Sunday, 10 January 2010

Gail and Doug 2009

Doug and Gail’s 2009 year in review

We have been growing bamboo for at least 10 years. Bamboo is a form of grass and an unusual aspect of some bamboos is that they will only flower and create seeds once in a human lifetime and that they may die in that process. So it was interesting when for the first time one of our bamboos did go to seed. It was the Fargesia bamboo just south of our house. The flower is not spectacular like grass.

One gadget that did make life a little more enjoyable this year was the Zune. Music players have been around a while but we have been reluctant to dive in. But we did in a big way. Our CD collection had been unwieldy with 500 CDs scattered upstairs, downstairs and in closets and automobiles. I hated to be asked to put on music for diner parties – the choices were so random. The Zune is a 160Gb mp3 player, just the size of a calculator, it does store all of our CDs on file and double that. You can select music by artist, album, song and gendre – it is so convenient that it is worth mentioning. By year end were had gifted mp3 players to three friends.

The economy bottomed about March 2009; as the year ends we still see that recovery will be very slow. For that reason we decided it was best not to make a trip South in the winter. One activity that was substituted was ‘line clearing’. The perimeter of our woodlot was cut out about 15 years ago. I am renewing the line by cutting out the scrub growth and blow down along these lines (about 3 miles).

In May we went to Quebec for Hilda’s birthday. We had a great time staying at Lambert and Melanie’s new home overlooking the hills of Harrington. At Ron and Janet’s, we saw the new logsplitter that Ron designed and built.

Back at home of the natural highlights to the year were the pair of piebald deer. Denyse continued working for Knoyk Resources as a truck driver, she even delivered a load of garden soil to us. Speaking of the garden, it was a dead loss this year; it rained too much. We did not even get a single tomato. We did get some road repairs done on Grant Line with the help of Councilor Peter Lund. Brian delivered a beautiful footstool/chest for the wharf benches.

Our second youtube video was a challenging creation using still photos and an mp3 recording of the antique engines when we visited Ross Farm. As always the sun makes an appearance once Sperry and Leo arrive in Nova Scotia; we always find their visits to be our personal highlights. This year Myra made this time a photo opportunity for ‘Family’ photos. The occasion was expensive for some, and just a terrific party for all!

If rain was the weather theme for 2009; Hurricane Bill was the weather event of the year, providing us and Jim with some great photo opportunities – along with everyone from Halifax visiting Peggy’s Cove the next day. Of course we had the usual feed of lobster with Jim, and we visited Blomindon Inn, just missing a visit with the Young’s by an hour. After Jim left we went to Lisa Phinney’s wedding with reception at the St. Mary’s Boathouse. This was followed weeks later by Roger and Cheyenne’s wedding.

In October, Joclynne, Susan, Janet and Ron came for a visit. This year we toured the northwest of the province having a great stay at Meredyth Rocheman’s cottage in River John, visiting Tatamagouche and Pictou.

Luke is continuing his practise with the band, in fact they did some recording at the next door neighbour’s, Lori and Jay’s. Luke has moved into a new apartment. It has the rooms decorated in themes, one Chinese, another is musical theme.

Just before Christmas we went to New York City with a few objectives. This year we celebrated Leo’s 50th, that provided the major motivation for us all to get together. Sperry’s birthday is only to days later. I am not a big fan of NYC but I did want to research a little bit of Verrill information at the Museum of Natural History and Verrill stayed in a hotel just next door to the museum most of the time he was ‘stateside’. I got lots of photos and research leads.

Changing topic slightly, with some help this year, I added considerably to the A. Hyatt Verrill collection. There are over one hundred rare stories on our Verrill blog.

The tour buses in NYC were very cold this year; we all had to buy extra clothing, toques and such. Of course we had the usual travel problems, my jacket zipper broke the moment we arrived, and Gail misplaced her new Blackberry phone as we were departing, but as Verrill would say ‘you have to take the rough with the smooth’.

Just before the new year, we visited Rick and Carol at Carol’s mothers home near Sussex, NB. Margaret’s got a marvelous place with a fish pond, woodlot and ATVs. After a quick lesson by Rick, I really enjoyed driving the ATV in the snow. We enjoyed the year end at with a pajama party Janice and Tim’s watching movies and dining too much.

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As an armed forces brat, we lived in Rockcliff (Ottawa), Namao (Edmonton), Southport (Portage La Prairie), Manitoba, and Dad retired to St. Margaret's Bay, NS.
Working with the Federal Govenment for 25 years, Canadian Hydrographic Service, mostly. Now married to Gail Kelly, with two grown children, Luke and Denyse. Retired to my woodlot at Stillwater Lake, NS, on the rainy days I study the life and work of A. Hyatt Verrill 1871-1954.