The Usual Summer Drives Up and Down Highway 97

Because mom lives in Osoyoos, it seems I make the trip up and down the Valley very frequently. Renate (aka Sam) was here from Hawaii, so she and I went to visit with a few of the old Osoyoos Elementary Junior Secondary School crowd.

First of all we stopped at Ken Kalyn’s house, and we haven’t seen him in 42 years, so that was fun. He made us a delicious hamburger soup for lunch. After that Sam and I had a brief visit with mom, and then we were off to meet Maryjoy and Phyllis and to go somewhere for dinner.

After a bit of driving around, we ate at a Mediterranean-style restaurant called Ella’s. Sam and I shared a main course of calamari, which was very good as was the pita and tsasiki.

Cars were parked along the sides of Highway 97 on our way down as the forest fires were all going strong above some of the wineries south of Oliver, and people were standing and staring at them. On the way home the next day it’d thankfully calmed down a bit, though we still saw puffs of smoke here and there.

I was in Osoyoos last weekend to clown around with Freddie and Twig. Mom had a dinner party on Saturday night, and Luke, Jan, and Nicky, among others, were there. Also Louie, the car sick dog; poor him, he’s had to travel quite a bit these days.

The smoke was even worse this past visit due to the Stick Pin fire which is raging in the northern part of Washington state. Ash rained down on my car and left a thin film. It’s really smoky here in Kelowna, but in Osoyoos it was almost dark it was so thick. I felt as though I was sitting at a roaring camp fire.

I’m sure the strange nuclear winter-like skies must upset my bees, so I’ve continued to put jars of sugar syrup on the hive for them. As you know, a beekeeper is supposed to inspect their hives every couple of weeks, but I can’t make myself do it. It’s not so much fear of the bees, as fear for the bees, because whenever frames or the lid are moved, bees get killed in the process.

My dahlias are wonderful, and don’t seem to mind the lack of full sun, which is lucky. There’s no wind whatsoever, so I think we’re going to be stuck under these grey, smoky skies for quite a while. What a bummer, when there’s lovely sun overhead but we can’t see it.

This weekend my friend Beverly’s coming from White Rock, and we plan to shop at each and every thrift store in this town. We’re both veterans at it, and I think I told you a year or two ago Bev got a Coach bag at the Sally Ann for $20. Now that’s more like it, when the usual price tag is around $200.

Then the following weekend, which is Labour Day, it’s time to get into the car and head south on Highway 97 again. The car practically drives itself at this point. If you’re on that highway, and going less than 10 km over the speed limit, and there’s a green 1998 Honda Civic a few inches from your bumper, guess who??