chapter lx

Posts Tagged ‘Bella

Bella is retired. She has been a sturdy steed, served well, got me here but was starting to need more attention. She will be stripped and donated to the Diabetes Association, doing good somewhere else.

Cheery Bella

So, I get a job, and what next? Went out and bought a new car. I couldn’t go into winter without putting new tires all around, and the rear brakes needed work. Besides, I really don’t need a van now that I’m here. So, with a steady income behind me, I went to check out what’s the deal with new cars, and bought a 2010 Hyundai Elantra. A real grown up car. Got a great deal, manageable payments, five year warranty, and new snow tires. It feels good to drive on good tires – what a difference. I was talking to Gabe this evening, and he said he needs tires, his are just about bald. That is not the kind of thing you tell a mother! One more thing to worry about. Anyway, I am getting an urge to paint maybe just a small flower on the Elantra. Why not? It’s my car, and I plan on keeping it a long time. Haven’t named it yet – have to get to know it a little better, bond a little stronger. I am having fun driving though. Where can I go now?

I am also enjoying the job. Lots of people, lots of variety and using skills that I have. I am looking forward to facilitating programs, I do love small group work. I’ve also gone onto the board of the local women’s shelter as well, and am getting my teeth into the challenges of that. I realized this weekend that there is a level of anxiety that is gone, and energy freed up for something else. i bought a used clarinet, and am beginning to squeak and squawk – it needs re-corking, so the sound is not great, and my muscles need to get stronger. It’s fun though, and maybe next year I’ll be making music again.

Can you remember all the cars you’ve ever owned? My first car was a VW beetle, green, that Grammy bought for us so Mary and I could get from Berea to Magnificat. It was a sweet and reliable car. I can remember driving without brakes, and running into curbs to stop. One time the windshield wipers stopped during a rain storm, and I could just reach my hand out the window to wipe away the rain.

Talking about rain, we had some crazy weather last week. A nor’easter blew in on Friday, and didn’t stop for 24 hours – loud and strong. Honestly, I’ve never lived anywhere with wind like that. It woke me up when it started blowing, so loud. It rained so hard, with such wind, that it was blowing the rain into the living room where the eaves meet the roof. I had every pot and bowl in a line on the floor to catch the water just pouring in. The drapes were soaked, the floor was wet – I didn’t have enough towels to soak it all up. Constant steady patter patter patter. When the wind shifted, the leaking stopped, but it kept raining hard and steady for another day or two. Once that passed, we have had three absolutely glorious days, double digit sunny mild days. In the middle of November. I talked to a friend today who went canoeing this afternoon!

 

 

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There is a little bird that I have watched the past three mornings. He stops on a wire across the street, with a twig or grass in his mouth, and then starts to look wildly around, this way and that way, over and over as though he can’t remember where the nest is. Perhaps his mate is calling the entire time, because then he will take off as though he knows exactly where he is going.

Started facilitating the nonviolence program yesterday. Good to be back at it. It seemed to go well, people are looking forward to coming back next week. I should get out there and market it. I do enjoy small group work, and every time it is new. Meeting with a publisher tomorrow to pick his brains about getting free-lance editing work, and another one next Tuesday, who wants someone to proofread and edit, and also do some office work to keep things organized, but is afraid she can’t afford me. I guess I’ll have to find out what she has in mind, whether I can afford to work with her.

Finally took the sandbags out of the back of Bella – ballast. It feels so light now, that back end free. I wonder if it will make any difference on gas mileage – going up again tomorrow by 2-1/2 cents.

It has been awhile. My computer has been down, an ebay find came on Friday but the OS discs I have won’t install on the new one but somehow this old one is okay for now.

I went out on the porch this morning – I like to have my coffee there in the fresh morning looking across the water – and there were webs stretching from the porch railing onto my chair. They were very fine, so light that the breeze was enough to move them to another surface – my chair- and there were thousands of tiny spiders traveling back and forth. The webs were attaching to the floor, all the railings, the post, wherever the breeze blew.

I heard a man on the radio last week who taught crows to use tools, and they taught other crows. We are not the only ones evolving. I heard another man who played music in the rainforest in Costa Rica, and the birds imitated his song. He has made a recording of this duet.

I am not working yet – still waiting for the boat to go into the water. It was going in on Thursday, but the weather was inclement, so next Thursday. The cushion I came with is deflating. Got the car safetied and registered, cost more than I planned but now I have plates, with the Bluenose on them. The Bluenose, this is its home harbour, back of the dime, the old C-note, beautiful boat. Of course, even when I do begin working, it is only seasonal, still have to find something more permanent but I know everything will work out. What is my motto – everything always works out, though not always how we thought or expected. That’s life, we plan but don’t control, only dream.

At the roadside

At the roadside

Nova Scotia is blooming. Lilacs, lupins at the side of the roads, phlox and buttercups and ferns on the walking path, and the most magnificent rhododendrons everywhere. Being on the shore, it has not really been hot – don’t think it will really ever be hot. Bugs are out; I was at a knitting outside day on Saturday, and the black flies were at it.

Brought home a little kitten on Friday. I think her name is Poppie – we’re trying that on. She has a little clown face, with a black nose that splits her face in two. The first time I left her, she was waiting at the door when I got back. She had never been alone before, away from her mother and litter mates. But I am her new Mum and she spent the first night exploring the length of my body in bed, and then settled somewhere near my armpit. Nice to have another warm body here.

Poppie

Poppie

wild

At Blue Rocks

At Blue Rocks

Went to Blue Rocks, not far from here, last weekend. This is how clear the water is there. It was a beautiful day for walking along the shore. It is very protected there,  quiet pools.

I hope in the next few days to have a good working computer again, and post more often. This one has not been recharging, but somehow last night it did, and is still fully charged. I don’t want to drain the battery down, though so that I can transfer what is here to the new one – so many photos and so much music it would be hard to reconstruct.

Spring is a tease. It snowed Monday, thick flurries and very cold; yesterday I sat on the front porch reading for an hour without a jacket, the sun was so warm. I think I can see buds on some of the trees, or maybe just hoping. It is hard to believe that only a month ago I was driving down that beautiful street in Mississippi lined with white blossoms. Or even the rain and wind here a week ago – today was clear and warm and sunny again, the water calm and blue. Yesterday I saw a small boat come in with lobster traps piled in the back, and then a boat that must have had fish, because the seagulls were following it in.

Went for a walk with Janice on Monday on a trail that circles the town – old rail bed and a lovely walk. We saw a heron, and a dozen deer on a hillside across an inlet of water. I think the trail is 2 or 2.5 km, perfect for a stroll. I am walking to the post office every day to pick up mail, and the library is only about ten minutes. Also, back to the morning yoga routine, and it feels so good. I am feeling like I must begin to structure my days a little more now. The major settling in, looking after details has been done. I don’t want to let this time get away from me until I start a work routine; it is so valuable, my own time. It’s ok to do nothing, I don’t think busyness for the sake of being busy is so good, but I also don’t want to look back and say, what did I do with all those weeks?

Got the oil changed in Bella today – overdue. I feel like she has been so good to me, and I have been negligent. The mechanic said it looked good though, and was amazed when he looked under the hood at what good condition everything is for a seventeen year old vehicle.

Tomorrow off to a farmer’s market in the morning in Mahone Bay. I hope I find some fresh maple syrup.

Heron

Heron

There are so many details to look after when you relocate. Of course, getting an address is important, and I am so happy with the place I live now. But the details! Spent Wednesday unpacking what I could and had a good soak in the tub – something I had not done since leaving San Francisco – and fixed a bed on the floor. I am glad I brought all those pillows; slept on them, sit on them, pillow on a box works as a chair at the desk. A rug and sleeping bag, pillows below, duvet on top and quite comfortable. How many times have I said this – we really don’t need very much. Thursday went out to get some of those things that make life a little more comfortable – plates and bowls, plug for the tub, shower curtain, garbage container for the kitchen, torchiere with a dimmer for the living room. Explored shopping in Bridgewater, the larger town close by. Lunenburg has a population of about 2300; Bridgewater about 5000. There is a Wal Mart there, Canadian Tire and Zellers. Zellers is like Target or K Mart, with an eye to design in some departments. There is a line of household goods, Debbie Travis who seems to be the Canadian Martha Stewart, but rather than the patrician Stewart, we have the practical and thrifty Travis. Good old Canadian Tire – great selection, great sales and good quality. And you get Canadian Tire money, which is a handy means of exchange even outside the store. I ran out of gas once going home to Toronto, late at night and rolled into a gas station with no money – had helped buy food for dinner at the friends I was visiting – and paid for enough gas to get home with Canadian Tire money, a couple TTC tokens and stamps!

It rained all day Friday, and the fog horn was a constant call, low and steady in the background. It really blew in that evening – I guess it was what you call a nor’easter.

The bed

The bed


Finally got a bed on Saturday and am so happy to be sleeping on it. It is another place to sit, too. The people I bought the bed from also threw in a bedside stand – I can see it now, before long I will have an apartment full of furniture. What I would like next is a comfy chair to read and sit, and a small kitchen table and chair. I did see a sweet little table made right here about 150 years ago, well made with pegs and a fluted support below. More than I want to spend just yet.

Went to Mass at my new parish yesterday, St. Norberts. It is a small, simple, intimate chuch and people sing there. Last evening was an ecumenical Lent service and a reception after. I met Janet who sings in the choir, and will begin singing with them this week. I’m excited – it will be fun and a great way to become involved in the community.

So today it’s driver’s license so I can open a bank account and be more official. Also waiting for the pink slip on the van to arrive in the mail so I can register Bella. And today begin a job hunt. I took a long walk yesterday around town, and will keep walking each day until I’ve covered the whole town. I have been trying different roads when I’m out driving, too so I can see where they go, and how they connect to each other. The thing that confuses me is that when I step outside in the evening, the sun is setting to my right! I try to orient myself on the continent, on the planet, and can’t quite make sense of it yet. I guess the ocean is off to my left, and I am sitting on the harbour, angled in and facing south?

The Lunenburg Hump

The Lunenburg Hump

There is a particular feature of architecture here – the Lunenburg hump. The town was first settled by Europeans in 1753 and some of the houses are nearly that old. The hump was a feature that appeared as the town became more prosperous in the mid-1800’s. It has always been a fishing, ship-building center, and still is. The whole town has a nice polish, without being slick.

I am feeling so blessed, so grateful and content. I know that the good wishes and caring of all you reading this has brought me here with grace, and that this is a good move – things are falling into place with such ease.

All this space!

All this space!

The kitchen - room on the other wall for a table and chair

The kitchen - room on the other wall for a table and chair

It's pink!

It's pink!

The bedroom

The bedroom

I moved in today, and am tired but so pleased. It is a lovely apartment – see the photos. It is large and sunny with beautiful wood floors, and wainscotting in the bedroom, mantle in the living room – not a working fireplace. The view out the front is onto the bay, and down the street into the main part of town. I’m tired, although it didn’t take even an hour to unload the van. Only fifteen steps up to the front door. There is a nice porch which will be lovely in the summer to sit on. There is also space for a garden in the back, and a clothes line. One minor annoyance – I can’t get the CBC on the radio – must find an antenna and see if that works.

I have unpacked most the boxes. One unusual feature – no closets. And of course I don’t have a bed. Tomorrow is shopping for some of those basics, but in a couple weeks. Lunenburg has “spring clean-up” when people put things they don’t want in front of their houses, and anyone can just take anything. I love a good scrounge.

It snowed yesterday; today was sunny and warmer. I am sitting outside the library in the van because the library is closed, but I can connect to their wireless from here. I won’t be connected at home for about a week. Did get a cell phone yesterday, and ordered home service but am still waiting for that to be connected. I don’t even know my phone number yet.

My love to all who are reading this. Things are going so well, I just know this move is a good one. More later

View from the porch

View from the porch

Living room

Living room

Another room

Another room

Spent yesterday driving around, phoning places for rent, talking to people to let them know I’m looking, exploring possibilities and places that might be nice to live. I did look at one little house, about a half hour from Halifax in the country, way back on a side road. It is a one-bedroom, cute and affordable so I know that there are possibilities. The questions I’m asking as I look are where – town or country, close to Halifax or Bridgewater, apartment or little house. Of course, there is still the question of how will I pay the rent, but the first thing is to get an address, unload the van into a new home. I am meeting a couple people on Monday, and there are others to connect with.

For now, my friend John is being generous with room, food and information and I am lucky to have a guide in much of this newness. Today we took a long walk to Labrador Castle, high above the tree line. It was a perfect spring day for a walk – muddy but sunny and warm. On the way there, John showed me the thrift shops, the used furniture places, the grocery/general store with fresh produce right there next to the barrel of nails.
We had coffee at the top of the world, made with a very clever “Kelly Kettle.” The water is in a reservoir around a hollow chamber, sitting on a small container for fire. It boils water in a flash, with very little wood, no mess and the whole thing is compact.

Tomorrow more phone calls, more exploring and more enjoying the discovery.

The Buggy Bank in Berkeley has offered amazing service helping sell my car. If you are ever looking for a decent used car, or want to sell one I highly recommend talking to them. I am so relieved that I left my car with them.

At Labrador Castle

At Labrador Castle

Walking to Labrador Castle

Walking to Labrador Castle

On the way to Labrador Castle

On the way to Labrador Castle

From the top of Labrador Castle

From the top of Labrador Castle

Boiling water in the Kelly Kettle

Boiling water in the Kelly Kettle

View from the front door in West Dublin

View from the front door in West Dublin