January in Nova Scotia

Late morning and we’re well into another big snowstorm today – our third in four weeks. The forecast for this weekend is a foot or two of snow followed by ten hours of freezing rain, then a whole pile of rain, then a hard freeze, all accompanied by 110 km/h winds. The thought of our inevitable power outage doesn’t bother me much since all my favourite activities – reading, knitting, rug hooking, snacking, sleeping – don’t require power anyway. I’m definitely in the minority, but I’ll take this over a heat wave any day.

a quick afternoon jaunt

Yesterday, Foster and I were reminiscing about past road trips and trying to summon the hope that next year will be safer to travel when we decided to hop in the car and run up to Scotts Bay for a change of scene.

Did you know it’s illegal to go to Scotts Bay without stopping at the look off and taking fifty photos that are practically identical to the fifty photos you took the last time you were there? It’s true.*

Look! It’s two of my favourite men.

I don’t have the knees for Cape Split so we loitered around the trailhead, admiring the absolute silence. While Foster crept around in the undergrowth taking photos and acquiring ticks, I focused on not falling over a thirty foot high cliff onto boulders in the Bay of Fundy.

Look at these! Aren’t they pretty? They might be alder cones, but I have no idea, so don’t quote me on it.

By this point, the sun was starting to set so we went to the beach to watch.

On the way back across Wellington Dyke, the last of the sunset combined with the rising mist looked like we had stumbled across the set of a Kate Bush video.

Luckily, it was just us and there was no interpretive dancing.

*Possibly not true.

Brighten the Corner Where You Are by Carol Bruneau

Confession time: I don’t care for the paintings of Maud Lewis. This is heresy for a Nova Scotian, but it’s true. Folk art just isn’t my thing. I knew a little about Lewis’ difficult life (the health issues, the poverty, the tiny, painted house) since these facts are added to our tap water, but have never felt motivated to learn more. (And no, I haven’t seen that Maudie movie because movies also aren’t my thing.)

I had faith in Carol Bruneau’s ability to make me care about Maud Lewis, however, so I ordered a copy and, lo and behold, my faith was justified. It’s very good.

It takes courage to tell a story so familiar to so many in such a fresh way and it takes skill to know when and how to inject that story with moments of lightness and grace and humour. Bruneau’s got ’em . I think Maud Lewis would be pleased.

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