Nearly two months after retiring from municipal politics, former city councillor Tina Lange has swapped staff reports for recipes and is pounding the pavement not for city hall tasks, but as part of her training for an international excursion later this year.
Lange, who did not seek re-election in October after spending four terms on council, was making what sounded like a delicious homemade dip with homegrown squash she both fermented and roasted when KTW called and asked: Where is she now?
“I’ve been catching up on all the things that you never get time for,” she said.
Lange’s passion for gardening and cooking did not spring up during retirement. She is, after all, the former owner of Hello Toast.
Her hobbies also suited council life, being that growing season nicely aligns with the city’s slower season. The downtown resident has also been sewing and making solid shampoo bars between daily walks up the newly opened Xget’tem’ Trail.
The multi-use pathway that connects downtown and Sahali by foot or bicycle was a project initiated during Lange’s time on council.
Lange has been frequenting the path as she prepares with her sister for a long-distance walking trip in Europe, where she plans to trek 20 kilometres a day for weeks in honour of her milestone birthday in January, when she will turn 65.
She is confident she can accomplish the task.
“I’ve been loving this weather because it allows me to train,” Lange said of the mild weather that was only recently interrupted by snow on Boxing Day.
While taking time for herself, Lange continues to stay close to the action at city hall.
Her last official city-related event was on Nov. 3, after which she immediately boarded a plane to go traveling with her sisters. Now two months removed from council life, Lange has since met with new city councillors and stayed active in comments sections online.
She said she “doesn’t know how to shut it off yet,” noting she misses council.
“To go from being in the centre of it all — knowing things that nobody knows, having the ability to actually make change in your community — to nothing is pretty weird,” Lange said.
Meanwhile, it’s likely not the last we’ve seen of Lange in the community. While she said she is “strongly resisting” getting involved in anything right now, she plans to eventually jump into volunteer opportunities that interest her.
Until then, you can find her whipping up recipes, walking Xget’tem’ Trail or posting her opinions in the comments section.
“I’m having fun,” Lange said.