Charlotte, NC is currently our home. We’ve only lived here for two weeks, but our goal is to buy a house and make North Carolina our permanent residence, a place where we’ve lived long enough to remember the address, have family for neighbors, and be part of the community. Before moving here, we lived in California. It was a like being on permanent vacation with the perfect weather, unlimited possibilities, and endless adventures, but it was never my home. I never felt that connection to my environment. Growing up in Nova Scotia gave me a true feeling of “home”. It wasn’t only because I was surrounded by family, but because I was surrounded by community; I smiled and waved at the people around me and they smiled and waved back. I want that friendly-neighbor association for Athena, which is what prompted the move from our permanent vacation in California to our new home in North Carolina. Moving back to the east coast is a reminder of all the great things that surrounded me as a child in Nova Scotia. Beautiful, majestic trees, fishing off of a pier or in a lake, swinging from a tree, vacationing at the beach, and parties with family and friends, thinking about Nova Scotia warms my heart and reminds me that I am home.
One thing that southern California lacked was massive trees lining the streets and covering the hills surrounding the beach. Their long branches and changing leaves create a sense of warmth and comfort.
Fishing happens around the world, but it was only in Nova Scotia that we didn’t appear out of place dressing in “pit” socks and our brother’s and sister’s clothing to stay warm on the pier.
And fishing was never just about catching the biggest fish or watching where you cast because you’re surrounded by other, more serious, fisherman. It was about family time and Victoria Day weekend, better known as Hiking Day.
Vacationing on the beach might not have been possible all year round, or even more than a month or two each year, but when we were there we had the time of our lives. Everyone played in the water, had a BBQ on the beach, and the adults openly enjoyed a few alcoholic drinks (Keith’s beer to be exact). The water may be icy cold, but that never stopped us from boogie boarding. Tourists, in their sweaters and long pants, would watch from the hill in amazement as we “ducked” in the frigid waters, but it felt natural for us to stay in the water until every part of our body was numb. That was the only cost of going to the beach.
The parties, in all and every location including houses, barns, backyards, and banquet halls, created the most memorable moments. We danced like no one was watching, sang as if we were professionals working hard for our money, and loved like it was our last day on earth.
I’m returning to Nova Scotia for vacation in one week and my heart is full with love and excitement. Athena will experience the heart of Nova Scotia and hopefully we can bring a little bit back for her Daddy and our new friends in North Carolina.