Eight years ago this week, we moved into our lovely house. Today Larry and a friend are on scaffolding and ladders with electric sanders prepping the outside of the house for its long-overdue paint job. House jobs are really never finished.
We love the sense of history of our 150ish year old house and are glad to caretake it so that it lasts for another century or two.
This is an eight year old blog about moving in. Continue reading →
Even after Larry and I made “the big decision” to quit our ‘good’ jobs and leave the vibrant city of Toronto to move to this tiny village of 800 we both had mixed feelings about what was coming. These feelings swung from elation to stomach-churning anxiety. Usually, we didn’t have them at the same time, so we could give each other support. Continue reading →
This was our first day in our new, temporary home in Nova Scotia and the day was full.
We waited from 8 am for the phone and internet to get hooked up, by 2 separate companies. We delayed eating and finally sat down for lunch at 2:30 and they arrived within 20 minutes of each other.
The fellow hooking up the phone was a staunch union supporter. (As am I.) He told us that his union local was decimated when “Ma Bell” took over all the services. He’s felt bitter since the last strike; feels disconnected from the new union. “The union bosses came to talk to us from Toronto and they looked and sounded no different from management. They were all wearing suits….imagine that, suits! We were used to guys who bang their fists on the table and give you the straight goods”.
We called our moving company and our stuff will be delayed a few days. Seems there were someone else’s boxes for customs on the truck and everything is locked up while that part of the shipment gets checked?
If this was the 70’s, my marxist father would have thought this was a rouse for the RCMP to go through my entire life and my mom and dad’s and my/their boxes of letters, photos, diaries etc. And perhaps it was!
After some home-made soup for supper we went to see the newly formed youth centre. It was delightful….youth shooting pool and loud music and crawling babies and puppies on the wide, plank, wooden floors. The newly hired supervisor and a parent sat around a battered table and talked about how to raise funds to meet the wish list of stuff for the centre.
After that we wandered over to the Oakdene Centre, the former elementary school to sit in on the Bear River Music Society meeting. This group is trying to get a ‘coffee house’ live music thing going in town as a way of supporting local musicians and enhancing the quality of cultural life. Several artist friends were there and we are invited to drop in sometime. Bear River is such a welcoming community and Larry and I are amazed and happy about this.
As excited as I feel about our big change, I feel a bit like the cat. Where are my things? Where the hell am I? Where did my house go? Where is my routine? Where are all my friends? Why does everything smell different? Where is all my stuff? It reminds me of how I felt homesick at summer camp and missed my mother fiercely and would talk her into letting me come home early only to regret it 2 days after I returned because I really wanted to be at camp hiking through the creek, laughing with friends, and being in the countryside.
Last night, for the first time in years, I had 2 dreams, one about my dad and one about my mom. How special is that? I only remember a little about the dream with my dad. We were working on creating an archive about him and his life and I was going to record him. I realised I was moving to NS and wondered where I would find time to pack and to interview him. Then I remembered, practically, that he wasn’t alive anymore so my departure wouldn’t interfere with the interview. I guess they both made the trip! He was very glad that I was going to do something with his ‘papers’. I would like to create a multi-media online space that uses some of the letters and photos that I have of him and other family members. I really have enough materials (and now so does the RCMP) to mine for many years. That is very exciting.
Another source of excitement is that everywhere you look here, there is a potential painting. I am so excited and can’t wait to pull out my watercolours (in the RCMP truck) and to get going!
The hardest part of this trip has definitely been Fluffy! She was quite distressed in the car and spent hours meowing, coughing up, and cowering in her cage.
Both Larry and I feel like we were ‘getting away with’ something by sneaking out-of-town to chase our dream.
Larry and I will have the chance to work creatively 24/7, for the first time in our lives. What an extraordinary gift we are about to receive. We will be doing this in one of the most beautiful spots in Canada. We have already met with and connected to some wonderful, funny, creative and generous artists and others in Bear River which is also amazing. And it looks like we’re going to get away with it too!
Will we adjust to life without an imposed 9-5 regime? Will we adjust to life in a small community?
Well, it’s late and I must try to get some sleep before the cat wakes me at 3 am.
The view of Nova Scotia from the Bay of Fundy was spectacular.
We were both thrilled with the trip. We could barely contain our excitement to finally be arriving at our new adventure.
Our car was stashed in the lower level of the ferry, stuffed with enough provisions and clothes until our moving truck arrives. And our bewildered cat Fluffy was in the car too.
The ferry ride from New Brunswick to Digby, Nova Scotia:
I want to update you about our journey east as our launch deadline draws near.
The house sold after 7 days and 3 offers. The hot real estate market in Toronto worked in our favor. Also, the garden looked lovely and lush, even though. We worked really, really, really hard to get everything into a polished shape.
We are still in the house and now I feel as if I’m living in a hotel or a B and B. The place is TOTALLY de-cluttered and there aren’t piles of papers everywhere. On the other hand, it’s not really functional and I can’t paint because the studio has turned back into a living room and the art supplies are packed. I thought I might have ‘seller’s remorse’ but it hasn’t hit me yet, 2 weeks later. In fact, I feel a huge sense of relief that this hurdle is over and that we are now free to pursue our long awaited dream of living near the ocean and pursuing our art.
The only time I feel regrets is when I think about living in a far-off province from our son Jesse. It’s been such a gift to live with him this past year. I know it’s inevitable that we all will continue our journeys in separate directions, but it’s hard for me. It was really tough when Emmy moved out of province, but now with webcams and Skype, we have wonderful visits and Larry and I have adapted, so I know we will again.
Who knew that being a mother and feeling that attachment to your kids would be so strong and so eternal? I know I used to resent it from my own mother, but now I think of her and smile at the irony of this situation and ask for her forgiveness.
Anyway, this new step is so exciting. Larry and I will have the chance to work creatively 24/7, for the first time in our lives. What an extraordinary gift we are about to receive. We will be doing this in one of the most beautiful spots in Canada. We have already met with and connected to some wonderful, funny, creative and generous artists and others in Bear River which is also amazing. And it looks like we’re going to get away with it too!