A Reading


Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema, 'A Reading from Homer'


Saturday October 12

I wake up and head into the living room. I find Luke just stirring. He's lying, contorted on the small wooden couch. It looks horribly uncomfortable. I ask him how he slept.

“Pretty good actually”, says Luke cheerfully

And THAT…is why Luke will successfully complete his adventure

The three of us have breakfast and then Luke leaves. He's housesitting at our neighbour's home again, you remember, Rea, Wren and Xena the horse (September 10 Post)…yup, they live just up the road.

Wendy and I have a big day planned. For one thing, we have to be out of here by 2pm. This is the other date that Alun and Dana already had a guest booked in for so we're going to move out for the day. We have our camping gear already stored at Renee and Brian's and Dana has given us some plastic tubs which we'll fill and store in her garage.

We're showered and wearing our best duds. We've tidied up, packed the Civic and we're good to go. We are carrying a much reduced load.

One thing that will be coming with us is our garbage. Pickup day was Thursday. That day, we left the house at 8.30am to go the our 1st Aid course…and the garbage was already gone. So now, we're going to drive up to the landfill site to dispose of it. We are looking forward to seeing the landfill, we've heard good things about it.

To get there, we take Hwy 101 into Sechelt, turn right onto Wharf, another right onto Porpoise Bay Road and then one last right onto Dusty Road. Now, the map will tell you that the landfill is 1km up this road…don't listen to them…just keep going, it's a beautiful and interesting drive and you can't miss the site on your right.


We arrive, pull up onto the scale and show the attendant our tiny bag of garbage. He gives us directions over to Bin 1, our drop zone. He tells us to come back here after we're done


They have all waste materials separated and anything remotely useable is arranged so as to be available to those with a need. People come here for clothing, luggage, tires, you name it. If we had time (which we don't) we'd tell you all about how they do their waste out on the coast but we have to pick up the turkey and get it into Richard's fridge (freezer)…I can't remember which. Great idea to do a post on it though…'Waste, West Coast Style' (just planting a seed)

On the way out, I'm distracted by all the birds and I get lost. I see the attendant waving and he guides us back onto his scales. He takes a long look at his readings, looks at us, smiles and says, “I still have to charge you five bucks…it's the minimum”

We tell him that it was worth five bucks just to drive around lost

He says, “You guys were better than some”

The turkey (a beautiful 15lb'er) is at Clayton's. While we're there, I buy a tasty sandwich to gnaw on. It should get me through until we eat dinner around nine. Wendy gets something else…I don't know what it's called…it looks much healthier and far less tasty.

Alright…the bird is in Richard's care. We tell him we'll see him shortly, get back in the Civic and head out to Gibsons. Tonight, Ellen is doing a reading at the Gibson Public Art Gallery (hence the late dinner). We are going early to help her and Don set up. Richard will come later for the activities.


We arrive at the Art Gallery right at six, park the Civic and head inside.

(Penny Spencer)

Wow, Ellen and Don are in traditional Indian attire that was gifted to them. Ellen looks exotic and Don…dashing. After greeting them, Wendy and I are introduced to Rod, a volunteer whose enthusiasm and energy powers the Art Gallery. He sets Wendy and I up to gather chairs from storage and take them out to the main gallery, where Don is setting up the slideshow.

They have some wickedly comfortable chairs here, seven of them in fact. Those will be reserved for the lucky four people who claim the chairs that Wendy, Richard and I aren't sitting in…let's call them VIPs.

We pick out 30 of the very best-of-the-rest chairs they have and bring them out to the main gallery. Rod is busy so we'll set them up.

Done. It looks pretty good. Wendy surveys the finished product and says, “It looks like somebody's Mountsberg training really kicked in” (you set up a lot of chairs when you work at Mountsberg).

People begin arriving and before you know it twenty eight of the chairs are full. If you're wondering who the VIPs are…Ellen got one of the big cozy chairs and I gave the other three to a lady who asked if she and her friends might have them…'Mais Oui Madame, Certainement'

The thrones reserved for Wendy, Richard and myself have, very curiously been positioned at the back of the room…and within reach of the food table (at least to a certain someone with a simian-like arm).

Rod approaches…oh oh, we've been made.

“You guys did a great job on the chairs, you must have had some experience”, says Rod

Wendy laughs

“Thanks Rod”, I reply (let's celebrate with a cookie)

Thank you, don't mind if I do

I get shushed by Wendy…it's starting

Ellen reads selected stories from her book, 'An Indian Sojourn'. The writing is good and the stories she has selected give a good overview of the three months her and Don spent in various locales, their involvement teaching English, Ellen's efforts to empower women and their work with the Tibetan refugees. It's darned good and everyone in the room seems to agree. (let's celebrate with another cookie…they're really tasty)

The next portion of the evening is reserved for those who wish to get one of their books signed, chat with Don and Ellen personally or reminisce about their own travels to India. It also gives everyone a chance to have a tea, eat some fruit or possibly a cookie (for some reason, there aren't many of them left)

In the last segment Don and Ellen give an oral and visual presentation of their experiences and take questions from their guests. Most of the questions relate to Canada's Tibetan Resettlement Project. People on the Sunshine Coast are interested in any recent developments and Don and Ellen fill them in on the latest. If you haven't heard about the project, check it out at the link below…it's a worthwhile endeavour.


Then, the evening is over. You can see from everyone's reaction that the night has been a success. The crowd lingers…chatting with one another…then as they begin to filter out, Wendy and I begin to collect chairs for storage.

This is really cool…everyone who is still here has formed a sort of Bucket Brigade and the chairs are being put away posthaste….and everyone is smiling and enjoying themselves.


After saying our goodbyes to Rod, who is locking up right behind us, we decide that now would be a great time to eat dinner. It's just after nine…what's still open?

Don and Ellen are still in traditional clothes…Ellen is less noticeable as she wears a shawl (is that right?) but Don, who is wearing a pair of bright white, stove pipe pants…is harder to miss. I lean in and remind Don that it's after Labour Day

We end up at a place we know is good…besides, it's the only thing open…'Leo's Tapas and Grill' (September 7 Post). Fantastic! The food is great, the atmosphere authentic and just as before, we close the place.

We're staying with Don and Ellen tonight. In our old room. Before bed, we have a rousing discussion about the nature of life at the Quantum level, the Unified Field (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unified_field_theory), The Planck Scale (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Planck_scale), and watch a bit of 'The Quantum Activist' with Professor Amit Goswami (http://www.amitgoswami.org). All good Left Brain stuff

Boy, that was a really great day. I know we keep saying it but we really do have the best friends. And tomorrow, we're going to sit and give thanks with a whack of them…but that's a story for another day

Goodnight all

Moose and Wendle


Our buddy Kathryn has been busy


Oh…and this showed up on the Dakota Ridge site (where's Waldo?)





One thought on “A Reading

  1. Steve & Wendle: Thanks for the blog mention & the link to the project.

    xo Ellen Ellen Besso *Ellen Besso* MidLife Coach & Author Navigate Your Midlife Maze with Ellen PO Box 1591, Gibsons, BC V0N 1V0 Canada contact: ellen@ellenbesso.com | 604 886 1916 website: http://www.ellenbesso.com *Author of An Indian Sojourn & Surviving Eldercare* See Ellen on Facebook See Ellen on Twitter See Ellen on Linked In

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