Continuing on the Road Less Travelled

Where has the time gone! I can’t believe that my last blog was published at the end of April over three months ago. It’s no wonder that feelings of guilt have been knocking at my door. Of course, I am as guilty as any decent human being for making up excuses about why we aren’t doing what we know deep down we ought be doing. Okay, perhaps I am being a bit harsh on myself because I need to acknowledge the fact that with the arrival of spring, I needed to get my veggie garden started. By June my transplants had to be put in and before I could catch my breath lettuce, spinach, and other greens were all begging to be picked. My days were consumed by my gardening and attempts to do a bit of landscaping around my property. Dare I compare gardening to a battle that just seems to get a little bit more difficult every year? The other battle I had to overcome was the plain and simple fact that I had lost my mojo to write. I could blame this on COVID, rampant inflation, unpredictable weather, along with myriad other reasons, but I won’t because the truth of it was that I felt I didn’t really have anything to write about. I hadn’t travelled anywhere for over a year and was faced with the glaring reality that my travelling days were probably over forever.

So what brought on my motivation to start blogging again? Oddly enough it was a recent walk I took around the French Basin Trail in Annapolis Royal. I love that walk at any time of the year where one can encounter nature at her best with water, trees, ducks, birds, muskrats, and most importantly peace and quiet. While taking the opportunity to sit awhile in the warm sun to contemplate all the trivia that can run through my brain, I became conscious of the trail to my left which diverged into two. Upon seeing this, Robert Frost’s poem “The Road Less Travelled” popped into my mind which then triggered my memory that I had written a blog in November of 2019 entitled Taking the Road Less Travelled recounting how this exact scene had inspired me to write about having to make important life choices which were taking me down a road less travelled. Immediately, I made a vow to stop procrastinating and write the sequel to this.

Needless to say after almost three years, despite the challenges of COVID, there have been further changes in my life mostly for the better. The most significant one was the decision to purchase a house and take on the responsibilities of a house owner. The buying and closing of the deal was easier than I anticipated. I managed to get into the house market just in time before it all went haywire with rapidly rising prices and bidding wars. After a year and a half, I am settling into the small community of Cornwallis Park which was once a naval base built during the second world war. If you want to find out more about Cornwallis Park, you can go to this link: New Beginnings.

Becoming a home owner has been a unique learning experience since it’s a first for me as a single woman. If anyone had told me even five years ago that I would be purchasing a house of my own at the age of 75, I would have thought they were crazy. Younger women maybe but not at my age. At my age, it’s normally a rental followed by an assisted care facility or a nursing home. Knowing this wasn’t the road I wanted to take, I began to consider buying a house.

Little did I know what a challenge that would be! Being a home owner without a partner has been a tough teacher for me. This job doesn’t offer any holidays whether I decide to live in it all year long or escape the cold winters by going to a warmer climate like I used to do in my travels to the Far East. I am always on call with a myriad of tasks which manage to keep me so busy that I find myself at times searching for any excuse to get away from them. Spring and summer bring my attention to a yard in dire need of some landscaping involving such heavy work as digging and planting. Then there is my desire to grow some of my own food in the Park’s community garden about a ten minute walk from my house. To do it as sustainably as possible requires seeding, transplanting, weeding, watering, and insect control. In the fall and winter, there is garden clean up, inside work on the house, such as insulating, painting, and keeping my two furnaces…one for oil and the other for wood… to be fed for warmth. Although I want to find a more climate friendly source of heat, such as wind or solar, for the time being I must depend on oil and wood. Feeding the oil furnace is easy….all I have to do is adjust the thermostat. However, the wood furnace requires a constant feeding of dried out logs to be housed in my basement. Picture it as a giant wood stove and all that is required to keep that fire burning. The other winter task requiring hard work and some stamina is, you guessed it, snow shoveling! Many of these tasks require outside help which is becoming more difficult to find as so many of our handy men are either way overworked, retiring, or, regretfully, dying.

Please don’t think that I am complaining about my choice to take on the responsibilities that come with owning a house because it’s better than any other option that I know of at this time. It gives me a certain kind of freedom I need to grow into being a better person. I am learning by having to solve problems I’ve never had to deal with when with a husband or partner. At times it can get lonely, but that too is becoming less and less of a problem because I am beginning to like my own company. At the end of the day if I am tired or cranky after too much physical work, I try to remind myself that I am extremely lucky to have such a good shelter over my head and one that I can manage financially.

When I look back over my life, I have usually managed to take the ‘road less travelled’. I think it’s all a part of who I truly am. I am not comfortable with just accepting the normal. Admittedly this can be difficult when you find yourself in a community where many of the people living there have lived with old beliefs and customs handed down to them my their ancestors. However, as I get to know some of them, I am finding that many of them have been brought up by parents who lived on the base and are basically good and hard working people. When I first moved here to Cornwallis Park, I tried too hard to fit into their community which can be reticent to accept new comers. I am learning to go more with their flow and beginning to understand where they are coming from before I get too ready to point out why they need to change their outlook on such issues as climate change or any kind of change for that matter. Going inside myself to figure this out will help me to choose my words more carefully which in turn will help them to listen. So herein lies another huge learning.

At this point I think I must give COVID some credit for forcing me “to travel within rather than without”. All the lockdowns and other changes to our former hectic life styles has brought out the worst and the best in us all over the world. There is no doubt in my mind that COVID has affected my social life and has all but taken away my dream to continue to travel to other countries. I say ‘almost’ because somewhere down deep I still harbor the belief that somehow I can manifest a way to return to the Far East, especially Thailand. Only time will tell.

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I took the one less travelled and that has made all the difference” – Robert Frost

The two diverging paths on the French Basin Trail

3 thoughts on “Continuing on the Road Less Travelled

  1. Hey Bets,

    I tried several times to post in your “comments” but for some reason I couldn’t. Word Press wanted me to sign in but I didn’t know my password and when I tried to set a new one it wouldn’t let me use my email to sign in – kept indicating that it needed my sign in name….which as far as I know “IS” my email address….so I kept going round in circles. I think I wrote you a note 3 times!

    Anyway, the gist of my comments was my continued admiration for your spirit of independent living & sense of self-sufficiency! I also said that I think you should seriously think about returning to CM this year – I think it’ll be a good one. Also, I have a feeling a lot of the folks you know will be there as so many have stayed away for the last several years… they’re itching to get back!

    We’re headed to CM earlier this year – leaving NYC on November 14th – can’t wait.

    It’s been one heck of a hot summer hasn’t it? Our poor little world is heating up ….on so many levels…which I won’t even get into here. Suffice it to say that this country ..meaning the USA is total nuts and hurtling toward a steep decline – what a mess our politics are!!!

    I’m sending this to both the return address from your blog message and other gmail address…..just to be sure you get it.

    Hope all is well with you and you’re selling well – sounds as though you are.

    sally xxx


    • Did you get back this year while Sally and Mike were there? I would be interested in talking to you about your trip over, the cost, and what changes have taken place in Chiang Mai. What was the weather like? Did you do any travelling around or just stay in CM? I haven’t ruled it out. Would love to get back and do some real shopping. The clothing continues to sell well for me but ordering online is expensive and difficult. Hope you are having a good summer. Planning to go back again? Sorry about all the questions.


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