So this trailer I mentioned previously is my home away from home for the time being, and only during the weeks of the winter months, I’m back “home” on my little island for the weekends. My mother of 88 lives on her own 45 minutes away and having a residence near her alleviates winter commuting issues for me. My little island residence is unique.
I drive to her house after finishing work, which is only 25 minutes, spend a couple of hours picking up groceries, cooking, visiting, then drive back to my town, and even then I’m not home yet. There’s parking the car, walking down to the boat, going across the water, tying up and locking the boat, walking the 1/2 mile home all in the dark and cold to repeat again. Sorry I’m whining, I know. But it made for a long day and I needed a solution so I could continue supporting my mom in ways that would not run me down. And I love my little island neighborhood but winter commuting from there in of itself everyday – well the novelty has worn thin.
After searching for accommodations since last year, everything was just financially out of reach for me and to find something affordable and furnished was nearly non existent.
I didn’t want to move in to a new place- I just wanted to bring food and some clothes.
Then this rental presented itself -so unexpected from someone unexpected. A kind man who empathized with my reasons for accommodation, giving me a very good monthly rate. Furnished to be comfortable- it’s perfect for my needs.
The significance of the location of my rented vinyl home is the “gift” part. Not only am I 7 minutes from my mothers house, this particular Trailer Park has a family history. It’s where my parents had decided in the early 1980’s to live permanently, to sell their house and all their belongings in an extreme paring down maneuver that would be the best decision they said they had made.
While still residing in a big house back in 1979 my parents had a trailer already here at the Beach. Back when it was far more rustic and happily boisterous with camping families and pets; where they would spend time during the summer just steps from the sand and water.
Where my daughter and her cousins would come and spend weekends playing on the beach, where they slept outside on lounge chairs on the covered porch, where they cooked the iconic wiener over the fire pit and dug for clams with grandpa.
(Me and my daughter 1980)
When many times during the summer while my father would be away working my mother would be spending all her time at the beach.
She reached a point when she found it futile keep a 3 bedroom house when it was now just the two of them, to come back from the beach to mow the lawn twice a week to keep the neighbors from complaining, then promptly return to the beach. And so came that fateful day when my father returned home after finishing a month long work contract to find the house listed and sticker prices on every piece of furniture. He asked what was going on and my mother replied, “We’re having a garage sale.” As plain as that, like ‘we’re having pork for dinner.’ My father made no protest, and they had been discussing the prospect, so perhaps he too felt it was time to be unburdened of a house, that it might be a welcome change.
For 21 years they resided permanently here on the Beach Over that time the park became a Five Star Resort and many upgrades followed. My parents 28 foot trailer changed to a 5th wheel, to the present Park Model. They worked at surrounding their site with beautiful gardens and put down a stone patio. Looking over the expansive vista of the Straits of Georgia and Gulf Islands, they made a home. Then in 2003 my father passed away.
My mother stayed on for a couple more years before remarrying but her new husband C wasn’t comfortable in the trailer, he needed more room.
He bought a beautiful new patio home in the town and she moved reluctantly off the beach. C sadly passed away only after 4 years leaving mom in the little house she now resides.
She’s never felt completely comfortable in the house and although it is a lovely home, she’s only ever felt her self on the beach-to look out over the water, where her eyes could stretch, to watch people and chat with acquaintances over her patio gate. She says of her present house, “All I see now are roofs and fences, and no people.”
(mom in her element)
So me being here renting at this particular Park makes me happy. When the weather is good I bring her here to take walks, and to sit on dads memorial bench that is placed out in front of their once beach front home. I am happy to make her happy. That she can still come here and stretch her eyes, and remember.
(mom and granddaughter on dads memorial bench)
( The view from her former beach home)
And I’m happy to be in a position to be here to help her while I can. Kids should do that I think.
The good fortune to have a loving, understanding husband who appreciates what I’m doing in assisting my mom and who hasn’t complained with being left alone for part of each week for months- this is the blessing to the gift.