Alison Watson enjoys a view along the way while snowshoeing up Mt. Dickenson on Jan. 1.

Home again, home again

Some hometown reflections after the holidays on where we live.

Jiggity jig.

Here I am, after taking a break from the endless emails and hectic Christmas concert schedule to travel this beautiful province.

The holidays were filled with family, snowboarding, friends and even some beach walks and mountain biking, so it was a fun adventure.

I also enjoyed catching up with two of my all-time favourite folks I met right here in Fort St. James but who have since moved to Maple Ridge of all places.

It was a great time to connect with some old friends and my extended family.

I returned for a brief visit to Big White, a ski hill I spent a winter teaching snowboarding at a number of years back.

It was a super place to be for a winter, and being back in the Big White village on Christmas Eve, watching the parade and fireworks gave me some nostalgic twinges for the carefree days I spent working there.

Much of this is probably linked to the lifestyle I enjoyed while working at the hill.

I had the opportunity to work outside in a beautiful place with very enthusiastic people who loved where they were and what they were doing.

Recreation was part of life, and also my job. Sure, there were days when you did not necessarily feel like going to line up for lessons, because it was too cold, windy, or there was too much fresh powder, but in the end, it was always worth it.

I only recall one really unpleasant lesson from the entire season of instruction, which is a pretty good average, and was due to overaggressive parents pushing a child who was clearly not keen to try, so understandable from the child’s perspective.

It was nice to revisit Big White, and of course the snow was great.

But it is also nice to be home.

The last couple of days of the trip were spent driving long hours alone, and I looked forward to being back in my own bed and unpacking the car.

Arriving back home in Fort St. James was just as lovely as I had hoped, though the weather was a bit iffy, being milder than is usual for this time of year and not great for the ski hill conditions and lake skiing.

Not long after arriving, I was unpacking and had just gotten most of the car’s contents put away, when my neighbour’s family stopped in to invite me for a skate on the wonderful outdoor oval.

So after I finished dinner, I geared up and headed to the ice, skates in hand to take advantage of our incredible outdoor oval made possible by hours of volunteer labour.

The next day, it was sunny and beautiful, and I finished most of the cleaning up, laundry and such things I had to do, then another nearby neighbour and I took our dogs for a cross country ski on the lake, enjoying the brilliant afternoon sunshine.

She and another neighbour then joined me for a glass of wine before the New Year’s Eve festivities began.

I spent the evening with some wonderful people, enjoying great food, great company, games, a bonfire and then danced in the new year.

The next day, to start out the year right, my friend and neighbour and I went for a snowshoe in the falling snow.

I do love touring the province, but it was great to feel the sense of community and the opportunities on our doorstep right here at home.

Happy New Year and may you love where live and live what you love this year.