After I sat down across from Camp who was pawing his silly gadget we commented on the weather, the sorry state of the US body politic, the Russian aggression on the Ukrainian border and the ongoing crisis of the Covid pandemic. So many people dying prematurely and unnecessary and so much trouble in the world.
‘Are you afraid of death?’ I asked Camp, off the cuff, like asking him about what he had for dinner.
He gave me a funny look, took a sip and then said: ‘I’m not afraid of death, just of dying. Suffering and loss of physical functions and memory are what I’m scared about. Death itself, the grim reaper, could be a welcome sight, almost a relief I think.’
‘What about after death? Aren’t you afraid of what comes after?’
‘Like what? Heaven or hell?
‘Or eternal darkness,’ I said. ‘Lights out, show over.’
‘Is this the pandemic that never ends?’ I asked Camp after we both huddled around our beers at our usual table. I was feeling kind of gloomy about the relentless harsh and wet weather, the daily covid statistics and the fact that being boosted doesn’t provide any privileges or special status. And the conservative US Supreme Court has struck down Biden’s vaccine and testing requirement mandates for big business but we’re all forced into mandates by the irresponsible behaviour of a radical, self-serving minority.
‘If you would have told me two years ago that we’re at this stage in the pandemic I would have thought you were the worst pessimist ever but here we are.’
When the sun shines and the skies are blue there is no place more scenic and awe inspiring then the dotted, pale blue waters of the Salish sea, rimmed by the snow peaked coastal mountains. As the days are getting longer by the minute, walking along the shore to our watering hole always lifts my spirits, rain, snow or shine. We’ve had some extreme winter weather lately, with snow falls not seen since 2008. The white stuff turned the Sunshine Coast into winter wonderland with kids tobogganing up and down residential neighbourhoods, being the only traffic on these streets. We were all getting our exercise shovelling the white stuff, clearing our driveways and meeting our neighbours who we never really talk to since everybody is always coming and going. Playing in the white stuff wasn’t just for kids. Clare and I managed to go snow shoeing on Dakota Ridge which is every bit as alpine and snowbound as the well-known resorts and ski hills on the mainland.
‘Well, I’m glad you’re able to appreciate the snow which basically slows down traffic at the book store to a wintry freeze frame. Time to go over some depressing Christmas bills and back orders. We’re not equipped for winter or prolonged arctic freezes. We can deal with the rain but when it turns white, it’s a whole other world out there.’