Market Day

Yesterday my friend Denise and I went to visit her daughter who is a sophomore at one of the local state colleges.

We visited the farmers’ market, which is the biggest I have ever been to.  It was a beautiful fall day, and the colors just exploded everywhere.

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After we were done wandering around the market and that area of town, we had lunch at a Turkish restaurant, visited the local yarn shop, and waited in line for ice cream.

After driving home I spent the evening with my sister, who was in town for a grand total of 29 hours.  All in all, it was one of the most perfect Saturdays in a long, long time.

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B Is for Bluenose

Day 364

I’m missing Nova Scotia already (fog and rain and all).  Also, I didn’t do much today that would interest anyone except my mother.  Therefore I shall take the opportunity to inform all and sundry that on this date in 1963 the Bluenose II was launched in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia.

So what is the Bluenose?  In the 1920’s there were a series of schooner races between fishermen from Gloucester, Massachusetts, and those from Nova Scotia.  There were several wins by the Gloucestermen then, as Mark Kurlansky puts it in his book The Last Fish Tale:

“Then after a season fishing the Grand Banks, the Bluenose, a large schooner . . . defeated the Gloucester Elsiea.  During the next seventeen years the Bluenose remained undefeated.  The Canadians have put the image of the Bluenose on postage stamps, the Canadian dime, matchbooks, and seemingly most spare surfaces in Nova Scotia.”

So true.  The image is also on the provincial license plate.  One day we were eating lunch at a tiny café in Port Mouton and looked on the wall next to the table to find a laminated placemat of . . . yep, the Bluenose.

The Bluenose II is a replica built in the spirit of the first ship.  It is currently finishing up a refitting in Lunenburg and about to undergo sea trials.  You can check it out on its webcam.

Delayed Reaction

Day 351

So I woke up this morning in my own bed, glad not to be driving anywhere immediately.  I caught up on email and social networking, sorted through three weeks of snail mail, and cleaned up a ton of cat hair (it builds up faster than the mail).  I finished unpacking and putting things away, scheduled a lunch date with a friend, got a haircut, organized my vacation photos, and had dinner with my parents.

Now I’ve just come home.  At the start of the day I was all fired up to do a retrospective blog about my recent travels; now I’m so tired I just want to collapse on the bed.

Perhaps I should have eased back into things a little more after two weeks away followed by four long days on the road.

Safe Return

Day 350

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I got home about 3:30 this afternoon.

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Someone has been a little clingy and attention-seeking.

Book review:

This is a fairly unknown book, but one of my favorites.  Ursula, an eleven-year-old girl on the Swedish island of Gotland in the 1800s, lives with her aunt and uncle after her parents’ deaths.  Although everyone on the island knits items to sell (men and children included) Ursula finds the craft frustrating and beyond her abilities.  When her aunt’s ship goes missing on a trip to Stockholm, Ursula teaches herself to knit as a sort of promise to keep believing in her aunt’s return, even though others on the island give up hope.  Ursula’s struggle to knit as a metaphor for keeping hope alive and the lore of the traditional knitting pattern she uses are appealing.  This novel is based on a true incident in the island’s past.

Good Night Pittsburgh

Day 349

I may have been through Pittsburgh before, but if so I don’t remember it.  Driving through today I was struck with the idea that people must have really wanted to put a city here to have overcome the topography.  Rivers, steep inclines, interstates, tunnels, bridges, bridges, bridges.  It’s all in a really beautiful setting, if a bit hairy to drive through at high speed.  I wish I had more time to spend here when I was less road weary.  For now, it’s one more night on the road and off home in the morning.

 

On the Way Home

Day 348

I stayed in Bar Harbor, Maine, last night.  The touristy atmosphere was something of a shock after the quiet of Nova Scotia.

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Today it was a long drive down through Maine, around Boston, across Massachusetts, and down into the Hudson Valley.  There might have been a stop in Northampton.  A girl needs supplies for her new loom, right?

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Tonight I’m within stone’s throw of wool mecca, but at the wrong time of year, alas.  To Pennsylvania on the morrow.

Like a Pro

Day 346

Today’s Lesson:  How to Plant a Canoe.

Step 1:  Designate oneself the official photojournalist of this endeavor so that one’s know dislike of bugs, dirt, sweat, and general yard work is not brought too much to the fore.

Step 2: Find an old canoe sitting around full of stagnant water.  It can be a beautiful pink / purpley color for added effect.

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Step 2: Drill holes in the canoe to drain out the water. (Or rather Ann and I stand around cheering while Paula drills the holes . . . “great work, way to go!”)

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Step 3: Turn the canoe over to empty remaining water.

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Step 4: Fill bottom of boat with empty bottles for future drainage.

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Step 5:  Just add dirt!

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Step 6:  Plant stuff.  In this case red and white petunias and canna lilies.  The cannas will be the “people” sitting in the canoe.  Pretty clever, eh?

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Step 7:  Admire the results!

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Step 8: Eat BLTs for lunch on the deck.

Step 9:  Take a nap and make reservations at Bread and Olives for supper.

Because, to quote the Nova Scotian provincial song, “For it’s early in the morning I am bound far away.”

All in a Day

Day 345

At some point this morning Paula mentioned something about packing all of summer into one day.  It almost felt like that; we seem to have packed in the best of summer here in Nova Scotia at least.

There was the view with breakfast (and Kauai coffee).

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There was lunch at Rudder’s on the deck.

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There was shopping and gelato after.

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There was the trip to Mavillette Beach.  We took Jack (the greyhound) and about wore him out.

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The grill came out for supper, then I managed to fall asleep briefly on the sofa with the evening breeze blowing over me through the open window.

All of summer in a day?  Maybe the best distilled into one day.