Material Witness will focus on extreme textile process. Images will be posted here showing the history of my work, new work, developing projects and inspiration.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Leaving The Fort

We are now packing to leave Fort Nelson one last time. The weather outside really is frightful. It is now colder than 20 below. There are snowstorms and road closures on the way to Wells, our next destination. Snow and ice fog are expected.

The apartment here is cozy, warm and comfortable. Tim has a homebody instinct. I didn't really have much to do with it other than to help him pack up in Vancouver and impose myself on him when I had to. It smells like baking in here. He is a good cook and an incredible baker. He keeps making me hot Bailey's to drink.

I haven't been great company because I landed here with the flu and had to crawl into bed for the last few days being a complete misery to us both. Got up today and walked the few blocks into town to pick up some food and treats for our trip. It was so cold outside that I had a hard time breathing on the way home, my thick mittens didn't keep me warm and my parka was city girl useless. Didn't undress at all when I got in the door and rushed to make hot tea. I was a Popsicle.

We attended the most lovely farewell/holiday party at our friend's Don and Pauline White. They have the most beautiful big log house a few miles out of Fort Nelson. They are both Newfoundlanders by birth. I am by heritage. Pauline pulled out a series of Mummer ornaments that made me cry. I was the only other person there who had experienced Mummers in person. They are almost like scarecrows. People dress up in these costumes without faces and come to your door at Christmas time. You are supposed to offer them food and drink although you have no idea who they are in real life or if you even know them. Hospitality and generosity are the key. You don't know if they are a derelict or a wise man. Your job is to make them welcome and cared for. Children are often terrified of Santa but he is a gentle looking soul compared to the anonymous Mummer.

The food was phenomenal. Tables full of food. Every kind of delicious food and drink. I was forced to drink a blue drink called a Blue Eyed Blonde. Went down better the second time. It was fun and silly. The people here became friends and really will be missed by both Tim and I.

People from the project started packing up and leaving today. They will return to locations all over Canada. They will all be missed. But this means that Tim will finally return home to Vancouver.

My first impressions of Fort Nelson weren't correct. I ended up liking it here. The people were wonderful. The location is actually beautiful if you face the right direction. It makes me feel Canadian when I am up here. In Canada people come from all over the world and figure out how to get together and survive. Fort Nelson is like that. But maybe with more patience and kindness.

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