Tlellagraph: Slow down, look up, and live

By Janet Rigg

There’s a rustling in the air. That restless winter energy, blowing things around, makes us all feel a little different in Tlell. October 11 welcomed winter’s fury with gusts of wind that shook the house. The rain on the roof was deafening at times, the tiny sound waves pinning me firmly to my couch under a blanket. It was oddly comforting, that stirring feeling. I do love a good storm, even when the power goes out.

In our house, the first storm always kills the batteries in both our smoke alarms. As the poor little things slowly die, they let out plaintive sporadic beeps intended to alert us to their imminent fate. These beeps always serve to terrify our pitbull/lab cross, sending her upstairs to our room where she never goes and isn’t allowed — unless the fire alarms are menacing her, then I let her stay. Moral of the story? Check your smoke-alarm batteries.

The storm on Oct. 11 brought down a tree large enough it was challenging to wrap your arms around. It took out the power in Tlell until about 3 p.m., and wreaked havoc on phone lines in all the south. But it wasn’t big enough to stand up to the pick up truck that barrelled into it and, graciously, removed the tree from the road for the rest of us. Thankfully, the driver is well and recovering with a broken toe. Moral of that story? Slow down, look up, and live.

You never know what could be on the road this time of year: trees, debris, deer, and bears. I had a close encounter with a baby bear the other day. I’ll never forget the look on its sweet face as I slammed on the brakes, the little bouncing baby bear bum illuminated in my too-close headlights. The bear was fine, my tires a little hot, and the macaroni I had on the passenger seat survived its flight into the footwell. Lucky!

This week, another dangerous thing can be found on the roads: trick-or-treaters. These little ghoulish fiends skitter and scatter about, and the adult-sized ones sometimes weave up the road. Be careful when driving around them, they are not really dead.

In Tlell, our ghouls are growing up, and many have formed partnerships with goblins from other communities, and wish to engage in this Hallowe’en ritual there. Traditionally, kids here trick or treat along Wiggins Road and then we gather somewhere for hot dogs and fireworks, often the Fall Fairgrounds. Firm plans or a head count on who is actually trick or treating here this year were not available at press time. But I hope there are fireworks. I love fireworks.

The adult party that used to involve much local cuisine of the mushroom variety moved out to Tow Hill a few years ago. It seems Tlell is loosing its edge! Demographics are changing. Yes… it’s true, we are getting older. Some of us are even getting wiser. This writer, though, is presumably not among them.

Tlell is also loosing its edge along Highway 16 at Wiggins Point. Have you noticed our new Great Wall of Tlell? It’s very beautiful in that rustic, not-trying-too-hard way. Unfortunately, the high tide on a new moon joined the aforementioned storm and demonstrated that it isn’t working very well. More debris on the road, gravel to spin out on, so I’ll repeat moral lesson #2: slow down, look up, and live.

If you spot anything interesting on the road, email me at sewnart@haidagwaii.net. Happy Hallowe’en all!

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