Hodgepodge by Charlie Hodge – Staycation time in the Okanagan

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It’s all really about perspective, or attitude.

To a large degree life is indeed all about our mind set – what is and/or what we make of it. The beauty about that whole scenario is that it boils down to choice.

We alone dictate our attitude.

We can blame circumstances, find excuses, target others as the problem or the source – yet at the end of the string – it is the individual that pushes or pulls it. We choose our happiness or sorrow, love or hate, joy or anger.

That’s a long lead into the question for today. What kind of summer are you going to have?

I myself, given the opportunity to see it through, intend to have a fabulous time. My entire plans count on going nowhere – or at least nowhere that is outside of my designated physical region as currently dictated by our provincial government.

While many might perceive the recent health orders about restricting travel outside of our region as punitive or devastating – I find it both logical and wonderful.

Foremost these are unprecedented times of significant risk. If you scoff at the current pandemic as a hoax, is it not still prudent and responsible to error on the side of caution?

Should you refuse the vaccine is it not reasonable to at least be aware and respectful of others and follow the temporary travel restriction. To do otherwise is purely selfish and perhaps deadly foolish.

If you have no respect for saving your own life how about that of your friends, partner, children, parents? What if you are wrong?

That aside, restrictions regarding safe distancing and restricted travel are a reality that actually provide a number of positive options or choices. During these harsh times it seems only proper to spend our dollars at home as much as possible.

At the top of my list is helping local businesses which are in huge trouble and desperately need our support. Restaurants, retail and pubs have been thumped but are attempting to adapt offering outdoor access when the weather is nice.

Being forced to stay home creates options for those wanting to still have some adventure and fun via a ‘Staycation’  right here in the Valley. Businesses geared towards tourism or holiday travel have been clobbered the past year yet offer several amazing packages and attractions.

We literally live in a paradise and are blessed with a plethora of parks, beaches, mountain lakes, adventure trails, bike routes and numerous other tourist attractions.

Even home can be a great ‘get away’.

Tez and I have already ordered a cheap, plastic large kids pool for the backyard which will hopefully survive until the fall. We are digging out the old beat up croquet game and will keep an eye out for some other fun, silly outdoor distractions for the yard.

We may just pull out the tent and put it up in the backyard for a few days – and try to ignore housework. Why not camp at home – at least we know the campground supplies showers?

While my lack of lungs, strength and a dependence on oxygen rule out riding bikes Tez and I also plan on several day-long picnic trips in the car. We are stealing a page from our friends’ (Barry and Donna) play book and deciding on a variety of day trips to different locations within our region to explore. We are gathering our local tourist brochures and plotting summer escapes.

As long as I can recall the Okanagan was always a destination location, the four season’s playground of Canada. As a child I fondly remember counting the number of green license plates and yellow plates – analyzing whether there were more Alberta or Saskatchewan tourists rolling onto town that day. Floods of Americans soon joined the tourist rush when the Canadian dollar dropped. Kelowna residents use to hide at our ‘secret’ hideaway places until the tourists left. This summer we don’t have to.

Certainly social distancing and limited travel restricts us in some ways, however the greatest blockage for fun potential this summer is our own creativity and mindset.

The Okanagan and Vancouver Island are the two most beautiful places in Canada. Thousands of  people from around the world seek out our home town as a place to travel to for their holidays. How blessed are we to actually live here?

I cannot think of a better place to  spend my summer then at home. Time for some sun screen and a blanket.


I am hoping my birthday next week is blessed by a big box of books at  my door, though it may be pushing the timeline. At some point by mid month I will be holding my new book freshly printed and shipped out.

It’s been a lot of hard work, research and overcoming a number of hurdles this book project I started with friend Dan McGauley five years ago. It was our hope to get the book out before our individual clocks stopped. Unfortunately my dear friend Danny died last month.

His loss diminishes the joy of the book’s completion however we are proud of the product. Stay posted for the release date of The Lost Souls of Lakewood.

It’s sort of like Christmas for me – waiting, waiting waiting …

More Hodgepodge by Charlie Hodge!

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Charlie Hodge is a best-selling author, writer, a current Kelowna City Councillor, and a Director on the Regional District of the Central Okanagan Board. He spent more than 25 years as a full-time newspaper journalist and has a diverse background in public relations, promotions, personal coaching, and strategic planning. A former managing editor, assistant editor, sports editor, entertainment editor, journalist, and photographer, Hodge also co-hosted a variety of radio talk shows and still writes a regular weekly newspaper column titled Hodge Podge, which he has crafted now for 41 years. His biography on Howie Meeker, titled Golly Gee It’s Me is a Canadian bestseller and his second book, Stop It There, Back It Up – 50 Years of the NHL garnered lots of attention from media and hockey fans alike. Charlie is currently working on a third hockey book, as well as a contracted historical/fiction novel. His creative promotional skills and strategic planning have been utilized for many years in the Canadian music industry, provincial, national, and international environmental fields, and municipal, provincial, and federal politics. Charlie is a skilled facilitator, a dynamic motivational speaker, and effective personal coach. His hobbies include gardening, canoeing, playing pool, and writing music. Charlie shares his Okanagan home with wife Teresa and five spoiled cats.


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