Monday, April 14, 2014

Jersey Cove spit and an Englishtown ferry sighting

We were missing the Jersey Cove spit because the Englishtown ferry has been out of commission for so long and we have to drive around the harbour to get to the highway these days, so we drove down to the spit, parked and took a nice long walk. The ferry cable broke in ice the evening after we arrived home from Florida two weeks ago, some time after we crossed, thank goodness, and the ferry came to rest away from the usual docking site. We were to get a replacement ferry, but the sea ice is now thick in the bay and the harbour, so no boats are travelling this way until the ice goes. A section of water was actually open at the narrows where the ferry usually crosses, but only there. Still, it was lovely to see!

It was a gorgeous day for a walk, bright and warm, blue-blue sky, blue-blue water and huge chunks of sea ice along the shore. Honey ate smelly shells left by the birds and had her first ocean swim in 2014. We even found a coyote carcass. 

Friday, April 11, 2014

Too soon

Just learned that Jesse Winchester died. Andy & I lived outside of Kemptville, Ontario in 1974, in a little rented house near the Rideau River and Jesse's songs infused our time there. 

Here's his river song so full of memories: Mississippi You're On My Mind -- such a wonderful voice!

Friday, April 4, 2014

I take it back

I know I said I would not post anything that had to do with snow again this winter, but it's now spring and today is my birthday and we have more snow than ever so I'm going to post a photo taken at noon of the now older Snow Queen of Cape Breton -- moi. We had a major snow storm -- another  weather bomb -- this past week and our plough operator is on holiday in Arizona, so we've been shovelling snow for days. Where is the military when you really need it? (Thinking of Toronto's military snow removal here.) 

Andy made me a lovely venison supper. I had breakfast with friends and many lovely messages and phone calls. It's been a grand day. 

Happy birthday to me...

Friday, March 7, 2014

Two thoughts and a poem

Oscar Wilde: "Where there is sorrow there is holy ground."

Peter Duffy, from his last column in the Chronicle Herald upon his retirement: "Perhaps the best advice I've had is from a Canning reader named Ivan Smith. Here's what he counselled: "Your ship has just run aground on an unknown beach. Go ashore. Look around."


It is in the small things we see it.
The child's first step,
as awesome as an earthquake.
The first time you rode a bike,
wallowing up the sidewalk.
The first spanking when your heart
went on a journey all alone.
When they called you crybaby
or poor or fatty or crazy
and made you into an alien,
you drank their acid
and concealed it.

if you faced the death of bombs and bullets
you did not do it with a banner,
you did it with only a hat to
cover your heart.
You did not fondle the weakness inside you
though it was there.
Your courage was a small coal
that you kept swallowing.
If your buddy saved you
and died himself in so doing,
then his courage was not courage,
it was love; love as simple as shaving soap.

if you have endured a great despair,
then you did it alone,
getting a transfusion from the fire,
picking the scabs off your heart,
then wringing it out like a sock.
Next, my kinsman, you powdered your sorrow,
you gave it a back rub
and then you covered it with a blanket
and after it had slept a while
it woke to the wings of roses
and was transformed.

when you face old age and its natural conclusion
your courage will still be shown in little ways,
each spring will be a sword you'll sharpen,
those you love will live in a fever of love,
and you'll bargain with the calendar
and at the last moment
when death opens the back door
you'll put on your carpet slippers
and stride out.

                 -- Anne Sexton

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Juris Silkans

After posting the blog about Mrs. Silkans' white cake, I had a long and chatty email from Juris, her son and our friend. Today I read in the Globe and Mail that Juris died while exercising on February 23. He was 70. 

In his email he shared his deep love for his mother, of his wonderful memories of her. And he shared other of his favourite of her recipes and his delight in recreating them. He shared his sense of surprise that we were all getting older and how happy he was that we were all still here. Of course, his death comes as a shock. His obituary says that he was grateful for every day of his life. That's what we will remember.

Our deepest condolences to his beloved wife, Barbara. 

Monday, February 24, 2014

Snow: last shot

This is it, my last shot of snow this winter. I'm tired of it, though the longer days with sun and a hint of spring are quite glorious, I admit. 

I like the morning light on the snow in this shot, the linear shadows, the curves in the bark of this beautiful yellow birch. 

From Magic Mountain by Czeslaw Milosz

“I kept dreaming of snow and birch forests.   
Where so little changes you hardly notice how time goes by.   
This is, you will see, a magic mountain.”   

Friday, February 21, 2014

Happy Birthday John & Bonnie

John R. with the pointy beard and our dog Eustace (L); Bonnie T. with the short curly hair and glasses (R). Olden days at the Morrison house, Tarbotvale. 
Happy birthday to youuuuu...