Thursday, August 20, 2009

i want you to know, and i feel that you do

This small, framed poem has hung in my husband's family cottage for decades. I have seen similar prints with equally schmaltzy verses hung in the cottages and ancient farm houses all over the province. Most of them look like they date from the 1920s and are decorated with art nouveau flourishes and romantic illustration. Sentimental little ditties like this must have been the mission statements and motivational posters of their time.

As cheesy as they are, these few words have become a code of sorts between Lauchie and I. Spoken with an exaggerated school recital lilt: "I want you to know, and I feel that you do" has become the shorthand for the inadequacy of words. A shared joke over the great understatement of this little truism and a joint admission of the crazy power of mutual concern, love and respect.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

boarding up the sky

Raising the roof. The rafters went up yesterday and the roof sheathing went on today. The progress is thrilling and I know that it will be magical to sit out here on a rainy day. I'm thinking of porch swings and rockers. Still, I was sad to shut the trees out of my view plane. I've lost the sweep of sky I watched while I sloshed in the sink. My little kitchen is oh, so dark now. Do I sense another reno coming on?



Sunday, August 16, 2009

the far shore of childhood

As I child, I spent my school holidays at my grandmothers cottage and practically lived on this beach. The white sand, clear water and crashing waves were the epitome of summer. We swam until our skin turned pruney, ate our weight in canteen french fries and beach-combed tirelessly. At suppertime we trotted, barefoot and towel-wrapped like urchins, back along the road to the cottage. Salty, scratchy bathing suits were hung on the clothesline at the end of each long day and were pulled back on the next morning before the dew had time to dry. I made a trip to the beach last week and saw that my nephews are falling for this place too. They are fascinated by the water and impervious to the cold of the Atlantic. I did see one sign that their generation has its own take on beach games. They play Don't Let the Wave Touch You but in their version you get two lives and when the waves gets ya, you lose one.

In homage to the 40th Anniversary of Woodstock we have erected a small stage in our front garden. I still have to install the speakers...Didn't buy that? You're right it is the progress shot on the front porch project of 2009. I still think the stage thing is a good idea.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

cap breton

In July we made a hurried weekend trip to the Mabou area and stayed at a family cottage. We were too pressed for time to hike the famous trails. We had to be satisfied with a short stroll along the beach in the Mabou Coal Mines and a fossick for interesting bits of rock. Always good to take your in-house geologist along for these explorations. They can help clear up the geologic mysteries you find on the beach. And you can count on them to make stuff up if they don't know the answer. Simply attach an -assic or a -zoic on the end of any old word and voila...instant geology.

Monday, August 3, 2009

a shout-out to lord shiva

The latest in lawn ornaments. Just what you need for a little light gardening.

Apparently I have the hindu god Shiva to thank for the creative destruction going on in my garden this week. When we moved into this house over a decade ago, a new porch and steps topped the list of things to replace. And then life happened and disturbed the order of our to-do list. The porch waited patiently, rotting and cracking as the years went along until finally it was its turn for remodeling. All of our home repair projects seem to involve all of the trades and this one is no exception. By the time this is complete we will have involved excavators, concrete guys, carpenters, plumbers, electricians and painters. 

We started the tear-down a few days ago and while it has been very painful to watch my garden get torn to shreds it helps me to think that this is the natural cycle of things. For something new to be created, something old must be destroyed. Or as Sarah Richardson would say: "sure, sure, ripping it out is the easy part. Putting it back together is the hard business"

the almighty "before" can regret but you can never return.





Sunday, August 2, 2009

How I spent my summer vacation

the sea is so wide and my boat is so small

Yeah, I know. I went AWOL again and the blog police are going to come and charge me with dereliction of duty. July was so hectic that I had little time to document my busyness...boat prep, sailing, a rewarding trip to 29 black street, a jaunt to the Montreal Blues Fest, summer weddings and a quick trip to Cape Breton have consumed the last month and a half. Last week Lauchie traveled back across the lines of longitude and settled into work in Bangkok. Now he needs a few visuals to put him in a Nova Scotia state of mind.

I have spent a good deal of time sailing. Mostly in the fog and drizzle of this sodden summer. We sailed in our first regatta in late June and came in a respectable 4th. We considered it a moral victory. Raw courage overcoming our dry mouthed terror. There was much shrieking on the start line and we had death grips on the tiller but we came through with both crew and boat intact. And there were beers at the end and all smiles around.