Golden City Cynic: What I’ll miss about Rossland

Allyson Kenning
By Allyson Kenning
August 19th, 2011

The cat is officially out of its not-so-tightly-closed bag: I’m moving. At the end of September, I’ll be packing up my actual cat, Juno, and all my stuff, and moving to the coast. Maple Ridge, to be specific. It was a difficult, devastating decision, and I have another column planned talking about my reasons for the move, but I really want to focus right now about the things I’ll miss, because I’m feeling nostalgic already – and I’m not even gone.

I grew up in this town. The mountain life is in my blood. The nature here is unparalleled as is the proximity to so much wildlife, and I’m not only going to miss those two elements of Rossland life, but also the trails system, which I have used frequently. My only regret is that I haven’t used it more. It’s a real gift to be able to walk out my door and within steps of my house be on a well-kept, well-marked trail that joins up with such a comprehensive network of other well-kept, well-marked trails.

It will pain me somewhat to have to drive to places to hike at the coast, but I do think the water features, i.e. the ocean and the views of it, will be worth it. And I’ll miss the mountain views I have here, though the coast is not exactly mountainless and I will have a great view of Golden Ears Mountain and its surrounding peaks from my new back yard.

I’ll miss having easily accessible amenities like the grocery store, the post office, and the pharmacy all within easy walking distance of my home. I’ll miss running into people I know while out and about the town, having little catch-up chats and meeting new dogs along the way. I’ll miss friendly neighbours and the comfort of having such people close by.

I’ll totally miss the laid-backness of Rossland. You can’t get that just anywhere these days. The casualness here is something that I really love, the fact that you don’t really have to dress up to go anywhere and that jeans and a T-shirt, or in summer, shorts and a T-shirt are totally acceptable for dinner out or a drink at the pub (in fact, if you did dress up to go anywhere here, you stick out like a sore thumb).

The lack of hustle and bustle is appealing, as is the adherence to Kootenay Time. I won’t be living in the thick of city life in Maple Ridge, however; I’ll be in the relatively bucolic oasis of blueberry farmlands outside the town. There are horses and wildlife and deer farms and rivers and lakes there, so it’s pretty and pastoral and relaxed, but it won’t be the same.

For sure I’ll miss the cultural vibrancy I’ve experienced here. The Joe Hill Coffee House, where I’ve reconnected with old friends and made new ones; the farmers’ market, which was been my once-a-week treat this summer and provided me with some social interaction when I’ve really needed it; the Rossland Real Foodies who have been so inspirational to me as a wanna-be, though hopelessly brown-thumbed, gardener; the whole revitalization of the Bank of Montreal building downtown, which I’ve really enjoyed watching over the past couple of years.

I’ll miss the Sunshine Cafe and it’s fabulous clubhouse sandwiches, and I’ll miss Misty Mountain Pizza. I’ll even miss the Steamshovel because it’s Rossland “local colour” at its best.

I will achingly miss the Kootenays. I love it here. I love the landscape, I love the wilderness, the trees, the dramatic mountain vistas, the smell of the air, the hush of the forest. There is a peace here I have felt nowhere else, there is a heart and soul connection I have with this area. My earliest memories and some of my favourite memories are here. I know I will yearn for some of my favourite haunts: the Slocan, Kootenay Lake, Syringa Creek, Nelson. I’m going to miss all those Christmas crafts fairs I usually make the rounds of in the late fall, picking out pottery and homemade soaps, perusing local artwork, ogling cool jewelry pieces and delighting in finding that one pair of earrings that is just me (I’m picky – it doesn’t happen a lot).

 And last, but definitely nowhere near least, I’ll miss my dad. ‘Nuff said.

Categories: Op/Ed

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