“The art of being happy,lies in the power of extracting happiness from common things…” ~ Henry Ward Beecher

It was the kind of summer day dreams are made of… no schedules,no destination in mind,just loading up a picnic and taking off with no expectations.

The highway led us towards Squamish, a natural and instinctual response to the calling of the mountains and the sea, the road not too crowded but still full of people looking far more stressed out than they should be for a long weekend in summer.

Until we came up behind a large head of a beast being towed on a trailer…

2015-08-02 001Debate ensued… was it a bear? Or a cougar? And who made this and what was it for?

As we passed by, the driver who had obviously seen the camera out the window  yelled: “Hope you got a good shot!”,smiled,waved and everyone laughed. (Passenger taken photo)

How often do you see something like that going down the road?

We ended up seeing this parked outside the grounds of the Loggers Sport Show in Squamish, but the driver was no where in sight so the mystery remains- unless someone out there can share some insight!

Finding every inch of Porteau Cove covered in people soaking in the sun, we simply moved onto finding something else fun to do – although, I did have a really great conversation with a charming senior who was re-visiting the area after a long absence. I won’t forget the look on her face as she looked out over the water and mountains, arms open to embrace the sun and sea air, as she exclaimed: “There just aren’t words good enough to describe how beautiful this really is.”

Heading into town, we discovered plenty of fun at this challenging, 18 hole mini-golf we discovered at an RV park ! (I thought I knew everything about Squamish since we hang out there enough, but we missed this!)

Shaded for the most part, and with that lovely wind coming in off Howe Sound, old time music playing over the speakers sometimes lead to dancing between the holes. Pink balls and purple clubs? All the more fun!

Rolling with it and being open to whatever happens or doesn’t happen, makes life so much more enjoyable. And it was later on the way home that the best part of the day arrived.

Stopping to stretch our legs and enjoy the breathtaking view, we saw a car parked in the bus zone with its doors open,the driver sitting on a blanket in front with a variety of glitter, paints and glue in front of him. He was just sitting and humming, with a bag of Mcdonalds beside him,chilling out at the viewpoint.

But like a siren calls to sailors on the sea, the car was calling too…. loudly… to all visitors walking by, although none stopped despite being clearly curious.

Walking over,my jaw dropped in reaction to the sight before my eyes – I can honestly say I’ve never seen a car like this before! Click on the first photo to scroll through in full screen,so you can really get the essence of this rolling artwork

Every single space inside this car, including the truck and engine, is covered and lovingly adorned. Meticulously covered in paint designs and dots, glitter, glued on toys, photos of the owner, photos of his heroes.

Small toys, beads and Swarovski crystals  adorn the steering wheel and the sun sparkled off the surfaces not unlike a sun-catcher hanging in your kitchen window, leaving prisms of colour dappling everything in sight.

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And we talked.

Buddy Theodore Bear aka Buddy Bear aka Buddy ‘Teddy’ Bear  is clearly a man living his life on his own terms and quite happy to continue doing so. His skin is burnished golden brown like leather, no shoes covered the worn and dirty soles of his feet and the deep smile lines and wrinkles at the corner of his eyes revealed he likely smiles heartily more often than not.

Buddy shared a lot of stories as he shared his love for his car with us,turning on the interior LED track lights. Stories of eating nothing but McDonalds for the last six years and trying to get approved to raise money for Ronald Mcdonalds house and charity. Of being a groomsman at one of his three ex-wives re-marriage and of being married three times. Of taking time and hanging out and just talking to people,which he clearly loves to do.

Now I don’t know anything about Buddy other than what came up in these moments – he’s just a fellow and his car  we saw sitting at a rest stop on the side of the Sea to Sky highway – nor do I even know if all his stories are real….but I do know this.

He loves his car.

And while many would call this labour of love crazy or nuts or downright stupid…it makes him happy. And it makes other people happy too because it’s impossible not to smile when you see this thing. It made me smile. Talking to him, having him share a bit of his life with us was a gift. And that’s all that matters.

They say that happiness is something so little understood, that it’s often mistaken for insanity. And there is more than a little truth in that I think. I think Buddy has a lot more stories waiting for people to listen to. And I hope to run into him again sometime to hear some more.

Oh and the stuffy he is holding?  Her name is Emily. Emily… Car(r). She’s kind of like his artistic mascot for the car… She goes everywhere with him.

There were a lot of people at that rest-stop, gawking at his car, clearly wanting to see it better but holding back for whatever reason. And if one of them was you,I’m really sorry you missed a chance to have a little conversation with someone outside your box who had so much happiness to share.

If you ever end up reading this Buddy, thanks for spending some time talking and sharing your passion. It was, without a doubt, a highlight of our day. 🙂

The worlds an amazing place, full of interesting people and I can’t help but be reminded of a quote I saw plastered on someones facebook wall once from Greys Anatomy:

” So stop for a second.

Enjoy the beauty. Feel the magic.
Drink it in. Cause it won’t last forever.
The romance will fade. Things will happen.
People will change. Love will die.

But, maybe not today. “

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12 thoughts on ““The art of being happy,lies in the power of extracting happiness from common things…” ~ Henry Ward Beecher

  1. Now your readers can see why we are fighting so hard to save Howe Sound from LNG Tankers.
    Howe Sound, according to experts and the restrictions imposed in the US, is far too narrow. Claims of a great safety record for these tankers is based on travel on the high seas not rivers and narrow channels. Laila, what you saw and described needs all the help it can get from your readers.
    Rafe Mair


    1. I agree Rafe- serious questions you and others have raised and valid concerns.I’m no mariner but I also wonder how the strength of the wind that gets funneled through the sound plays into that, if at all. Howe sound and the Squamish area is really just beginning to reach it’s potential for a community that is so much more than just a stop on the way to Whistler like so many treat it as.


  2. Geez, LY, I hate to say this but the truck was clearly carrying the head of a bear. B-E-A-R. And I am pretty sure Buddy’s buddy was a pig. P-I-G. AND he was driving a Lincoln…which is odd for a bare-footed man, don’t you think? So, I knows you was trippin’, girl, but were you trippin’?


    1. AND…just for the record: that was NOT a pitch and putt. That was just a putt. P&P has usually 3 clubs and requires full swings to cover 100 yard distances and THEN you putt. Sheesh…..here I am your biggest fan and I am picking nits…..forgive me but it makes me happy.


    2. Gee for a man living off the grid, you sure are a nit-picker! Is it odd for a man with bare feet to drive a Lincoln? I think it’s odd for someone to drive with bare feet period…

      Find the fun in it JDC. Seriously. Or you need to get further off the grid…


      1. I do! I do! It is just that finding bears and pigs is fun, too. Like Waldo. And the P&P was simply in the interests of, well, nit-picking. Apologies (…..kinda. Not really. It WAS fun).


  3. Years ago I was in the lineup heading south into the US at Blaine.

    There was a car in front of us that was COVERED in trinkets and baubles glued to every square inch of the outside and the interior. Rubber ducks, glass beads, plastic army men, dangling keys, TEETH, you name it, it was glued onto that car.

    I sat back and thought , “THIS should be interesting……”

    The US customs agent burst out laughing until he was almost crying. He couldnt contain himself. Everytime he’d stop laughing he take one look at the car and start laughing again. The driver actually looked a bit offended but he got through with a wave.

    He let us through with tears still running down his eyes, I was laughing at his laughing.

    Great memory.


  4. Ahhh…It’s nice to read about your road trip, almost like being there. I don’t travel much anymore. When I see all the tourists trying frantically to get to and from where I live, I figure I must be already there—here, that is. It’s beautiful here, too, and I never tire of it. Still, like you say, there’s something about being out on the road: you meet people you wouldn’t anywheres else.

    I spent decades travelling around BC and Alberta, taking in the scenery while pursuing the goo known as “a living.” For a few years I lived in my camperized Ford pickup, sometimes right through the winter. Searched out lots cool spots to recreate for a few days, met all kinds of interesting people, and saw some pretty unusual vehicles. But I guess I never thought of my own as one of them until I realized people who normally wouldn’t chat up a ruffian like me were making friendly excuses to have a closer gander. The camper was made quickly in situ out of plywood and 2x2s, a 2-foot square plexiglass skylight, and a closet door which I’d tricked out with a school bus window rotated 90 degrees. It was variously named by itinerant coworkers as “The Wedge” or “The Cement-mixer” or “The Piece of Cheese”—or some other names inspired by the door which I’d painted hi-gloss red. Had a little plywood pink flamingo lawn ornament, the kind with the windmill wings, so’s to give my campsites a homey feel. Must be a hundred photos out there somewheres, me plunking my guitar in the lawn chair, water cooking in a pail over a little stick-fire, coffee pot nearby.

    But people I met briefly on ferries or in parking lots tended to be somewhat more polite than most of the coworkers I’ve known. The most common question-that-wasn’t-really-a-question was, “So…build that yourself, did ya?” or, “Interesting design.”

    Thanx very much, enjoyed for your travelogue immensely.


    1. Winter hit and we were pretty exhausted from building our remote cabin so we grabbed the utility trailer and a bunch of camping crap and headed to Mexico in the old Ford Exploder. Home was the space at the back with the seats folded down (dog slept in the front seats) and ‘camp’ was the utility trailer unloaded under a tarp. They wouldn’t let us in any ‘fancy’ RV grounds in the States (read: with showers). When we got to a nice place in Mexico and camped out on the beach at a fancy place (with showers), all the socializing was at done at our site. 40 foot RVs sat alone. Had ‘friends’ from the get-go. Still write and see a few of them. On rich Republican, oil-guy who liked that good ol’ boy Bush and was an NRA member said it best, “Y’all got it right. Keep it simple. No worries. I can’t go anywhere with that rig and when I do, I don’t dare leave it. Wish I had yours.”
      Makin’ a livin’ is OK, making yourself rich is enslaving. Note to LY: we had a lot of fun!


      1. Couldnt agree more.
        I met a dentist and his wife from Vancouver when I was driving to Cabo san Lucas about 30 years ago. He had sold his chalet in Whistler, his house, everything and was renting.
        They drove a crappy old volkswagon van covered in dents. “I’ve never been happier. I was a slave to my homes. Had to fix stuff at each place on alternate weekends. I had no life.”
        Keeping up with the Jones’s


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