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.
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!
Vivian here, covering for Jennifer today while she rests her back from berry-picking this weekend. She loves this time of year when the partridgeberries are ripe, and when they grow on your own land, it is oh-so-convenient to pick them to your heart’s content.
But what does October mean to me? Sure, I like roaming around the bushes on the point, helping to gather berries—although Jennifer says all I basically do is get in the way with my head bunts and demand to be petted—and I enjoy the fact that when I go outside I don’t have to sit in the shade to keep cool anymore.
But what I dearly love to do in our garden is roll around in my happy place: a mysterious patch of something that grows among the grass, moss and lichen in one particular spot. It seems to have the same heady effect on me as catnip!
Check out Maisie and me below, enjoying our special spot. She blends in better than I do! This pic was taken a few years back. We can’t help but think of my sister fondly whenever I go out there.
I still miss Maisie,
but when the sun is shining,
the wind is light, and my peeps
are out and about with me,
I’m in a state of bliss.
“In the entire circle of the year there are no days so delightful as those of a fine October.” ~ Alexander Smith
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
Hello, my peeps! Apparently it’s my 13th birthday today, so I guess I have cause to celebrate.
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!
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! ♥ ♥ ♥
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.
On Thursday of last week, we had to say goodbye to our little Maisie. She’d been ill for several months, had stopped responding to her meds, and we knew there was nothing else we could do. We couldn’t let our baby suffer anymore.
Needless to say, we are heartbroken. Vivian misses her too. She roams from room to room — and outdoors — looking for her sister and lifelong companion.
We console ourselves by remembering Maisie had a full and beautiful life. No cat, ever, was more loved. She always had Viv to watch over her and keep her company whenever we were away. She reveled in the freedom to explore the outdoors here on Perry’s Point, but preferred to stay close to us when we sat out on our deck.
Maisie, you were much more than a pet to us. You graced us with heaps of generous love and affection and your sweet, unique brand of friendship for almost thirteen years. And your quiet dignity, even in sickness, will never be forgotten. You are pain-free at last.
“A photographer must possess and retain the receptive faculties of a child who watches the world for the first time.” ~ Bill Brandt, British photographer
“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!
… the days are noticeably getting longer. And in six weeks, we spring forward as Daylight Savings Time kicks in!
It 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.
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