Newcomers gain strength from friends and neighbours

We are so grateful that we chose Clearwater as our home; there is no place we would rather be

Editor, The Times:

In the summer of 2000 my family was in search of a new home. My husband had retired and we wanted to leave Victoria and find a small community with four seasons. Clearwater was our first stop and we never left. We had borrowed a friend’s camperized van to tour the province. It turns out that was not necessary. We listened to people talking at the grocery store, the Flour Meadow Bakery and in other local businesses. We really felt there was a caring community here.

That was confirmed when we blew a rad hose on the van. Johnny and Rose, then with Mohawk service station, came to our rescue. Johnny showed us where to get a hose and when Steve came back with it Johnny said, “I’ll fix it for you.” He did just that and he wouldn’t take a cent for doing the work. I said to him at the time, “If we move here you will always have my business.”

We did move here. We wanted a warm and caring community that would embrace our daughter, Hailey, and support her in her goals. Also we wanted to have a place for my mom and dad where they felt safe and secure. All of these things happened for us and more. As our involvement in the community deepened, our friendships blossomed.

Last year was very difficult for us; I had colon cancer and then our family lost my brother and sister. They passed within three months of each other. My hospice family, friends, neighbors and quilting buddies really helped us then and now again.

Through our recent struggles with Steve’s health our friends came together. Karen Straub and Mary Stewart organized a work bee at our home recently. I’m sure there were 40 people working – some raking the yard, four chainsaws cutting up wood, two wood splitters, five wheelbarrows, a tractor with a bucket, two ATVs with trailers moving wood, stacking of wood, dead trees being taken down, trees being pruned, burn piles being manned safely, patio furniture being brought out, a ditch being filled in, a new well cover, it went on and on. Everyone worked so hard; there were many laughs and quite a few tears.

Some people brought food and my friends at Hospice that I work with brought a ton of sandwiches and goodies.

It’s hard to know where or how to say thank you. To our friends, our neighbors, and some people we hardly know we want to say that today you helped in so many ways, work of course, but maybe more importantly you helped us to know we are not alone, we are cared about and supported. We have a long rough road ahead of us but with all your strength we will in turn be stronger. We are so grateful that we chose Clearwater as our home; there is no place we would rather be.

Thank you so very much.

Steve Graham and Deb Coldwell

Clearwater, B.C.