For many years, the go-to guy on Nova Scotia’s Eastern Shore if there was rock ledge in the way of your project, be it a foundation or a grave, was Oliver Murphy. Mr. Dynamite, I’ll call him – a wiry-built man of generous spirit, now retired and with his wife Heather looking after the Murphy farmstead in West Chezzetcook at the head of Chezzetcook Inlet. I met them years ago at Ross Heritage Farm, where Oliver demonstrated finesse and focus in annual Hand Mowing Championships.Read More
Adding value to resources is the way of Canada’s economic future. Opportunities abound. Just how they abound came to me the other day while weeding the asparagus patch. Crawling through the thicket of ferns, I wore a hole in the knee of my britches. Ordinarily, this might call for artful patching. However, with value-added in mind, I’m thinking a better bet will be to run the trousers through the wash and donate them to Value Village.Read More
Pick of the crop
Raspberries! Fresh raspberries on granola, fresh raspberry pie, fresh raspberries on a leafy green salad, and a bowl of fresh raspberries with light cream and a sprinkling of brown sugar before hitting the sack. Lord, I’m tiring of fresh raspberries. Fortunately, there are red currants, huckleberries, and blueberries to break the awful monotony. Soon there will be blackberries. I think we will make it through.Read More
Having dropped my subscription to the daily newspaper, for reasons having nothing to do with favouring digital over hard copy, I recently found myself desperate for paper to put under the new chicks. In the metropolis of Bridgewater, neither the Sooper Store nor Sobbys, both of which carry the daily, had a single unsold day-old paper they might give me. Clerks at the service desk looked blank when I asked.Read More
Older but not entirely growed up
As any perceptive reader will have deduced, from a glance at the cover, this is the anniversary issue of Rural Delivery. Are we having a mid-life crisis? Certainly not! But we are taking a moment to reflect on where we have come from (or “on whence we have come,” as grammarians would have it). This magazine first rolled off the presses in June of 1976, and it has continued rolling ever since.
Doc MacLeod was right. It was years ago. I had a wicked stiff neck, and looked to him for relief. Last week, when I fried my Tacoma’s electrical system, I was taken back to that time when. I’ve been boosting dead batteries since pre-teens and never had a problem. I was waiting until I had a vehicle held together, not as in the old days with baling wire, but with computers. I was in a rush.
The sights and sounds of spring
Listen to the Barred owls hoo-haw-ing in the night. For the hard-of-hearing they, and woodpeckers broadcasting their whereabouts on the gutter’s downspout, announce the coming of spring. Can worm castings be far behind? Here on Nova Scotia’s South Shore there is little if any frost in the ground. With the exception of a couple of polar vortices touching down in early January.
It’s called enterprise
Taking a walk with Tank yesterday, he chased rabbits while my mind chased ideas how this Sandy Bay Landings was only my lifetime ago. Change. The rabbits Tank chases are in fact Snowshoe hares that change from white to brown to white with the seasons. Now, as the days pick away at night, their coats are often mottled. This Sandy Bay is mottled in a cultural way.
Bluster and garbage and gas
Trump protests too much in recent tweeted response to allegations he is mentally ill-equipped to run the U.S. show – and show it has become, on his watch. But is Trump an aberration or revelation, exposing for everyone to see an ugly underbelly of the Excited States? Many fear Trump out of fear he would take the world to war rather than admit a mistake.
Travels with Tank
After walking the beach or taking a leisurely stroll through the woods, more than one friend or family member has exclaimed, “You live in a paradise!” True. We do. Thank heaven we have not been hacked by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. Undeclared fortunes remain out of CRA’s sight, squirreled away amongst the roots of wind-blown spruce, guarded by porcupines.
Down in the garden
He’s calling for a frost in low-lying areas tonight. First of the season for many, despite being well into October. Here on the coast, on a hill, there’s not a chance remaining tomatoes will get hit, although I wish it were otherwise. Jack Frost would be welcome to take the tomatoes, the beans too, and don’t forget the zucchini. It is time for a break. Besides, the freezer is full.
So many superlatives come to mind when thinking about Martin Rudy Haase who died August 22 in a modest hospice on the edge of the village of Chester, N.S. Where to begin? He was 95. His heart gave out. “I’m quite prepared to go,” he said in a phone conversation from Massachusetts back in June. He was only very unhappy that the diagnosis of an incurable condition came only after thousands of dollars had been spent in the U.S.
Mother would be in jail
I am sitting at my computer waiting for someone to Facebook me and tell me what to do next. Or maybe someone I never heard tell of will email me to ask that I add them to my LinkedIn “family,” which does not exist. That is because after signing up to join the exalted ranks of the LinkedIn I decided I live on the wrong side of the tracks and have managed to hide the fact thus far in life and why screw things up now?
I arrived in Canada and Nova Scotia in 1969 with the equivalent of a key to the country and province. Kind of like the reception dignitaries arriving in some great metropolis receive, the welcoming hand was out. “Here you go,” says the mayor in the typical scenario. “Welcome to our fair city. This here golden key will open every door.” Wow. Wow indeed.
Isn’t spring wonderful when it finally arrives? A friend in New Hampshire writes to say, “Winter was great. More snow then normal, but no serious below-zero cold. The wood stove burned all of January and February. A 3 a.m. feeding is a small price to pay for not having a cold house in the morning. It carries the whole place. Easter morning the loon came back, landing on a narrow strip of open water. That afternoon, the entire basin opened and was free of ice.
Finn Poschmann, of the Atlantic Provinces Economic Council, published a column in the first week of April about the importance of innovation, a central theme in the most recent federal budget. The word cropped up frequently in the budget, Poschmann pointed out, along with “a related concept – the cluster.” “Now, economists have known for ages that incomes and output per person are higher and tend to grow faster where people and businesses bunch together in cities,” Poschmann continued.
The fat lady is singing her heart out…
Guess what. After 40-plus years, DvL is no longer owner-publisher of the company that grew out of the need to find some way to pay dental bills. It was April 1976. I had published Papeek, a children’s story, with JB Lippincott seven years prior. That must have sold a dozen copies. Following that, the fiction well was plumbed to greater depths and found dry. There were odd jobs.
Characterizing our dairy supply management program as “a scheme” without a strategy beyond protectionism, Dr. Sylvain Charlebois, of Dalhousie University, has suggested in a widely published commentary (including in Canadian Grocer and the Chronicle Herald) that President Trump might be in a position to trigger a necessary “complete overhaul.”
Welcome two thousand seventeen!
Growing up, as much as I accomplished in that department, we always anticipated what was known as “the January thaw,” a few days of spring-like weather such as we’ve just experienced – and that the weatherperson says will come to a sudden end this evening. Mother would say “winter’s letting go for a new hold.” We will soon have our shoulders pinned to an icy mat and be begging for mercy from beneath drifts of snow.
The death of couth
Sandy Bay, November 7: Picked the last three zucchini squashes and planted garlic for next year. The wheel of life keeps turning despite upheavals south of the border. In the long run – should there be a long run – what will this U.S. presidency mean or do for Canada or democracy? No good, for regardless what he does from here on, Mr. Trump got the top job by bullying everyone who got in his way.