Sunday, July 4, 2021

Ofam in Tofino - Day 4

 I'm writing this on Sunday, July 4, exactly one week after Day 4 of our vacation. 

We've since driven home (during the hottest day in the history of time) (listening to rap music) (I deserve an award) hosted a two night sleepover (Drew and Dani and their two cats moved into my TV room on Monday night), worked a couple days, recognized Canada Day by myself, with no celebrations, (because inevitably someone would be offended) (and I had zero energy to plan something, regardless) cleaned the lake house, did a 24 hour read-a-thon with a friend (finished 3 books), connected with/prayed for a couple friends who's husbands had major surgery this week, listened to church online, for probably the last time, and spent today reading on my lawnchair in the lake (until two families with three dogs decided to share my shore space and have their dogs fetch balls beside me.) ... so what I'm saying, is that alot of living has happened between last Sunday and today. And even though its only been a week, it feels like forever. 


June 27. 


Clint was up early (5:30 a.m.-ish) and out of our rental before 6, in order to get to Port Alberni, meet his team, unload his equipment and get on the shuttle boat by 9 am. He would be filming on a commercial salmon fishing vessel for most of the day. (Temperatures in Tofino remained in the mid-20's. In Port Alberni, they were like the rest of the province: 41 degrees.) He drove back 'round 8 pm with sunburnt eyeballs. (Full sun, on the water, with all the reflections, while filming with no eye protection. Being a video producer isn't always all that sexy). 

I got up around 11 and made cheese biscuits for those of us still fully in vacation mode. 

(Yes, I premeasured all the ingredients and brought them in a ziplock bag. I love my family THAT much.) And, to be honest, I love cheese biscuits, warm from the oven with a dab of butter, so I kinda baked them for myself, too. 

The kids played board games while I cleaned up the kitchen, then I went to the beach. Eventually they all joined me, and we spent the afternoon reading, tanning, walking ... The most laid back of vacations. Don't tell us we missed out on something if only we'd hiked, or biked, or explored or drove around. All of us were in complete agreement to DO NOTHING but relax. And we are EXPERTS at relaxing. I love that about us. There are so many things we do not agree on, but we seem to do this well. Vacations and vaccinations. Those are our sweet spots. 

(Actually, I was a little worrried about our weekend together, and the possibility that they'd all be bored. After all, it's been a decade since we'd travelled together, and they may have expectations... But after I'd posted a list of fun options of things to DO in Tofino, it was universal. "No thanks. Can't we just sit on the beach?")

Late afternoon snack was hotdogs and sundaes from Chocolate Tofino; supper was halibut and chips in the backyard and then we just went back to the beach because. Because that's what you do. The air was fresh, clean, cool. The view was calming, beautiful, majestic. I don't know what was on my kids' minds as we just sat and stared, but my mind and heart were saying, "Thank you. Thank you for THIS. This place, these people, this time, these feelings. Thank you for my family, this blessed life I get to live. Thank you that I didn't die from breast cancer. Thank you that it worked out for all of us to spend some time together. Thank you for protecting us through Covid. Thank you for smart people and doctors and that I get to live in a country where medicine is available. Thank you for sand. And waves. And the ocean. And sand dollars and jelly fish and sons and daughter-in-law(s) and parents and siblings and cousins and friends and co-workers. Thank you. Thank you for loving me. For loving my kids. Thank you for the job opportunities they have. Thank you that their housing needs are met. Thank you for having a plan, a good plan, for each of them. Thank you for holding them close, keeping an eye on them when they wander. Thank you for sunsets. Moon rises. Stars. Shooting stars. Thank you for summmmmmmer."

I spent alot of time, praying/chatting with the Almighty while I sat on that shore. I just felt so very loved. Like He was saying, "I'm glad you finally got here. Pretty cool, eh? I knew you'd like it. Look over here - and there - and wait til tonight..." It all felt so personal. So perfect. Like this is exactly what He'd been planning when we made the reservations last February. It was a birthday gift from Him to me, because He knows me so well. 

But there's that other thing. That thing that makes my heart so sad. 

On the day before my birthday, 215 unmarked graves were discovered on the grounds of the Kamloops Residential School. And since then, hundreds more have been uncovered at other Residential Schools across Canada. 

And I just ache. 

I decided to donate $215 towards Residential School survivors and paint 215 rocks with orange paint in their design, to raise awareness. My goal is to have them painted and left on random trails and paths and parks and green spaces by Sept 30 (National Day for Truth and Reconciliation).  And even though I don't know who those 215 are, God does. So as I place a rock, I pray for the grieving family of that missing child. May God comfort them and fill them with peace. 

So while I was sitting on that beach, feeling so very loved, I prayed for those families that were suffering and sad and in pain. Vancouver Island, more so than, say Surrey or Langley, was filled with signs and towns and communities with Indigenous names. 

I left a couple of those rocks on my short walk between our rental and our beach, and near any stores we shopped at:

The next morning (Monday, June 28) Clint got up at 5:30 am, again, to get to Duncan to do another couple video shoots. 

Max, Drew, Danica and I left at 10 am. We were three hours early for our ferry (and ten minutes late for the one before), so we hung out in the mall in Nanaimo. We were home by 7. And within an hour, Max was back at my mom's to pick up his air conditioner (he lives in Vancouver now) and Drew and Dani were back with suitcases, litter pans, and cat food. Their place in Abby was 42 degrees inside. 


And with that? We were done. 
A good practice run before (maybe? Hopefully? God-willing?) we go to Europe next Spring. 
Fingers crossed. 

Three things I'm thankful for:

1. Photographs and memories.
2. Laughter. I said and did some stupid things which, thank goodness, ended up being more funny than annoying, adding much levity to our dinners out. 
3. So grateful for my mom's generous birthday cheque, making the whole trip possible. 

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