chapter lx

Posts Tagged ‘rain

No pictures this time. I was in the Santa Claus parade a couple weeks ago here in Lunenburg, took the camera out to take pictures of the floats, our float and all the kids dressed up like presents and reindeer, and the battery was dead. What is it with batteries? Aaarghhh. The parade was a lot of fun though. There were about forty floats! and real crowds out to watch. We were like movie stars, people waving and taking pictures. Fun until it started to rain – the last fifteen minutes, and we were soaked to the bone, that cold sleety rain and nowhere to go but finish the parade and get home to a warm bath and dry clothes. That evening, there was another parade, with a donkey and Mary and Joseph and the shepherds, through the streets to the bandstand, where we all gathered and listened to the Nativity story and sang carols together, and then all the trees on the hill were lit all at once. It was so moving, almost as good as fireworks. Silent Night is the one that brings a lump to my throat and tears to my eyes – all of us singing together and the sweet voices of children. Afterward, Santa came to the church hall across the street, and there was cider and cocoa, and Lunenburg sausage and solomon gundy and cookies.

We are having another of those weird nor’easters. They are the strangest kind of storm – this is the third this fall. The wind howls for hours, nine or twelve or twenty hours straight. There is not any rain with this one yet, but the rain is coming, maybe 50 cm. The wind is fierce though, can almost give you a headache walking into it. It wakes all the ghosts in this old house, moaning and groaning and howling.

The harbour is so pretty. Some of the tall ships moored out there have lights on the masts and rigging, looking over that way is so festive. There are houses on the road to Bridgewater that are all done up like gingerbread houses. No snow yet – thank goodness we’re not in Ontario or the Midwest. Just wind. And rain coming.

Life is good. I love my new car – what a difference having good tires. Bonding with this one, and have the urge to paint a small flower on it somewhere – maybe just by the door handle. It’s funny, too because when I park in a parking lot, I’m not always sure what car is mine, although I am getting better at spotting it. Can’t even remember my license plate number! The job is good, working with nice people. There is a library at the Centre, and boxes of books that have been donated. It’s a nice little library, some real treasures there. I’m having fun sorting through the donated books and cataloging, deciding what goes in and what doesn’t, making some order there. There is enough variety to stay busy, and more sorting out to do at the Centre in general. Lots of junk in closets that could be moved on somewhere else.

I’ll be going to Florida for Christmas. Meg has so many points on Delta, she has booked a ticket for me to Atlanta, and she and I will drive down to Florida together. I’m looking forward to that, will be nice to have a little road trip with her, spend some time with Mom and Dad, and a little warm and sun. Hard to believe it’s almost another Christmas. Had dinner with some friends Saturday, and one couple will be going to the airport on the same days I’m traveling, so think I have a ride there and back. Otherwise, it’s a lot of money to park there, not counting the gas to get there and back. And unpredictable weather.

It’s lobster season. Think about this next time you enjoy your lobster – those fishermen are out there in the North Atlantic in the winter to gather those lobsters! What a tough job. And then they bring them in and hope to get $6/lb. They should be getting $20/lb. really. The North Atlantic in the dead of winter.

All for now. Will be back soon.

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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It has been raining steadily for about fifteen hours now, as much as I can tell; I wasn’t awake all night, but it sure looks like it rained through the night, and has continued hard all morning. The only other place I can remember where it rained without stopping was Florence. Molly and I were there one summer, and I had never seen rain come down like that, so hard for such a sustained period of time. In the Great Lakes region, you’ll hard rain for about twenty minutes, maybe a half hour, and then it drizzles and spits. In California, does it rain?

I think this will be good for all the growing things. I can see that battling the bamboo in the backyard is going to require constant vigilance – already the pieces I broke off last week are coming back strong, standing three and four inches high. Let’s hope for a warm sunny weekend to get out there tending the garden again. There is still a daunting pile of old stalks to be dealt with somehow. There are two ways I can think of to handle them; either break them up and put into bags for pickup, or load them into the van and take them to the dump. Lunenburg is very good about recycling and composting. There are four separate streams for household garbage, with color coded bags and alternate week pickups.

Went to my first St. Vincent de Paul meeting in Bridgewater last evening, and was greeted warmly by the members. I am pretty impressed with what they are doing here, covering a huge area. They get about 50 calls a month from people who need help with electric bills, fuel oil, wood, furniture, clothing. They are able to help nearly everyone who calls, and have pretty healthy support from the parishes. I do love those good hearted people who become Vincentians. Certainly not the only good hearted people, but united by a spirituality.

Picked up a sewing machine at a flea market, and when I got it home there was no power. I went back to the flea market, after trying everything I could think to make it run. I thought maybe there was some trick I just wasn’t getting, and the woman I bought it from could help out, but when I got back she was gone! So my friend David who sings in the choir took it home to see if he could figure out why it wouldn’t work, and did! It simply needed a new plug, and now I have learned to thread it and have a working machine. There is a sweater I’ve been knitting too long that I want to finish before starting another project, though. By the time I get near the end of a sweater, it is so boring that I can’t wait to be done with it, I don’t even like it anymore.

No photos today. I want to get some yellow for next time – yellow daffodils and forsythia everywhere now.

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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