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The Cove Journal
by JoDee Samuelson

Artwork by JoDee SamuelsonDuring the recent heavy rains, the potato field above us became saturated, sending water rushing down the drills in a babbling brook that ran straight through our yard. At the same time, wasps by the dozen were getting into our living room and creating havoc. Time to get away!

Although we think of the Island as the most desirable spot on earth (when we’re not being flooded out, or dive-bombed by carnivorous insects), on the other side of the Strait there are some places that are just about as beautiful as PEI. And do the folks over there ever appreciate it when you visit and spend a few dollars at their gift shops and grocery stores. It doesn’t cost much either: $45.50 for the bridge and $56.00 for two nights at a campground. If you bring your own food and beverages you can have a $100 ($101.50) vacation that feels like you’re in a totally different place, which of course you are.

Have you ever stopped in Port Elgin? The hardware store has photos of Port Elgin in its glory days as a shipbuilding/woodworking/train and shipping centre. Next door is Cole’s Groceries with vintage cans of brown beans (we bought one, and the beans were delicious). Continuing through the village you come to the Baie Verte corner store, now lovingly converted into a Bistro. Then there is Winegarden Estate where, if you stop, you will buy more wine and apple schnapps than you had counted on. At Tidnish Corner a sweet little restaurant with fresh blueberry pie beckons you in. Turning left around the bay is Bev’s Wood-fired Bakery featuring hot-out-of-the-oven oatmeal-molasses bread. Then you come to the site of the Chignecto Ship Railway (which we should all know about). There is a new discovery at every turn!

After two days of highly excellent camping at Amherst Shore Provincial Park (Nova Scotia), we drive back along the Upper Cape road. I’m not going to say too much about this highway because it must be one of New Brunswick’s best-kept secrets. (Woops, I’ve said too much!)  Along the way is a decommissioned United Church, the perfect spot for a picnic, and a stroll around the old cemetery thinking deep cemetery thoughts—you know the kind.

As I study the old stones I think about traveling, and how it should make us more educated, tolerant and appreciative.  I think it does. I hope so, for I’d like to justify the luxury of being able to get up and go wherever I want. And I ask myself how is it possible that I am flitting around eating blueberry pie when millions of refugees on the other side of the ocean are frantically trying to find a home? There is no answer.

Meanwhile, back in the Cove the wasps are settling down, and perhaps the farmer will build a berm to divert the run-off from his field. Our problems are small, and we like them that way.

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