May 20th, 2013 by Jan

Living on a float house is cool. We like it. It is small and organized. It sways a bit, but not enough for Sandie to get sea sick on, and it definitely has its quirks. There is plenty of personality with the shared community of the characters we’ve met that live aboard boats. Being weekend visitors, they have welcomed us into this friendly and tight knit group with stories, jokes and advice.

I see mostly men as are our neighbours, a few young couples with dogs, but I think they are visiting too. The men are permanent fixtures. Friendly as ever, all with a talent of telling stories or jokes that captivate and engage. One has a neon sign proclaiming the Bates Motel in the window of his home, but he assured us it isn’t.

I can only imagine having them “for real” neighbours though. They seem like the type of guys that got divorced about 30 years ago and said screw it, and went to camp out on the boat when their wives threw them out of the house. I really think they are as surprised as anyone that years have passed and they never moved on. They sort of hang their heads when they tell us how long they have been here and yet, this life and style suit them.

Float house living, at least here in Cowichan Bay is a bit like living in an apartment. Everyone knows everything. Perhaps because the living quarters are close. Today the weather is good, and it is a holiday weekend, so people are outside and we hear most conversations. As I write this, a man just walked by and called out to another guy, “Sometimes you have to hit a man with a hammer to get them to listen.”

I don’t mind hearing the conversations as much as I mind having to have the curtains pulled. Not only can we hear everything that goes on, but they can see everything if we open the drapes. We aren’t dancing naked or anything, but we couldn’t if we wanted to. During my afternoon nap on the sofa, I was well aware of folks walking by and being able to see me sleeping with my mouth open.

Our home on Bowen has no curtains, except for one in the bedroom near my closet. It just happens to be the only place a neighbour could look into our home from the road. But other than that one curtain, a big maple leaf, and last years Valentines from Marian— nothing covers our windows. I like it and spend hours looking at the yard, the trees and the birds. I take for granted this ability.

So, having to pull the shades on our world here is weird. It cuts off the light as well as the neighbours eyes. It closes us in. I don’t think it is something I’d like to get used to. Come to think of it, being able to hear others in conversation isn’t that great either, but float house living with Ken, yes, I could make it work.

We’ll pack it up sometime this morning and head out to spend the day in the ferry line up home. A good way to spend the first day of being 58 if I ever knew one.

2 thoughts on “pullthecurtins

  1. heather

    Happy Birthday Jan! and short ferry lines to you 🙂
    I know exactly what you mean about having curtains (or shades) and the need to do so. Not something I would want to get used to either.

    Visitors from big cities like them though – they just can’t grok having the windows exposed to the trees all the time.

    Have a wonderful first day of 58


  2. Laur

    Sounds like a wonderful birthday/holiday! All best wishes for joy and contentment as you start your next journey around the sun.


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