Oh, to be young again

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Granddaughter Mirabella in the Yukon Gold

I don’t like using the expression, but I guess I have to admit to “growing old.” I still feel perky enough after I get up with the sunrise, just before 6 a.m. here in Hope Ness, have my morning coffee or two, or three, and some toast or a bowl of cereal.

My daily “to do” list is longer than ever, so much so that there hasn’t been enough time and energy to do a daily post. I’m always anxious to get an early-morning start with the outside work. I know by mid-afternoon most of that once-boundless energy will be pretty well done for the day. Continue reading

On weeding the garden, here and there

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The well-tended potato plants are starting to bloom north of the border

There’s a lot to be said for growing a garden, especially one as big as mine here at Cathedral Drive Farm in Hope Ness, on the Bruce Peninsula, in Ontario, Canada. It’s like ballet, or any other creative discipline that requires your absolute devotion and attention for hours a day, every day. You can get lost in it, but not aimless. It can be an escape for a while from the world of cares and woe and discouraging news about how the future is likely to unfold; and these days it’s not very good at all.

And, yes, I am referring to the infernal T-word. Continue reading

Seeds of hope, rural roots

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Irish Cobbler potato plants looking good, June 7

Let’s look on the bright side again.

Let’s plant some seeds of hope.

Let’s do what we can, where we can, while we can.

Here at Cathedral Drive Farm, surrounded by Hope in reality and spirit, the garden is starting to look good. I can look out my second-floor office window and see multiple rows of sweet corn that a week ago emerged, including quite a bit of seed left over from last season. Continue reading

Keep going

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The “new garden” at Cathedral Drive Farm, Hope Ness

Sometimes, in the absence of joy that comes from being in love, or otherwise feeling down for whatever reason, you just have to keep going.

Yes, there’s something to be said for simple endurance and survival, for just putting one foot in front of the other, for the knowing from experience that your life will get better, possibly in the very next moment.

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Me and the wildlife

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That old chicken coop, or rabbit hutch, or whatever it used to be is long overdue for demolition, I tell myself for the umpteenth time, as I look outside my second-floor, office window. It’s an eyesore, even if it is somebody’s home.

Lately, I’ve noticed a groundhog has borrowed it. That’s my way of putting it anyway. The groundhog itself would regard it as a long-term residence as long as I leave her or him alone. Continue reading

A “storm warning” moment

It’s March in Ontario after all, so anything can happen; and it will.

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It’s not over yet, Mr. Massey Too

The forecast today for the Bruce Peninsula area calls for freezing rain, ice pellets, snow and north-east winds for the next couple of days. Environment Canada’s weather forecasting service has issued a “winter storm warning” for the area. School buses are cancelled all over the Bluewater School Board area that includes all of Grey and Bruce counties. I understand from the news it’s the same story all over southern Ontario.

And here I am at the end of long and vulnerable phone and electrical lines, down Cathedral Drive and through the forest along an unopened road allowance. I’d say the prospect of fallen lines and a power outage is more than likely, for me here, and possibly lots of other people on the peninsula. We’ll see. But our local “hydro” crews always do all they can to help us get back on line. Continue reading

How Not to Grow Strawberries

I’ve always had a lot of respect for traditional farm families, those people who have devoted their lives to the backbreaking and often heartbreaking job of trying to scratch a living from the ground, day after day, year after year, sometimes generation after generation. A good part of my childhood was spent living with and amongst such people, and I’m sure it taught me a lot about what life is all about for most people who live on this earth: hard work, the planting of seeds, and plenty of hopes and prayers that the sweat of one’s brow will be rewarded with a bountiful life-supporting harvest. I believe those things apply to any honest work a person might take on.

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