Ah Nova Scotia. The name means ‘New Scotland’ in the Gaelic. It is well named. A few years back we spent 28 days touring the islands and highlands of Scotland by bicycle. It rained 24 of the 28 days. Cape Breton clobbered that record last year: in a 28-day run beginning July 15 it rained 26 days. To date 2009 looks like it might run the table. I only vaguely remember the look of Kelly’s Mountain and the Great Bras d’Or washed in sunshine. Slugs are legion. Earthworms flee their inundated surrounds. My woods impersonate a Louisiana bayou. Still, we find ways to laugh. Bob Nagel is in residence together with nephew Dennis and niece-in-law Nancy. Thrown in with my sister Kathleen and bro-in-law Jon, they make merry mayhem.
Our Drolet woodstove exchanges heat and light for the birch, maple and apple I toss into its maw. ‘Stored sunshine’ I call it. Jan’s son Steve and his bride Elizabeth gave up their Winnipeg sunshine in order to share ten days of Cape Breton drizzle with us. We enjoy their company and try not to feel guilty about the weather. We are ten days into our 2009 Cape Breton summer and try mightily not to let the weather sour our days. Rain or shine, there are plenty of projects to keep me occupied: a new queen-sized wall-bed in the sleeping porch; a new deck for the camper, now serving double duty as guest house; view-improving forestry on the banks overlooking our beach.
En route to Cape Breton we visited Bob MacRae, the nephew of the great WWI 25th Battalion raider-warrior, Max. Bob couldn’t have been more generous in sharing his trove of Max relics and memories. Then he and Helen compounded the generosity by insisting on providing us lunch at Stellarton.
In Sydney we enjoyed an extended lunch with newly discovered cousins Julia and Rod. They are grandchildren of one of the WWI Livingstone soldiers and shared more relics, photographs and memories. I eat it up.
Steve and Elizabeth are with us for a few days yet. The rain does not interfere in our ability to enjoy Big Bras d’Or lobsters, Millville eggfests or Baddeck musical ceilidhs. We will prevail.