Wind, Rain. Snow and Happy New Year!

Greetings from a wet Nova Scotia!  Here at Land’s End , just as we thought the storms had all missed us we had a real dose of reality!  A storm hit Sunday Dec 21st. with rain and wind the such as I don’t remember  experiencing in the twenty-three years we have lived here!  Someone with a wind meter clocked the wind speed at 160km an hour  or near hurricane force! We know of one house that had a window ripped out by the wind. Our old house shook for the first time since we moved in. The windows breathed in as the wind tried to suck them out! I felt the bed move and the lamp shade swayed. It was a frightfully exhilarating experience that I don’t care to repeat!

Monday Dec.22nd. the power went out at 2:15am and remained out until 8:30pm the same day. For us it was no big deal but for others who went several days without power it was a hardship. Tuesday our lights blinked off and on all day and Wednesday the power was out again until 9:00pm Christmas Eve.

I spent my time taking parsnips, broccoli and gooseberries from the freezer above the fridg and canning them. At least in bottles they won’t spoil ! Our bigger freezer is in the back of the house where there is no heat. As long as the weather stays cold things won’t spoil in it. Freezers are great until the power goes out. When the power goes out it is important not to open the freezer. In extended time it can also be covered with blankets to keep the cold inside. Having a freezer is nice but made me a bit lazy too. I procrastinate at times and decide to freeze things and save the work of canning them. This storm as cured me of that!

Banks and businesses were closed except for one store that had a generator. A few others opened using flashlights to assist customers and hand calculators to add up orders. One gas station remained open in town using a generator to operate the pumps. All Churches were closed Christmas Eve for the first time not having a service in many years. Street lights were out and life became still.

Christmas Eve we watched up the road as a transformer sparked repeatedly throwing sparks on a neighboring farm house. Volunteer firemen came and stood by in case of fire and we all watched the fire works light up the sky! Nova Scotia Power had only one crew left in the area and they were tied up in town preventing another transformer from catching fire. They arrived two hours later to shut this one off.

Despite everything Yarmouth was one of the lucky areas with only a few county homes without electricity until the day after Christmas. A few more were without power for a week. In town the lights were out two days which hardly ever happens. Fallen trees pulled down lines. Other parts of the province were harder hit with 90,000 customers without power at one time.

At home here Bill now has about two new cords of fire wood from trees knocked down in the storm. Some trees fell on our back fence so that will have to be repaired in the Spring. He got it cut up and hauled up to the shed before we had another storm. The only damage to our house was a facial board that blew off under the eaves.

It was a green Christmas here after the rain. We had neighbors in for dinner ,at noon, who were still without power. I heard on CBC radio that all of Canada had a white Christmas for the first time in forty years except for the south shore of Nova Scotia!  We had a second dinner at 4:00pm with some of Bill’s family members and it was 11:00pm before we finally came home! That was really something for us to be out so late as we usually go to bed by 7:30 pm. in the winter time.

Family times are wonderful times. I have always admired how well Bill’s extended family get along with each other. For years it has been a family tradition to gather on New Year’s Day as many family members as possible.  This time many showed up Christmas night at Bill’s brother’s home after spending Christmas with their own families. It was good they got together Christmas because a week later on New Year’s Eve the weather changed again!

New Year’s Eve the wind howled and snow piled up quickly. The storm continued on New Year’s Day. The temperature dropped to minus 10°C or about 12°F. The wind drifted in snow making roads impassable for all but the snow plow. This time the power stayed on for most people except those in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. No one could go anywhere. Once again life was at a stand still and you know that is not a bad thing at all. We called family and friends to wish them a Happy New Year!

About lrose

Greetings from " Land's End" in Nova Scotia! My name is Linda Rose. My husband , Bill, and I have been living on and farming organically on a ten acre farm for 23 years now. Bill grew up dairy farming and I grew up and lived in both the city and country. We were married thirty years ago July 9th. and are former Light House Keepers. I am a writer, mother of four, grandmother of two, former dog groomer, hospital worker and now do child care part time. Bill always farmed but also did gardening for others . He was also assitant Light Keeper on Green Island and Bon Portage Island off the south shore of Nova Scotia. We live in what is now called Short Beach on the south shore of Nova Scotia. Many years ago before the first white settlers set foot from their sailing vessels on the rocky shores of Short Beach the natives called this place Kespoogwit. Translated to English it means "lands end" Appropriately named, the land does end a two minute walk from our farm. This is where the Atlantic Ocean beats the rocky shores holding us spell bound. Nature, ever changing, demostrates the puniness of man or woman to the relentless forces of the sea. The forefathers of many people who reside in this area sailed on vessels from England and Scotland. They journeyed to Nova Scotia to begin their lives afresh in a new land. They brought with them only the bare essentials of clothing and tools and in some cases animals. They came men, women and children. Challenged by the weather more than from hostility of the original inhabitants, many a stout man and woman carved homesteads from forested land near the Atlantic. The weather and rocky soil presented obstacles for the original homesteaders and the generations who would follow them. Bill and I came to Short Beach in 1985. I prefer to call our homestead "Land's End". Our journey was much different than that of the first homesteaders who settled here. However our lifestyle is not a whole lot different. We still till the ground and mow the hay with horse drawn implements. I sweep the house with a straw broom and cook on a wood stove. Although ;someone thinking I was missing something gave us an electric stove and fridg; I still prefer my wood stove. Our wood for heat comes from a wood lot and is hauled five miles home with our work horse. Our food is grown organically using mostly simple hand tools to work the soil. The Atlantic continues to hold its observers hypnotized by its sporadic beauty. Tranquil repose is periodically interrupted by furious surging tides, eroding and redefining the shoreline of Short Beach. This is Kespoogwit ; "Land's End". It is our home.