Hodgepodge by Charlie Hodge – July 14th, 2017

It’s an Okanagan déjà vu all over again. No sooner have we survived a deluge of rain for an extended period of time than we are thrust into a mind bending, yard-scorching heat wave. And in true Okanagan style I admit to complaining about both scenarios.I have no idea what your yard looks like but I am depressed with the dead looking vegetation around my yard that earlier this year slightly resembled a vegetable and flower garden.  Tez and I worked diligently in the early spring starting up our raised garden beds and other planted areas hoping to have a bountiful crop of organic vegetables by now. Then the rains began and pretty much drowned or washed away most seeded areas and young plants.Undaunted we replanted our  substantial sized gardens only to be washed away a second time.Determined to not be outdone by Mother Nature, we restocked our gardens for a third time a few weeks back only to be trumped by our current heat wave. Our yard literally looks like a scorched prairie with the exception of some hearty daisies and tough old sunflowers. There is not a carrot or beet plant in site, our cucumbers are disguised as dead foliage and the tomato plants cling limply to the tomato cages like exhausted boxers to the ring ropes. Heck even the green peppers are complaining about the intense heat.Like many other area residents, in addition to the exhausting heat the heavy smoke challenges my ability to breathe, so even watering our struggling plants is more difficult than normal.Ironically when the rains were causing mayhem in the spring I joined the local throngs in complaining that I could not wait for the heat to arrive and now I just wish it would end.  However as tough as mother nature has been on our yard I am reminded how harsh it has been on others in a much worse way.Not only have hundreds of Kelowna residents struggled from loss or inconvenience due to the recent unprecedented flooding but now others are facing threats of concerns due to heat and smoke and fire. Anyone with breathing concerns are at significant risk outdoors, and forest fires remain a real threat.Despite the floods and fires tourists and visitors thankfully still find their way here. As mentioned last week my long lost brother travelled from Ontario for a visit, arriving a few days after the heat wave. Naturally the day before he arrived our antique air conditioner quit.I must give a great big smiley thank you to Trevor, Steven, and  Alan Ewbank at A-1 Heating and Air Conditioning who despite the insane demands of the week managed to find time to fix our system. Not only were they quick and efficient at finding the right parts and installing them, but were extremely polite and accommodating in the process. Thanks guys.


The Kelowna Buckaroo reunion scheduled for this past weekend was cancelled however one or two former players are visiting town, including  former NHL player and BCJHL star Gene Carr. If you were a former teammate or fan and would like to contact Gene send me an email at charliehodge333@gmail.com and I will put you in contact with him when he arrives.


Thespians and music fans make sure and mark September 13-16 down in your calendar. Those are the dates that the amazing rock-opera Raft returns to Kelowna for performances at the Mary Irwin Theatre. The original musical-play was brilliantly created two years ago by award winning songwriters Pat Brown and Randall Robinson (of  Ten2Nine fame) and received rave reviews.Since then the show enjoyed success with O-Zone (Theatre B.C.’s Okanagan Zone festival in Salmon Arm) where it won Best Musical Direction, Best Musical Ensemble, and Best Costumes.I will mention more about this fabulous production in August but be sure and mark it down now as you will not want to miss it.For further info go to  http://www.raftrockopera.com

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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