January Blue*

It’s a blue winter day on Perry’s Point.

It isn’t a sad and lonely day, but one painted with the hues of a brilliant blue sky and a blanket of sunshine, the kind of day where the sun and snow merge to design graceful shadows in the hollows of the landscape.

IMG_0056 (800x521)Sun on the newly fallen and drifted snow creates a tapestry of shadowy forms,
from the palest baby blue to the deepest of indigo.

IMG_0067The slanting afternoon rays of sunlight hold little heat,
but warm the heart of this nature-lover nonetheless.

IMG_0075 (800x519)The surface of the snow waves and crests,
while most of the bay lies still under a layer of slush and ice.

IMG_0076 (800x475)Dunes of scalloped white surround me…

IMG_0123 (800x541)…and the only hint of sound is the faint exhale of a frigid breeze.

IMG_0089 (800x533)Certain feathered creatures have already been here.

IMG_0114 (800x518)At the end of the Point I reach the icy blue coastline…

IMG_0096 (800x533)…where the water is still full of movement in spite of the sub-zero air.

IMG_0084 (800x402)Cold, but fluid…

IMG_0085 (800x383)…clear and beautiful.

IMG_0145 (800x623)Other shadows dapple a weather-worn barn…

IMG_0149 (800x428)…and sun-bleached fences.

IMG_0152 (800x533)Hidden in shade, a bird house waits for spring, and a new tenant…

IMG_0130 (800x522)…while our neighbour’s fishing boat awaits a new summer.

IMG_0163 (800x574)Ben Perry’s shed is called a “store” around these parts.

IMG_0159 (800x472)Still more shadows hide in furrows of snow and last summer’s grasses. I wade in.

IMG_0068 (800x533)My toes are like ice cubes inside my boots at this point. I hop over the fence to home.

IMG_0155 (800x571)Time to put the kettle on…

IMG_0183 (800x533)…and thaw myself out with a cup of tea.

IMG_0182 (800x533)And my world changes from blue to green.

How is your January going?
What is the colour of your winter? 

*ThrowbackThursday – This is a reblog from January 2015.

Sunday Snaps: Ten Years in This Old House

Last week on December 7th, Paul and I celebrated our tenth anniversary of living here on Perry’s Point in Newtown. We had left the city behind in 2010 for the rural life and a new adventure.

Our house, which was newly built for Paul’s grandfather Perry in 1923, was in dire need of restoration and renovation before we could move in. The work that went into these first stages is clearly illustrated in these photos.

The beginning: gutting out the old
This one and the one below show the rot. We’d started not a moment too soon. 
Yikes!
We chose to keep the original staircase and the three stained-glass windows.
Stripping down the old kitchen for new counters and cabinets.
On the left, a view of the living room through the wall where the old chimney had been removed. On the right is a view of the front hall from the dining room.
The old porch was dismantled to make way for a new one and a half-bath. Goodbye, old appliances!
Construction begins on the new porch and half-bath extension. Pictured: cousin and neighbour Wayne, one of our carpenters.
Wayne and Paul hard at work. Fun fact: Paul lost 25 pounds that summer and fall. That happens when you’re constantly working and running to the lumber yard and hardware store for new materials. He’s kept the weight off ever since.
“A little help from my friends.” Pictured: Paul, neighbour Ben (may he rest in peace ), Randy (our other carpenter), and my husband’s Uncle Harold.
Many hands make light work!
Three brothers (Paul’s cousins): Randy, Wayne, and along comes Winston to inspect. 😉
Getting a shot of the first new windows. Reflection of yours truly with the Atlantic ocean behind me.
The roofers came next.
Layer on top of layer…
Insulation, clapboard, and paint. Colour name: Dipped in Sugar. We’ve painted the house blue since then.
Getting there!
Back view. Looks bare before the deck was added. New backdoor window broke and had to be replaced.
Tons more to do, but getting hooked up to the internet can’t wait another minute. 

In 2023, this old house will be one hundred years old, which coincides with our 25th wedding anniversary. Sounds like a great excuse for a party!

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.
Photo credits: James Maine

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

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

Vivian on Video: a Fetching Feline

Enjoying a lazy Sunday

Happy Sunday, all!

Vivian K. Perry here with a video of me playing fetch, made by my staff. We started playing this game one night when I was feeling down about the recent loss of my sister Maisie.

Please don’t be alarmed by my cries — that’s what I always do when I play with my favourite ball. The game ends when I keep the ball. Fun fact: this is the same sound I make whenever I bring home a vole or shrew. Enjoy!

Sunday Snaps: Books and Cats

“Books. Cats. Life is good.” ~ T.S. Eliot

Although only one presumptive case of the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has been announced here in Newfoundland and Labrador at the time of this posting, much of the province has already shut down out of caution.

Thankfully, I still have two of my favourite things to occupy me while I worry: books and cats!

Interestingly, Vivian seems to love books too.

On the other hand, I have no pics of Maisie hanging out with books. Perhaps she’s illiterate? Anyway, it’s all good. She often cuddles up close when I’m reading.

I’m sure T.S. Eliot would have heartily approved.

Stay safe, everyone!

Sunday Snaps: Found Art in Driftwood

“Driftwood seal on rock” – August 25, 2019

“A photographer must possess and retain the receptive faculties of a child who watches the world for the first time.” ~ Bill Brandt, British photographer

“Driftwood seal on rock” – February 29, 2020

“To me, photography is an art of observation. It’s about finding something interesting in an ordinary place… I’ve found it has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them.” ~ Elliott Erwitt, American photographer

I don’t know about you,
but I much prefer the summer version at the moment!

Lots of Winter Ahead Yet, But…

… the days are noticeably getting longer. And in six weeks, we spring forward as Daylight Savings Time kicks in!
Newtown in Winter 2020It isn’t just me who looks forward to spring around here. Practically every day, Vivian and Maisie go outside to check things out. They don’t stay out long, only long enough to confirm that winter with all its snow and iciness is still firmly in place.

One of the loveliest features of the longer days?
The sunsets, just as pretty in winter as in summer.

No two are ever exactly the same.

As gorgeous as they are, you’ll still find us hanging out mostly indoors for a few weeks yet.

Hanging out with my muse – or is it mews?

How about you?
Do you embrace winter,
or are you counting the days until summer like me?

“You are my fantasy on a cold dark night, my muse during the light of day and the one wish my soul would make.” ~ Grace Willows

Sunday Snaps: First Snowfall (and Fun Neighbours)

This past Thursday, Perry’s Point welcomed its first little snowfall for the season, just enough to get this cranky-pants in the festive mood for Christmas.

Speaking of being welcomed, our neighbours rolled out the welcome mat in more ways than one that evening when they invited us over for supper.

Unbeknownst to us until we ventured outside — and unnecessary because there were only a couple inches of the white stuff — “W” had cleared a path from our house to his. A sweet little gesture that put smiles on our faces. Check it out:

A look back at our house from the path
Taking the turn to their house
Follow the blacktop road!
The next day, a crisp, gorgeous afternoon for a walk.

“Kindness is like snow. It beautifies everything it covers.”
~ Kahlil Gibran

A Rocky Isle

jenniferkellandperry.com


“She’s a rocky isle in the ocean

and she’s pounded by wind from the sea.
You might think that she’s rugged and cold
but she’s home sweet home to me.” *

jenniferkellandperry.com

*from “Song For Newfoundland”
   by Wayne Chaulk

Where is your “home sweet home”?
Please share!