Tuesday, January 26, 2016

The Living in Lunenburg top 10

Today is my birthday.  Thank you, thank you.  It's been a verbal year for me, to put it mildly.  I'm just a woman filled with opinions, but there is one opinion that has never wavered and that is that I am very lucky to live in Lunenburg.  There is not a day that goes by that I am not grateful to be here.  So, in honour of my good mood and my advanced age  I will share with you the top 10 reasons that I love living in Lunenburg.

Number 1- The Lunenburg Academy- This building is known as the castle on the hill.  When we first moved here it was still the elementary school, but is now in transition.  On the top floor is LAMP, the Lunenburg Adacdemy of Music Performance.  We play basket ball to the left of this photo and get to hear live, world class music wafting from the windows.
The Lunenburg Library will soon be moving downstairs.  This building is a two minute, bee line walk from my home.

The grounds around the Academy are my life.  Every morning begins with a dog walk through the field and then through the paths of the cemetery.  My son and I have spent countless hours playing in the playground and throwing the ball for our dog, Lego.  He is excellent at catching the ball, but does not bring it back.  I have become a well trained retriever.

2-The Back Harbour Trail - When the trail is passable, and it usually is, Lego and I walk down the cemetery hill and hit the path.  I try to mix up my walks sometimes, but find that I always fall back on the peace and quiet of the old railroad bed.  I am always amazed at how we are often alone, or may bump into only a couple of other walkers.  Such a far cry from nature trails in a city, where you are forced to learn the rules of the road or get run over.  Lego's habit of walking in a zig zag pattern bothers no one at all. The entire trail is 5 km, but it hooks up with a longer trail system and you can bike all the way to Halifax and beyond.  One day, one day.....

3-Sidewalks - After five years of living in the country, in the beautiful Hudson Valley, NY,  where walking on the edge of a winding rural road meant taking your life in your hands, I vowed to find a home with sidewalks.  As a young girl, I lived in Montreal and loved the autonomy of my life on the street with my gang of children. I loved getting my weekly ten cent allowance and walking to the variety store and blowing it all on candy.  
It was very important to me that my son would be able to walk to a friend's house or the playground or the corner store to spend (my money) on candy.  Mission accomplished.

4- The Dog - Lunenburg is a dog's dream. There is no such thing as tying your dog up outside of a shop.  Bring 'im on in!  Can I give him a treat?  Town hall, several shops, the bank and the post office all have hidden stashes of treats and Lego makes sharp turns in front of his favourite establishments.

5- The Post Office - This is Lego's favourite destination, hands down.  Between Troy and Karen, who spoil him rotten and "Two Treat Fridays" I have to watch that I don't get yanked off my feet when opening the door to drop off a package.  The post office was where I first learned about "how we do things in Nova Scotia" and I mean that in the best way possible.  When I first moved here, seven years ago, I went to deliver a hat and discovered that the small box would cost $30 to ship.  I was somewhat panicked.  The man behind the counter, put up the closed sign and while seven people behind me patiently waited, he opened my box, cut it down by an inch, resealed it, taking $20 off the shipping cost.  Since that initial experience I have had postal workers carry boxes out to my car for me and even calls at home when it was known that I was anxiously awaiting a shipment of labels.

6- The Lunenburg Farmers Market - You can find me here, selling my wares for much of the year, but when I am not selling, I am shopping.  I have seen our market grow and grow.  We now have a year round market and I can tell you that it's one of the best ones in the province.  We've got it all, produce, meat, bread, flowers, crafts and of course, hats.  Every Thursday morning from 8-12 (8:30-12 in the winter) the town shows up to stock up on a week's worth of local goodness.  There is much gossip, Laughing Whale coffee sipping and music listening.  Anybody that is able, plans their week around this weekly event.

7- Swimming Pools - Yes, that is meant to be plural. We have two swimming pools in our 4 square kilometer town.  During the summer, the outdoor pool is open and Dustin rides his bike to take lessons, during the winter we head to Emocean for family swim on either Saturdays or Sundays from 2-4.  Haven't been there in a while, but we'll get back to it.  For a while, before Lego arrived on the scene, I would swim every morning.  I can't remember ever having to compete with someone for the use of a lane.  You can get a monthly or annual membership to Emocean and swim any time of the day or night.  Now that I'm writing about it, I think it might be time to take up the habit again.

8-Neighbours and Friends - This is Margaret's house, across the street.  It was designed by her son Alec Brown, an architect in Halifax. It gets quite a bit of attention and people drive by regularly to snap a photo.  Yes, the house is beautiful.  Inside is the epitome of peace and openness, but what I love best is the woman that lives within.  She is the neighbourhood grandma.  All the children ring her doorbell for cookies and if Lego could reach the doorbell he would ring it, too, because Margaret always has a biscuit for him.   I am surrounded by great neighbours.  Can I borrow an egg or maybe a dozen eggs, a cup of sugar or an onion?  These requests circulate freely around our little block.

9- Beauty - One cannot escape beauty in Lunenburg.  It's at the front harbour, the back harbour and across the harbour on First Peninsula.  It's in the next town over and  a few kilometres away in Blue Rocks. It's across the Lahave River at all our amazing beaches and it's along the road to Riverport and Rose Bay.  It's easy to forget that not everyone lives like this.

10- Last, but not least is my little studio in my home where I get to make pretty hats all day for a living.  I happen to be married to a handsome, talented wood worker who built me the most beautiful little shop.
I love showing off this amazing room in my house, so if you are in Lunenburg, please stop by for a visit. You can head to my website to see more photos of the inside.

There is so much that I left out - great restaurants and shops, festivals and performances, places to skate, play tennis and golf.

I promised a couple of blog posts ago that I would not get political here and I won't.  Really.  I just want to say that the other voice that is heard from me comes from my true adoration of this place and my desire for as many people as possible to be able to come and share this dream.  This kind of beauty needs to be shared.


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Howard Swinimer said...

Happy Birthday. I am always happy to read about the area where my ancestors first settled. Lunenburg is on my bucket list for visiting when I finally make it to Nova Scotia.

Mama Weeks said...

Happy birthday, Anna. A lovely tribute to our lovely town.

Mama Weeks said...

Happy birthday, Anna. A lovely tribute to our lovely town.

scott brown said...

Happy belated birthday. Thanks for writing this. It made me feel really grateful to be here!!!

hatjunkie said...

Thanks for all the well wishes. Some blog posts are a pleasure to write. This was one of them.

Glo McNeill said...

Happy Birthday Hat Lady. I loved your 10 reasons Why, and your youth and energy. We have never actually met (because every time I put a hat on my late husband roared with laughter) but I admire your work from the fringes. I would like to add one more reason to love Lunenburg ...... we have, in many ways, Time Travelled. When I used to walk, early in the morning, along the silent streets, free from garages, with the lovely houses so clo0se to the sidewalk, it could easily have been 1886, not 1996. The past is so much a part of the present.

K&B by the Sea said...

I love Lunenburg! It's one of the main reasons we moved to the South Shore last year. We've been to many places on the East Coast, but this is the one place that stole my heart :-)

hatjunkie said...

Glo, I'm with you. I love living with history. I keep thinking of other reasons that I should have added. One of my favourites was when the electric department came with the cherry picker truck to help get our cat out of the tree. I'd like to hear of NS power doing that. Oh well, maybe I'll collect another 10 reasons and write another blog post. Could be fun,.