking at me in the rearview mirror as I drove down their dirt road towards the highway. Then I cried. It’s hard to say goodbye to natural people.