Thursday, August 26, 2010

So Long Farewell

It is the eve of my departure from one of the more memorable summers in my life. Well, at least now I remember it.

I have cleaned the bathrooms, mopped the floors, washed the towels and sheets, put everything away from the deck (sigh), bathed the dog, packed my suitcase, emptied the fridge (well, mostly), locked the windows that have been open almost every day for the last 2 months, checked my email about 100 times in an effort to not do all of these things and now it is almost time for bed. How can I make this time last forever? This summer has been the best!

I wondered at the beginning if I would be able to stay up here for 2 months. I can remember when I was a kid thinking that if I could stay here that long it would be awesome and then there were some years....when the kids were young, that I thought I would never be able to stay up here that long and why would I want to? I mean come clothes dryer, no telephone (at the time), no TV, and I had to cook every meal! But I must be getting old or grown up or mature or something but I have embraced my time up here this year. Right time, right place, and oh, right weather. Did I mention that we had maybe 6 rainy days in 2 months? In my book, that is something to write home about. A summer to remember.

So it is with a bit of sadness that I will tuck in tonight. We put a lot of hard work into this farmhouse and this has been it's first real summer complete with visitors and family and dinners and sunsets and it has been all I anticipated. The place is starting to take shape. My/our vision is coming into focus. You can't always be sure things will work out the way you planned. So far, so good in this case.

Tomorrow, Sadie (super dog) and I head back down south. I hope she makes her flight...and gets through customs without any delay. I am going to put off reality for a few more days and stop off in NYC! Sadie will have to go all the way to Houston and keep TJ company. I will be acclimating myself back to civilization abruptly. Nothing like going from Green Acres to NYC in 2 hours! Whoo hoo, bring it on. I hope the wide eyed look when I come out of the train station doesn't give me away as a tourist. Do you think? It may take all of 10 minutes to become cityfied (it is in MY dictionary). Actually, it will be very unfortunate to lose all of this peace and tranquility in such a short amount of time. Houston will seem like a small town after the Big Apple.

So I bid you all farewell from my little piece of heaven....Nova Scotia and the farmhouse. Re-entry can be bumpy....stay tuned.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The seasons of the Shore

When the summer begins up here it starts with a trickle. People trickle in over the first few weeks of July. There are already some lucky ones who get to start their summer in late May and June and they get to stay until September or October, they "live" here and most of the rest of us aspire to that stage in life, the "stayin on" stage. But for the rest of us, we start heading here a few at a time and as we get closer to the Games, or the first week in August, the population at Amherst Shore continues to grow. There is anticipation all around. What will the summer hold? Who will be here and when? What will the weather be like this year? Will our visitors like this place as much as we do? (How could they not? We ask!) Will we win the Games? So much anticipation in those weeks of July.

Here are two visitors who came in July and liked this place as much as we do. The weather was nice and the beach was just starting to fill up. The days were long and sunny, the food was delicious and the company was excellent. Still there was that anticipation of the next wave of relatives and....Games weekend.

The beach population at it's highest comes during the Games weekend. Here is a view of the crowds that are on the beach for that weekend. The place is a buzz of activity. This is both good and bad. Good, because we are all so happy to be here and to see each other that we plan way too many activities that week. There are some people who are only here for a week or two and we all want to take advantage of that time and have as much time together as we can. Bad, because there is only so much you can do in a day, I know....hard to believe. We are on vacation and by definition we should not be exhausted during vacation, but it has been known to happen. The late nights get later and the days get crammed full of activities. Hurry up and have fun! This is what it's really all about and we love it!

Then there is the sad exodus. One by one, or sometimes 6 by 6, people start to go home. We spend the next few weeks saying goodbye until next year. The place takes on yet another pallor, peace returns, the frenzy is over. We all breath a bit and relax again. We adjust to the quiet and enjoy what is left of the summer, in a different way.

This is what inspired this post.... my single chair on the beach. What a change from the crowds during the peak! I started the summer with 2 friends to sit on the beach with, then there was the full beach that we all live for during the Games and now I am back to my single chair and my book on the beach. There is something in each season to enjoy, you just have to take it as it comes and make the most of it!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Garden Guilt

The garden in early July.

In May TJ planted this beautiful garden. Then we came back in early July and he meticulously weeded it and pruned it and was generally very attentive to the garden. It showed great promise once he tended it. Then he left for a month and a half! He carelessly left me in charge of the garden!

The yummy celery crop!

It is now August and the garden is growing like crazy. I feel a huge responsibility to keep it weeded and to harvest the ripe produce. Let's make this perfectly clear, I am not a gardener, at least of the vegetable variety. I had to take pictures of everything in the garden and send them to TJ with questions like, "Is this a weed or a plant?" "What do I do to this?" "What is this mystery plant?" He proudly responded to my questions and told me to pull the weeds and harvest whatever was ripe. Once again, I am not a vegetable gardener but I did it anyway.


Now my job is to figure out what to cook with all of this produce. I have never eaten swiss chard. What do I do with it? I am not a big "greens" person, maybe with enough bacon and onions it will taste like....well... bacon and onions! I did make some delicious stuffed cabbage with the cabbage. Super sweet.
TJ is very good at making me do things that I normally would not do, without actually "making" me do them. I am a person with a great sense of responsibility and so I cannot just let the vegetables sit in the garden and go to waste or be taken over by weeds. So after each rain, dutiful Lisa goes out to the garden and pulls the weeds and checks the progress of the artichokes, potatoes, turnips, tomatoes, chard, lettuce and the rest of the produce. I need a village to eat all of this! TJ plants like he is running a vegetable stand.

I got the ultimate compliment today though. My uncle asked who took care of the garden and I figure I have been the only caretaker for a month so it must be me and told him so. He said it looked great! So I will take temporary credit for the garden. The vision was all TJ!

This is more my type of gardening and my vision!
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