Canadian Ways

Out in the yard, Luke has his old car on jacks, hood open, two of the tires removed.  The kids took off the exhaust as they needed it to repair Nicky’s old Civic.  Beside that wreck there’s a huge pile of pine needles from the yard, topped with my former gate.

It was weird as I was looking out the kitchen window at the dump truck sized pile of pine needles, and I was thinking about how nice it’d be to have them hauled away.  Then I thought to myself, what the heck is that white structure right on the top?  I had to leave the house and walk over as I was so intrigued by the gleaming whiteness and symmetry of the object.

I soon realized it was the gate from the top of the stairs leading to the landing at my front door!  I wondered why in the name of God in Heaven my children would’ve removed that without asking me.  However I had to admit to myself I’ve always hated that gate and never understood its purpose.

I asked the kids, and they explained the wood in the gate was rotten and it no longer closed.  I said fine, but can you please get rid of the pine needles, random garbage and the car on jacks for me?  I’m hoping this’ll be done within the next few weeks, as we have even more German relatives due April 29th.

Currently a really nice couple, aged 24 named Nicola and Sebastian, are here until the end of June.  They’re going to volunteer at the Red Cross for a couple of hours a day to improve their English.  I helped them find a cute furnished basement suite in the Mission, and they’re happy touring around the Okanagan.

Sadly, they have to use Nicky’s 1992 Civic.  The exhaust fell off in what I consider to be a very lucky place.  They were visiting mom in Osoyoos, and had been sight-seeing all the way there, taking a nice detour to Naramata and back.  Then just past mom’s the incident occured, and they were able to reach her and let her know they were stuck.

Mom called her neighbour, Gerry, a self-sufficient farmer, who drove right up, wired and duct-taped the exhaust back on, and sent them on their merry way.  It was an excellent opportunity for the German kids to see Canadian ingenuity in action.

They’ve learned how to bump-start a vehicle, too, which I said to mom will be another invaluable skill someday.  The first time it occurred they phoned and said the car was stalled on a busy street.  Nicky got on the phone and calmly said for them to push to car, jump in and make sure it’s in second gear, then let the clutch out abruptly.

We held our breath, and I said those kids’ll be phoning any minute asking you to go and help them.  But we waited, and then they phoned and said they had started the car on their own!

After this incident they felt completely happy to drive the car to Big White, which I thought was exceedingly brave on their part.  Yesterday they took my suggested route to Vernon and around Westside Road back to Kelowna.  Maybe we’ll make Canadians out of them yet.

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