Coal Rush

It seems two weeks ago I was leading up to the reason we have a nice little cabin in our back yard.

And leading up to the idea of taking over that cabin for my own purposes which now my husband refers to as the sweat shop. Yes I have a little factory out there.

We moved to this area…never mind all that. We live by a fabulous beach. We walk to the fabulous beach a lot. On a tour during the purchase of this house (I wasn’t there), my husband noticed in the basement, along a ledge were several lumps of coal. Not dull ugly coal. This was sleek, shiny coal. My husband was curious because he played baseball in a Cape Breton coal mining town for several seasons in his youth. So he knew a little about coal. He asked, “What’s with the coal?”

The fellow told him… In a nutshell, a boat carrying coal fromVirginiain the 1920’s ran aground somewhere out in the bay and lost all her cargo. And so, he said, it washes up onto the beach. He left the coal on the ledge for us.

I saw it and loved it because it is black and shiny and rock solid but lighter in weight, with sparkly seams. And so began my quest for coal because I love to scrounge and hunt, especially stuff that doesn’t bite.

During our first years, on our daily beach walks it became a ritual to look for coal. We timed our walks around low tides, best times for gathering. Sometimes we collected politely and cooperatively, one of us doing the high tide line, the other walking the close to the waters edge. Other times it was dog-eat-dog, a mad sprint to grab a piece in view. Sometimes we faked each other out. A normal amount was 2-4 pieces each. There were days we collected more, but there was size and quality to consider, the gleam and sheen and streaks. It was thrilling for me, my adrenalin flowing at a feverish pitch when I spotted a piece, especially a big one, some in the size range of a lemon, the rush of contentment with putting such a piece into my pocket or bag.

We put the coal into a dish on the mantel and soon needed a bucket. Robert bought me an enormous glass vase and I filled that and placed it on the floor. Our guests noticed and asked. We told them. We shouldn’t have because all of our visitors began to participate in the hunt for coal. That’s how nice this coal was. They kept it. They didn’t even give us a cut. They’d sneak off to the beach before us to look for it.

I need to go out for a while. Be back in a bit…


Don’t Hurry up in Nova Scotia

I love the Newfoundland and Labrador commercial that says something to the effect of… ‘if you’re always a half hour ahead, you never have to hurry’. Here I am  in Nova Scotia, 4 hours ahead of where I lived for 25 years and am finally getting used to the idea that I cannot call friends in BC at 6 am, or that if I want to watch the Vancouver Canucks, I have to stay up till 2 or 3 in the morning to see the final score. So I don’t do either. The early calling thing has been a tough sell. The Canucks, well, they have a sufficient following…

But I love the not hurrying part… for the most part.

I was rendered almost speechless on several occasions when we first moved here, going into stores, and asking for assistance. In a pharmacy I got the attention of not one, but several clerks, who engaged  in lively debate over which shade of makeup best suited my skin tone. And in a clothing store had sales girls gather in a group outside my change room to smile and praise over the outfit I was trying on, bringing forth alternate sizes or colors to try on, or another style that just might suit. And had a fellow open a package of hooks at a hardware store and give me one since that was all I needed. It made me go home with a big old smile on my face.

Then again..

In a different hardware store,  I happened on a rare occasion to be on a tight schedule, and needing some paint mixed up, entered the store, seeking immediate assistance which I have become accustomed to, rather to find the whole lot of service personnel gathered in a huge circle around a Newfoundland dog. Well yes, the dog was perhaps one of the most magnificent dogs I have ever seen in sheer size. Yes, it had a beautiful enormous head and a shiny black coat. And my oh my it was tall. So yes I did join the circle to marvel and spout exclamations of wonder, and after what I considered the appropriate amount of ooohing and ahhhing time, I searched out a set of eyes to make contact with to communicate that I needed some paint. Now!

But no….. Everyone was very busy admiring the dog. I waited some more, my smile straining. I almost resorted to getting down on my knees and begging or pulling on someone’s arm, when  finally, I was able to suggest politely in a brief moment of silence that I required assistance.

So when I got home, all stressed over being behind schedule with my painting project, and whining to my husband over such inconveniences bestowed upon me, he laughed and responded with, “Yah, but you love that…all the talking.”

Oh, right.

Another time, I was third in line at a check out at the grocery store, with ice cream in my cart. To find the clerk was telling the current customer ALL about the present needs of her cat, which required this surgery and that medication, and so they discussed earnestly and loudly, while she slowly scanned each grocery item. So I did what I am inclined to do in such circumstances; pick out a handy magazine and scan for celebrity gossip or 20-minute recipes. Finally it was over. The groceries were bagged. The customer left. I breathed a sigh of relief.

But the person in front of me, decided to add her commentary, because she too, had a cat with numerous health issues that also need discussing right now. And the minutes passed. Midway through that interchange I asked the person behind me in the lineup, will they mind…I need to exchange my ice cream which was becoming squishy and threatening to leak all over my fruit and vegetables.

I checked out with my new ice cream, smiling and nodding politely over the cat, because I was hearing it for the third time. And as I left the store, I smiled again, reminding  myself… this is one of the reasons I love it here.

Because people don’t hurry.

In progress

Good day,

Just a note here… my nephew has agreed to make some improvements to this site and then I shall get some content rolling. Hopefully it happens soon.

Apologies as there isn’t much to see right now.

But thanks for visiting and do call again.