Sunday Snaps: Skipper Alex

Alexander Perry

Alexander Perry, or Skipper Alex (aka Alec) as he was called by many, was my husband’s grandfather. For those that don’t already know, our home on Perry’s Point for the past ten years is the same home in which Alexander and his wife Mary Jane lived and raised their large family.

Alexander worked as a skipper  on a number of fishing schooners. He made many trips to Labrador to fish for cod, which he brought back to Newtown to be cured before it was carried by ship from St. John’s to England and sometimes Jamaica.

Although I never met the man, I’ve heard many good things about him.  Skipper Alex was widely admired for his seafaring abilities, his pleasant disposition and gentle spirit, and his flair for storytelling. Locals loved to visit with him—or he with them—to be regaled with colourful tales of his experiences. Of course, having a love of stories myself, I wish I could have known him back in the day.

Below is a letter from Pompano Beach, Florida that Paul found in a box in the attic when we renovated our house. It was written by John Maxwell Barbour, known as Max, the eldest son of Captain Alphaeus Barbour. I imagine the letter meant something to Alex for him to hold onto it like that. He would have been 81 when he received it, and Max, 69. I typed the letter out for easier reading.

Jan. 22, 1969

Dear Skipper Alex,

This carries to you and to your good wife my warm congratulations on your 56th wedding anniversary.

Seeing your excellent picture brought back many memories of my boyhood days in Newtown and of our many contacts, all of which were pleasant and helpful in shaping me for the years ahead. To put it quite plainly, during that period you were one of my favourite adults and without question your personality made a good impression on me.

To my mind’s ear the sound of the guns fired at your wedding still comes thru. I recall the happy occasion well altho I was not old enough then to be a guest.

My wife joins me in sending you and your wife best wishes for continued health and happiness.

Very sincerely,
Max Barbour.

Many thanks to Lester Barbour for giving me some background on Max.

“Granda” Perry on the Point – b. 1888 – d. 1977

Sunday Snap: Focus

Pic and a Word Challenge: Depth of Field

While my latest book is on submission, I’ve recently shifted my focus to photography (see what I did there? 😉 ). I’m starting an online course this week to study what my Canon camera can actually do beyond my usual point and click.

What is Depth of Field?
“Depth of field is the distance between the closest and farthest objects in a photo that appears acceptably sharp. Now your camera can only focus sharply at one point. But the transition from sharp to un-sharp is gradual, and the term ‘acceptably sharp’ is a loose one! Without getting too technical, how you will be viewing the image, and at what size you will be looking at it are factors that contribute to how acceptably sharp an image is.”  ~ photographylife.com

My humble contribution: I captured the above photo when my daughter and her family came to visit. My grandson took a shine to this gorgeous little caterpillar we found near Cape Freels beach.

Speaking of online courses, I’ve also signed up for a free course through the University of Alberta called Indigenous Canada, which includes 12 lessons that explore Indigenous histories and contemporary issues from an Indigenous perspective. The course is also accessible outside of Canada. For more info, click here.

Never curb your lifelong desire to learn, my friends. Focus on something new, to you! 🙂

Vivian’s View From Here: “They say it’s my birthday”

Hello, my peeps! Apparently it’s my 13th birthday today, so I guess I have cause to celebrate.

Me when I was a baby
Me today

I was feeling down and lonely because this birthday marks my first trip around the sun without my sweet sister Maisie. The good news though, is that I had a special visitor!

Archie

No no no—not that dog, Archie, who came here with his family this week. I’m glad he’s gone home.

I had a very unexpected visitor to Perry’s Point this weekend: a seal!

We usually see seals around here during the winter or spring, not in August. I wonder did he get lost? I hope not. In any case, his arrival caused a bit of a stir and had everyone running for their phones and cameras, including our neighbour Wayne. Here are a couple he captured with his camera.

Isn’t he pretty?

Not as pretty as me, of course.

I wish one and all a lovely Sunday
and hope you’ll celebrate with me!
♥ ♥ ♥

Blog Tour: Against All Odds by Jacqui Murray

Happy Sunday, everyone!

Today I’m happy to host Jacqui Murray, a fellow blogger and prolific author as she launches Against All Odds, Book 3 in the Crossroads series. I’ve read most of her work and hold a special fascination for her prehistoric thrillers. Here’s the summary for her newest book:

A million years of evolution made Xhosa tough but was it enough? She and her People finally reach their destination—a glorious land of tall grasses, few predators, and an abundance that seems limitless, but an enemy greater than any they have met so far threatens to end their dreams. If Xhosa can’t stop this one, she and her People must again flee.

The Crossroads trilogy is set 850,000 years ago, a time in prehistory when man populated most of Eurasia. He was a violent species, fully capable of addressing the many hardships that threatened his survival except for one: future man, a smarter version of himself, one destined to obliterate all those who came before.

From prehistoric fiction author Jacqui Murray comes the unforgettable saga of a courageous woman who questions assumptions, searches for truth, and does what she must despite daunting opposition. Read the final chapter of her search for freedom, safety, and a new home. A perfect book for fans of Jean Auel and the Gears!

I had the pleasure of asking Jacqui a few questions about her latest novel:

You made up the bird language—right?

Wrong. Imitating bird song to communicate over difficult-to-traverse expanses has been used throughout the world by different cultures. If you’re curious, try this link: https://www.npr.org/sections/parallels/2015/09/26/443434027/in-a-turkish-village-a-conversation-with-whistles-not-words

 Could early man really run down their prey?

That answer is a resounding Yes. Scientists call this the “Endurance Running Hypothesis”. Early Man didn’t run faster than herd animals. They ran harder—all day or more. The Homo genus evolved a more stable head, looser hips, longer legs, shock-absorbing joints, and a springier foot formation. This made them—and us—well-suited to continuous running. Other changes in body makeup meant humans didn’t tire or overheat from this activity. Most animals sprint only short distances before they must stop to catch their breath and let their bodies cool down. We didn’t.

Could primitive man build rafts as suggested in this story?

Yes, absolutely. They possessed the brainpower, and the required tools were available at the time. Because these rafts must have been made of wood and vines—-materials that don’t preserve over time—no artifacts remain to prove this. Anthropologists speculate this earliest raft was more of a floating platform made from bamboo and tied together with vine. Scientists tested this hypothesis by building rafts using the prehistoric techniques Xhosa employed to cross the Straits of Gibraltar and then sailing the raft through Indonesia as the ancient people might have done.

Thank you, Jacqui. I wish you much success with this book and with all of your writing endeavors.

Available digitally (print soon) at:
Kindle US   Kindle UK   Kindle CA   Kindle AU

Visit Jacqui’s Amazon Author page here.

RDP: Fringe

The wild grasses on Perry’s Point are freakishly tall this summer. Most of it is topped with a feathery fringe that dances in the sun and sways in the breeze. I can stare at it for hours!

Fitting too, seeing as I live on the fringe of an island on the fringe of North America. 😉

Ragtag Daily Prompt for Monday: Fringe

A Shout-out to my Commenters

Many thanks to everyone who visits my blog.

I’m throwing out a bouquet today to all who consistently like and comment on my articles, updates and photos throughout the year, but particularly I wish to thank the six most frequent commenters of late.

I hope you know how much I value your visits and our conversations. These visits bring the reward of connection with other like-minded people from all over, as well as with those who walk an entirely different path.

Have a look. You just might hit the follow button and join our blogging community.

Book Club Mom, a.k.a. Barbara Vitelli, hails from the U.S. and is my most frequent commenter. She is a book reviewer and blogger here on WordPress, where she shares author interviews, indie author profiles and blogging advice. Barbara is also a librarian, a book-clubber, and an avid reviewer on Net Galley and GoodReads.


Jacqui Murray of WordDreams is an author, freelance journalist, teacher, Amazon Vine Voice, and the bearer of a wealth of helpful advice for all things wordy. I have learned a lot from her posts which she fills with hints, lists,  how-tos, and book reviews. Jacqui lives in California.


Jill Weatherholt is a writer of contemporary stories about love, faith, friendship and forgiveness. Her sweet novels always end with a “happily ever after.” She started her blog as a way to share her journey and to create a community for other new writers, artists and fellow bloggers. Jill lives in North Carolina.


Clanmother, a.k.a. Rebecca Budd, is a fellow Canadian living in British Columbia. She hosts several blogs, sharing her talents as a visual storyteller, photographer, podcaster, traveler and life-long learner.


Andrea Stephenson of Harvesting Hecate is a gifted writer as well as a painter. She hails from the United Kingdom, where she draws inspiration from nature, the coastline and the turn of the seasons. She has written two magical realism novels for adults.


Joanne Meadows of joannerambling  is a blogger from Australia. She loves to blog about family, write letters to pen pals, and she’s always eager to share my posts on Twitter.


Honorable mention goes out to each and every commenter and visitor.

You all rock! 

Sunday Snap: E-Book or Printed Book?

Do you prefer an e-reader or a physical book?
Clearly, Vivian prefers the real deal to my Kindle.

Besides its compact size, I love my Kindle for several obvious reasons: it has a built-in dictionary, translator, highlighter, and a light when I need it. I can refer to Wikipedia, browse the web, and shop for books on Amazon. I can transfer my own files to my Kindle and read them. I can enlarge the text if I want. And, of course, e-books are easily accessible and usually cheaper.  With libraries closed and less access to physical books during the pandemic, my e-reader has been a godsend, to say the least.

In spite of the benefits of an e-reader, I do love the feel of a real book in my hands. When all is said and done, it is my preference. Some studies point to the fact that we better retain what we read from a printed book. And then there’s the colourful cover art!

How about you? Do you like one more than the other? I can hear some of you now: “Jennifer, the main thing is to read, no matter how you do it.”

Exactly.

“The story is truly finished—and meaning is made—not when the author adds the last period, but when the reader enters.” ~ Celeste Ng

Evergreen Post: Summer Lovin’

I’ve been taking a blogging break while away from home these past couple of weeks, so today I’ll share a photography post from a beautiful July day six years ago.
Remember 2014, when life was simpler?  ~*sigh*~

I plan to return to regular blogging with a new Sunday Snap, on—you guessed it—Sunday!

***

Summer in my province of Newfoundland and Labrador, compared to most of North America, is short but ever so sweet. What makes it so cherished, to my mind?

The following photos were all taken in Lead Cove, the little community where I raised my children.

I love my home for its natural beauty,
its refreshing, rugged and
unspoiled charm,
for its clear and wide blue skies
without a whisper of smog.

245

I love the clean, sparkling water
and the glistening rocks adorning the coastline
that beg to be traced
and trod upon by eager footsteps.

241

I love summer in Newfoundland
for its breathtaking views
of seascapes and landscapes
when I embark on a hike.

242

Whether I traverse
its beaches of sand or
climb its rocky windswept hills,
I know my camera will find its aim.

I embrace it because
the bushes and shrubs,
green and lush,
are heavy with fragrance
and of wild roses in bloom…

183

…while in the gardens,
the planted perennials are brilliant with colour,
delighted at last
to spread their bright petals to the sun.

181

182

I love the hardy trees of Newfoundland
in summer…

178

…as they stretch
their ripe foliage to the sky.

184Shot through with rays of sunlight,
a shimmering haze settles over the treetops
like a warm summer veil.

323

After a long winter and dismal spring
of cold, naked branches,
they, as I do,
breathe a sigh of gratitude
at the return of this warm and golden season.

234

Are you filled with summer lovin’ where you live, or is the pandemic interfering?

Originally published here on July 29/14

Sunday Snap: Puzzling

Wolves in Spring

I finished my pandemic puzzle this morning. Now I’m sad because I don’t have another one to start. Although puzzles may be considered a huge time-suck, I love them as a way to unwind. Jigsaw and crossword are my favourites, but like good books, I hate when I reach the end.

Speaking of puzzles, I learned two new words today:

  • Enigmatology: the science of puzzles
  • Cruciverbalist: a person skillful in creating or solving crossword puzzles

“It is one of man’s curious idiosyncrasies to create difficulties for the pleasure of resolving them.” – Joseph de Maistre

Summer Evening

Close of hot June day—
soft sea breeze, high crescent moon,
cool waves kiss the shore.

We’ve enjoyed a bit of a heat wave this past week, an unusually early occurrence here in the easternmost province of Canada.

I call it a bonus because our summers are notoriously short, and after a long winter and spring, warm sun-filled days are more than welcome. I’m also grateful for the coastal breezes that keep things temperate.

This is my contribution to A Photo a Week Challenge: Dusk – nancy merrill photography