Saturday, January 9, 2016

The Red Tape Rabble Rouser Throws In Her Cape

Last week I reached my boiling point.  I had two choices, I could open my studio door in Lunenburg and scream every cuss word known to woman kind (and I know a lot of cuss words and in many languages) at the top of my lungs or..... Plan B, call my dear friend , Edie, another Nova Scotia mad hatter to run away with me and help me get a grip.  My neighbours will be happy to know that I chose the latter.

Cities are a blast and I love pretty things and shopping and good food, but when I need to get my head straight, I fall back on peace and quiet.  On Saturday morning, Edie and I headed down the road to Peggy's Cove.  Her friend, Claire, owns a beautiful rental cottage and Claire was kind enough to make what was worth a million dollars, affordable to two starving artists.  (o.k. maybe not starving, but you know...)
 Crazy that I have only been to Peggy's Cove once since moving here seven years ago.  Maybe it's because it tends to be over run by visitors and maybe it's because I now know so many equally beautiful, lesser known places in Nova Scotia to visit, but having this chance to see Peggy's Cove, off season, was such a gift.  It really is worth its notoriety.

This was the view from the cottage.  I know, I know, I'm the luckiest girl in the world.  This is 45 minutes from my home and my home is equally as beautiful.
 This is the cottage.  I could not believe my luck.
It has three bedrooms, a beautiful kitchen, a deck and the view to end all views.  Click here to rent this place.  Grab a few friends, split the cost.  It's so worth it.  There is so much to see in the area.  You would even be close to Halifax.  It is the ultimate home base.  I'll be back with my sisters in law.  Next time, I'll bring more wine.

This photo here is from Prospect, a little village not too far away. There is a beautiful nature conservancy that has just been named after Edie's friend, Bill Friedman, a well known scientist that recently passed away.

This is prospect.  Not too shabby, eh?
Between the beauty, the wine, a good friend, the ocean and cold wind in my face, I was really able to put my life in perspective.

You see, this is what has happened in the past year.  I was fighting for a cause.  I had no idea it would be so hard.  Knowing that the issue I brought forward was so easily solvable, I imagined that Lunenburg council would jump at the opportunity to fix it.  And then, seeing that this was not the case, I imagined that the provincial government would jump all over the opportunity to right such an obvious wrong.  I thought, hey, this certainly has caught the media's attention and people are feeling pretty glum about Nova Scotia's future these days.  How can the government possibly delay in fixing an issue that is free to solve, especially when the answer is already in the hands of our largest municipality.   With so many serious issues facing our province, they must be so eager for a good news story.  So, I just kept going and I kept fighting, always believing I was almost done.  But I never was.

I looked around one day and realized I had become a public figure.  The Red Tape Rabble Rouser.  To some a hero and to some a villain.  I have found myself afraid to leave the house.   For one year I have been a walking ball of anxiety.  My business has been compromised, my health has been compromised and my personal life has also been compromised.  I felt like I had uncovered a layer of Nova Scotia that I did not know was there.  It was a layer I did not want to see and I couldn't unsee it.  This new understanding was clouding my vision of all the beauty and all the good around me and I had come to the point where none of it made sense anymore.

But this past weekend, surrounded by beauty and peace and wine and a good friend, I was able to come to the conclusion that I can stop now.  That I can't fix every wrong.  That I also deserve to love Nova Scotia and Lunenburg and enjoy its beauty and enjoy my friends and family.  I have come to the conclusion that my work is done and I have no interest in being a public figure.
I am interested in my son and my husband and my friends and my customers and my hats and in helping.  Yes, it is my nature to help and to stand up for others, but I can't do it at the expense of myself and my family.  I need to find ways to help where I am not the eye of a storm.

I do still believe in Nova Scotia because I believe in the many individuals that are here doing great things.  I believe in all the entrepreneurs that are defying all the odds of making businesses work in small towns.  I believe in the selfless people like Farley Blackman who are investing money into Lunenburg to restore falling down buildings, despite being treated rudely.  I believe in all the hard working people that work to make this a wonderful and generous community.  I believe in our local newspaper who have not been afraid to talk about difficult issues. I believe in  the people taking risks and investing themselves and their futures in Nova Scotia.

I don't know yet if I believe in those who have been elected to serve us.  I have seen some pretty discouraging actions.   Time will tell.  But change will come with or without their support.
For now, though, the issue of supporting our home based businesses is in the hands of our leaders.  Hopefully, they will lead, but whether they do or don't, I'm going to enjoy the things and the people that matter.  I'm joining the party.

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