We had our first skiff of snow last night. The grandchildren are excited for more in the forecast, as am I. We'll see. Very often these weather warnings are greatly exaggerated. It is dark and chilly out there, with a wind that nips at ears and nose, although nothing like the effects in the middle of the continent.
We had our local families over for lunch after church to celebrate a little boy turning 5 soon. The girls made tissue paper parachutes and jumped off of things so the parachutes would puff up. Very creative.
After they left I sat by the fire doing some hand stitching on my quilt and my mind cast back to last summer's boating adventures. And so I thought I'd tell you of one of the most interesting people we met on our travels in the rather remote Broughton Island Archipelago.
|Tim and Bill Proctor sitting in front of the museum Bill created.|
Billy Proctor is a legend in these islands, and along the coast. Bill was born in 1934 so he's the same age as my father. Bill lived his entire life on the coast and has worked as a hand-logger, a fisherman, a boat repairman, and more. He tells the story of how he hated school and ran straight away into the woods when his mother ordered correspondence materials for him. He returned home later that day, but his repugnance towards school was so strong that his mother packaged up the materials and sent them back. You can read more of his early life in an article published in our local paper. He loves the land and the sea.
We were tied up to the dock at Echo Bay Marina where we enjoyed hot showers, a small grocery store, filling our fresh water tanks, and a fish and chip dinner. Echo Bay was once a thriving coastal community with a school building, fishermen and their families, and loggers. As time passed, the area has become less populated and there are only poignant reminders of the lives once lived there. Empty cabins and beached derelict boats hint at the tales. A trail from Echo Bay leads to the place where Bill and his wife built a home. There is an enclosed garden where a bush of yellow flowers blooms profusely and I wonder if it was Bill's wife who planted them.
On one of his rare visits to larger centres, Billy visited a museum. He is a collector, a beachcomber, and realized that he had more stuff than the museum. He returned home and built a museum to house the many artifacts he's found over the years.
He also built a hand-logger's cabin, seen above. This cabin was typical of loggers' cabins in years past, built from one large cedar tree in about a week. Just one room, with a wood stove, a bed, and a place for snowshoes, rain gear, and other tools. Tea was a staple, strong and bracing, steeped in teapot, not bags dunked into mugs.
The stuff Billy collected ranges from old trading beads, seen above, to logging equipment, flint stones from pre-literate times, newspapers, school effects, and more. It's an eclectic collection that strongly reflects the remote coastal life.
I loved the blue bottles on the windowsill, and throughout the rest of our trip I kept my eyes open for trading beads and blue bottles, but alas, I found none.
Back at Echo Bay, tiny flowers, yellow and white, dot the field where children once played in the school yard. How pretty they are. Can you imagine children sitting in the sunshine making daisy chains? I can. Thinking of them, and thinking of that time last summer has warmed me.
Linking to Mosaic Monday, hosted by Angie of Letting Go of the Bay Leaf.