September’s Topic: “Favourite thing about where you are located.”
What’s to love? ~ September Think Tank Blog
So. Many. Things.
First…. I’ll start by telling you – I’m not from here. I’m a transplant. I grew up in rural central Alberta. It’s a little bit like here, but really, not like it at all. So…. I made a choice to be *here*. It’s not an accident I am where I am. I chose it. Made an effort to get here…… I spent the good part of a 2 decades living a life in a somewhat gypsy manner. I lost count in how many time I have moved since I moved out of my parents home – somewhere around 30… 30 moves. Be them from location, to city, to province to countries. Or within a community. 30+ times….
So, I have been here, in ther Kootenay region of BC, just over 5 years. It’s a record. Officially here longer than anywhere. Yes, I admit, I feel itchy, like it’s time to pack… But I LIKE it here. I want to stay.
*I have moved three times here though 🙂
Anyway. It matters. When you live where you grew up – you don’t appreciate it in the same way – or maybe at all.
So. Rossland. It’s a small mountain town, in south central BC, Canada. About 6 miles north of the USA boarder, but it is oh – so – remote. The population is low. People know your name ; even when you don’t want them to. The people are BC redneck-hillbilly. The forests are vast, the snow is deep, and the highways are wind-y. It’s quiet. The air is fresh. and it’s easy to find utter solitude and quiet. Alternately – the best kept skiing, biking, climbing, hiking, kayaking, off-roading….. you name it.
And, we have our own local Dialect.
You know you’re in the Kootenays when: You hear “yeah, that’s skookum.”
What is Skookum, you wonder?……..
Skookum: Strong, powerful, or impressive. (*read about it in detail on wikipedia by clicking the link)
It has a range of positive meanings.
The word can mean ‘good,’ ‘strong,’ ‘best,’ ‘powerful,’ ‘ultimate,’ or ‘brave.’ Something can be skookum meaning ‘really good’ or ‘right on! ‘excellent!’, or it can be skookum meaning ‘tough’ or ‘durable’.
A skookum burger is either a big or a really tasty hamburger, or both, but when your Mom’s food is skookum, it’s delicious but also hearty.
When you are skookum, you’ve got a purpose and you’re on solid ground, in good health/spirits etc.
When used in reference to another person, e.g. “he’s skookum”, it’s used in respect with connotations of trustworthiness, reliability and honesty as well as (possibly but not necessarily) strength and size.
Being called skookum may also mean that someone can be counted on as reliable and hard-working, or is big and strong.
In a perhaps slightly less positive vein, skookum house means jail or prison; the English euphemism “the big house” but here meaning “strong house”.
Skookum tumtum: “strong heart”, is generally translated as “brave” or possibly “good-hearted”.