As I mentioned last week, I arrived in West Head late Monday night. Bright and early Tuesday morning, I switched to my Nova Scotia routine. I know many of you wonder what I do when I’m here so I have chronicled a somewhat typical day for you. My comments are in blue. Enjoy.
At 9:30 a.m. I whipped my RAV4 into the parking lot of the Bayman Coffee Shop.
In fact, I begin every day that way seven days a week. Right away, I recognized friends’ cars already there.
The moment I walk in, I hear:
Look who’s here. It’s Melda. When did you get here, dear?
I arrived last night. Glenn picked me up at the airport around 7 p.m. We got to West Head before midnight.
We didn’t know Glenn was here already.
Yes, Richard and Pete are building a garage for us and Glenn wanted to help out. We don’t have much storage space in the house and we demolished Dad’s ramshackle barn.
Oh, you’re building a garage. We saw something new on the hill and wondered what it was.
Another person walks in and notices me right away.
Well, look what the cat dragged in. You just can’t get enough of this place, can you? I hope you brought some good weather with you. Why don’t you move here anyway?
I can assure you it’s tempting, but we don’t want to be 1600 km away from our children, grandchildren and Glenn’s 90-year-old Mother. It would be less expensive than maintaining two houses – 2 power bills, 2 phone bills, 2 tax bills, 2 insurance policies and 2 of everything else and then some.
Are you gonna write another book? Nope!
No? Why not?
Glenn says I should, but the truth is, I’m too lazy. A book is a huge commitment and once you’ve tapped out family and friends, it’s hard to find customers. It’s different if a publisher wants your book, but I’m still writing. Every Friday I post a new true story on my blog “Memories of Nova Scotia” at www.meldajeanclark.com. And I have been invited to share my stories with various groups. Heck, they even pay me. Any day now, I expect to become Canada’s newest female millionaire – NOT!
Are your children coming down for Christmas?
No, we had our Clark family Christmas in early November while our nephew Tim was up from Nova Scotia.
Melda, your daughter is some beautiful. She has so much patience with those little kids of hers. She has them out in the fresh air every day. And don’t you think there not some cute too.
Yep. She packs them up in the car and strikes out for Lockeport all by herself. I can’t say anything because I did the same kind of things. Now I know how Dad felt. I worry non-stop until I know they are safe at a hotel or in West Head.
You know, Melda, you remind me so much of your mother. She was such a nice person; always laughin’. We used to call her the “Queen of West Head”
I can’t believe Mom’s been gone eighteen years. I see her every time I look in the mirror and her words slide off my tongue regularly. Our daughter, Allison, has Mom’s voice. You can pick out her laugh in a room full of a thousand people. And little Maddie is just as nosy as Mom was. You should see her in a restaurant. Maddie can spin her head around in a full circle. Every time the waitress walks by with a plate, Maddie thinks it’s hers. She cleans her plate and then bums food from the rest of us. It strikes us funny that she is so much like Mom.
Aren’t you gonna have your breakfast?
Aha! I beat you to it. Connie put on my soft boiled eggs and whole wheat toast as soon as I walked in the door.
Melda, dear, what in the world are you doin’ with canned cranberries when your brother has a freezer full he picked down in West Head?
I’m not buying cranberry sauce. Glenn wanted two cans of milk.
Well there must be somethin’ wrong with your eyes. You have cranberry sauce there, dear.
Typical me. It’s not just my eyes — it’s all of me. I’m glad you noticed. You saved me an extra trip to town.
The chatter and laughter continue for over an hour.
Well, I should go home. I think I’ll stop at “Lock, Stock & Barrel” and see what Carrie baked this morning.
A beautiful aroma greeted my nose as I walked back to the kitchen. I poked my head through where the window should have been in the door.
Oh my land, it’s little Melda. When did you get home, dear?
Last night. I hear this is the place to get home baking. What goodies do you have today?
Well, let me see. Two banana chocolate chip loaves are fresh out of the oven, Maritime brown bread (made with molasses) and I have some pies – two apple, a lemon and a coconut meringue.
Are they all spoken for?
Only the bread and one of the apple pies.
Okay, I’ll take a chocolate chip banana bread and a coconut meringue pie. Glenn, Richard and Pete will make quick work of the banana bread, but I’m hiding the pie for later. Ruth and Edsel come down most nights.
And out the door I went with my loot.
Hey, Glenn, I brought you something special from “Lock Stock & Barrel.”
An apple pie? Nope.
A lemon pie? Nah.
A coconut cream pie with meringue? Yup, but you can’t eat it now. It’s for tonight.
Edsel and Ruth dropped in to visit after the “Living Christmas Tree” rehearsal. We gabbed, laughed, enjoyed the coconut cream pie and drank a pot of coffee. When it was time to leave, Edsel cocked his head to one side, looked at me with a cute little grin and a twinkle in his eye ,just like Mom, and admitted he had something to ask me. The choir wondered if I would like to join them for this event. Of course, I accepted and why not? I love to sing. The musical runs for three nights.
I am looking forward to another event on Thursday, December 8th. The local library staff invited me to tell some Christmas stories. The title is “A West Head Christmas & Other Stories” and I have at least five good stories. I hope they will transport everyone back to a time when life was simpler, but not necessarily better. Hey, if you are free, join us at the Lillian Benham Library on December 8 at 7 pm for a walk down memory lane.
As you can tell, I never grow weary of spending time at my family home. Every time I turn in the driveway and see my little yellow house atop a bald hill, I get choked up. There are so many special memories attached to it. The people I meet in stores and restaurants make me feel extra special and my heart overflows with warm, fuzzy feelings.
Perhaps Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz was right when she clicked her heels and said:
If you’re looking for me, I’ll be home ― where I belong ― for another month.