Opinion » Alta States

Doing the Whistler juggle — work, family and fun in the 21st Century


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More importantly, the Whistler Waldorf School now had a physical reality.

While she's much too diplomatic to comment on the relationship the school has had with past councils (other than to admit that there was always "lots of politics"), she's quite enthusiastic about the current administration. "Today's council is amazing," she says. 'Their attitude is super-positive. It feels like they're doing everything they can to ensure the school is around and serving the community in the future."

Of course, there's still another chapter to be written in the Whistler Waldorf story. "Our big dream is to build a real school one day," she says. And sighs heavily. "But finding the right site is a challenge in this town. Still, I'm confident we'll get there."

More laughter. "It's funny, you know. I always thought that when my kids were done at the school I'd leave too. But I can't. It's just too exciting right now."

So what about Aphrodite's, her Vancouver restaurant? And all the time and travel and responsibility and hard work that it demands of her? "Oh yeah," she says. Laughs. "That's a whole other story..."

It all started with a midlife crisis. "When I was growing up," starts Peggy, "my dad was a businessman working downtown." And a successful one too. But somewhere along the way, Allan Christian got disillusioned with his life, said fug it and dropped out of the rat race. By this time, his son and daughter had grown up and were leading adult lives of their own. So he decided to start all over again. "For a while there," remembers Peggy, "he was living in a crappy basement suite in Vancouver. He had no money at all..."

But he was happier, she says, than he'd been in a long time. "He left the downtown business scene behind with no remorse," she says. "Suddenly health and wellness were playing a much bigger role in his life."

Allan had grown up on a farm in Saskatchewan. And like many of his generation, had never lost his touch with the land. "My dad eventually moved to Glen Valley Farm, an organic cooperative in the Fraser Valley," remembers Peggy. "And he loved it!"

Her dad, she tells me, was always full of ideas. And his time at the farm was no different. "He kept looking at all these amazing fruits and vegetables they were growing and wondering what more he could do with them." She smiles. "So one day he just up and decides 'I'm going to start an organic pie shop!' We all thought he was nuts. Sell pies? No way...