Summer of 2018 – Heat Wave in Victoria Beach

As I sit here at my computer in this summer of 2018, I am filled with gratitude for living in the beautiful province of Nova Scotia in the small village of Victoria Beach. VB overlooks the Digby Gut, and in case you don’t know, the Digby Gut is a narrow passage of water separating the mainland of NS from an isthmus which juts out into the Bay of Fundy, which in turn leads to the Atlantic Ocean.

Over looking the Digby Gut and ferry from Victoria Beach

Like many people today, I try to be grateful for little things in my life. Today I am grateful for having chosen to live in Victoria Beach over ten years ago. After more than seventy years of living, I have discovered that practising the art of being grateful has huge benefits: for example, it keeps me focused on the positives rather than the negatives in my life. Goodness knows we all need to do this these days when we hear what is going on in our world. Practising gratefulness isn’t a waste of our time considering how it is human nature to want to complain. This is especially true of many Nova Scotians who do it more out of habit than actually feeling ungrateful. Complaining is a bit like talking about the weather around here. It is often used as an opener for making conversation which is an attempt to be friendly. However, could we not lessen our complaining by being more grateful for the things we have rather than for what we lack? Continue reading

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.