Another cloudy/foggy morning and it's 6:30am. I am up but definitely not awake. Taking a road trip today to Courtenay-Comox to see my Orthopedic Surgeon. I am on the list for total knee replacement, left knee this time. Of course we take the Inland Island Highway on the way up, and will take the old highway - the scenic route - on the way back. It's tradition. In the early morning, Richard is a talker and I am a listener and I listen, making grunting sounds at the appropriate times, all the way to Courtenay.
Things go well with Surgeon and 15 minutes later we are back in the van. I never eat in the morning before traveling; it's 11am, I am starved. We had passed a Burger King on the way to the appointment and we stop in for Whopper's. Good choice. Today is Whopper Day and they are only $1.49 each. Wow, those ARE big burgers! Lettuce, tomato, pickles, onions, cheese, sauce, and a big, flame-broiled hamburger patty, all for $1.49 & tax.
The road home is scenic. Wandering along beside the shores of the Strait of Georgia we meander through small communities, taking our time and enjoying the view. Hey, that derelict old scow that used to sit there on the shore is gone - the one that used to be a restaurant years ago. You know the one I mean.
The dogs are hysterical when we arrive home. It's only been 6 hours but to them it is 6 weeks. Now I have time to walk out into the garden yard and enjoy my view. As I pass by the pea patch I notice the Mole People have returned...I make a scrunchy face. There is a new hole beside the red clay pots. I rapidly assess the tomatoes planted there and they all seem ok, but I make a mental note to move some of them to black florist pots, QUICKLY, before they disappear down the Mole Hole.
Richard has been talking to his friend George who reports that he saw a big Black Bear across the creek. "That must be what Rosie and the kids smelled the other night" he says, "we'll have to keep a close watch now. It has probably been eating the Saskatoons".
I make a double scrunchy face. I am NOT a fan of bears, didn't even like having teddy bears as a child. I have had several run-ins with bears here over the years. Yes, they are cute; yes, they were here first; yes, I have forwarded dozens of adorable photo's of bears doing cute things via e-mail. When was the last time you went outside at night and were confronted by 5 big black bears in your apple tree that is only 50 feet from your front door? Or gone out to pick blackberries behind the house and had your, thankfully, big dog body check you out of the way, then go into attack mode to chase away a black bear from where you were going to pick. Or discover that in fact, yes, a bear really does crap in the woods!
And yes, I am sure I DO sound a tad defensive. My disco fence might keep the cute little Island Buck Mule Deer away from my garden boat, but a black bear? After he has just cooked and eaten my tomatoes and peas for his dinner on my Outdoor Gas Convection Oven, he'll use the baler twine from the fence to floss his teeth with. Then browse the dangling disco CD's before taking some home to play in the stereo he stole from someone else's garbage can.
"Maybe the lights on the fence will reflect off the CD's and deter him," Richard says.
"Maybe the lights will reflect off the CD's and give him a better view of the veggies cookin' on the bar-bee," I say.
I make a triple scrunchy face.