Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Sub divided

Pulling myself away from any project is very difficult if not impossible. Although I have months to get these home renovations complete; my personality traits are hard to buck...even for one day. Somehow against every will in my body to do more work on the house I pushed out into the familiar waters of home for a short 10km paddle around the bay.


 I decided that after a week of what seemed like steady lugging of cement and rock; pulling down panel board encased in 80 years of wall paper, and a million other home improvement lessons learned on the fly... I needed a day to bob around. I knew it. However launching and pushing off from shore was not desired in the least. Yet here I was.


Familiar waters of Hopeall bay shrouded in a cold northern fog; tucking the highest landmarks into the sky. Gray mist lingered. Removing all but the brightest colours from the palate. Small swell from a cold northern wind fueling the expansion of white fog against the warm earth.


Thoughts of construction marred the beauty surrounding me. Here I sat below a towering cliff encased in cold fog. Eagles screaming above; black siloutettes breaking the confines of grey disappearing again quickly and silently as if abberations. I decided to shoot for Hopeall Island as the northern wind created a gentle rolling swell. Still able to see Greens Hr point in the distance; I set off across the mouth of Hopeall bay


 Paddle stroke after paddle stroke convoluted with construction ideas. Heat pumps, LED bulbs, insulation options. Vibrant unbroken evergreens on a blue and green sea greeted me on the other side; the visual colour drain of fog lifted.


Smoke mingled in the dead calm as I glided back into the take out. The frequent day paddles and multiday excursions I've started from this beach and a thought hit me. A new thought that seemed so obvious for reflection it surprised me it hadnt crossed my mind.  Here was my Great grandfathers house reflecting onto the sea as it had for well over a hundred years. A thing rare beauty so common place it's been something I never really looked at as such a piece of my history. A true connection as the house next door (my childhood home is the next house on the left hidden behind a few trees in the picture).

And although this piece of land was subdivided; it was for sons and son's of sons. A parcel of land to continue a dream someone long ago desired above all else. This subdivision of family fits into a broader sense of community where other families did the same. As I return to my subdivision in the city I wonder how the street would improve if we all even knew each other. If we all said "hello" in passing. If we helped out the kid down the road; would he resort to theft? If we knew his parents would it hold them to a social norm to direct their children better? As to not be ostracized by the community?

Some people complain about small communities knowing too much about their neighbours....

I believe it keeps things in check.

Kayak on my shoulder I was pleased with the thoughts and the small distraction from all the work.

I won't post about the reno's till it's all over....(if it ever is!) It's an addictive thing to build something to call your own. And so nice to be moving forward with our dream of a simple quiet life net to the ocean.




15 comments:

  1. I've had my place for 34 years and the reno's never end. It's the bush that keeps my head out of the clouds and feet on the ground!

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    1. I'm hoping to find more feet on the ground moments once we get to living in it!

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  2. I scan the wildlife I have paddled with in Trinity Bay and other places. Strangely perhaps the nicest sensation was paddling back into a community. As yet unseen the communities aura was in the scent of wood stoves. This was in my nose long before the glow of lights as I rounded a small headland.
    As for the kids: I live across from a subsidized housing complex NLHC. Most are absolutely fine if just a little ... off: but social enough. It's kind of give and take with the odd issue of broken homes that are truly broken and the sum of the parts was never complete. The outcome from that varies.
    We (my wife) runs a daycare with kids of every part of the community. Most kids are great and those that come in ornery, become pretty much OK i a couple of weeks. Within a month any of the kids downstairs I would be pleased to call my own.

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    1. I hear yah Alex it's a sign of life you can sense everywhere on a cold day for sure.

      The nice thing is your business has a connection with the surrounding area to build some relationship.

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  3. All life is about breathing and pacing. It was good you took some time out to hit the water. I am sure the paddle will invigorate you for the long road of renovation (and yes, it never ends...).

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    1. Good words UT. I tend to head into things breath held...only a matter of time before i pass out!

      Thanks for the comment!

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  4. "I do think a man has missed a very deep feeling of satisfaction if he has never created or at least accomplished something with his own two hands. We have grown accustomed to work on pieces of things instead of wholes… but there is also a need for an individual sometime in his life to forget the world of parts and pieces and put something together on his own – complete something. He’s got to create…"

    An excerpt from the book One Man’s Wilderness: The Journals of Richard L. Proenneke 1974-1980

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    1. Words cannot be truer! Dick Proenneke is a true hero of mine. time to haul out that movie again me thinks.

      Thanks Dean

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    2. They released another version of that now as well, got some extra footage. Its the origal moive with about 30 min added I think. seen it on pbs a few months ago, but the voice was about 40sec out of sync, so I didnt watch the whole thing. To do what he did, would be an unreal experience. Some day, maybe, some day...

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    3. Nice I'll have to keep an eye out for that one.

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    4. Hey I'm building a harf...so anyone who wants to go build it for me for the feeling of doing it all themselves are welcome haha

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  5. I am following your adventures (homeowner adventures and kayaking both), with a mixture of envy and joy. That water looks good enough to drink... damn the salt. And the thoughts about the elasticity and inherent hold of time - as in the reflection of your Grand-pere's house on the ageless water - are welcome as free beer. Many good lucks to you!

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    1. Thanks Ken!

      We looked very hard at how we were living our life's and while we will not have a lot of free money left in our pockets we're hoping to be much happier.

      My great grandfathers home on the ageless water was a welcomed respite to the digging....now I'm back at it!

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  6. You got me thinking...again, Lee: this whole matter of "community" and how it encourages us to be accountable to one another. The usual result of close and engaging "community" is improved behaviour. (It'll be a blog topic for me one day soon, I'm thinking.) As for happiness vs a pocketful of money - I'm with you. The thing is, the former doesn't exclude the latter. The latter, however, can exclude the former - it's really all about putting the em-pha-sis on the right syll-able. :) Duncan.

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  7. Thanks Duncan. Love to hear my ramblings invoking thought; and I look forward to your insight. I believe it not only provides improved behavior but a great place to heal and share.

    Banishment from the tribe was once a death sentence; yet I believe many of us are "banished" due to lack of community.

    Great thoughts on the former and later. well said!

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