First of all, it’s kindness. If I want to go all mushy I can say right off the bat that the k in Kamloops stands for kindness.
Or I could simply say that people here are kind. Because they are. The proverbial extra mile some people walk to make it better or sunnier for those around them, I have had the opportunity to see it often enough to brag about the place I live in.
One time I was in a hurry to get home from the grocery store. It happened that I bumped into a new acquaintance who, though headed in the opposite direction, noticed my hurry and offered to drive me home, detour and all. I said multiple “thank you”s but decided the only way to say it right is to pay it forward. So I have.
Last week I offered to go dye Easter eggs at school with my little guy’s class. I also said I will do it the way people used to do it in the old days; with onion peels that is.
Come Wednesday night and after a busy few days, I remembered about the peels. The next thought was “Oh, no!” because where would I find enough onion peels late at night, I thought.
Ten minutes later I was at Cooper’s and being told “Oh no, we just threw them out,” followed by “But don’t worry, I’ll peel some for you.”
Another ten minutes later, I was leaving the store with a bag of onion peels. At that point it is but logical to assume that I live in a good place. It’s called community.
Second on the list of good things here is the world that opens up all around Kamloops. A world that rolls out from my front door. There is a short dirt road a few minutes away from where I live and it’s arched in a way that allows me to have a 360° panorama. No photos or videos would do it justice.
I now have a few good cycling routes around Kamloops, and a couple of friends who are kind enough to share their secret beautiful Kamloops one-of-a-kind spots with me. When you’re new in town, it’s a gift, more so when all I have to offer in return is gratitude and the promise that I might one day find a gem that I will share too…
The boys and I have discovered endless sandbanks that may be yesterday’s news to people who have lived here all their lives, or for many years, but the golden carpets of sparkling sand charm us every time we visit.
The barren dusty hills that once scared me with their scarcity have won my heart countless times since. Some I see in the morning from my kitchen window and I have yet to be bored with a sunrise.
In winter the hills all wore white powder caps and wigs of blue sky; majestic is the right word, but not the glacier majestic that I am used to from the Coast Mountains. These ones bump towards the sky ever so gently.
Come spring, they are glazed in fresh pink glow in the morning, and then draped in lazy sunset light as I round the boys up for another good night’s sleep. Sunsets in Kamloops are simply beautiful.
I have come to know that wondering through the grasslands can get my legs prickled by cacti and it hurts unexpectedly much. Somehow I’m fine with that. Now I know what it’s like to live in a desert.
Third on my list: the friends I’ve made since I moved here. I am by my own admission a relationship minimalist. I only pursue a relationship if it’s real and has depth.
Though a child at heart according to many who know me, I know depth and real when I see it. And I have. Kamloops has gifted me with a few friends I can easily add to my list of blessings.
I’ll end my list with the coffee shops I have found here. I am a coffee snob, I admit it and happily blame it on my parents who always had cowboy coffee, the only way I make it now too. I make my own freshly roasted fairly-traded guilt-free on most days, but when I hit my favorite coffee shops I am never disappointed.
Whether I chat with friends over a cup of steaming coffee or sit by myself, writing, I have found a few places that offer that kind refuge a writer needs on any given day.
All in all, a good seven months. Here’s to many more and all things Kamloops left to discover.
By Guest Blogger, Daniela Ginta (Thinking of Clouds)
(Originally published as a column under the same name in the Kamloops Daily News on Saturday April 6, 2013)