Close One Door, Open Another

December is a wicked month – at least it is in our family. Nearly all our great tragedies, the ones that will dwell in our memories for the rest of our days, have happened in December. Illness and death are the standard fare, but now and then December shoves us through another door and we mutter, “I sure didn’t see that one coming.”

Close some doors today, not because of pride, incapacity or arrogance, but simply because they lead you nowhere.
– Paulo Coelho –

This December has been no different – two family health issues have arrived. I can’t begin to predict the outcome of either of these – there are too many possible scenarios when the human mind and body are concerned. I have no doubt though that some doors will close and some doors will open and we will all move on some how.

wooden doorDecember also brought the opening and closing of two very literal doors. One door is to the house we now own in the desert country of Arizona. We opened the door to this ‘new to us’ abode about a month ago. Setting up shop in a new country with a husband who is still recovering from a brain injury – it has been challenging. But every time I check the weather report and see what the temperature is back in Canada – well, I feel a bit better about walking through this new door.

One door will probably be closing, however. Our Cabin Community is on land that is leased from a Canadian First Nation. The lease will expire at the end of the 2013 season. We had thought the new lease was a done deal, but it turns out it wasn’t. The Nation’s Economic Development Committee and the Chief and Council had all signed an agreement, but they did not foresee the power of a group of malcontents who (depending on which one of them you listen to): hate the Canadian Federal Government and all white people; want all the cabin owners gone but would welcome ‘rich Arabians’  who might want to lease the land; don’t trust the government of their own Nation;  think the land is worth much more than the lease was giving them … the list goes on and on.

Through the power of Facebook, they were able to defeat the lease referendum. So, at the end of next cabin season the First Nation staff will be out of jobs and the Cabin owners will kiss their leisure investment goodbye. Within a few years a vibrant 39 year old community, where ‘Two Nations‘ worked and played together, will disappear under the foliage of Mother Nature.

How naive and trusting I have been.

I went down the street to the 24-hour grocery. When I got there, the guy was locking the front door. I said, ‘Hey, the sign says you’re open 24 hours.’ He said, ‘Yes, but not in a row.’
– Steven Wright –

33 thoughts on “Close One Door, Open Another

  1. Oh my goodness on all fronts! I’m so sorry to hear about the health issues – I sincerely hope everything works out for the persons involved. I am also sorry to hear about your losing your little cabin. We had friends who had a place across the border in Montana and they,too, lost their cabin when the Aboriginals decided to take back their land and not renew leases. We lease the lot our cabin sits on but we lease it from the provincial government since we are in a provincial park. I certainly hope they don’t get any ideas! Enjoy your new warm surroundings because we have been experiencing winter since the middle of October this year! Much too early!


    • It is an unfortunate scenario. The First Nations know that their dependence on Federal funding isn’t the answer to their economic woes. Leasing their land is one option, but that is doomed to failure if they do not renew leases after their tenants have invested so much time and money into a project.


  2. I too, am very sad to hear about the illnesses. Please know that we are thinking of you and hoping the best. Also, am sorry to hear about the cabin, but not surprised to hear that Arabs are buying or leasing the land. Take care. Joy


    • Thanks Joy. I highly doubt a group of Arabs will want to invest in a small resort that has been flooded out twice. If it hadn’t been for the bull headed determination of the cabin owners to rebuild each time, there would not be a resort.


  3. I love the theme your blog pulled out of the closet today.

    I don’t know all the politics behind what is happening with First Nation, but having a little bit of background (and isn’t a ‘little bit’ always a dangerous thing?) in US federal Indian policy, I found your closing line so ironic. That certainly sounds like a situation that hasn’t gone well for any of the real people involved.

    Sending heartfelt good energy that the health problems are resolved happily and soon and that all your new doors have good things on the other side.


    • The bright spot of my day today was finding this happy looking Christmas paper.
      You are right. Many people will be deeply hurt, emotionally and financially, by the people who had no vested interest in the project.


  4. Hi,
    Sorry to hear about the health problems, always difficult regardless of the time of year I feel. Also sad to hear about your cabin, you have a lovely collection of posts and photos of the cabin, so many wonderful times there with family. It sounds like it has hit a few people not being able to renew the lease, I don’t know anything about the politics of the country, but it sounds like it is all about money more than anything else.
    A new beginning in a new home, looking forward to seeing some photos of Arizona.


    • Yes, we have had a wonderful time at the cabin and are looking forward to opening the doors there in the middle of April.
      Politics and money – the source of most of the woes in the world!


  5. So sorry to hear about the health issues. That’s always difficult but it seems even more so this time of year. I hope the issues are all happily resolved in a quick manner. Also sorry to hear about the cabin. Sometimes people can be very short-sighted in these matters. I will keep good thoughts for you as you negotiate your way through it all.


    • Thanks for your warm thoughts! We had nice warm weather when we got here, but it has been raining for the past few days, there has been frost the last few nights, and there is snow on the top of the mountains. Clearly cactus can survive very extreme temperatures.


  6. The U.S. Forest Service sent notice to Lake Wenatchee cabin owners that lease fees for the public land would spike more than 1,000 percent, from $1,400 to more than $17,000, in 2011. Some of the 14,500 cabin owners nationwide — including 2,800 in Washington and Oregon — said they would simply walk away.


  7. All that you wrote about is a real bummer. I am so sorry that your husband was injured.I think if you make a clean break from the north that things might just get better for you. I am sending you positive karma. I will add you and your husband to my prayers. Stay positive and believe that this move will be a good one.



    • I’ve discovered the tall Frappuccino Cafe Vanilla no fat no whip cream drink at the Starbucks in the Barnes and Nobel book store – a very happy door to open whenever I am in that neighbourhood.


  8. A tough post to read, Margie, but I’m glad you shared it with us. I’ll keep you and your family in my prayers. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t have “health issues” somewhere in the family. It’s part of life, but knowing that never eliminates the pain…

    I’ve been reading you long enough to think “the cabin” is code for The Red House. I feel like I know it better than some places I’ve actually been. How awful to think it will fall victim to bickering. We seem to be surrounded by self-seeking bickering on all sides these days.

    Loved the Paulo Coelho quote. I’d never heard of him. If he never writes another thing, that one line would be a superb legacy– a lot of wisdom there.

    You’re an influence for good, and I wish you a very Merry Christmas despite the trying circumstances. Hang in there.


    • Thanks for your always observant comments and a Merry Christmas to you, Mark. Fortunately, the Cabin and the Red House are two different places, though both have come under the influence of forces we don’t control. The Red House was annexed by the nearest city and that was a blow to our rural sensibilities. Now we will likely lose the cabin and the First Nation will lose all credibility in their future efforts to attract investment to their reserve.
      Another Paulo Quotation:
      “Nothing in the world is ever completely wrong. Even a stopped clock is right twice a day.”
      ― Paulo Coelho, Brida


  9. Well now – with December almost behind us – here’s to the new doors that might open. Wishing you and yours all the best in this up and coming new year!


  10. While I’m sorry for the events in the cabin community, I envy you your new residence in Arizona. It is one of my favorite parts of the country. We were just talking about going back out for visit maybe this year. Good luck with the unexpected December health issues, hopefully they will turn for the better.

    Love the picture!


There, I'm finished. Now it is your turn:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s