[I’m back in Manitoba. And look who’s here too!]
“So did you two know each other in BC?” has been a common question in the kitchen lately. At first, it was the staff that asked. Sometimes a passing through pilot or a staff member from off-island will make the inquiry of this year’s chef and I when joining us at coffee break and now the occasional chatty guest.
“We’ve known each other for over ten years, actually,” is the usual reply.
I think that’s a pretty cool fact. Especially because ten years ago (or even five) I never would have guessed that the two of us would be working side by side at a fishing lodge in Manitoba. Not that either of us would have seen it as a bad thing, but perhaps we both envisioned a lot of other paths our lives might take us, and fishing lodges didn’t cross our minds.
So let me stop rambling now, and quit the suspense. You need to meet Melody:
I actually like to describe Melody as a long lost cousin. By working with my family for almost all those ten years we’ve known her – both my immediate family and extended – she’s been unofficially adopted as one of our own. Her and I, however, despite always being in the same spheres: attending to the same small high school, sharing many close friends, and living in the same different towns across BC – have never yet had to chance to connect for more than a day or two here or there and become truly real friends. We have many shared experiences, but never from the same time.
Until this summer.
All of last year, my first at the lodge, Melody was on my mind. “Melody would do well in a place like this,” I thought. “And this place would do well to have her.” So I wrote her a postcard – which I never sent – and put a bug in her ear about the place when last year’s cook decided to stay down South this year.
Somewhat surprisingly, Melody applied for the head cook/chef position.
Unsurprisingly, she was hired.
And here we are.
Six years out of high school and three provinces away from home, working side by side in a small island kitchen. Isn’t it funny? I wouldn’t have it any other way.