BY ROLLY A. CHABOT
He had finally arrived with his questionable collection of what he had thought of as valuables. They were spread throughout the cabin that was to become home for the next while. His dog “Tannis” was lost among the boxes, tail in the air, sniffing every square foot of space that was left just in case she missed a smell the first time around.
He stood at the patio door looking off to the west at the Golden Horn. Below, he could hear Wolf Creek in the distance; it would be a peaceful sound tonight as he slept.
It was late as he again looked at the mountain of things all over the floor. He looked around the cabin that was to become home, a small three-bedroom upright log cabin set back from the Alaska Highway. It would do just fine.
Tomorrow was another day; for tonight, “Rolly’s Royce”, his old Ford van, was going to have to be home. It was mid-August,1978 and, thankfully, not winter. The Royce had been well insulated when he converted it; a small catalytic heater heated it nicely.
Morning brought new sounds, especially one that both himself and Tannis were aware of. It was “Sammy”, the resident squirrel who started chattering early, stretched out as far as possible on the end of a branch just a few feet away from Tannis, who was frantic.
Tannis and squirrels were not the best of buddies.
Thus started a feud that would last for the next four years while they lived there. The daily entertainment for Tannis was the pile of trail mix that sat on a short stump only inches away from her nose. One small catch: there was a sliding door in the way.
He had watched the performance many times and had clean the daily nose marks off the glass. That cheeky squirrel gained weight that year while Tannis lost anything extra (oh, how she hated that “thing” outside her house).
First things first: the new king-sized waterbed needed to be set-up and heated if he was planning on sleeping inside anytime soon. The furniture … well, that was a cross-section of gifts that many people had given him to get started again. It had been a messy year, but he had made it through and found himself starting all over again.
Many people who found themselves in the Yukon could relate to that story. No place better to start over again. He was grateful for true friends; he had always given to others. He found it hard to be receiving this time.
People were like that in the North; they always looked after their own.
For those who have pinpointed the setting, I thank you; for those who have not, I say, “Look after each other. The people are the Yukon’s greatest assets, the true lifeblood of the territory.
Rolly A. Chabot is a pastor and a freelance writer who lives in Central Alberta, but has travelled throughout the Yukon for many years. These storoes from these travels will be told in a series of novels. Contact him at [email protected]