Old friends and relatives make the best guests. Ralph Waldo Emerson notes that
"It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them." Mark Connell has his home-stone at Markhamville which is near Sussex, N.B. He usually turns up on his way to or from the painting studio-home of his aunt, the late Lucy Jarvis, which he inherited. It is beautifully basic accommodation at Pemroke Dyke, near Yarmoth, N.S. He and Roslyn Rosenfeld have been on the road between that part of the world and Fredericton, arranging exhibits of her work in the Beaverbrook Art Gallery and on the campus of the University of New Brunswick. She was employed in Fredericton for many years she was employed for many years before moving to Nova Scotia where fine art became the focus of her life. He and his travelling companion had the labour intensive work of finding, gathering and returning paintings. Rosenfeld is an independent curator at New Brunswick's official public art gallery. whose career has included teaching art history up the hill, acting as co-ordinator of Gallery Connexion and writing for ArtsAtlantic. Mark was dropping her off for an art function in Halifax before travelling to spend a few days with us out on the coast.
Lucy Jarvis is another story, but here she was in 1962, when she was still best remembered locally for landscapes and portraits of local folk. She once acted as an Auntie Mame to Mark and dragged him away from Geology for an art binge in France. The 1956 Broadway play entitled "Auntie Mame" chronicled the madcap adventures of a boy, Patrick, growing up as the ward of the sister of his dead father. Based on the book by Patrick Dennis' real life eccentric aunt,it pretty much described Marion Tanner, whose life and liberal outlook mirrored those of Mame. Fortunately, mark never quite recovered from that experience although his rebound to the scientific side of things, suggests he was always torn between conscientiousness and openness, a problem which has also plagued me. In his case ripeness's has emerged in the form of support for various liberal causes, while I have never gone political. Every successful politician I ever voted for eventually proved incompetent and I never had enough extraversion to think I could do better. Still, I remain strangely hopeful that some better society will hatch out of the mess we are in.
Here's Marco, who arrived in fairly decent weather before there was much snow on the ground. He treated us both to a Knot Pub mini-vacation. Everyone slept in the following morning.
We wanted to return the favour but felt constrained from travelling far because of icy back road conditions. We didn't think that Mark had visited La Have, the former second capitol of New France, which today houses the La Have Bakery as a prime community centre. It has an associated restaurant which is very old fashioned in looks and the price of an unusual meal. We love going there in the bare-shouldered, good old summer time, which this was not.
The La Have River is one peninsula west of the place where we live. A cable-ferry has landings at both East and West La Have. Here we are seen making the westward crossing which takes about 10 minutes. In spite of the sub-zero temperature and a brisk wind, mark took a brief walk. A very brief walk.
This is a very hippie dippy place, where we always feel completely at home. I'll show you more photos a bit later. Originally this place was built to house a fisheries outfitter, but has been a bakery since the 1950s. The place is characterized by some odd artifacts, aside from the people.
After the noon-hour repast, I noted the so-called Fort Point location of the former capital of Acadia/ Nova Scotia, south of the Bakery, across the river from Riverport and approximately 15 kilometres from the town of Bridgewater.
La Have was also an important centre for the Mi'kmaq people, who traded with Europeans. Messamouet, a well-known sakmow, or Chief, of the Mi'kmaq Nation, is reported to have been from the La Have area.
That last photo and this one were taken from the second storey of La Have Bakery. LaHave was the capital of Acadia from 1632, when Isaac de Razilly settled on that point of land near the mouth of the LaHave River, until his sudden death in 1636.Notice that there was little snow on the ground and it was sublimating.
Although the weather outside the car remained frightful, Mark and I took a brief cruise around the lighthouse property. Razilly established a colony of 300 here and built Fort Ste. Marie de Grace, whose remains have been washed into the ocean. Within the palisades there was a chapel, a store and houses for the workmen in the nearby village. Within a year of Razilly's arrival, La Have was a thriving trading post, the centre for a small farming community and a major port of call for the large fishing fleet. At one point there were five hundred transient fishermen in the settlement.
Looking toward the eastern shore. The arrow indicates the approach ferry, whose cable can be see in the roadway.
Upon de Razilly's death, the new Governor Charles de Menou d'Aulnay moved the Acadians from LaHave back to Port Royal, Nova Scotia. It was then that this unfortunate man came into conflict with Charles La Tour, a competitor located at what is now Saint John. After his boating accident, his wife Jeanne Motin, became Lady La Tour in 1635.
There was a bit of snow and sleet overnight, the beginning of a precedent.
Mark always knows what to do to be helpful.
On this shore freezing rain has been the bogeyman ever since.
We keep the house a bit cool. Fortunately, Mark is used to that.
Having go off quite easily to this point in time, we tended to believe weather predictions which indicated a rainy rather than a snowy end to winter.
There hadn't been snow at the Yuletide, nor much in January. so we left the decorative lights in two windows.
It may have been the weather or scarping away snow and ice
Snow was predicted for the day Mark intended picking up his passenger for the ride home. Thank heaven that storm was behind schedule. In this instance a pile up of ice and snow blocked this back door so Mark used the front.
Not very deep but a 3" ice layer is a difficult chip and chop job. This was early morning work.
As Mark commented, you could walk on the crust of what appeared to be snow.
The Truro to Amherst weather was still looking out of sorts but after a consult with Roslyn by phone mark decided to chance the run to Fredericton and back to Markhamville.
By noon he was ready to drive. By then both cars had shed most of the remaining ice.
More of a drive than I would personally contemplate, but shortly after dark he phoned to say their trip had been completed without incident.
I suspect that Mark manages that suggestion quite readily, but La Have, be it ever so, humble. has a different ambiance for me every time I go there. Ruth and I stumble upon places we have never been before in Nova Scotia, because there are all kinds of "diversions" some the creation of happenstance.
After Mark's visit, crazy weather set in. Thank the deities that my eye operations and weekly visits to the Halifax specialist took place during the summer and fall. I did however have a February appointment and snow was promised, but we narrowly made it home. Ruth had an appointment with her oculist a couple of days after on February 8 in the late afternoon. Since snow was promised to start about then we decided to sit this one out at the nearest motel/hotel. This one seemed to agree with most guests and was reasonably proceed being well off season. This time we began to get sleet as promised.
Our room at the back had had a great woodsy view but we did not sit out as it was bitingly cold. The room was adequate and the breakfast filling.
But there's the thing. It did not storm overnight nor even that morning. Had it done so we had planned to remain in Halifax. Weather forecasts were mute about the advisability of travel, but when it commenced to rain at 10 am we decided to take the road for Lunenburg. Cutting through this new neighbourhood to speed the prospect was supplied us with a new, depressing, experience. This had formerly been Kearney Lake Road but was now renamed Larry something-or-other Boulevard. There's that name yet again!
It rained and rained and then at the turnoff into Mahone Bay it commenced snowing.
And then it snowed a lot more in a very short time. Twenty minutes later we barely made it to the top of the hill at home. By morning we had a major snow cover and lots of cancellations. February same records set in terms of snowfall, rainfall, ice build up, wind and cold. Still cold but sunny on February 27.