Posted in Creative writing

A Sense of Well-Being

Summertime is a time for family. IMG_0713

Every couple of years, we bring everyone together from Vancouver, Iqaluit and Ontario; this year for a few days at Pictou Lodge. It is a time to shake up the ‘old routine’.

Here are a few examples.

There is the opportunity to share newly discovered places in the region: to enjoy the excellent seafood chowder and lobster rolls at the cafe in Hillsburn; or an excuse to go to the End of the Line pub to watch World Cup soccer, or to check out the new British fare at the Paradise Cafe on the weekend. Or to walk up the road to Lunn’s Mill for the beer, but stay for the food.

With children and grandchildren, we have to revisit the concept of the ‘electronic cottage’. Internet service is poor in rural Nova Scotia. Not that simple. “How come Grandad’s iPad cannot access Netflix but more recent devices can. Well, he bought it in 2011.” The solution: buy a new iPad with the latest operating system. Oh yes, and if you want to use the flat screen TV, why not purchase Google Chromecast. Of course, the biggest challenges are all the passwords for the Apple store, Google, Netflix etc.

For the ‘wanna-be’ farmer, it is wonderful to access the youthful confidence on the tractor. We can go down and bush-hog the lower field, move the rocks from the field boundary up to the side of the pond or lift the pallet of earthworm casts to the orchard. It still leaves me with a mowed cord-wood road to bring out next year’s Winter wood supply.

We watched, as there was a need to ‘mouse-proof’ the barn. Now we need new gutters for the barn. Let’s put gutters on the garage too. We can capture the rainwater for watering the garden.

It brings into your life, the task-driven urgency experienced in our cities every day. Yesterday, we were able to get a car window repaired in Middleton, pick up water-testing bottles at the hospital in Windsor, go to the Apple Store at Halifax Shopping Centre, and still have time to drop into the Source in Bridgetown for the Chromecast purchase.

Altogether, this has set me up for today’s blog. That is without mention of the dry soil, unpredictable rainfall, weeding, or need to pick green beans, peas and gooseberries.

Final message. Don’t be fooled into thinking that the arrival of the Internet is the panacea to all of our rural economic issues. The Internet is simply part of the Infrastructure. In addition, you need access to other devices; you need access to applications that are relevant to your lifestyle, and you need connections with others who have knowledge and solutions from other places. And you must be able to embrace ‘change’. That all together, can lead to ‘a sense of well-being’

In advance, I want to thank Edward Wedler, Heather Stewart and family for their encouragement, creativity and continued support.

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