The Doe


Here she is, and isn't she lovely?

Here she is, and isn’t she lovely?

“Oh my God”, I exclaimed to myself when I saw this beautiful creature standing there right in front of me. In fact, my first sense was a feeling that something or someone was watching me. When I looked up there were these big, beautiful  brown eyes staring at me. Dare I say that they touched my soul? They seemed to be asking me, “What are you doing here?” For one short moment, she literally took my breath away.

Recovering from my state of breathlessness, I realized I had a terrific photo opportunity right in front of me so I quickly but quietly raised my camera to take this shot of her hoping this wouldn’t scare her off. It didn’t, and not being satisfied with the first shot, I immediately zoomed in to get a close up of her. Alas, she must have sensed this tiny movement and barely audible sound because like a bolt of lightning she took off into the woods.

I’m sure a more seasoned photographer of nature would have got the perfect shot that I was striving for; however from this brief encounter I realized that when taking pictures of wild animals you have to remain perfectly calm and not hesitate for even a second. I wonder what will be the chances of ever having another opportunity such as this one?

I met up with this doe while walking on a small country road in Seabright, Nova Scotia where I spent much time as a young girl, first with my grandmother and then with an aunt and uncle who basically adopted my brother and me at 10 and 12 years respectively. We spent many weekends in Seabright at “Greenrigs” where my grandmother lived, and later on after she died, at “the camp” which she left to my aunt and uncle on another cove not far away.

“The camp” really was a camp in the true sense of the word. In fact, it was originally my grandmother’s hen coop! It was small and had no running water with an outdoor toilet.  Over the years, my uncle put his carpentry and landscaping skills to work to fashion out  ‘the camp” as we knew it. It was situated on a sheltered cove off the main part of St. Margaret’s Bay so swimming, diving off the wharf, rowing, water skiing, when my uncle could afford a motor boat, fishing, and picnicking on one of the many islands are some memories of my life at “the camp”.

Meeting the doe was a result of my curiosity to see what was now there where “the camp” once was. Some things still remain, such as a railing my uncle built leading down to the wharf and the many trees he planted. The actual building which morphed from the hen coop is there somewhere in the middle of the new monster home the present owners have built. The house and the surrounding property are all beautifully constructed but somehow it just doesn’t fit in to the place we called “the camp”. Could it be that the yachts and the homes are simply too overdone for this little cove?

In spite of the changes and the signs of modern-day progress now so evident in dear old Seabright, I am glad I took the time to revisit this part of my past. My visit turned out to be a memorable one because it not only provided me with meeting the doe,  it also gave me an opportunity to reflect on the best part of my childhood there.

Present day monster home. The original part of  "the camp" is to the right.

Present day monster home. The original part of “the camp” is to the right behind the pole.

The cove where "the camp" is located.

The cove where “the camp” was located.


Adjustment, Reflection, and Realization

My excuse for not blogging.

My excuse for not blogging.

I am using my house as an excuse for not keeping up with regular postings on my blog, and I’m sure I could find others if I cared to dig deeper. For now, I’ll stick with the house and my life here in Victoria Beach. I have discovered that in spite of the work that comes with maintaining a house in the country, I must not forget that there is a silver lining to such a life style. Thankfully life here has made me stop and reflect upon my reason for being here, and how I can keep up with my blog when I’m not travelling.

We have had our fair share of challenges since we arrived home on April 25th. In the past I’ve found it relatively easy to get back into the old groove of living here, but this year we have been put to the test. It started when we arrived home on a bitterly cold day to an empty oil tank. However, thanks to our helpful neighbours and our furnace guy who drove all the way out to Victoria Beach from town at eight o’clock at night, we had our furnace up and running before bedtime.

Just when it seemed like we were getting nicely settled into our usual routine, our old house decided to test us once again. This time it presented us with a broken water pipe leaving us with no water for four days. Again our neighbours came to our rescue with bottled water and containers for carrying water from their taps. God bless them!

Then our two old cars decided they needed some attention, too, so in they went for oil changes and inspections after being idle for five months. Mine was given a clean bill of health, but my husband wasn’t so lucky.  He received the sad news that his car was facing uncertain death from a case of extreme rust corrosion. His mechanic told him in no uncertain terms that it was totally unsafe and had to be put down immediately! Our bills by this time were mounting up so hubby decided that he would try to find a new, but used car for no more than $4000. Fortunately, he found one in short order at his price which had not a speck of rust anywhere. In fact, it looks almost like a brand new car. This was another little gift from heaven to whom we owe much thanks to Andrew, his mechanic. In the meantime a lady backed into me at the Irving service station causing over $600 damage to my front bumper. Again this has all worked out well and my bumper will be replaced at no cost to me this week.

Every year for the past seven, I have been planting a vegetable garden, an interest which I believe I inherited from my grandmother. To this day, I can still taste her delicious veggies, fruits, and berries which probably explains why each year I tackle the task of coaxing our rocky soil into something suitable enough to yield us at least some  fresh vegetables. This spring it’s been unusually cold and dry so not much is coming up yet other than those rocks that just never cease to crop up every year with a vengeance.  I am happy to report that most of  my seeds are in the ground and the peas and kale are beginning to pop up. Now if only the rain would come!

My garden as it looks right now.

My garden as it looks right now.

Unfortunately, I’ve allowed all my time to be consumed by the house, the cars, and the garden along with a  myriad of other chores required to keep a house running. One of the joys of travel for me is being able to take a hiatus from all of them! However, I do realize that if I am to continue my blogging, I must start delegating some of the household chores to hubby. Therefore, since he loves to cook, I have called on him to take over more of that. Sometimes it’s difficult to overlook the mess he can make, but I’m trying by heaping lots of praise on him for his efforts which seems to be working!

There was one more item on my list I had to deal with before getting back to my blogging and that was getting my merchandise ready for the Saturday market which is already in full swing. All my boxes, except for one containing silk scarves, have arrived from Thailand and Cambodia safely. The scarves which I somehow overlooked and  left in Chiang Mai have to be shipped separately at great cost. I am lucky that I was able to locate them at one of the guest houses where we stayed which has such an honest and helpful staff who have taken the time to pack them up and get them in the mail for me. So far our market is off to a fairly good start which hopefully will continue to get better as the tourists arrive from the US on the new Portland to Yarmouth ferry because my next winter escape depends heavily on the sales I can generate from this little importing venture.

My table of imports at the Mason's Hall in Annapolis Royal.

My table of imports at the Mason’s Hall in Annapolis Royal.

Reflecting upon this past month, I have learned that when I don’t write and and take pictures, I feel like something very valuable is missing from my life. Too much physical work was making me more tired than I wanted to be and that old feeling of anxiety and unease was creeping in. I needed to write but I kept making excuses which were preventing me from doing it. I was also stymied by what I could write about.  What was there to write about here in Victoria Beach? These were my reasons for not writing so what was I going to do about them? I came up with the following solutions which I would like to share with you, and if they can be of any help to any ‘would be’ writer like me, then that would be fantastic. Here they are:

  • Make time in your day no matter how busy it is shaping up to be to write something even if it’s only a sentence or two.
  • Find a quiet spot away from any distractions i.e. in my case a chatty spouse.
  • Open up your computer and go straight to your blog’s ‘new post’ page. Don’t check your messages or Facebook first.
  • Type out a title which will be somehow related to what you have a vague idea you want to write on. Let this just be a guide which you can always change as many times as you wish once you start to write.
  • Now just start to write – anything. You’ll be amazed at where this can go.
  • Once you see something take shape, you will be off and running and feeling great.

This usually works for me, but I need to constantly remind myself to do it so it will become a habit. Perhaps I need to write this list out and have it in front of me until it becomes ingrained in my psyche? As I look back on this past month, I shudder to think about the agony I have put myself through just thinking and worrying about what I could write about. Well, I believe that I have that problem solved, too, making this a second wonderful realization about writing. Why not start with where I live and write about life here? As for pictures, this place is a photographer’s dream. It has the most incredible sunsets, and it’s near the Bay of Fundy which has been nominated as one of the most beautiful unspoiled spots in the world. One day it will become one for sure because just how many unspoiled sites are left in this world? It’s all about using the resources we have around us before venturing beyond. I’m thankful now for the challenges our life here in Victoria Beach has presented. It has helped me learn much about what writing is all about and how therapeutic it has become for me. It doesn’t matter where it will all lead to, if anything, but the one thing I do know is that it brings me great joy and satisfaction.

One of our beautiful sunsets.

One of our beautiful sunsets.