It’s your typical story of boy meets girl, boy marries girl, boy and girl meet birds and bees, and after a few years boy, girl, offspring and pets move to small town British Columbia. Welcome to Lake Country.
It was a year ago this weekend that we really felt like we planted our roots. We had moved seven months prior, but we didn’t have the majority of our possessions as they were either making our house in Calgary look pretty while we tried to sell it, or in storage because they weren’t pretty enough. So we were renting. And while it didn’t take us long to realize that this community of orchards, wineries, lakes, dogs and potholes was where we wanted to be long term, we didn’t feel like we could settle-in until we had our stuff. Ironically, once we got it all, we ended up selling 80% of it because “it didn’t fit with our house’s look” (but I digress).
Our friends back in Alberta ask: “Why Lake Country?”. My reply usually ends up with this story…
When we first moved to Lake Country we wanted to take advantage of everything the community had to offer, beyond wineries and reduced highway speed limits. This involved a weekly scan of Facebook for local events. Didn’t take much to find a movie in the park! To be honest, it was something we never did in Calgary – not sure if they even had them. So why not? We packed up the family, each armed with a towel to sit on and umm… well that’s it. (Remembering that our stuff was pretty in Calgary or unpretty in storage).
We were one of the first people there and as others arrived, we quickly realized that this was a community of beach chair people and apparently, towel sitting was for suckers. So we didn’t stick out at all. And then it started to rain. But at least we had towels to keep us dry. “Take that beach chair people!” And then they pulled out umbrellas. “Well played beach chair people, well played.” Not wanting to be uncomfortable for the next two hours, I thought about options. I remember that a past friend lived in Lake Country. We hadn’t had a conversation in ten years, but who knows. I reached out on Facebook.
Me: Hey John, hope you’re doing well. I know this is the worst way to reconnect, but do you happen to have any beach chairs or camping chairs I could borrow?
John: I have both, where are you?
Me: Beasley Park.
John: I live down the street. Come by. Here’s my address…
Me: Be there shortly.
So I grab my son and tell Jody we’ll be right back. We hop in the car, load the address into the Googles, and on our way we went. As we’re driving, we pass this guy on a mountain bike with two beach chairs on each shoulder. JOHN! We stopped and quickly reconnected. I couldn’t thank him enough for saving our movie night and sparing us from the ridicule of the beach chair people (they were already trash talking us with lines like, “How are you?” and “Welcome!)”. It was then that he gave me the words that would set the tone for our love of this place… “It’s not me, this is just how the community is.” And he was right.
In the year and a half since we moved, it’s been amazing, humbling, inspiring and surprising how much we love waking up every day here. From total strangers lending us things, to punching in the closest pizza joint and finding a wood-fired restaurant at a winery, to the Facebook community of Lake Country that feels like a large family. Ok, a bit of a dysfunctional family that seems to be fixated on poop on trails… but a family nonetheless. Because of the great people and beautiful place, we wake up every day blessed to be.
So, the other response when asked why we moved: “Why not?”