Category Archives: Memoir


 I come by my canning obsession honestly. When I think back to my childhood I have mostly vague recollections of the things which made my mother happy: a whole fresh halibut, seeing us cleaned and polished and lined up in our Sunday best on the way out the door to church, any one of us (excepting […]


For many years I thought that it was only about me, that it was my story to tell, but now I realize that it was just as much their story too; as much Phil’s story as mine, after all, he was the intended target in the incident. You couldn’t really call it an accident because […]

Lee Valley

   Recently I received the 2013 Lee Valley Gardening catalogue in the mail and have already perused it cover to cover.  I loves getting a new catalogue almost as much as getting a magazine. I guess it goes back to the days of my youth when we got both the Eatons and the Simpson’s Sears catalogues. I […]

In Pursuit of Fitness

 Aaah, you know you’re getting old when every second sentence you utter starts with “I used to…”  I used to be able to go up steps two at a time. I used to be able to step-dance for hours without fear of mangling my knee joints. Sure, I even used to run a few kilometers […]

To Every Thing There is a Season…

or Horse Farts. I wished a while back that I kept a weather diary so that I could look back and tell if this summer had gotten ahead of itself. We had some real nice days in June and my peonies bloomed like never before. Then came a week of wet weather which could only […]


….or ‘Knots’ and ‘Nots’ I have known. Forget-Me-Nots One knot equals 1.51 miles per hour, or to be more Canadian, 1.83 kilometres per hour. I first heard mention of ‘knots’ sitting on the wood-box in the kitchen, eavesdropping while Dad commiserated with visitors about magnetos and carburetors and how fast or slow such-and-such a boat […]

On skating

I gingerly set my skate blade on the ice and smile broadly as I feel the rush of cold air on my face and my nose hair matting with the frost. There are people of all ages here on the new Halifax oval: older women with skate helpers which look like rudimentary walkers, lots of […]

Bonfire Night

It is November 5th. There are no clouds, there is 79% of a waxing gibbous moon, and no threat of precipitation. The good news is that makes it a perfect night for Bonfire Night. The bad news is that they don’t celebrate Bonfire Night here in Nova Scotia. We also called it Guy Fawkes night in Newfoundland, where […]

Child’s Play

I am reclining in the screened vestibule of my tent, away from the blackflies and out of the hot sun. There is a group of boys playing on their bikes. They shout at each other in the same sing-song style I remember from my own childhood; half chant, half taunt. They are gentle boys really, but on their bikes they […]

When Pigs and Nervous Nellies Fly

I am no longer as nervous a traveler as I once was. There was a day when I’d perch on the edge of the moulded plastic airport seat, afraid to draw a complete breath lest the the whoosh of my breathing impede my hearing and I’d miss the pre-boarding, boarding, and last call for boarding […]