Monday, November 25, 2013

snow and so on ...

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Where We Went

And here is a map of our hike! I took a photo of a map that is up in the house here and I carefully marked it in the computer to show you where we went. If it looks like we couldn't have walked on water - we did! We walked on a crazy spit that goes out into The Bight towards an island called One Tree Island that actually has three on it! We could've probably walked to the island but I didn't have high boots. So there!

Here's another photo of what I'm talking about ... here is one of SP and Bella. They are further out than I am and it looks like I'm not on it cuz it is very wavy!  Note One Tree Island!

this one is on our way back to the beach for our boil-up to give you an idea of how outrageously out there it is!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

A long walk in the woods

Yesterday, November 11th, we walked out the Tranquility Trail to the very end and beyond. It was so wonderful. I'm going to share some photos with you. Hope you like them ...

Monday, November 4, 2013

What I See, What I Feel

Walking to  on The Tranquility Trail with a new pal.
On our way Uncle Dick's - Little Lake on one side, Melville Lake on the other...

the cemetery where SP's grandparents are buried.

 the sky over our house and some tracks of wind and wave on the beach ...

a stick for me ...

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

My Pal Arlo

My pal Arlo has sailed on. I'm so glad he was able to go as he has wanted to for such a long time now. I'm also glad I spent some time with him before coming out here - he wished me well but was sad to see Ron and I go. I visited him every week and even though the last months were visits where I mainly sat with him - that was good. His last words were in response to my habitual farewell - "See you later, alligator." I would call out as I left and he would answer "In a while...". He never added the crocodile which I would then mutter under my breath as I passed the nurses' station. I'm sure they wondered but never asked.

Last night I couldn't sleep for thinking about him I told him before leaving that I would miss him but I didn't know for the life of me why! He laughed at that. I'm glad my karma and his were entwined. I'm glad to have been his friend for over twenty years - to have seen him conquer demons the like of which I hope never to encounter. Demons that haunted him from his time in the war and even from his childhood in Saskatchewan. Many of the stories that make up his book A Sailor's Stories hint at those demons - some come right out and name them. They never stopped him from doing what he perceived as his duty. He wasn't religious - anti-religious really, but he had very strong moral values, honed in the depression and set in stone during the war. He was loyal and honest. He kept his wife Shirley at home when she developed Alzheimer's, refusing to consider putting her in care. He was with her when she died.

After he wrote his book he decided he would sell it down at Pier 21 - where the cruise ships came in. There he was up til he was 91, sitting on a little chair greeting tourists and encouraging them to buy a book. And they did! Who could resist the droll man with the long white beard! He was determined that people should read of his time in the war. Here is what he says on his blog:

AUTHOR’S NOTES:I want to make it perfectly clear; the stories in stage one of this book are unadorned fact, as true as my memory permits. These accounts constitute Naval History since they detail my servicein the destroyer, H.M.C.S. St. Laurent, when it was an escort for the first wartime convoy leaving Bedford Basin in September1939; my service in the destroyer, H.M.C.S. Saguenay, when she was torpedoed in December 1940; my service in H.M.S.Drake during the Plymouth Blitz and my service in the battleship H.M.S. Rodney during its bombardment of the German battleship, Bismark in May 1941.They are the reason I struggled to publish this book. Too many stories are being lostas Naval veterans die off: Let these not be among them. 

Ron said last night that Arlo might have been the last living person to see the Bismark!
Well, I must go write now. I could go on about Arlo for a long time and I'm sure I'll revisit his stories here. Aren't I lucky to have known him well?

Here's a photo of him I took on our last visit together a few weeks ago.
 See you later, alligator ...

Monday, October 28, 2013

It is Snowing!

And I'm a kid again.
Snowing past my window and little flakes. In Nova Scotia they say 'little snow big snow' which means if the flakes are small there will be a big accumulation. Wonder if that is true here? We'll see. The dog is happily chewing a bone - we've walked four times today!!!! I think I'm ruining her. I'll have to think about this deeply. I've written for a couple of hours and practiced my piano playing. I've knit a bit - I'm on the arms of the sweetest baby sweater - a pattern that I got from a Debbie Bliss book  - nothing fancy but I turned it into a stripey affair. I've got the front and back done and now I'm working on the first sleeve. Yay!

The dog is so antsy! Is it the snow? Who knows what lurks in the heart of the beast. I wish she would chill or her Dad would come home and go play fetch on the beach for a bit.

Here is another bit of Walden, this time on the joy of solitude:

I find it wholesome to be alone the greater part of the time. To be in company, even with the best, is soon wearisome and dissipating. I love to be alone. I never found the companion that was so companionable as solitude. We are for the most part more lonely when we go abroad among men than when we stay in our chambers. A man thinking or working is always alone, let him be where he will. Solitude is not measured by the miles of space that intervene between a man and his fellows. The really diligent student in one of the crowded hives of Cambridge College is as solitary as a dervis in the desert. The farmer can work alone in the field or the woods all day, hoeing or chopping, and not feel lonesome, because he is employed; but when he comes home at night he cannot sit down in a room alone, at the mercy of his thoughts, but must be where he can "see the folks," and recreate, and, as he thinks, remunerate himself for his day's solitude; and hence he wonders how the student can sit alone in the house all night and most of the day without ennui and "the blues"; but he does not realize that the student, though in the house, is still at work in his field, and chopping in his woods, as the farmer in his, and in turn seeks the same recreation and society that the latter does, though it may be a more condensed form of it.
I too love solitude even though I feel I am most congenial and welcoming of company. After awhile I long to be just myself - maybe a book, or a bit of something - knitting, drawing etc... and also, like Thoreau I do most of my work alone. The SP is good for this - he and I can quite happily spend hours in each other's company without speaking - feeling good to be close but not needing the affirmation of the other. I am working through a tricky bit in the novel - the one that I hoped I was finished - with this revision at any rate. But no, I have added something and so, like a contractor who's client has decided last minute to add a bathroom to the plan, I must jiggle and twitch the whole thing about. Ah well, it is for the good I believe. It better be!

Later amigos. Here is hmmm... a picture of the beach??? No! A photo of my desk in the dining room - right next to the lovely little piano. I'm learning 'It Ain't Going to Rain No More' - a lively piece suited to my mood.  And below that a photo of the kitchen where I sit under the table (cozily heated by a vent below the bench) and write letters. And where I make bread and Sunday dinners and all sorts of things. I can see out the window at the little yard and the driveway and usually at this time of day I make a cup of tea and watch for the Sweet Patootie to come home. I'm going to go do that - the heck with solitude!