Friday, May 31, 2019

The Reed Family Pictures, Part IV

Joanne (Reed) Smith says to Moiya in an email:
I’m finally getting around to sending you the pictures that we scanned from abt 1,100 slides. I even had to get your email—again—from MaryEllen. (Somehow I didn’t save it in my phone so it was looong lost. ) Anyhow, I’m sending the pics in 5 emails due to size. This email has pics from an anniversary dinner that my Mom did for your folks. I believe the YMs quorum was in Waterton. Love, Joanne
LtoR: Wyora and Doral Pilling
LtoR: Miles Platt, Cleo LeBaron, Doug LeBaron
LtoR: Wyora Pilling, Doral Pilling, Ruth Kearl, Mary Platt
LtoR Front Row: Richard, Moiya, Glen Pilling
LtR Second Row: Wyora, Bonnie, Doral, Wyona Pilling
 ... I can't identify any of these Waterton watermelon eaters ...
... Lorne seems to have switched out of the photo and Doral has switched in ...

The Reed Family Pictures, Part III

LtoR" Doral, Wyora, Earl Pilling
LtoR first row: Wyona, Earl, Bonnie Pilling
LtoR second row: Darla, Wyona, Doral Pilling
LroR first row: Bonnie, Earl, Wyona Pilling
LroRi second row: Doral Pilling Wyora PIlling, Darla Pilling
LtoR: Gordon Shepherd, Bart Rassmussen, Dale Tate, Earl Pilling, Gary Tate, ? LeBaron, Greg Bates
... Vernetta Reed, Doral Pilling, Lorne Reed ...

The Reed Family Pictures, Part II

The Reed RV bus, outfitted by Vernetta

... double tubes, Susie Reed and possibly Rebecca Johnson ...
LtoR: X,X, Richard, Darla, X,X,X,Glen

For sure Glen is far right and Darla is second from the left,
and perhaps Narda is the first one in the picture on the left
... look at that patch of blue water, bottom left ...
... Doral returning fishing with 3 kids in the boat ...

The Reed Family Pictures, Part I

Joanne (Reed) Smith sent some pictures to us. She had been going through old photos. She said of this batch of five picture, " First, tennis pros.   Then more Shuswap with the Reed kids. I still remember getting squirted while looking for the “star”. Ha! Your dad always was a great practical joker...

Doral and Don Newton playing tennis.  It looks as though Doral won.

Doral and Loran Reed playing tennis

The Reed children and Doral watching a calf drink milk.
The Reed children watching the cow be milked

Doral picking cherries
Doral sleeping on the boat ramp

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

One Turkey, Two Women

... the trickle of the Little Canadian Stream ...

Ria brought out a turkey when she came for her Writer’s Retreat at the Shuswap.

I am having a Weeding Retreat at the same time.

We meet together for meals which is a bonus for me, for I rarely sit down to eat.

I just take a mouthful of food, run and do a job, come back and take another mouthful of food, so it really seems decadent to sit at a table with a large napkin and actually get a chance to use it.

The turkey Ria bought was originally for Christmas.

... walking from Shady Beach to Sandy Beach ...

“I don’t know what got into me, buying it. The price was just so good.”

A utility turkey – just one wing.

 That didn’t matter to me as I enjoyed a feast with it tonight – Christmas dinner at the end of May – a perfect moment to reflect on how fast the months are going.

It seems as though Christmas was just a few weeks ago.

We simmered the bones and added some vegetables and pepper corns.

We stripped the meat from the carcass before the evening was through.

Ria with wild roses at the Annis Bay Siding
Ria was identifying turkey body parts as she pulled the pieces of meat away: the hip joint, the back bone, the leg.

 I didn’t know if I should be in awe or fearful of that talent.

 She said some parts about her scientific learning just never go away.

A writer and a weeder are a good combination in the evening. I am finding I don’t know much about Ria, except about her writing. And she probably never knew I was such a dedicated weeder until watching me in the early mornings. “Are you really enjoying this,” she asks me. I have to tell her yes.

I don’t go on and on and tell her how every time I turn my pitchfork over in the soil and reveal a new stone beneath it, or am able to pull out the long root of a week, I am just overjoyed to be doing that work.

... bushes full of wild roses ...
I have always dreamed of a little house and a well-tended garden.

And now the garden part is up to me, so I attack the weeds with a vengeance, which isn’t really fair to them.

In the long run, they will take their rightful place in the soil, but for now, I look as though I am going to be the winner in the race for a good-looking garden.


24 Hours with Bonnie, Part II

Poster Credit: IMDB Sir (2018)
I don't want it to see that all I do is go to the movies, but Bonnie and I did take part of our 24 hours together to go to the Indian movie, Sir (2081) directed by Rohena Gera.

A user review says of this film "Very engaging romantic story set in Mumbai, India where the class/caste system is very real and a definite obstacle to love. The storyline is subtle and sweet, no clichés and some real education for us westerners about how people live in modern India."

I couldn't agree more.  The film opened up a lot of discussion between us on our way home -- which is maybe the goal of every film.

But tis film nails the caste system in a way I hadn't seen before.


You Are Here

Post Credit: IMDB Poster
You Are Here: A Come from Away Story features first-hand accounts of the great kindnesses the community of Gander, Newfoundland, showed their unexpected guests after the 9/11 attacks.

This documentary tells their emotional and sometimes humorous story of compassion and generosity, born of a long history of rescuing and welcoming shipwrecked sailors.

Ria and I went to the 7:30 pm showing, a packed house the Salamar Classic Theatre.

The best pre-show joke came from the introducer to this second last of the Salmon Arm Film Society's shows for the year.

She asked how many people in the audience were from Newfoundland.

A few raised their hands.

Then she said, "Welcome to the rest of Canada".   That made the rest of us laugh.

This documentary gets a five out of five star rating for me, but then I am the one who is searching out a way to learn more about Canada.  At the end of the evening, I do feel I know Gander, Newfloundland in a profound way.


A New Toaster

Ria and I went to the thrift store today, The Churches of Salmon Arm Thrift Strore. I was looking for a used toaster. I purchased a Silex Proctor model ($2.00), a fistful of Lego ($5.00), and 2 wire cooling racks ($2.00). I was wondering why I had to get the cooling racks. I have 5 already. Still, sometimes I am looking for just one more place to put a pizza or cookies that are coming out of the oven faster than the batch before is cooling.

After that big cash splurge, Ria and I kept strictly to my list – except in the grocery store. Why is it that just walking through the isle of Save-On Foods triggers ideas of other products to buy: celery to put in the turkey soup tomorrow; eggs for breakfast; avocados for guacamole – none of them on our list but all of them floating in my mind?

The day was hot. The pavement in parking lots was blasting the heat back to the heavens. Even tonight at 6 pm the temperature is 30 degrees in Sicamous. The temperature at the lake feels cooler. The first gentle breeze of the katabatic wind is at my shoulders as I type and I can feel the temperature dropping.

Ria and I have eaten all of our meals in one corner of the porch. There is no feeling of loneliness although there are only two of us. During the day we have seen the shine on the water as ducks tip their heads down looking for fish. The alpha crow flies through the air, cawing and taking care of its territory. The traffic of the trans-Canada is a gentle hum behind us. Ria can hear the quiet buzz of insects in the trees.

There is a vase of lilacs on the kitchen counter: purple flowers and each bud is rimmed with a white edge. I cut 3 fuchsia peonies for our table at lunch. Ria asked me where I would move if I went somewhere else. Since we are well into Spring and everything is so perfect here, a move anywhere else would be a move backward.


Monday, May 27, 2019

24 Hours With Bonnie

Photo by Rob Dirk
The Little Canadian Stream
Bonnie came to stay over on Friday night.

She and I tried to figure out what would be fun, really fun. 

Obligatory fun.

The question for us was, how to leave behind the work world worries and find pleasure.

She told me that she had been to a PartyLite event in the middle of the week—one where candles of every size, shape and fragrance are sold. The people at her house have fragrance allergies so there didn’t seem much point in exploring fragrance nor products for her. So there was a party that didn’t work for her.

That made me think that she and I could have our own candle party for the eveningI seem. to always be buying candles but never lighting them. We went around the house taking down candle candelabras, finding ruby red Christmas tea lights, exploring the beauty of tiny glass bunnies with smaller tapers coming out of their backs and commenting on the ugly design of a wooden candle. Wood is never ugly – except in this case.

We must have been in tune with the environment or at least somehow have known that a tree was about to fall on one of the electrical lines, for we had enough candles collected to light up the house by time the darkness fell.

Photo by Rob Dirk
The New Look of the Train Coming Down the Track
A magnificent storm was coming in. First there was the wind that blows the rust and brown crackled leaves of last year to the east side of the porch and the switches and blows them to the west side of the porch. Then the waves come along the lake from the west, first small whitecaps and then waves with large white ridges – big enough to ride. When the rain began to fall it was in sheets of water. We could see it against the light behind green trees and again as it hit the deck.

“This is like rain in Florida,” Bonnie said, “sheets of rain coming down”. And then there was the sound like the sound of a gunshot and out lights went out. That was the tree falling on the line and triggering the electrical breaker.

We hadn’t planned what to have for supper, so having no electricity didn’t interfere with out plans. We sliced a cucumber into large lengthwise fingers, called that our main course and we were both happy to have a meal plan like that executed – no pots and pans, no dishes, no clean-up.

Photo by Rob Dirk
The New Look of the Path to the Lake
David Wood and Glen were the investigators, trying to find out why we had no power.

Dave was the one who found the tree laying on the electrical line and Glen called in a help message to BC hydro who had someone out on the site within the hour to fix it.

With the electrical back, Bonnie and I finished out our candle party and we both needed a rest from all of that fun so we pulled out our electronics.

I told Bonnie that I have few regrets about my life – but this one. I wish I had studied more about Canadian history and about Canadian geography. That is why I sometimes go to the National Film Board site to watch something in the evenings. So that is what we did – the most spectacular film from the Five Feminist Minutes series. The 5 minute film was “New Shoes” – an intriguing title with a dark underside.

And that ended the first 5 hours of what truly became 24 hours of fun – about which I may type more, later.


Gifts of the Day

Photo: Rob Dirk

Steps up to Arta's House
My day began with a walk up the trail by the Little Canadian Stream.

David Pilling and Glen have done a considerable amount of work making switch backs, taking out roots that might grab the shoe of a climber and making points of interest – one being a charming step that helped me to get across a log and another is the addition of small wishing well near the top of the trail.

Glen pointed out the old growth of Douglas fir, tall, unbranched boles reaching to the sky, only branched near the top of the tree. We saw a white pine and I wondered how he knew it was a white pine. “Because I am a forester,” was the reply, but he went on to say, “it will have the cones of the white pine at its base.” I am just going to have to remember where it was situated down by the stream.

I planted a black currant bush today, the start of which Moiya gave me in a bucket a few days ago. She bought a currant bush for she remembers her dad saying, “Come on and sit at the table with me, Moiya, and I will give you a taste of something that is so delicious.” In those days the jam came in an Empress tin with a pop of lid to which one had to take a knife to the rim. Glen helped me find a moist environment for the black currant bush since it likes water and shade. Glen promised me that the bush might give me one cup of berries out of which I might only be able to make that much jam for the year. One part of me thinks it is just easier to buy the jam.

I planted some spiny wood fern in one of the garden beds I have been preparing. Again, here is a little plant that loves the moisture and plenty of good earth. I am going to fill in the rest of the beds with wave petunias, the first time I will have ever bought them. A first for everything.

I weeded the raspberries at the road side edge of my house. The earth is wet and it is easy to pluck the lawn grass and the quack grass away from the stems of the plants. The CPR trucks come around that curve and hold to the outside of the road, pushing dirt up against the bushes, until there is a small rimmed step now – there is nothing I can do to undo the force of the wheels of those giant machines. I content myself to life with that little step, rather than try to rake the rim out.

Photo: Rob Dirk

Steps up to the Old Tree House
Glen thinks he has spotted the alpha crow of our area. Sometimes it hangs to the top of a giant Douglas fir, just making the top of the tree swing slightly. At dinner we saw the alpha crow swoop down on another crow – a territorial fight. Glen thinks he recognizes at least one crow on the property. It has an unforgettable gait for people who are crow watchers.

On the way home Glen showed me the lime green tips of the hemlock tree. “Beauty in every season,” he comments. We stop by his lilac bushes and then mine, the air redolent with their fragrance. I have a yellow lily, just one but many are budded a

nd waiting for their turn to be showy. As well The outer green leaves of a wine coloured peony are peeling back in my front yard. So there are my gifts for the day: walking, planting, smelling the Spring fragrances and watching birds.


Friday, May 24, 2019

More on Supper with Terry

I am filled with memories from my childhood that have been triggered by the visit of Terry Stringer. Howard, Lila, Nila and Terry Stringer were the neighbours across the street from us.  When I lived at 1235 16 A Street they were the family to the east.  To the west of us was a meadow and then the small rolling foothills, then the bigger foothills and then the Rockies.  We were on the edge of town, so much so that Doral had a cow kept by a farmer whose house was in a field a 20 minute walk away.  That field is now the corner of 19th street and the trans-Canada Highway.  Between us and that farmhouse was  bald prairie, gophers, dry summer grass, , crocuses, purple shooting stars, grass hoppers – we had it all.

Terry’s lifetime dream was fulfilled when she took a Scandinavian-Russian Viking Cruise and stopped over in St. Petersburg.  She took the early hour tour of the Hermitage so her group missed the crowds in the museum and had a guide help them go from room to room.  Her goal was to see Rembrandt’s Prodigal son .  She said she was not disappointed by its size, she said, something that can happen when a person first sees the Mona Lisa. 

We shared common experiences and the not-so-common experiences of all of our lives.  Terry took a degree in agriculture, then a degree in education, and then a master’s degree in education and has taught widely with experiences in Alberta and in South Africa where she helped start an NGO.  I was fascinated as she described the rise of this space to help orphans.  She spoke of the lifetime  of the NGO and now of her work in it as it winds down for the last three years of its lifetime service to the orphans who are now grown.

When our dinner group went back to discussing our shared pastTerry described what it was look out her window and see what was going on at the Pilling house, Moiya and I brought our own perspective to what was going on.  For example, Terry said that her mother took all of her tools and painted them with bright yellow handles.  Then Doral would come to borrow one of them.  The kids would get hold of the tools and take them down to the meadow and leave them there.  Having bright yellow handles made it easier for Lila to go to the meadow and find her tools. Terry was right.  We never had tools at our house.

I use the word meadow loosely.  Behind our house was a long hill and then a road.  We were on 16A Street and the meadow was a block long and maybe 3 blocks wide. At the bottom corner was a hidden spring.  By the water there was a copse of willows.  In the winter the hill acted as a toboggan run for us.  In the summer it was dry grass full of gopher holes, chirping crickets and evening fireflies.

I didn’t know that Howard Stringer had Parkinson’s disease.  Nor did I know that he died at the age of 62 and Lila at the age of 69 which now seems young to me.  Terry and Moiya are in their later 60’s now and agree that the decade of the 60’s seems young.

Terry told Moiya that Moiya was the object of a sermon that Terry gave not long ago.  I wanted to know more.  Terry had always been a swimmer. Moiya also swam but not to the degree that Terry took lessons. One day Doral came over and took Terry’s dad, Howard, out to watch Moiya swim.  Terry carried a hurt over that, since Howard had never gone to see Terry swim.  The mature Terry knows that Doral was giving Howard an outing. But that younger Terry still knows how it feels when a parent is perceived as not loving a child. 

I think we must have been discussing this subject since The Prodigal Son is Terry’s favourite parable.  I was curious as to what moral Terry takes from that parable, since lately I attended a meeting where many people had a chance to tell their take-away from that story.  Terry’s bottom line is that the picture is about a father’s mercy and love for all of his children.

Terry and Moiya talked about the forbidden stories of  childhood.  For Terry it was that my grandfather, Will Pilling, would go over to Lila’s for a cup of coffee or maybe for some elderberry wine.  He walked with a big knotty pine stave, its diamond design decorating its length.  When he got to the Stringer’s stairs he had to climb to get into her house. Will sat on one and then lifted himself up to the next, slowing making his way up the landing and to Lila’s kitchen.  Her children were told by their mother, “The Pilling’s grandfather comes over here for coffee, but we will keep that to ourselves

All three of us talked about the neighbours on our street – what had happened to the house when the Manning’s moved out.  How the Randall’s now had a second story added. Was someone still in the Cockerton house? 

Where was the best place to hide during the game of Kick the Can? That was a question that still lingers.  Terry’s answer? Behind Cockerton’s fence, since everyone knew the Cockerton’s didn’t allow us to go there even in a game of hide and seek.

As I have been typing I have been thinking about our house as a focus out of our neighbour’s windows.  Our house looked west to the rolling prairie.  But the neighbour’s windows looked on at the Pillings before they could see meadow, the foothills and the mountains.

My mother had 3 clothes lines.  Two could be accessed from the main level side porch and the other from the walk-out basement.  The washing had to be done every two days.  There were 11 people in the house and usually a baby in flannel diapers.  The diapers would take least one whole clothes line.  I learned how to hang them in two’s to conserve space, lining up the ends of two diapers and then putting a clothes peg on which would eventually hold four corners neatly pegged to the line.

For many years there was always a truck and a car parked at our house.  Those were the vehicles that ran.  Two others vehciles, either waiting for repair or having found their final resting place, sat on the south side of the property.

When we moved there in 1945, only farm houses from the past dotted the prairie.  Doral borrowed $7,000 to build the house.  When times were tough, his mortgage payments might get many months behind. 

“Don’t answer the phone,” my mother would say.  She knew it was another call about mortgage arrears.  Doral sold the house for $300,000 in the late 1970’s and said it was a gift for he didn’t think the old place owed him anything.  He had raised his family in it and that was enough.

My father liked animals.  He raised  champion hunting dogs – both cocker
spaniels and setters.  He liked to train dogs.  He liked to hunt ducks.  The two passions went together.

Doral bought a horse, Comet, and tethered him in the meadows where there was rich grass to eat.  I hadn’t really thought about it before, Comet must have left horse dung for us to leap over as we played in that meadow.  That hose must have been an object of delight for the neighbourhood children.  Terry said that when the call went out, “Comet got loose”, everyone ran to catch him.

Doral liked the unusual so while we did not have animals inside, we did have a Siamese cat keeping the mice down.

And now I must stop thinking about the past and get out and weed while the sun is cool and the ground is wet.  The rest is "to be continued", perhaps.


Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Pam and Rob Dirk

Doral and Anita invited their long-time friends, Pam and Rob Dirk, to camp on Lot 3 with us for the long May weekend.

Photo Credit: Rob Dirk
... lake side, Arta's house..
Rob was the poster board child for me in two ways.

The first is that after his heart event last year he carries his nitro with him.

When I pressed him on “does he really carry it all the time”, since he appeared not to have any with him, he pulled a canister of it out of the side-pocket in the leg of his cargo pants.

He must want to live more than I do.

 I think it is enough to have mine already in my purse for when I go shopping, as if that is what I do for the major part of any day.

So I have packed mine into a fanny pack for the last three days and worn it as I walk around the property weeding flower beds or looking at places I need to cut back trees that are growing out of control.
Photo Credit: Rob Dirk

... train from Arta's balcony...

The second way that Rob was inspirational would only be to me and maybe some other memoir keepers.

He has a 5 by 8 book which he let me look at saying, “You made it to the pages of my memoir this morning.”

He opened his book and in the bottom right hand corner of the left page was a picture of me from the back walking along the Grandfathers’ Trail.

Rob and I had take that walk the day before and now as a sidebar to his text there I was – both on the right hand page and then again on the left hand page where the colour had bed through.

He had just finished filling in the colour and continued writing, so I am captured both coming and going.

Photo Credit: Rob Dirk

... stairs going up to Arta's house ...
Like Rebecca does on her notes, he uses different colours of pens and felts and boxes; it is a toss-up as to whether each leaf of the book is a piece of artwork or a page of memoir.

While Pam and Rob were here serious gaming went on – so serious that any person with any bit of interest is invited to the table so that no interested gamer would ever be left out.

There was always some mix of Rob, Pam, Anita, Doral, Meighan, David and Bonnie Wyora.

One night they gamed so late Bonnie Wyora had to do a sleep-over with us.

That was a day where no minute was lost.


Terry (Stringer) and Mike Fleming

Moiya invited me to her house last night to have supper with Terry (Stringer) and Mike Fleming.

The Stringers lived across the street when I was a child. Mrs. Stringer was a family institution. If my folk weren’t home and something happened that needed adult help the cry went out, “Run, go get Mrs. Stringer.” Lila helped to raise us. Lila and Howard didn’t moved into their house until 1948. They lived in the cement walk-in basement of their house, waiting to finish the top part and they didn’t move into it until 6 years after Terry was born and she was born in 1951, so that would make 14 years that they lived downstairs, waiting to accumulate enough money to finish off the top of the house. The $25,000 mortgage didn’t get retired until much after that.

Front Row: Arta Pilling, Terry Stringer, Moiya Pilling
Back Row: Mike Fleming, David Wood
It was over at Terry’s house that Moiya saw her first decanter and lovely cut glass wine glasses. She asked Terry what that was and could she have a smell. When Terry obliged and Moiya went to smell it, Terry sloshed it forward, a small drop landing on the outside of Moiya’s lip. Moiya said she ran to the bathroom and scrubbed that lip until it was raw, hoping not to have lost her salvation over her inquisitiveness.

I reminded Moiya that while our folks had people over every Sunday for dinner, we never had company, which is what the Stringers had. Sometimes Nila would say, “I have to go home. We are having company.” We never had company at our house. Our loss although our house was always alive with people – the ones who lived there and all of their friends. Terry said it was so much fun to come over – there was always something going on at the Pilling’s house. Home made chocolates at Christmas, carefully packed away into nylon stocking boxes. Even Moiya and I had forgotten that detail. Terry said, “How wonderful it was to be there when hot bread was taken out of the oven.” Of course, all of the children at our house were longing for a loaf of the store bought bread that graced the Stringer’s table. Just a piece of that was like dessert to us. Terry could remember the hunting dogs, the rabbits, the frogs – they were the animals that were at our house. And she longed to have matching dresses like the ones that Wyona sewed for Darla and Moiya.
Moiya's picture of Jesus is in our photo for a reason.

See the accompanying blogpost
(which is yet to be written).

Terry and Moiya compared birthdays, Moiya remembering that she always shared her day with Richard – a double party, not something Moiya really wanted, but that is the way it was. Moiya remembered that somehow Wyora would curtain off the door to the sewing room with a low curtain, and then everyone could go fishing – a string tossed over the curtain and then onto the hook at the other end was a gift attached for each child who came to the party.

Moiya served us pizza from her new pizza oven last night. She asked if we wanted ice cream. Terry is staying away from sugar so she passed. I called for a Pilling-sized ice cream bowl in honour of the fun of yesterday’s reminiscences.


My Clematis

When I arrived in Annis Bay I looked at my clematis which was full of leaves and vines.

Glen pointed out to me that it was ready to bloom.

The buds were tight on the vines but they needed some sun to burst out.

The sun has come.

Yesterday there were a few flowers.

Today my clematis is covered with faintly purple tinged blooms, a mass of them.

When I stepped out onto my porch at 5:30 am, an ungodly hour, but still I was dressed and ready to go to work on the garden beds, I was taken back with the sudden beauty of the lowers against the green leaves.

That single plant cutting that Glen gave me years ago is clinging to some iron.

The soil above the ground of the clematis are covered with stones to keep the roots cool.

That is all the tending it needs.


Monday, May 20, 2019

The Five Hour Road Trip

Revelstoke Bridge
Doral, Anita and Meighan picked me up from an appointment at the South Campus Health Hospital.

They were picking up hiking boot while I was having an appointment with the hip surgeon.

My appointment ended before their shopping was done and there is a MEC store in the Seton Place Shopping District.

Meighan Johnson in Revelstoke
Anita told me she loves socks and this is the place to get fashion and comfort: socks that wick perspiration, climbing gear, and tools for camping.

The canoes, the kayaks the running shoes, the back packs are all on one floor and even I never have wanted to rock climb, I still wanted to buy the gear – everything so beautiful.

Meighan was our barometer as to when we stopped.

Each town her dad would ask her if she were hungry.

“No, I am fine.”

So we travelled straight through until Revelstoke at which time she wanted an A&W teen burger.

Revelstoke isn’t a place where there are a lot of choices about places to eat.

But she only needed that choice and the rest of us needed a stretch.

That is the longest I have ever travelled going out to BC without a break. Anita says that once Doral is in the car he wants to drive straight through – no tourist stops.

To the west of the A&W parking lot is a beautiful park for children.

The trees in it were in full bloom.

There is a running trail that follow by the river and probably a long path that goes under the bridge.

There is both the feeling of being in extreme nature and surrounded by technology for the hydro lines cut a swath across the mountains to the west, carrying electricity from the dam to hundreds of thousands of people.

This is a beautiful place to stop and consider, though I am not quite sure in which direction the consideration should go.