PostCard From the Edge

PostCard From the Edge

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair …”

 

As Charles Dickens describes it, I can add only that some things never change. Life is yin and yang, bad and good, sorrow and joy.

 

Perhaps the simplest is to write this epistle chronologically.

 

As the music and gaiety of Christmas 2016 faded into the new year, we went back to our hobbies and chores, the stuff of life. The weather was for the most part benign, with only four storms, and only two of note. February brought the first one, with winds and driving snow that chose a different direction than usual: for the first time since we moved here in 2007, our peaceful little inlet saw substantial waves roaring up its length. We’re well up from the water so were in no danger, but dawn revealed chaos at the water’s edge. Logs, boat houses and boats, chunks of wharves, life vests, beach chairs … all were smashed and scattered along the shore, the road, and on the properties across the road. Parts of Princes Inlet Drive were washed away, revealed once the plough had scraped away the detritus from across the inlet. I’m sure the waves at high tide would have been astonishing if we’d been able to see them, but no one in their right mind would have walked down to the shore to have a look. If the weather and high water warnings weren’t enough of a deterrent, the wind certainly was!

Fortunately for us, after the second little bit of snow, the third storm (in mid-March) came from a slightly different direction and was accompanied by lashing rain. It impacted roads and beaches on Mahone Bay but left Princes Inlet alone. A fourth little storm was Winter’s last hurrah, and April brought the road crews to repair the damage. Once the grasses and roses returned to life, the flotsam on the shore was lost to view.

 

In May, thanks to my dear friends Carol and John in Ontario, I was invited to sing in the final concert of the St. Jude’s Celebration of the Arts 30th Anniversary Season. What a great excuse to come back to Ontario for a visit! Unlike Lunenburg, where Spring hides until June or so, mid-May is magnificent in Southern Ontario, filled with flowers and birdsong. I spent several days with Carol, visiting gardens and friends and culminating in the concert at St. Jude’s, then off to Toronto to spend a couple of fun days with Christopher and Krista. There was much to celebrate there, too, as Christopher’s consulting business is doing very well indeed!

 

It still wasn’t really Spring when I got home to Nova Scotia, but it was certainly warm enough to get started on the gardens! And what a marvellous growing season it was! The weather was a perfect mix of sun and rain which made for bumper crops in everything but carrots. Thanks to Grant’s amazing skills in the kitchen and our energy in berry picking, we have our freezers full of fruit, soups, stews, and chickens (the last are thanks to Robert and Louis!), and shelves full of jams, pickles, sauces, relishes, and hot sauces (it was a fabulous year for peppers). And yes, there’s still plenty of wine, too.

After 2016’s very busy visiting season, we took a partial sabbatical in order to have a quiet summer; we are getting up there, after all. Christopher came out for the first weekend in July, and as always brought perfect weather and much joy. John arrived in August to play an organ recital and stayed for the Tall Ships Festival and the Lunenburg Folk Harbour Festival; he was pretty impressed with our “retirement” way of life! Sue and Kevin Coleman stayed for a couple of days later in August, and both the Harwoods and the Roberts dropped by; but for the most part it was a peaceful summer by Lunenburg standards.

 

There were big plans in the works, though. Christopher and Krista wanted to be sure we celebrated a couple of major life events in style, and in late September they treated us to a week in Iceland! We spent the first part of the visit in their company, touring to Thingvellir and the Blue Lagoon and enjoying some of Reyjavík’s impressive restaurants. For the rest of the week, Grant and I walked around the city, visiting museums and even doing some shopping. It was a wonderful trip, made even more so by the warmth of being with the kids. Meanwhile, Charlie was being cared for by Robert and Louis at the farm (and being spoiled, too, and that’s just fine). When we got home, there were STILL tomatoes and peppers to be harvested and processed, so regular country life returned quickly.

The major life events? These were my 70th birthday and, more so, our 50th wedding anniversary, both in October. Grant made a splendid feast for the birthday, and we enjoyed an excellent dinner at Lincoln Street Food for our anniversary. But the best celebrations were with our beloved son and daughter-in-law in Iceland.

With the advent of Winter’s return, it seems that 2017 has favoured the yin and the darkness. Sadly, there have been a number of illnesses and losses felt by us here. Michael and Holly, and Judith and Don, we send you our love. Jennifer and David, rest in peace, and may light eternal shine on you both.

 

And closest to home, at the beginning of December, Krista left Christopher and their marriage of nineteen years. We are bereft.

 

Our Christmas will be filled with love as Christopher will be with us here.

 

Love and peace to you now and always,

 

Doreen & Grant

Charlie & Yeti

Concerto grosso in G minor, Op. 5, No. 6 II. Rondo/Allegro (Sammartini)