Posted by: Hannah | 07/17/2012

step off my patch

Eight and a half more working days until vacation. BUT WHO’S COUNTING, AMIRITE?

The best job in the world gets tedious after awhile. Everyone needs a break now and then – and boy, have I hit it.

On the weekend we spent the day here:

That water you see? Crazy-warm. With a soft sandy bottom.

The kids played. Baby G wormed off his blanket and crammed double handfuls of sand in his mouth. Michael sprawled on his back and I gazed out to sea, feeling my shoulders dropping down away from my ears as my mind emptied of everything that’s been swirling around in there.

The water was warm and still. A seal poked his head out and watched us for a little while. I felt more peaceful than I have in weeks and when the time came to pack up and head home, I had a brief but strong impulse to grab a tree with my fingernails and refuse to leave.

We’ve been talking / dreaming for quite a while about buying a little patch of land against the day – probably a decade in the future – when we could afford to start building a very small cottage shack. We could never agree on location; I’m really attached to the South Shore, where I’m from, but land there is fearfully expensive now. And the Eastern Shore has very cold water.

But the North Shore area? Felt like a place we could both stay. There are still good-sized building lots available there for a relative pittance. The beaches have the warmest water north of the Carolinas. There are working farms. It’s a quiet place and oh, how my soul craves a quiet retreat.

The dream is tangible now. It’s not crazy to think we will one day have a place there, a place of our very own, even if all we do for years is pitch a tent, use an outhouse, and bath in the ocean.

I am so blessed to live in a part of the world where that kind of loveliness is not out of reach for ‘regular’ folks.




  1. Wow. It’s pretty out there. REALLY PRETTY. I see the ocean very rarely, and I’ve never been in the Atlantic (brr?)

    • Well, we like to pretend it’s not cold, but along the south & east coasts it often is – at my childhood beach, anything over 15C was swimmable, and when it hits 18C – 20C in late August / early September you hear people saying things like “It’s warm as the bathtub!”, which is clearly insane.

      However, this particular beach is along the shores of the Northumberland Strait, the body of water that separates Nova Scotia and PEI. It’s more sheltered and shallow, and so gets up to 25C or so in the summer.

  2. I, for one, would love having you as a summer neighbor 🙂

    I miss my cottage, but I’m glad you had a chance to visit the bro and enjoy the beach.

    • The fact that we’d have lovely friends in the area is a big selling feature!

  3. Oh, that’s beautiful! How lucky you got to spend the time.

    I am reminded of the time years ago I went to North Carolina. It was early October, but there were still some people, including us, in the water, saying that standard Canadian thing: “The water’s fine once you get used to it!!” And hey, though there were more people hanging out on the beach, there were enough in the water.

    Turns out that 99% of the people in the water? Were Canadians…

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