Frosty Mornings, Fire Nights

It is almost May, and Nova Scotia is still under the tug-of-war auspices of spring. Our first daffodils, crow’s foot, and forsythia have arisen from the cold ground, which shows just how hearty they are. I’ve begun germinating some of the earliest plants: tomatoes, onions, and cucumbers and will start a few more this coming weekend. Most of the seeds will be sown directly into the ground in early June. In order to make a place out in the garage, we did a spring cleaning of it last weekend when the sun was out and we didn’t need jackets–but at the moment my husband is bringing in more firewood for tonight because today is cold and gray again. Sometimes when I get up and look out at the back meadow early in the morning, the entire ground is covered with frost and looks surreal beneath the sunrise. Other times, the burgeoning green is taking over the winter brown and we’ll spot deer and many birds, including a couple mourning doves the other day. A friend installed some beehives at the back of the property, and the color of them–orange, brown, and yellow–provides a bright space to the yard. We provide the flowers and a space for pollination, and the friend will do all the bee work and reward us later with free honey.

Mourning doves on the balcony, overlooking the back yard




The fruit trees are budding, and Morgan has trimmed most of them. He also had a friend with a chainsaw coming over the other morning, and together they cut down some cedar bushes that were terribly overgrown and cutting into a lot of the roses. Now that those are gone, we have a better view of the meadow behind the more landscaped part of the yard. The roses, though they wouldn’t have been our idea of landscaping (we’re more like: just be wild) do provide a habitat for pollinators. We’ve had one bonfire thus far this season, and though it was sunny and warm, a hearty gale flourished, blowing smoke around and prompting us to shiver. It was at our friend’s place down the road a few weeks ago.

Since that time Nova Scotia has busted the Atlantic bubble, and we’re currently seeing way more daily numbers of Covid-19 in the province. It has jumped from in the 50s-60s per day to 96 today. Though not quite as bad as Ontario and British Columbia, these numbers are much higher than when I first moved here a little over a year ago, and they reflect some travelers who didn’t isolate (which is the law). Funny what just a few selfish people can do. I will never understand the type of people who take everyone’s lives, including the livelihoods of businesses and everyone else simply being able to visit with local friends and family, so lightly–just so they can have a few moments at a big party or for their so-called freedom from masks and the laws that are there to protect everyone from this terrible virus. I guess it’s denial or ignorance, but it’s also conceited and highly selfish.

We’re back to shopping online and picking up groceries contact-less. We began this last week, and starting today there’s a two-week shut down across the whole province. I’ve also gotten my first vaccination. Also, I am supposed to go to the doctor tomorrow but am not even sure if I can now.

More and more, I am happy we made this decision to move East though. Our old province got hit much harder. Spring to me does not mean more social activity anymore. I do tend to have more phone and virtual communications with family and friends, but other than that, this is a total test of how one gets along with our families in close quarters. Luckily, my husband and I get along very well. We always did. Our 15th anniversary is coming up on May 20th! We had planned to go out to a Greek restaurant, but will just stay home instead. Maybe we can have a bonfire that night.

I think the key to surviving in weird times is to adapt the best way we can. We have to be tough, just like a Halifax spring. It’s an ongoing theme in the novel I’m writing too, which I have been doing an average of 5-6K a week on lately. We have to find things that interest us, that we can do independently and without having to travel or rely on other places to fulfill us (like gyms, parties, bars, restaurants, movies, etc.). Hey, we’re just as much a historically inclined outdoorsy and social people as anyone else. Before Covid hit, we were always out on the trail and we loved hitting a pub on Fridays after work. We went to movies, rec centers, libraries, friends houses for parties, and hosted many big get-togethers ourselves. We traveled to see family, and had them come see us. We both worked daily at our jobs, rather than remotely at home, and before we got our electric car we often took the skytrain and buses to get there. It’s definitely a different world, and I do think it’s just luck that our move came together on the edge of the virus being called a pandemic and that we were able to get here in time before non-essential travel was mandated. Of course back then, we had already started the process of buying a house before the pandemic had come along. It’s been adapting to the changes in the world ever since, and I feel very fortunate that we were able to buy a place with some property to keep us busy, happy while being isolated, and full of dreams. There’s nothing more I hope for than our families being able to visit at some point. I think the coronavirus will always be with us, but hopefully in the future it will not be more devastating than getting a flu shot every year.

There’s so much to do in the coming weeks: planting new trees, planting the garden, building tree protection fences, weeding, digging, pick-axing to aerate the ground, etc. The black flies will come, the heat will come, the humid will wipe us out at times, and the crickets will sing at night. I thought I heard crickets the other night, but Morgan insisted they were probably frogs down at the lake behind us. It was a wonderful sound, one that I could fall asleep to for the rest of my days.

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