Sunday, August 7, 2016

Chilcotin Holidays

Carl the Carpenter

'If you love your work, you'll never work a day in your life', or so the saying goes. This week at the Ranch, I was privileged to meet and work with a Chilcotin legend; Carl the Carpenter. Carl is a First Nations Elder in his 80's who continues to make the five hour trip from his home in Williams Lake, down to the ranch to help out with various handyman projects throughout the year. As Carl pulled up in his pick up, I could see the sparkle in his eye hinting at the cheeky personality behind his kind smile.

Our job for the day was to revamp the porch, a task which involved removing the damaged timber, laying a new floor and finishing it all with a fresh coat of paint. Carl worked tirelessly throughout the morning, moving slowly back and forth from tool to timber. I paused once or twice as the morning wore on, to watch him at work. Although his sight may not be as sharp as it once was, and his hands not quite as steady, his passion for his work remains strong and his attitude towards his work was evident in everything he did.

Years of working with interns at Chilcotin have taught Carl patience and kindness and he happily demonstrated how to use each of the new tools and kept a watchful eye over my work; never intruding but always there if I should need some technical advice or a trick of the trade to speed things along.

As I fumbled with the hammer and skewed a nail into an impossible angle, I heard him say with a bit of a chuckle, “Ah, the wind must have blown it over”. It was this kind hearted approach to my learning and the gentle way in which he looked upon my slip ups that really touched me. He himself was not immune to mistakes and on more than one occasion we ended up with a plywood board, slightly too short for the allotted area. But the way he met these challenges with such a gentle manner and a positive outlook, meant that it was impossible not to be inspired by him.

Not only did we end up with a seriously good looking porch at the end of the day, but I also learned some very valuable lessons from Carl. Who knew swinging a hammer could prove that life is not always as serious as we some times make it out to be, and that mistakes aren't the end of the world? Aside from the hands on skills, I actually think above all else Carl taught me that we should all do what we love, enjoy what we do, try our best and always be kind to ourselves and those around us.

Chilcotin Holidays

About Chilcotin Holidays

We are a licensed guide outfitter and we conduct guided wilderness adventures throughout our 5,000 square km operating area. This guide area has been operational since 1880, making it the oldest in British Columbia. More about us HERE.

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