chapter lx

Easter Sunday 2010

Posted on: April 4, 2010

Well, I’ve been away too long. But I’m back, and hope to be more regular about posting. Made it through the winter, and today is just glorious. Sat on the porch this morning after church, where the bells rang long, and listened to the other churches in town ringing bells. We have the early service at St. Norberts.

The birds are back and happy. A couple weeks ago I heard a flock of geese flying in the dark – the head goose “honk, honk, honk, are you all coming along? Keep up with me” and the goose behind “whank, whank, whank, we’re all here, it’s okay, we’re behind you”. Of course I couldn’t see them, but was delighted to hear them. A couple days ago a kingfisher came and sat on my porch railing – the same one that was near here last year? I had a dream a few nights ago that Gabe and I were watching birds going in and out of a large hole in a tree in my yard. First a cockatiel came out, a large male, and then two cockatoos, fluffy green and blue. We were so amazed that they were here!

So, my life until now. Made it through winter, I’ve paid my dues, Nova Scotia. It was mild as far as winters go, but not easy to survive. There are barriers to finding employment here, among them few jobs, coming from somewhere else, and age. So I was accepted into a program sponsored by Federal and Provincial for “older” workers, Putting Experience to Work. We are subsidized for twenty weeks, and have gone through all kinds of self-assessment on what are our skills, where would we like to use them, what do we want to do, what is our passion, how do we get there? The best part of the program is being in that room with eleven others like me, with many skills, lots of experience, great knowledge, and not in the work force. But there was the weekend that I really freaked – the van was not heating up, and a preliminary look at the garage suggested that the head gasket was gone – no use fixing it, too expensive and I don’t have money to buy even a clunker. I got home from that hard news, and tried making a phone call, got a recording “service on this number is suspended” and thought it was my phone that was cut off. I really had to talk myself down all weekend – this is your life, right here and things will work out somehow, just can’t see the road clearly now. As it turned out, someone phoned me, and I realized that my phone had not been cut off – yet – and when I took the van back to the garage, it turned out that I didn’t have strong enough anti-freeze in the rad, and it was a simple fix. Whew.

So that has been my winter – getting by. Some web research/writing, a project transcribing a year of letters written home from England by a young woman in the ’40’s, a few hours a week in a bra boutique, whatever has come up. And getting by with the kindness and generosity of friends – the bag hanging on my doorknob one day with not only potatoes, onions, pasta and beans, but two beer – what a treat. Or the bags of frozen fish from the friend who’s husband works at the fish plant.

I went to an opening at the art gallery last week, and realized how many people I know, and how connected I feel. I just do feel surrounded by love – yours, anyone reading this now or ever, all the people I have ever loved are still with me, and all the new friends I have made here. And it has been a year now. I have an opportunity to facilitate the non-violence program, I sing at St. Norberts on Sundays and serve breakfast in the parish hall once a month, where 70 or 80 people come for eggs and beans, belong to St. Vincent de Paul, have started a women’s group, out of my need for a forum in which to share and support each other. I feel good that there are enough women I want to share with and learn from. I’m also in a writer’s group which is just forming, and I’m glad to be sharing and supporting with them too.

As far as paying the rent and putting food on the table, things are moving forward there too. I’m not sure how, but the more people I know, the more I am known, the more possibilities open up. I have two seasonal jobs lined up, a base to work from. I hope to build up enough freelance editing jobs to keep going – there are many small publishing houses in the Atlantic provinces. I also hope to get to a position where I can buy the equipment I need to do video editing, and add that to the income stream. Ultimately, I would like to have enough coming in from those ventures that I can open a small thrift shop – pretty things, not junk, not clothes but household things, small appliances, lamps, small furniture, pillows, linens, bowls, etc. I have a good eye, there is nothing like that in Lunenburg, and it would be fun to find and have a shop again.

So, life is good and it is here. I have laundry out on the line, a front porch with a water view, the sun is shining, birds singing, water sparkling. It doesn’t get any better.

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