chapter lx

Posts Tagged ‘snow

Hello and Happy New Year. I had wonderful holidays, and really feel new with the new year. I spent the time off settling in more here – yes, I am staying for a long time. I got home and noticed little piles of things on the floors – no closets, storage is a challenge. Went to Canadian Tire and bought a tall bookshelf, and one thing led to another. I feel like my place is transformed, rearranged, tidy and cozy. I even went back to C T today to get another one – if one is good, two is better and there are more things I could put up on shelves. They are sold out, it was such a good price, but I got a rain check so it will have to wait. I even bought a large plant, get some life in here. I’m not packing up and moving anywhere – don’t even have a van anymore. The only thing that isn’t working so well is where the computer is now – lots of glare from all the windows. I think maybe I’d like to get blind for the windows – not right away, there are lots of large windows. I never have really liked these drapes, but they were quick and easy, and the amount of fabric it would take to make drapes is way lots. For now, they work and are lined so help keep the cold out. A couple of the windows are only single pane – no storms! I got that film to put on again this year, but can’t find my hairdryer. Bought one last year to put up the film, and never use it for anything else. I think I put it away somewhere, but where? I don’t think I gave it away, but maybe.

New living room

It didn’t stop there – every room got a going over, and I finally bought under-counter lighting for the dark and poky kitchen – whoowee, and got a flusher handle for the toilet, which has been broken for some time so I lifted the lid a couple times a day to flush but was too lazy to replace. It just seems like time to pay more attention here. So it all feels good.

I went even farther – took the second-hand clarinet I bought a couple months ago to a man who is going to refurbish it. I knew it needed cork, as I could barely get a sound out of it, it leaked so much. He says the whole thing really needs rebuilding, pads and cleaning and everything, but it is worth it. After he’s finished it will be like new, sound good and play well. And as he says, I can always sell it and get my money back. I would rather play it. So I’m excited to get it back, and make some nice music.

I have also renewed my body. Got an electric toothbrush, teeth feel so clean and smooth, and face serum – take care of this saggy skin, Kiehl’s shampoo from Alex at Christmas, lovely wonderful shampoo. Feel beautiful inside and out.

It has so far been a very easy winter. Today was a bit below zero, but really only a few days here and there have been cold, and no snow on the ground. It snowed a bit last night, but by morning was gone. I love the winter gardens here. So many plants have a wonderful look when they’re bare.

Winter garden

I’m waiting for an interview for another position here. It should be this week sometime. It is one of those win/win situations – if I get it, great, if not, I have a job that I’m happy with.

I have just discovered a singer named Paolo Conte – what a voice, full of life and knowledge, sort of an Italian blues singer but rich like Johnny Cash or Leonard Cohen. Anyway, I’m sitting here listening to jazz and just feeling so mellow. Tomorrow back to work and routine. I read that a British study found that January 5 is the most stressful day of the year! People report that even the sound of their co-workers breathing is stressful. I don’t know if I’ve ever been that stressed. Watch out tomorrow, do something nice for yourself.

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

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

Here I am, destination found. It was another lovely clear day for driving – blue sky, rolling roads, pines everywhere, look out for deer and moose. My friend John has offered a room until I find a place, so I am in West Dublin, down by the Lahave river, close to the sea. We went for a long walk on Crescent Beach when I got in. Felt good to be stretching my legs, feel the fresh air.

Now it’s time to prioritize. Find a place, get a health card, register the car, get a phone, get a bank account. I think address is first and move ahead from there. Of course, the other one is find a job – anything for now until I get settled. I know it takes time to meet people, see what’s out there, where do I want to be, what do I want to do. But I also know that if I keep my eyes, ears and heart open, things will come into focus and it all works.

I had forgotten how dry cold weather is. I have been reaching for lip balm and hand lotion since Pennsylvania. There is more snow on the ground here, but the air has that tinge of spring. The numbers here are so extreme: 110 on the highway, -4 overnight, 86 for a litre of gas. I do kilometres, celsius, kilograms ok but never did get the conversion for liters. I think that gas is about 30 percent higher here, based on the cost of a fill-up yesterday.

Good news on the Mazda in Berkeley – the oil had been overfilled, it was burning off excess oil. An oil change will fix that, and the woman is still interested in buying it. What a relief!

Crescent Beach

Crescent Beach

The Sea

The Sea

St. John, New Brunswick, mile 4990. Hah, here I am finally in Canada, cleared Customs and Immigration and here I am in a Holiday Inn! Left Maine mid-morning after a nice breakfast at that sweet Village Inn. The border is about 2 hours from there, a winding two-lane road through mountains, but first I stopped once more to find boots in Calais – did find some, not beautiful but practical, although they are short but fine for now. Next winter I will look for tall warm boots, but for now I don’t anticipate trekking through knee-high snow. Also a stop at duty-free; hard to decide but finally got a bottle of Kahlua. No room in the van for a two-four and I was afraid if I went for a bottle of Jack, we’d get too friendly. By mistake though I was across the border before I had done that shopping, so turned around, and had to go through the whole ID, how long have you been gone, where are you going to US Customs just to go back and do my shopping. Anyway, it took about 1-1/2 hours to clear into Canada. First, was what am I bringing? I can hardly remember what I have brought – it’s been almost a month since I saw any of it. Outside of the usual, clothes, household, personal memorabilia there is not much else. He did want the serial numbers from the camera and laptop. The problem was the car. I don’t have the actual title – it arrived in the mail at Mary’s yesterday – my mail is being forwarded to her. There is no way she could have faxed it today while I was there – she wouldn’t be home from work until 10 this evening here. So my man was very clever at working the papers, and somehow issued everything I will need to register the car in Nova Scotia, I hope. So, I am officially a resident again, and feel so happy. It was after three (I lost another hour today, Atlantic time) and I decided St. John is far enough. I thought I would take the ferry over tomorrow, but it would be $120 and I’m sure it won’t cost that in gas, and an easy five hour drive.

The drive from Calais/St. Stephen was clear, glorious blue sky, watch for deer, little traffic and lots of dirty snow, pines, lakes and rivers. Coming in to St. John was confusing and finding a place for the night even more confusing. I have been out in the country so long. But I did stop for a coffee and donut at Tim Horton’s, and asked where is a motel nearby.

The biggest problem now is my Mazda 3 back in Berkeley. Someone wants to buy it, phoned Sunday, we made a deal and she needed to take it to her lender today for the lender to inspect. Well, she phoned as I was leaving the border to say that she took it from the Buggy Bank and it started smoking white smoke out the rear and seemed to have some trouble accelerating. What can I do, 5000 miles away? I told her to take it back to Buggy Bank, and spoke to Jerry there. He is going to take it to Oakland Mazda tomorrow, and see what is going on. I can’t imagine. That car never gave me one minute of problem and is still under warranty. I just want to sell it, now! I don’t want to keep making payments, don’t want to keep insuring it. I feel like I’m so far away, and don’t know what to do. Wait and see what’s going on with it I guess. Aaaaarrrghh.

Roadside snow

Roadside snow

Northern Maine

Northern Maine

Brewer, Maine. Mile 4820. Okay, good connection here. I’m staying at another independent motel – great rate, beautiful room and friendly staff. I keep hoping that these lovely little motels can survive the next few years. They just have more character than Econolodge – nicer pillows, towels, more thought in the decor. Right next door is a home-cooking restaurant where I had a delicious dinner with grapenuts custard covered with whipped cream for dessert.

Back to yesterday. Took awhile to figure out how to get out of DC – by mistake I got on the Washington-Baltimore Beltway but that turned out ok – little traffic, and got me to Baltimore, where I got lost for awhile. I thought I was following signs for US 1, but then the signs disappeared and I drove around blocks of row houses, block after block, some renovated, some boarded up. I knew if I kept going, eventually I would find some highway. I decided to take the 83 to 81 to avoid New Jersey, New York. Been there, don’t want to do that again. Anyway, Pennsylvania is rolling and pretty; Wilkes Barre, Scranton, got off the freeway now and then to see some towns. It got colder and colder as I headed north – the heater works great. But it was also very windy, work driving. Today was windy all day, too and cold. Water was frozen mid-stream falling down the rocks at the side of the road, and today the vestiges of snow banks left by the plow lined the roads and parking lots. Ah, I remember March, and all the filthy snow.

Nevertheless, I felt elated as I drove into Maine. This is the final leg, and it is beautiful and clean and good. The sky was so blue and clear all day, and the pines tall and fragrant on both sides of the road. I spent some time looking for winter boots, but no luck. Too late in the season even for clearance. They all have spring sandals out now, and the few boots lying around are ugly and still too expensive. I did see a beautiful pair of shoes but even on sale they would have been more than $100 and I really don’t need shoes. They were so nice.

It has been a good trip. I’ve only been to Starbucks once, and haven’t eaten once at a fast food place – it’s possible to eat good real food even when you don’t know where you are. I have stayed at chain motels only half the time, sometimes because it was time to stop and I couldn’t find anything else. I’m so grateful the gas is not $4/gallon. I have had wonderful visits with so many people and now it’s on to new beginnings.

I am only a couple hours from the border, and looking at tomorrow, I think I will have to see how long it takes to clear customs. If it takes very long, it will make a long day so I may go as far as St. John and take the ferry in the morning – one a day, at 9 am. If it goes quickly, I may press on and get all the way tomorrow. Have to wait and see.

March snow

March snow