The wheels come off and get put back on again (and also fun days in Fundy)

So the wheels fell off (figuratively, not literally – Larry the Yaris is still going strong). It was bound to happen. A beautiful summer in a beautiful place – there had to be some kind of cosmic retribution. To give away the ending, it all worked out. But it was a harried couple of weeks. In short, our rental agreement for Chicago for the Fall fell through, and a mad scramble revealed that there was not one single person in Chicago or environs who wanted to rent to us (and dog) for the time we were supposed to be there. But I guess the plus side of sabbatical (or at least, this sabbatical) is that we can go wherever we want, and an offer came out of the blue from a kind and generous colleague. We’re staying in Nova Scotia until November, in a GORGEOUS little writing retreat house. I’m flying to Chicago for a week to do what I need to do there, and then we’re starting our gigantic road trip in November from here. So it’s bittersweet. I’m sad about Chicago, I’m sad that I won’t get to live in the city and practice with Windy City, but glad that I’ll get to go to SAIC anyway (and I’m bringing my skates) and fairly ecstatic to be staying beside the ocean for the Fall.

And of course, it wasn’t all bad. We went to Brier Island with our friends Duncan and Anna, and Anna managed to find us this sweet little apartment above a laundromat, with an impressive view!

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Brier Island is a lovely place, and we just sort of bummed around for two days, watching whales, hiking, eating, and playing a game of ridiculous Atlantic Trivia from 1984 that someone had left in the apartment. Do you happen to know the Prince Edward Island Health Minister’s secretary’s name from 1981? No? No points for you.

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Just for the record, these photos are through a 10x zoom. I’m not a huge fan of whale watching, because I can’t imagine that the whales enjoy it very much. But I was really impressed in Brier Island because they’ve developed their own set of regulations (apparently Canada has very few) on how far away the boats should be (quite far), how many boats can be around (2 max) and how often each whale should be left alone. It made it seem much less antagonistic, and the boat we were on employed researchers who had been tracking the whales up and down the coast. At first I thought it odd that you needed a marine biology degree for what seemed to be a summer job, but I was glad of it by the end.

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This is what three adults trying to entertain a four year old before supper look like. Owen directed a play. I believe we were all “stage managers.”

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It takes two ferries to get to Brier Island, and on the way home we stopped on the middle island, Long Island, to visit the Balancing Rock.

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Then we stopped at Annapolis Royal for the BEST SANDWICHES EVER. They were from the Leo Cafe, which is in a house from the 1713. So good! Tim made fun of me for taking pictures of my food like a teenaged hipster, but this sandwich was memorable.

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When we got home from Brier Island, I received the devastating news that Lisa Visser had passed away from cancer. I didn’t know Lisa very well, but she was close friends with a number of my friends and colleagues, and she was just too young, too smart, and too bright (in all senses). For three years everyone kept saying to me “you have to meet Lisa, you have to meet Lisa,” but it wasn’t until much later that I met her in Kingston, just before she started her MA at OCAD. I understood then, why everyone thought she was special. She was, and it’s so sad that she’s gone. It’s hard to know how to post about something like that because we were at the dory races when Erin M. emailed me, and it seemed like such a wrong juxtaposition. But I didn’t want her death to go unnoticed and I wanted to remember her if I ever look back on this blog. Image

There doesn’t seem to be a good way to transition from a terrible event back to Lunenburg. But life in Lunenburg went on, and we went camping in Fundy, and I thought a lot about my friends.

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Lucy loved camping.

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Even when the bugs were so bad she had to lie under a towel.

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The tides at Fundy were as amazing as promised.

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12pm

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2pm

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Lucy encountered a chipmunk (who calmly stared at us and finished his pinecone before moving on).

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Fundy Park Lawn Bowling Championships, 2013

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Lawn Bowling Champion 2013, bla bla bla…. (I suggested we change it to contact lawn bowling, but alas it was not to be, and I went down in flames. Victory ice cream was consumed by some, Also-Rans ice cream by others).

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The Fundy Music Festival was a toe tapping good time.

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And then we went to Animaland, an abandoned theme park on the outskirts of Fundy Park. This was the absolute best kind of creepy imaginable.

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Wish you were here ‘Dinger! ha ha.

We came home to a rigorous work schedule. Here I am with my work partner.

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A rigorous derby schedule. Here I am with part of the Halifax team – they have been super awesome about letting me practice with them.

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And some rigorous soccer playing – here is Cameron looking like a European soccer star.

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À la prochaine!

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Pirates! Lunenburg! More pirates!

Pirates, pirates and more pirates. Also sailboats (without pirates), birthday parties, the launch of Lunenburg Ales, and stormy skies. And… I read a lot of books and worked on a couple of chapters, but there aren’t any fun pictures for those.

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Wooden boat festival day in Lunenburg.

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Our nephew Max’s 5th birthday.

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Oli with his Grandad.

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Swinging too fast to capture!

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Going back to the future in Lunenburg.

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Putt-putt races (so-named because the boats putt putt putt along)

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very slow photo finish!

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It was a beautiful afternoon, so Tim and I decided to go sailing.

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Out of my way boys, I’ve got this!

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Ahoy ahoy.

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Sailing selfie.

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Salty sea dog.

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Hark! It’s a trip with a porpoise!

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Back on dry land. Risser’s Beach with Lucy.

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Fog bank coming in.

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Chasing sea foam.

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Post-beach coffee at Lahave Bakery.

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Yum.

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I told Lucy this was her new house, and she immediately asked when we were going to move in. Unfortunately I think someone else already lives there….

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Mahone Bay Pirate Days. Just a flesh wound!

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The best pirate poses.

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Here’s mine.

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A little nervous about the parrot….

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Uncle Tim on the run from three scurrilous scurvied scallywags.

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Four year old Owen rules the Lunenburg skate park.

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Sampling the first batch of home-brewed Lunenburg Ale (Duncan and Tim’s future money-making move to the South shore plan). Huge success! Nobody keeled over and it tasted pretty good!

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I went to Halifax again to play derby, but we got there early enough to do the bridge walk. It’s exactly like it sounds – one day a year, Halifax closes one of the bridges and everyone walks across it. There were crazy stormy skies, but somehow we managed to avoid all of the rain and thunder.

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Fueling up for derby.