Everyone has gardens.
Everyone has clotheslines.
The grass is so green. Like crazy, shockingly green. I don’t know what they do here, but Miracle Gro dreams of making lawns that green.
We’ve been soaking up our new province as we drive around (so far our opinions of the culture are mostly based on the view from the road). I’m in love with it. It reminds me very much of my childhood province, Newfoundland, yet contrasts very much with majestic, dynamic British Columbia, where I lived 20+ years. The trees here are so very small. But there are lots and lots of them.
Everyone has a box with a hinged lid for garbage at the end of their drive. About the size of a chest freezer. Sometimes the box IS a chest freezer. Some boxes are fancier than others.
Mari-time seems to move a bit slower. That’s not like Kootenay time, which just means everyone’s invariably late for any appointment and that’s kinda ok. Mari-time just means people act like there’s enough time. Always enough time for chatting, and moving without rushing. I notice that while plenty of people drive the ubiquitous Canadian 10-over, plenty of people also drive 10-under, which is much more unusual to me. That’s me these days, 10-under, rubbernecking gardens and the farmhouse architecture. There just seems to be enough time, and that means enough time to not drive like a maniac.
When we were here a month ago and hitchhiked to Halifax I asked our driver for his advice to new residents. He happened to be a 15-over guy but still he said “Slow down. This isn’t Ontario. Relax.”
People pile up a lot of firewood.
I get a general impression of self-reliance and resourcefulness.
There seems to be a higher percentage of older people. Or maybe they’re just visible, because they’re outside. Gardening, and raking, and building decks, and digging, and rummaging in sheds. Looking healthy and moving sure and steady. It feels good to have all that knowledge around.
H.W. was wondering why everyone has clotheslines (really, everyone has a clothesline, tidily strung with clothes; the first thing our neighbour insisted on giving us was a coil of clothesline); was it the wind? I said well maybe it’s the economy and money-consciousness. It makes sense to put clothes out when a dryer costs money. I mean, of course it always makes sense to use a clothesline, but where people are wealthier the convenience may win over sense? He burst out “Yeah, people do what makes sense here. They have clotheslines, they have gardens, and they recycle. We’re in the land of sense.” which about sums it up.
My friend in Utah with a masters in civil engineering told me that Nova Scotia’s (and Edmonton’s and Scandinavia’s) waste management system is the envy of the world. I believe it. I remember being blown away by the local transfer station in 2010, with its meticulous required sorting. One of the first things we noticed driving into Nova Scotia was the separated waste bin at Subway – compost, recyclable, trash. Nothing generated by a Subway meal would go in the trash. That and the driver who needlessly stopped for us to jaywalk made H.W. say “we live where there’s nice people, who recycle!” And then at Canadian Tire, and the gas station, and every public trash can anywhere – at least three slots. Sometimes a fourth, for paper (which otherwise goes in the compost). I really want to know how this province arrived at such a progressive, pervasive, successful operation. Where did the political will come from?
At any rate, I’m so grateful to be here and love everything I see.
Photo from bartergreen.org