Monday, March 17, 2008

Travellers In Transition

I have found, to my surprise, that Motels can be lonely, boring and sad places. At one time, a few weeks in a Motel, with no responsibilities, would have been heaven.

My relationship with Hotels, Motels, Inns and the like has, up until now, only been utilized for a few days, at most. And they were mostly vacation resorts.

I have never stayed in one for a month, while I wait for the house, a short time, really, as compared to other people's stories.

People who have stayed in lodgings such as these, while they wait for their lives to resume, some with small children, deserve my admiration. Some tell me their wait was three months...

I am grateful I have only ten days left.

The people who stay in this Motel, at this time of year, consist of Highway, Hydro and Telephone Workers, Truckers, Mineral Explorers and Miners, and Forestry Workers. These people keep the Motels busy during the Winter, here in the Northern part of the Province. Some of them are here for a day...others for longer periods of time.

All are away from their families. I have yet to see any Women or Children. Only lone Men, who trudge, on the weekends, to the laundromat, with their small piles of soiled laundry.

During the week, they arrive at the end of the day in vehicles covered in mud. A shower will start in each room, shortly after their arrival. An hour may pass, before each worker reenters their truck, in order to find Dinner. Upon returning, it is usually a very short time before all lights are extinguished, and sleep is sought.

Some of the younger men, when they first arrive, try to treat Motel living as party time. It only usually takes a day or two of working, before high spirits are dampened.

The reality is difficult to see at first, for these young men. But it is cold in the far reaches of the Cariboo, with much Snow and Ice yet to battle. In some areas, where Spring Melt is underway, the Mud can be treacherous. Weather is variable; cold and clear one moment, with a brisk south easterly Wind, Blizzard conditions the next, with a few warm, Springlike days thrown in...gentle reminders and titillation of finer weather yet to arrive.

Weather passes through quickly here...we left for a trip to Kamloops one clear, sunny morning...and returned the same afternoon in a Blizzard. How very quickly a dry road changes into a long white satiny ribbon, with no defined edges! We made it safely, but not without a few very tense moments.

As I watch the transient people and wait for my own shift, I wonder how many of these travellers will or have already been bitten by the Northern Bug.

Because there is one. Oh yes.

Northern Bugs. They bite the unwary, mostly...some of whom have become inured to the beauties of Mother Earth, others who seek it. They find those who have Spirits of Adventure, some of it extreme. They find the stubborn, the fearless, the slightly odd...all with a strong connection to the land.

There is no way to fight it, once the Northern Bug has taken hold. People with the Bug, if they relocate South, will have a far-off distant look at times, a longing energy. People with the Bug feel complete in the North.

Some of these young men who stay in this Motel will be bitten, making a life here. Their mentors, grizzled older men who are in charge, have been bitten long ago. In my mother's Care Home, I met many elder Northerners, situated there to be with their families, perhaps. I would hear the stories of the old days...days of hardship, with unbelievable travails.

Yet, some of the ranches in the area have been in the same family for generations. I've been told once the Northern Bug bites, it is impossible to leave it behind.

Will the Bug bite me? I don't know. I don't know if I am made of that strong, unbreakable stuffing it takes to live in this climate, for more than a few years. I love it here; I love the Island I left behind, as well. There is beauty everywhere.

All I know is, I have rarely felt as grounded and balanced, as I have during these weeks at this Motel, with all the others who are in transition. All I know is, I can breathe here, tension is easily dealt with, and my joints and bones feel much better.

And for this, as I wait to know the land where I will make my home, I am grateful.


  1. I remember how much I disliked the lack of place I felt last spring as we stayed in a motel for 3 weeks after our house sold and we waited for son to complete high school. I hope the days go by fast.

    I look forward to hearing more about the Northern Bug.

  2. The uncertainty of change is always the item we have to go past and then beyond as we go in a different direction during our lives. I am quite certain that you are very grateful for the land and the sky and all things that our mother has given. Your apprehension is coming through your words and the energy is a wavering one right now. Yet, with this you are still learning and through your learning you are teaching all of a wonderful lesson on life and change and gratitude. Thank you so much and I know that you will be able to get in touch with the spirit of the winds and the universe and all will become family once more.

  3. the place looks so white, so still and peaceful. northern bug? what's that? i interpret it as the "presence bug" i feel like your place is all about being in present, which is wonderful.

  4. The longest I ever spent in a motel was five days. After the first two I never wanted to watch TV again. But then I discovered the greatest entertainment as you did, people watching. We would make up whole lives for the people staying in the motel.

  5. Sheila,

    I remember when you were in the Motel, during your last move. I have the greatest admiration for you...

    The days are moving quickly now...the tough part is imagining myself in a home I have only been in for an hour or so, with reference to picking out cabinets, flooring and paint.

    It'll all sort itself out.


    Thank you for your very grounding comment. You are energy feels off right now, I have not built a connection to this part of Mother Earth, as yet, and I am craving this spiritually.

    Apprehensive is a good word for how I feel, often, these days. I am slowly turning this apprehension and anxiety into anticipation and joy.

    Thank you for the Reiki.


    The Northern Bug and the Presence Bug are part of the same family...people who have the Northern Bug take what comes, as it comes...and they all have a deep, spiritual connection to the land, no matter their nationality or race.

    People with the Northern Bug are very friendly and hospitable, opening their homes and their hearts to others with ease.

    The Bug makes one embrace open, vast skies,clean breathable air,and a geography that ranges from forested, pristine mountain lakes to arid, cactus covered landscapes to rugged canyons and open plains.

    The Bug bites mountain bikers, snowmobile enthusiasts, kayakers, fisherman and hunters, skiers, campers, hikers...outdoorspeople, all, no matter the weather.


    I am sure some of these men would be surprised about some of the scenarios I fabricate about them.

    It passes the time, lol...and I have learned a bit about the explorer mentality each of these men exhibit.

    They all seize the day.

  6. Hi Marion, I sympathise, having spent a while travelling and staying in hotels, its not as appealing as many people seem to think. But at least you are in the area where you will live so it gives you a chance to familiarise yourself with the locality. Do you have a moving in date yet? the Canadian system seems to be much slicker than the one here, so hopefully you will be sorted soon. All the best.

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  8. Marion, I give you credit. I don't know if my restless spirit would make it for a month in a hotel without going stir crazy.

    Thanks for posting the beautiful pictures. They made me long for a return to the country life I once knew.

    I have never felt more at peace with the world than I did on the warm summer nights when I used to lay on my back, gazing at the stars in the night sky. It was as if my spirit belonged in the sky with the clouds.

  9. Joe,

    I understand the restless spirit part...I want to be in the garden in the worst way, rather than watching TV programs over and over, lol.

    But it is the way it is; a few weeks ago I decided I might as well not fight the circumstances, since living in the motel is the only solution.

    I can't wait to look at the Stars and Moon away from the City lights. It will be soon more week.

    TV Digital,

    Welcome, and thank you for visiting!

  10. I predict that spring will be a true treat for you in the northland with the desolation giving way to growth, and life expressing itself in many ways, much wonder to behold (and photograph).
    What are you 150 miles from, pray tell?

  11. A very happy Easter to you.

    I hate hotels and motels so I know how you must feel.

    I think with that type of weather I would just go to the library, pick up tons of books and snuggle under the duvet and read them all and get meals via room service LOL.

  12. 150 Mile House was a roadhouse on the Cariboo Goldrush trail. Wagon trains and stage coaches would stop for sustenance and rest; their horses and mules would be changed. There are many such roadhouses; 100 Mile House, fifty miles south, is a larger centre than most.

    The City of Williams Lake was once called 157 Mile House. It is seven miles North of 150 Mile House.

    The mileage began,long ago, at Lillooet; but Cache Creek is generally where the roadhouses become known. Seventy Mile House is a beautiful area with lovely green resort a matter of fact, Green Lake was where my family went for summer holidays.

    Some of the roadhouses are no longer there, just a sign telling the traveler it once was 83 Mile HOuse, or 108 Mile HOuse, now a well known resort and spa.


    Believe it or not, you get used to the cold weather, which is much colder than the Coast. But it is dry here, and very is not unusual to see people running around in shorts. A hardy bunch, up here!

    I think this last week will take forever, just because it's so close!

  13. I hope the days pass swiftly for you Marion. I'm sure they will. I know what you mean it's difficult being "in between" places. It will be better when you are settled. Until then I would advise you to take full advantage and treat the stay in the motel as a relaxing break with room service. This is just a transition period in your life. You'll be extra busy when you finally move into your new home. All the best Marion - hope you have a Happy Easter!

  14. I hope things are progressing, Marion. Time is a funny thing. If you're hanging around out in the cold waiting to meet someone, even fifteen minutes can seem like a very long time. When we were in temporary accommodation during our move last year, it seemed like forever, but looking back now, it seems like the blink of an eye.