Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Goings on in Cape Breton

Barry's brother Bruce, who is recovering from back surgery, and his Mom, Georgie.
Quite a lot has happened the last few weeks.  Barry left in late Aug. for a trip out west to visit his family.  He stopped off in Alberta to visit his brother and family and then drove out to Vancouver Island to stay with the remaining family members, his older and younger sister and his Mom.  I think a good time was had by all.  There were reports of Barry getting whipped by Bruce in every golf game they played, they managed to fit in several while completing renovations on Bruce's new home in Red Deer, AB.
Barry's younger sister Kim with the latest addition to her equine collection.
Once they reached the coast they convinced their big sister Sherran and her spouse Doug to accompany them on the course and the games were on.  As a thank you for lodgings for a week, Barry thought that a session with a golf pro was a great idea for his sister. Maybe the next time he heads out there, she will be able to beat him as well!!  Barry also managed to hook up with the crews of Tagish and Cop Out buddies from the Indonesia rally and visit with our old Yellowknife friend,Ian, who is living aboard his boat Nightide, in Van Isle Marina on Vancouver Island.

I was very disappointed not to be able to accompany him, but the reason that I did not go was because my Mom was able to fly out here and visit with her daughter, her granddaughter and her great grandchildren for a week.  We had lots of laughs while she was here, playing cards with the kids and joining them in the pool and the hot tub.  How many children do you know that are able to say they went swimming with their great grandmother!!! 
Three generations of goofy women who know how to giggle!
The final soccer tournament of the summer (or jamboree as it is referred to in Cape Breton) took place on the Sat. while Mom was here and it was a beautiful day.  We sat in the sun and watched as the kids raced around after the ball, the favourite activity while they were sitting on the sidelines was catching grasshoppers!  One day Mark came home from the cabin near the New Brunswick border with a bucket full of Concord grapes.  The next day Mom and I picked them all off the stems, crushed them, then boiled them up to make jelly,  I had added the pectin to the juice for a double batch when I read the instructions saying that you are not supposed to double the recipes, oh oh; the question that runs through your mind is, "Will it set???"  It did and the jelly is delicious. 

A full sized replica of one of the first hydrofoils.
We headed out to Baddeck the next day and immersed ourselves in the life of Alexander Graham Bell, he had a summer home there.  He is known as the inventor of the telephone but was involved in so much more.  He had a think tank that designed and flew airplanes that set flight distance records.  The Silver Dart, a plane he was involved with developing, took part in the first flight in Canada, off the ice in the Bra d'Or Lakes.

 The same group invented hydrofoils and he also developed the precursor to the gramophone.  There was a time line of his life and it included the signicant scientific happenings while he was alive, The Origin of Species was written, the Wright brothers took to the air, and he was a contemporary of Marconi, it must have been a fascinating time to be alive. 
Barry arrived back on Thursday night and Jennifer was off to a conference in Halifax.  She said there was a spare bed and we were welcome to it if we wanted.  We drove the four hours down on Friday morning and spent the afternoon at Pier 21, the spot where millions of immigrants first landed in Canada. 

The typical baggage of a Canadian Immigrant.
 Barry's Mom was sent to Canada as a teenager when London was evacuated in World War II   and she first set foot in our country when she stepped off the ship at Pier 21 in Halifax.  The exhibits were interesting enough but the most fascinating part for me was during the guided tour when the Parks Canada employee was telling the immigrant's stories.  There was a photo of an old woman with her 3 or 4 year old grandson and they never knew who it was until one day a middle aged man visited the museum and said, hey that was me!   That evening we attended the Atlantic Film Festival and saw the premier of a film made in Nova Scotia.  The director and producer spoke about the film before it began and the whole row in front of us was taken up by member of the crew.  It was a pretty good movie, but listening to the group as they oohed and aahed over their names in the credits really enhance our experience.  

This week I am working for Jennifer as her secretary in her office in New Waterford.  I went in for a couple of hours before my Mom arrived and was shown what to do.  The reality of working in a busy doctors office is quite different than just observing.  I floundered around yesterday feeling mostly quite useless, struggling to figure out the software.  Today, Jen worked in the Emergency Room so there were no patients to cope with and by the end of the day I was beginning to get the hang of what I was supposed to do.  Just before I left I noticed in one chart I had posted the same lab result three times because I could not find where it went the first two times I did it, being unsure of how to get rid of the two superfluous copies I just left them there feeling sure in my heart of hearts  that having three copies was in many ways far superior to having none!
I have the feeling that some sailing therapy will be needed by the end of the week.