A full 2 weeks have transpired since we first got to Hornby, and we finally got our first visitor this past Wednesday! She goes by the name Brenda, but in these parts she is more affectionately known as “mom”. She is newly retired (September 2014) after 32 years as a letter carrier with Canada Post, and claims to “love” driving long distances. I personally don’t see how anyone could “love” driving for 8 hours straight, but it does mean I get to see her more often.

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In honour of her visit we took Thursday off, so we headed to Helliwell Provincial Park. Helliwell is a 2872 hectare park on the far east side of Hornby, and it is legendary. There’s rocky bluffs, grassy meadows, beaches, oodles of bald eagles and harbour seals, not to mention both old growth Douglas fir and a few of the last remaining Garry oak on the island. It also has some prickly pear cactus, which is the furthest north reach of any cactus in BC. Are you sold yet? I am.

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On Friday we were back at work, but this time momma bear was helping out. Aaron was in the meadery with Darryl the meadmaker, so mom and I weeded our hearts out in the lavender. The mead here is made with many of the things that grow on the farm, such as lavender, thyme, rosemary, currants, yarrow, mint, salal berries, blackberries, rose petals, etc. Mom expressed many times how much she enjoyed working with me in the gardens, so I am sure she was feeling a bit nostalgic over her garden from years ago. What she didn’t have years ago were sheep, but nonetheless she was thrilled to meet this little family.
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Friday evening we took in jazz night at the Thatch Pub. Hornby doesn’t really have any “open all the time” restaurants, but the Thatch probably comes the closest. At the end of the jazz set the bassist was out on the balcony and told us to look skyward. Apparently he is a big astronomer and had researched the path of the International Space Station. At precisely 10:10pm we, along with the rest of the pub, watched the International Space Station came into view, cross the sky, then disappear about 30 seconds later. Coooool man.
We bid adieu to mom early Saturday morning. It was so nice having a bit of comfort in a place that we are still getting used to as we try to make it our home for the next 6 and a half months. We miss you already!

– Lana