Memories


I don’t know when he bought her. But as story goes, he saved up to purchase a boat by tossing all his spare change into the bottom of his duffle bag while working the lines for Canadian Pacific Telecommunications.  This would have happened in the late 40’s or, more likely the the early 50’s.


But I know when my grandfather was directed to sell her.  That would have happened just after he suffered a heart attack in 1968.  I was five years old. And I know that the advice he recieved – to sell this beautiful wooden shooner in an effort to reduce stress – was bad advice.  I’m sure it caused more stress than it relieved. My grandmother always said, it broke his heart. Indeed, his condition for the sale was that the boat not sail in his local waters, so he wouldn’t have to see her.


The Wawaloon has changed hands a couple of times until she found her way home.  Most recently, she was bought by a friend of the family under whose care she was underwent a generous and sympathetic restoration. And!  That also means we get invited for a sail from time to time!!


It is the most comforting and exhilarating feeling to enter a space, a childhood space that is firmly woven into family lore, a space that you have not been in for almost 50 years.  And then to find that space looks, feels and smells the exactly the same as it did back then. 

I half expected to hear my grandparents voices.  

I guess that’s the essence of nostalgia.

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The Garage – Cee’s B&W Photo Challenge – Construction

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Two years ago, my husband and son took on a project together.  They built a three-car garage.

It took a little while… that’s for sure! If we (could have afforded to and) hired someone to do the work, the project would have certainly been completed in a few months.  But we’d never had a garage before, so obviously there was not burning rush to have it finished.  They wanted to do it themselves.  So they did.  Every nail.

That makes it more than just a garage, albeit a beautiful one.  Sure, it shelters the cars, mower, canoe, surf boards, etc., etc. blah, blah, blah.  And that’s it intended purpose.

More than that, much more, it represents time spent together – envisioning, planning, building, swearing, solving problems and patting each other on the back.  My husband shared his love of building with his son, who in turn, learned some life skills.  There were struggles – like the time they built the structure around the (borrowed) scaffolding and opted (after a great deal of deliberation) to cut the scaffolding away rather than attempt to remove the beam they had just spend several hours installing. They are not going to live that one down for a while!

It took for-ever!! to build – turning our driveway into a construction zone for a couple of years. Years! I was beginning to wonder if it would ever be finished. (I may have mentioned that to them…. once or twice.)

It’s finished, now (well, mostly).  And I love it!  I love it because it means I don’t have to scrape snow and ice off my car anymore in winter (glory hallelujah!) But mostly, I love it because of the accomplishment it is, and the beautiful shared memories it already holds.

This is my entry in Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge – Construction

http://ceenphotography.com/2015/02/12/cees-black-white-photo-challenge-construction/

A Tale of Two Cities

Most Christmas stories don’t begin with a tragic explosion, but the tale of the Boston Christmas Tree does.
During WW1, the port city of Halifax, NS (my hometown) was an important naval point of departure for both men and supplies enroute to Europe. On Dec. 6, 1917 a fully loaded French munitions ship broke its mooring, and drifted, colliding with another ship at the narrowest point in the harbour. The resulting explosion, the largest man-made explosion to that time, flattened the north end of the city, killing 2000 and injuring 9000. Halifax was devastated.
The people of Boston received the news immediately via telegraph, and quickly dispatched medical personnel and supplies as well as food and water. A train arrived just 2 days later.
This generous effort has remained a part of the fabric of Nova Scotia’s history. And every year the people of our province send a Christmas Tree to the people of Boston in recognition and thanks.
This year my family & I are in Boston for a few days before Christmas, so the first thing we all wanted to see was The Boston Christmas Tree.
A gift that recognizes goodness in the human spirit.
Wishing you all the very Happiest of Holidays!!

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Lead Us Not Into … Distraction

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The topic of distractions came up this weekend.  The boys were home from university for the holiday weekend, but although they were here at home, they seemed constantly distracted by their studies.  That is to say, it is mid-term time and so they both had a lot of work to do…preparing papers, reviewing, preparing for tests, and so on. That’s what they said, anyway.   The thing is, they didn’t actually do any of that.  Oh sure, the lap-tops were open, text books and sheets of loose leaf accumulated here and there, index cards were shuffled. But I didn’t see any actual studying or writing going on.

Now, don’t get me wrong…I’m not criticizing.  They are both good students, with the marks to prove it.  Whatever it is they “do” seems to be working.  But it got me wondering about that very human trait of procrastination … fueled by distraction.  I recalled that when I was in university, and in the midst of writing a paper (or facing some other deadline) my distraction was house cleaning.  Yup!  House cleaning…as in:  “I’ll write the next section, just as soon as a clean the bathroom. I mean, the bathroom REALLY needs cleaning – right now!” Sometime I fought the urge to clean and sometimes I gave into it.  But motivated?  Heck yeah! I was driven to it… at that very moment I felt compelled to scrub!  The interesting thing is it was the only time I felt so compelled to clean.

I’ve seen their apartment.  So I know they haven’t inherited that particular compulsion.

Son #1 pointed out that his distractions are by far more entertaining.  There’s YouTube, e-mail, the internet, Facebook, (not to mention the good old XBox) etc., now to tempt otherwise hardworking students.  Entertaining….yeah.  And infinite, too!  But it can’t as productive as a clean shower.  Or can it?