The delightful dilemma that I face in Nanaimo is that there are so many fun activities from which to choose.
I find that on about five out of seven nights there are events that appeal to me. Many of them are free or by voluntary donation.
Sometimes there simultaneously are two or three events that are equally appealing, and I'm forced to choose from amongst them.
Occasionally I skip an event that sounds as if it would be interesting or fun, because I need a night off!
This is what my social calendar for this week looks like:
Sunday night - Taize (tay-zay), a meditative and musical service at Bethlehem Retreat Centre - FREE
Monday - Drove 100 km (60 miles) each way to Courtenay, to visit my dear friend, Christina. I paid for the gasoline, and she took me out to lunch. As I prepare to cut the umbilical chord between my vehicle and me, I have resolved not to drive up there by myself again. Next time I go, I intend to catch the train or the bus.
Monday night - A night off, what a concept
Tuesday afternoon - Had to miss a forum about the Alberta Tar Sands at Vancouver Island University in order to attend a Marketing Committee meeting and a Board of Directors meeting for Pacific Gardens Cohousing Community. But, having just moved from Alberta myself, I am not entirely a stranger to the issues that must have been addressed at that forum. The pithy title of William Marsden's book most likely summarizes the information and opinions that were presented there -- Stupid to the Last Drop.
Tuesday night - Spontaneous invitation to a Greek restaurant from Susana. We both were interested in a talk that Gwynne Dyer was giving at Vancouver Island University. But we also wanted some down time and a chance to get to know each other better. Dyer's presentation no doubt would have been interesting, but I sure enjoyed the conversation with Susana. She generously picked up the tab so, from my point of view, the meal was FREE.
Wednesday night (tonight) - Mr. Holland's Opus, one in the Mid-Week Movies series that addresses mental health issues - FREE
Thursday morning - Ubuntu Choir - Costs $7 for a drop-in session. (Next year I'll go for the $25/month package deal.)
Friday night - Family Sphaghetti Dinner and Sing-along at the First Unitarian Fellowship of Nanaimo - voluntary donation
Saturday night - Potluck dinner with friends. Cost? Well, I suppose if I wanted to get technical I'd say I have to buy ingredients for the casserole dish I'll take. But the occasion essentially will be free or, rather, because of the company of friends, priceless.
Sunday afternoon - Hike with the Whiners Hiking Club. I'm not sure about that, as there are some other options for Sunday afternoon. But I've pencilled it into my calendar. If I do go, it'll be FREE.
Sunday night - The Singing Christmas Tree at the Evangelistic Tabernacle Family Church, an annual concert that reportedly is very, very good and FREE.
One of the things that will be so cool when we're actually living in community is that we'll have the pleasure of good food and good company when we have a couple of communal meals a week in our common house.