Weekend in the far country

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Early Spring Bouquet of the woods in Nova Scotia – lichen, strawberry and dandelion

Goodmorning!

Home!  Home away from home, the home I share with Jamie, 3 cats and a lively dog.  It is early but the day is light before 6 am.  This morning was so special.  We kept our bedroom window open so waking was a dream – light rainfall and singing birds.   The scent drifting in of damp, living earth and new, fragrant green.  I enjoy mornings most in the spring.

I wanted to write to you to share this past weekend when I was still in the woods in Nova Scotia.  It was really special, my whole visit but I take so many photographs of this lovely earth that I thought I would focus on just one day, Sunday. So from my little work room, with the early grey light, candles lit and sage burning, I am writing to you dear friends

Sunday was my last full day spending time with family in Nova Scotia.  I fill my days when I visit with walking with dogs, sitting by rivers, visiting the sea and just feeling content in such simple things.  I love walking with the dogs (I always bring Henry) because they are so free  – my heart soars with a sense of freedom watching dogs run free! I had done everything i had wanted to do during this visit – visit my sister in the city, hunt for crystals, visit the ocean, the waterfalls, lie down in some moss for a while (very important life giving things 😀 ) and had completely forgotten that I wanted to find a legendary spot that i had only heard tell of – a massive brick chimney standing alone in a wood.

Sunday was pouring rain and I thought that I wouldn’t have a chance, so to be content staying indoors

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Sunday in my Mother’s kitchen – rain for the earth

So, you can imagine it was really raining!  The house is situated near a river, lake and right by the Atlantic ocean so when it rains, it really rains.  After lunch there was a lull and I just decided to trust it and get out on my bike to see if I could find this spot.  With Henry and Merlin we biked to the top of the hill and ventured into an old forest path for the cattle that once lived here and forestry.  My Mom had given me very vague instructions on how to find it, across the lake was about all I had to go on.

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Biking – these roads are very rarely travelled so the dogs run out with me on my bike.
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The path to the other side of the lake
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Finding Treasures along the way
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Another world beneath our feet

I admit, I got lost and almost gave up – when I realized that i had a cell phone and there was miraculously service!  So I called home and got directions based on where I was.  Across a marsh (I wore rainboots!), through a field and to my surprise in someones backyard – a massive free standing crumbling chimney. I felt like I was back in Ireland looking at ruins!  Although, I was a little apprehensive of the window that looked out right at me!

Many moons ago I worked in a small museum during a summer in rural Nova Scotia.  One of my little jobs was to transcribe a diary written by a man who lived in the area in the 18th century – he was prosperous and had grand plans of building mills and lumber yards around the area.  He discussed his home which sounded extremely luxurious (the older homes here are simple wooden farm houses) with more than one fireplace!  I started to imagine that this chimney was part of his phantom house (the historian who would stop in told me they hadn’t a clue where this spot was but suspected it was close to the area where our house is).

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The Chimney, falling to pieces but still really amazing

As I was taking a couple of pictures, the woman in the house came out and stood on her porch yelling at me “THOSE BRICKS FALL, BE CAREFUL!” the dogs shot over to her and before I know it, I’m with Louise talking about the house that once stood there.  She knew a lot about it because it was her husband’s family home from 200 years earlier.  The chimney she told me, became so unstable that a company actually came in to dismantle the old home.  She was on her way to a Ceilidh, so we didn’t chat too long but I did enjoy listening to her talk about it and her life in the brief time!  I miss studying history and folklore and listening to older people talk about a very different time.  It was really for the best that I started my trek back because the rain wasn’t over.

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The Cap Cod home that once stood here – she told me that the chimney was not divided by walls so you could walk around it and that the spring well was right on the main floor!  A well she still gets her water from today.
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Back of the fire place – with old beams of wood as well
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AN Ancient yellow birch along a trickling stream – this tree would take more than two of me to hug completely!  I stopped along the way back to say hello

 

I quickly made my way back to my bike, it seemed a lot quicker on the way home. I wasn’t marvelling at much on the way back, I really sensed the rain.  When we get home, the sky opened right up and the rain fell in torrents.  I can’t help but think that brief time was allotted to us for our wee adventure.  It was very special.

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The sun came out to say goodbye!

As I resigned to stay indoors for the rest of the day – watching TV with my mom after dinner – the sunset broke right through the clouds!  I wonder if you have experienced this?  It is spectacular sight.  Without thinking, we got up and went for a walk!  My Mom said it was the earth’s way of saying goodbye to Henry and I ❤

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Merlin Bear with the Sunset on a rainy but magical day
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By the end of the walk, the sky had properly broken up to share a rainbow with us
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Making veggie pizzas with my mom in her Kitchen, happy days.

Now it is past 7 am, the cats are all outside, Jamie and a dog are still sleeping and I am feeling happy and full with recounting this to you.  Thank you so much for joining me and I do hope you enjoyed seeing the chimney 🙂  Perhaps it is dull to most, but I love this kind of history especially when it is just a bike ride and forest ramble away!

Blessed day to you !!

Julia xo

 

14 thoughts on “Weekend in the far country

  1. This is my favorite post yet! We are kindred spirits as your Sunday sounds like perfection and how you spent your hours is how I spend so many of mine…biking, exploring, wandering…and when you have a special destination you’re not sure you’ll find, and then find it, and it is so stunning as that ancient chimney is…well, life is sweet. There is such beauty in the construction of that old chimney. Thanks for sharing your day and your photos!

    I have a memory of Cape Breton when we were just exploring back roads north of Mabou, and we met an elderly woman who lived alone. She welcomed us into her kitchen, where the walls were papered with newsprint and she did her cooking on the wood cookstove. We shared our just picked strawberries with her and went on our way, and to this day I’ll never forget her.

    I miss having dogs but I have a “grand dog” whom I love, and I share with you the feelings I get when I’m with her. She has such immense enthusiasm in just being alive…she greets each morning with a joyful spirit…I’m looking forward to getting dogs again, and of course cats…one day soon.

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    1. Hi * Freshwindbrightsky* !

      Thank you so much for your comment and for sharing the story of your time in Cape Breton – it’s fascinating! The area North of Mabou is… so beautiful, I really love it there. I recently was reading a PEI magazine which had a very similar story – about an old woman who lived alone in the country (98 years old) who still cooked on her wood cookstove and gardened in a massive vegetable garden. The interviewee asked her what the secret to a long life was and she said “to just keep going” – these women are so inspiring, I love it!

      If only we could be a little more like dogs >.< we are lucky we get to share time with them though! I hope the day will be sooner than you think for your cat and dog 🙂

      Have a lovely day!

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  2. Beautiful photos of a wonderful time – I love how light plays after a rain. Yes, I too love history and what’s left – the chimney is beautiful. If only it could talk, the stories it could tell 🙂

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    1. Elaine, I so agree about the light after the rain – I love it too. I actually just really really love rain (as long as it’s not days on end of nothing but) ❤

      The chimney could tell us so many interesting stories! I asked the woman if she had ever dug around and she said no – I would be so curious to see if there were any old bottles, etc. 🙂

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  3. Dull????? Oh mercy no!!!! Amazing! Delightful! Magical!!! Wonnnnnderful! -happy sigh-

    Oh I’d love to see something like this…. Something still standing, from another time. And to talk to the woman, whose family lived there. And she is still using the well, which was in the house. I take it, she showed you that old photograph.

    Your photos are magnificent.

    The adventure you took us on, was so lovely. So different from something I can do, at my age of 81. 🙂 Thank you so much!

    And your Mother and her kitchen, are lovely too. It must be wonderful, to go home.

    Gentle hugs,
    A ‘Nana’ in the upper north east of the U.S.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. :)))

      Thank you!! I am so glad that you enjoyed it! I do really love sharing these times and then knowing that even if it;s just a handful, that I have reached someone, someone out there! It’s a lonely world sometimes, but writing here makes me feel like I’m not alone, so thank you.

      Yes, the hand you see (I should have got a photo of her! She was 75 years old and off to go to a Ceilidh – an East Coast Kitchen party – a good time) is the woman who married the man whose family owned the previous home. I was off a day dreaming after she told me about using the well still. Thankful in the winter, but in spring and summer – to get water from a fresh spring well!

      I love my Mama’s kitchen. It’s full of plants and old cookbooks ❤

      My life goal is to be a grandma 😀 😀 I feel like I already am one in a way, despite having no children 😛

      Blessings this day and the next!

      Julia

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  4. What a magical weekend, Julia! Thank you 🙏 for sharing it with us. I love exploring your beautiful world vicariously via your blog. I can feel and smell the rain 🌧, trees 🌲 🌳, moss, plants 🌱, forests and woodlands. That chimney holds incredible energy and is beautiful in its own way. Your Mom’s beauty shines through. Love that photo of her at the kitchen table. Question: did she knit/crochet the kitchen curtains?

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    1. Bonnie!

      You are very welcome!! I often spend a lot of my ramblings a lone so I do like to share them 🙂 And yes, she did make the curtains!! I believe it is called “Filet Crochet” I THINK! She made us some cute ones as well for our kitchen which I really love ❤

      The forest is waking up everyday, it has been slow this year but it's raining today so hopefully it will just be next week that the leaves are all out ❤

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  5. Happiness is … going home! and it looked like you had a wonderful visit! I loved that old chimney, its amazing how something can be so strong and withstand so much, yet be so fragile all at the same time. Thanks for sharing your little adventure!

    Wishing you a wonderful week a head!

    Sirena xo

    P.S. Crystal hunting looked so magical! I would love to do that one day! 🙂

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    1. Hi Sirena 😀 !

      It really is, when I get back home, even though I love it here too – I always feel like my trip home was a dream *sigh*. I am so busy here though especially because we are going into the busiest week of getting plants in the earth (so excited!).

      Ooh I wonder if there are any crystal spots near you (I am imagining that there are loads!). In Nova Scotia, there are many – where I went to university there was a beach called “Crystal Cliffs” where the rocks and cliffs sparkled from the minerals there. There is also a spot called “Amethyst Cove” filled with amethysts (I think..or at least some kind of purple stone). So curious what you could find out in BC 🙂

      Hope you, your family and your garden are well ❤

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  6. Dear Julia!

    I read this some days ago, but I have been so busy lately, I’ve hardly spent time on social medias at all, and didn’t find time to write you a comment until now. But I have been thinking about you, and I hope that you are doing well.

    I really love this peek into your day, and I appreciate all the beautiful photos. I can imagine finding that chimney was exciting, and how lucky you got to talt to that lady, and hear more about it! 🙂 I always like to find out more about old houses and places around where we live too.

    Your mom looks so nice, and I absolutely LOVE her kitchen! ❤

    I'll go back to writing my final exam now, another seven days, and I'm done 🙂 Hope you'll be good ❤

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    1. Camilla!

      Please don’t apologize for not commenting!! Studying is important and pays off! Also, time away from Social Media is time well spent!

      And My Mom will be happy to hear that you think so 🙂 I love spending time in that kitchen! Usually when I visit, we make pizzas sitting at this table with the dogs wondering when they will be given a treat.

      Best of luck in your exams!!! I’m sure you will do wonderfully and then have the glorious stretch of summer before you!

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  7. Adored this post beyond measure! I could stare at these beautiful images all day. I especially loved hearing about Louise who shared a bit of history with you.

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    1. Hi Andi,

      Thank you so much! And I was so fascinated by Louise! Wish I could have chatted to her longer and heard more history – maybe next time I go home! I would be so interested in what old bottles might be unearthed 😀

      Like

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