When you’re an island dog, your days can be a little different than those of your average canine. Take this past Sunday, for example, when the Dooze and I took the opportunity to join my husband, Howard, on a work-related afternoon jaunt over to neighbouring Saturna Island.
As some of you know, Howard is a realtor with Dockside Realty on Pender. While he spends most of his time selling property here at home, Howard spends the odd weekend afternoon at Dockside’s other office on Saturna.
Our trip started at the home office at Hope Bay, where we cast off in the office’s aluminum boat for the 20 minute ride over to Lyall Harbour.
I’ve had more than 1 tourist ask me that since Howard and I moved to Pender from Vancouver 8 years ago.
Not everyone is built for island living. You have to enjoy the outdoors, resign yourself to ferry delays and appreciate a slower pace of life.
But really, it’s not that tough. This island attracts individuals from all over the world. Most of us are content to while away the winter in front of a wood stove with a good book or a complicated knitting pattern. And rather than clubbing, our social life is comprised of potluck gatherings, movie nights at the community hall and for the brave, karaoke on Saturday nights at the pub.
But once summer hits, we’re mostly an outdoor crowd. We hike up Mt. Norman for a picnic, meet for coffee at the Saturday Market and move our potlucks outside to the beach at sunset. And the tradition that kicks it all off on Solstice is The Cardboard Kayak Race at Port Browning Marina.
I put plans on hold, in fact, I stopped everything just to bring you this gin.
It’s that important — critical, really — rhubarb season is coming to a close all around us, and yet there are still people out there who haven’t infused booze with it.
I was the same until a few days ago, when a friend opened my eyes to the light that is Rhubarb Gin. And now I’m obliged to pass the torch, because this summertime libation is just too good not to share.
Pretty much everything else in the gardens on Pender is struggling to keep up. Penderites often tout our rock as Canada’s Mediterranean — our position in the rain shadow between Vancouver Island and the mainland means that we see less rainfall than the rest of the Pacific Northwest. We’re generally a couple of degrees warmer too.
At least that`s what we claim — and most years it’s true. But while Howard and I were off gallivanting around the UK, enjoying cloudless blue skies and unseasonably warm temperatures, we’re told that Pender’s rain shadow lost the plot completely. It rained almost everyday we were gone, and it’s just as cold here now as when we left for our trip in mid-April.
And so, along with the seeds everyone planted in March/April (as per usual), the humans of Pender are in a state of shock, wearing rain gear as a second skin and contemplating our woodpiles. Do we really need a fire tonight? It’s the end of May…enough already!