(“February”) Tem Welhx̱s (when the frogs come out) - Squamish Language stories from my dad

(“February”) Tem Welhx̱s (when the frogs come out) - Squamish Language stories from my dad

As I think a subject of my first blog, I think of the fact that is its almost February; The Squamish (Coast Salish) Peoples name for it is tem welhxs (when the frogs come out) and that story makes me think of my my late dad James Patrick Nahanee;   So in honor of my late dad; I share with you this memory.  https://www.facebook.com/tsainkogift.giftshop


When I moved from north vancouver to sechelt i was in my mid-20s, I moved to Sechelt with with my husband;  that was over thirty years ago now. I was one of the first of my parents 14 children to move outside of a 2 mile radius of the house we grew up in on the Mission Indian Reserve in North Vancouver BC.  Almost every other weekend though I would make the trip back home to visit my friends and family because I was homesick all the time, and my beautiful dad would pick my up at the ferry and when i was expecting my son Ted; my dad one time drove all the way to sechelt to pick me up in Sechelt to drive me all the way home.  It was during this time that we ended up having to wait in a long ferry line up to board the Langdale ferry that would take us to Horseshoe Bay. 

In traditional times, according to what I have learned about our culture, when you have a captive audience, and they have no where to go, this is a great opportunity to teach.  

(In the old days a young man would be paddling his elders in a canoe in traditional waters and int he canoe would be his teachers his father and/or grandfather;  as the young man paddles the wise men are teaching him the  stories of the lands and waters, of their history and laws;  this is a subject for whole separate  blog, so I shall stop there.)

Anyway, it was at this time that my dad took the opportunity to tell me the stories of the Squamish People about their lands and waters in that area; including Potlatch Creek; the Indian graveyard , Port Melon; Langdales' twin creek; the first man of Chekwelp (Gibsons Landing); the story of the wolves at Roberts Creek (Stlakaya);  the whale bones at Bowen Island; all in a long line up to board the ferry at Langdale.

While we neared closer to boarding the ferry I noticed it was snowing big snowflakes it was late February early March by this time, and I thought that was pretty late to be receiving a snow fall;  I was surprised and said to dad, "Wow look dad it’s snowing and look how big the snowflakes are." and my dad said, “Our people call that the Frog Snow" he said "every year at this time there is one last snow before spring and the flakes are always big; our people believe it is the frogs that come down from the sky that’s why they call it the frog snow and soon after you will hear the frogs and then it is spring."  

I always remember that and every year since I always wait for the frog snow, and sure enough every year we have had one last snow of big flakes around this time and not to long after I hear the frogs. 

My dads’ spirit is with the ancestors now, but his spirit is with me always because of my memories of him, and the stories he shared with me;  especially the one about the frog snow so when I sit outside on a cold day, and wait for the last snow of the year before spring, and when I see it I know my dad is with me, and I  say thanks for the teachings dad and thanks for the story of the frog snow… I Love you dad, and thanks for all you teaching, your love and your guidance. OSIEM

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