Saturday, September 11, 2004


Today, September 11, 2004, is an important anniversary. A lot of people out there are talking and writing about one anniversary, but I am talking about a different one. Today is also the anniversary of my coming to the States.

On September 8, 1995 I packed up and left Nova Scotia for a job in Boston, Mass. I drove down, moved into temporary quarters, and three days later, on September 11, I started working at my first job in the United States.

I find it hard to believe I have been living "abroad" for nine years. I have, but it doesn't feel like nine years. Lately it has been feeling like a lot longer. I am not sure how much longer I will stay in the States. Partly because it depends on how much longer the new Bureau of Homeland Security allows me to stay and partly because there are days when I am ready to pack it all in and move back immediately.

Despite what some people have tried to tell me, Canada and the United States are not the same. There are even Americans who tell me that Canada is not a foreign country. I agree with these people, but only because I grew up in Canada so the United States is the foreign country.

I don't know how much longer I will be here. All I can tell you at the moment is that I am not planning on packing up anytime in the next few days. I am not looking beyond that yet.

Monday, September 06, 2004

Vacation '04 — Trip back

I am back at the house and on my way to bed very shortly.

I have don't have detailed statistics this time as the GPS was not on. All I have is a watch and the trip odometer in my truck. According to them I was on the road for around 13.5 hours (I stopped to eat and then to chat with a friend in Maine) and traveled 649.6 miles. This time the conversion is left for all those readers who do use the metric system.

But I am here and thinking it is time to sleep. Hopefully it will still feel that way once I lay down.

There are more posts to come about the vacation and some of the other stuff I have mentioned. I just need to sleep before I attempt to write them. Even then it might be a couple of days.


Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Vacation '04 — Remembrance

Today was spent on the road making a few stops around my childhood.

My mother and I went to the cemetery this afternoon to visit my family's graves. We stopped on the way to pickup some flowers. I was glad to go because it has been years since I had a chance to visit this cemetery and now my grandmother has been laid to rest there as well.

My grandparents are there right next to one another, and my father is only about eight feet away with a plot next to him for my mother. A plot which is going to remain empty for several years yet.

Mom and I cleaned up the graves and left fresh flowers.


I had to take a short break there because I was starting to tear up while writing. I am not going to go any further into that part of the day for now. Maybe I'll come back to it...

Before I go on I want to tell a quick story of my first trip to this cemetery. It was when we were burying my grandfather and I was about eleven years old. Some of us kids started to wander around and look at the other stones. This was just a bunch of kids being bored while the grownups were serious and took care of whatever they were doing. At least that's what it was until I made a discovery which caused some distress.

Imagine you are an eleven year old in a cemetery, with your limited understanding of what is going on, and you find a gravestone with your name on it.

That was the day that I found out that I shared the same name as my great-grandfather. But I still remember that initial shock.


Let's get back to today...

We stopped in to visit my aunt (mentioned in earlier entries) on the way back. She was doing okay, but you could tell that her mind was slipping at times.

The next stop on the way back was Economy Falls. (Did I mention the town is named Economy? The name of the waterfall makes more sense if I mention that.) The area of the falls are beautiful. It helps that Dad and I used to go fishing there when I was a kid and I had only been there once since. Mom had also gone fishing there with Dad, but she hadn't been there since before I was born. It was good to see the area and remember Dad. Although the next stop held more memories of Dad for me.

The next stop was in Pleasant Hills where I have land that I inherited from Dad. At one time there was a cabin on the land. Dad used to spend a lot of time back there during the summer and during hunting season. I used to spend a lot of weekends back there with him as well.

If there is interest I may write about some of the times I spent with my father, but for now it is enough that you know that this area holds a lot of fond memories for me.

That was the second last stop on the trip today. The last one being at a truckstop where we ate supper.

Vacation '04 — Night on the Town

Last night I went out to the Lower Deck to hang out and relax. It is a good place to do that. Especially so when you can walk in and have the bartender remember what you drink and have the band call you by name.

The band playing last night was McGinty, one of my favorite bands. In fact they are playing there tonight as well. They are playing all week. I imagine I'll be back there at least a couple more nights before I head back down to Boston, but not tonight.

I met up with some other people who had just gotten into town from all across Canada. All of us had gotten into town at some point in the preceding 24 hours and had only met at some point during that time as well. There was Jay from Vancouver, Cathy from Edmonton, Chris from Calgary, Joe from just outside Niagara Falls, and me from Halifax but living in Boston. I have a couple of pictures which I will be putting on Buzznet once I have a chance. I haven't had that chance yet.

But here we were, 5 people from all across Canada who have just met, and we hung out and drank together all night. In fact, after the Lower Deck closed we hung around for a while longer, well 4 of us did. Joe had packed it in earlier.

By this time, Cathy had to go and prepare for the presentation she was giving in the morning and Chris was running low as well. So they went their ways while Jay was looking for another bar which was open later. I wanted to grab something to eat and told Jay that I'd show him where some of the other bars were while I went for food.

I pointed out some other bars and dropped him off at the AleHouse which is open until 3:30am. Meanwhile I got a donair and headed home.

It was a good night. Very enjoyable and stress-relieving.

There are several people I still would like to bring up here to show the town, and the Lower Deck. Too many to mention them all, but a few spring to the front and will be singled out. Those being Smulch, Journey, Ulf, Vara and Cwellen.

If you feel you should be on that list, you probably are but weren't in the first few that sprang to mind.