Monday, September 22, 2014

Sabbatical Journal, Day Eight


            Sunday---a gorgeous sunrise, with the sun illuminating low clouds as it rose in the sky above the horizon.  The tide was out, with the fishing boats sitting on the rocks.  Seagulls were flying here and there.  It was a very peaceful scene. 
            Morning coffee, a new kind we bought at the farmer’s market yesterday, tasted so good, as it does most mornings, bringing me to new life after a good and sound sleep.  We had coffee quietly looking out at that beautiful scene before us. 
            We plan to attend worship service at the United Church of Canada in Annapolis Royal this morning.  We feel at home in Canada’s UCC even as we do in our own UCC in America.  The United Church of Canada was formed by a series of mergers, the same as our denomination, back in the early part of the 20th century.  The Methodists, Presbyterians, and others joined to form it because they felt like they had much in common and could do more joined than separately.  That is the story of the United Church of Christ also, as it gathered one group after another to form the church we know today as the United Church of Christ. 
            Both UCC groups today feel they have a lot in common and are in conversation even now to have full communion with one another.  That means that each will recognize the ordination of the other so that pastors can move between the two groups more easily.  We will recognize each other’s baptisms and share Holy Communion and the pastors of each church can officiate at the sacraments of the other. 
            We have not been to worship in two weeks and I miss it.  I enjoy attending worship when I am away on vacation or sabbatical and if we have the opportunity to go then I enjoy being a worshiper in a congregation rather than the one leading worship.  I like to listen to the preaching of others too, although it is rather hard to turn off the natural inclination to compare what they are doing with a biblical text to what I think I would do with it if I were preaching it. 
            I love singing with others in their church, also, even if they sometimes use an unfamiliar tune with familiar words, as is sometimes the case when we worship in another country.  It is often the music in a worship service that connects with me even if the sermon does not. 
            We were not able to attend worship the past two Sundays as we were traveling on those days making it difficult to stop at a church and worship while we are driving.  We have tried to do that and have missed church services because we did not know the time of the worship service and found out it had passed or it was too far in the day to wait for it.  Also, traveling with a dog makes it hard to go to a church service because the dog has to have somewhere to be during the service. 

            We did attend church at the St. George and St. Andrew United Church of
Canada in Annapolis Royal.  The pastor is a tall woman who is German but who has immigrated to Canada.  She has a definite accent such as Germans who have learned to speak English have.  She was greeting people as they entered the church but did not greet us.  We chose a pew almost halfway to the front and soon a petite woman came to sit on the pew in front of us.  She started a conversation and we learned about each other.  She is a church organist who served churches through the years in the US and in Canada.  She is retired now and chose to live in Annapolis Royal.  The pastor stopped to talk to her and did greet us after that, learning where we are from so she could share that with the congregation during the service. 
            The order of worship was much as ours is.  Most of the hymns were very familiar to us and sung to the same tunes we use.  There were two that were new to us but were easy to sing.  The congregation also sang responses using familiar tunes or easy ones that fit with the theme of the service. 
            The pastor preached on the Parable of the Lost Sheep.  The sermon was good and was very similar to sermons I have preached on this parable.  It was a little longer than I usually preach but she kept my attention through most of it.  She read from a manuscript which is not something that I do but it is what many pastors do. 
            The congregation was not overly friendly but we did have several people greet us and one woman besides the one in the pew in front of us had a short conversation with us.  Canadians, in general, are a bit more reserved than we in the southern US.  They are usually friendly but may not begin a conversation but will talk when spoken to.  Nova Scotians tend to be friendlier than other Canadians in eastern Canada.   
            Isn’t it interesting how we compare the interactions we have with others?  Depending upon where they happen, we may classify others as friendly or not friendly, stuck up or aloof, reserved or outgoing, or a host of other words.  It may be that a person is shy rather than unfriendly but we may not recognize their shyness.  There are situations where we may feel more reserved than others, also.  In large crowds we may clam up and come alive in small groups.  Or it may be the other way around. 

            Accepting others as they are is part of being inclusive, inviting others into our lives and into our social settings.  Being a visitor in a church opens our eyes into what it feels like to be a visitor.  Some of us have never belonged to another church and we do not know how it feels to be the new person in a church group.  Sometimes it is eye opening to be a visitor elsewhere so as to relate to how others feel when they come to our church.  It helps us to empathize with those who see our church in one particular way or another.  Reaching out to those who are new to our church and social groups and including them helps them to see us as we hope they will---as inclusive, caring, and loving Christians.  

Friday, September 19, 2014

Sabbatical Journal, Day Seven


            We had a surprise rain last night.  It was a fairly heavy rain, not just a light summer shower.  It happened just about when darkness was setting in and when the tide was coming in too.  That made it seem like a big storm.  Waves crashing ashore filling in the harbor with heavy rain pounding the land at the same time.  The rain continued until we were ready for bed so it was hard to know how long it really lasted. 
            When we woke up this morning, there were puddles in the driveway and everything was wet.  Clouds were heavy in the sky to make it look like the rain could return.  It did not rain, however.  Instead, the sky became gradually clearer until finally the sun shone through. 
            We visited with our neighbor who is renting the house not too far from where we are.  She is a college professor from Montreal.  We had met her when we were here three years ago.  She is originally from Germany but immigrated to Canada many years ago, when she was just a girl, so she has been a Canadian citizen for over 40 years.  She remembered us from our last visit and took to our little dog, Bo, quickly.  She likes dogs and says she wants to get a little dog of her own.  Bo seemed to like her also.  She is very talkative and told us many things while we just stood there and listened.  Finally, she left to do some chores while we got ready to go to the Farmer’s Market being held in Annapolis Royal today. 
            The Farmer’s Market happens each Saturday morning and it is one of the largest ones held in this part of Nova Scotia.  You can find plenty of produce grown in the area but also art and craft items made by artisans of the Province.  We toured the many stalls to begin and then began to find items we wished to purchase.  We first bought a hand knit dog sweater made by a woman who lives not too far from here.  It was of first quality and very reasonable in cost and Bo wore it around the market grounds and stopped traffic regularly to compliment him on how cute he looked in it. 
            There were baked goods around every corner, my downfall for sure.  We saw bread, pastries, cakes, and pies and finally decided on two loaves of bread, two croissants, and a homemade apple and raspberry crisp.  Then there was kale, turnips, peaches, and tomatoes that we had to buy. 
            We even bought a book that looked like it would be easy reading only to find out that it was actually a Canadian Sunday School book used back in the 1950s-60s.  It is a hardback book called “Myrtle’s Guest” with a picture of a woman who is a maid on the cover.  It may be a collectable but it looked like something we can find nowhere else and especially for just a dollar. 
            We love exploring the local community wherever we are and this is the second market we have gone to in a week.  We met a lot of really nice people, some of whom had to look at Bo in his new sweater and ask questions about him.  There are many friendly people in the world who will share about their own lives when you are willing to tell them a bit about yours also. 

            The human family still has many honest, friendly, caring people made up of people from all races, nationalities, and ethnic groups.  It does not seem to matter where we are from or what language we speak.  All that matters is that we want to open ourselves up to knowing more about them and sharing about ourselves and soon we have new friends.  

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Sabbatical Journal, Day Six


            The sun shone through the clouds as we woke up this morning, not a bright sunrise but one that was filtered by high clouds against the blue sky.  It was a bit cooler than it had been, about 61 degrees, so we had morning coffee indoors rather than on the porch.  We ventured out about an hour later and the temperature had already risen to 70 degrees so we did sit on the porch for a bit and enjoy looking at the boats and birds and busy activities of those connected with the harbor. 
            After breakfast we decided to go hiking in a national park which is only about 40 miles from here.  It is called by a First Nation name, which is what they call Native Americans or Indians.  The name is almost unpronounceable—Kejimkujik.  I have tried to say it many ways and the locals say it one way but shorten it simply to “Keji.”  I think that makes it easier for all concerned. 
            Keji is a Canadian National and Historic Park and is basically a heavily wooded area with a river running through it and lakes and streams formed because of the river.  The area has many campgrounds in it and hiking trails and areas for canoeing.  It is a national park but has a feeling almost like going to camp somewhere.  People with campers and motor homes line up at the entrance gate and spend weekends there with their kids and dogs enjoying the woods and lake and river and simply relaxing.  There is a stand that sells ice cream and a baseball field and the feeling of it is not anything like national parks in the USA.  It is so much more simple in nature, not centered on a “big attraction” such as a mountain range or glacier or seashore but provides a place for families to simply relax together and enjoy each other’s company. 
            We drove up to Keji around noon and brought our picnic supplies and found a really nice picnic area by Mills Falls.  That is where the Mersey River falls over an area of rocks and runs quickly by.  We found a picnic table right by the water after passing a family having a cookout and saying hello to some hikers.  We enjoyed watching the river flow by us over the rocks while having our lunch.  The area is spotless, not a piece of trash to be found anywhere.  Nova Scotians have a high regard for nature and also a deposit/return policy on bottles and cans of all kinds so no one throws them away but returns them for a refund because they paid a deposit when they bought the items. 
            After lunch we found a hiking trail that went right along the Mersey River, advertised as being 1 kilometer but it seems at least like 1 mile or more.  It was an easy hike, through woods and along the river with places now and then to try to spot a beaver or fish in the water.  Our little dog Bo hiked with us and he walked quickly over rocks and sticks on trail. 
            Needing to find the facilities, we found a campground not too far away and discovered the baseball field and ice cream store nearby it.  Then, a bit farther away was a campground where demonstrations of First Nation teepee and campfire skills were being exhibited.  That was a bit crowded so we did not stay to enjoy them. 
            As we drove to the exit of the national park, Doris and I discussed how different this national park was from the ones we have visited in the USA.  It was she who remarked that this was nice to have a place for families to simply get away and find renewal in forest and riverside with simple pleasures such as bike riding, canoeing, and, camping.  Our national parks have campgrounds, to be sure, but it is the “big things” that attract people to the national parks and enjoying the pleasure of being in nature follows the geyser or mountain or seashore that brought them there. 

            It is nice to be reminded now and then about what is important in life, the simple pleasures of home and hearth and family.  Many times it is the “big things” that get our attention—holidays, special events, concerts or sporting events---but then we are reminded in the quiet moments following the holiday meal or on the drive home from the special event that it is being with people who are important to you and enjoying shared times that speak to our spirits.  

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Sabbatical Journal, Day Five


            We had two telephone calls on the cottage phone yesterday, the first by a woman wanting to talk to the person who owns the cottage.  I told her that she was not here.  She then said that I must be a member of the household.  I told her that I was not.  I was not going to give any additional information until she told me that she would call back later to which I told her that I was renting the house she was calling and that the owner would not be back here for at least a month or more.  She thanked me for that information and the call ended.  Then, just a few minutes later there was a call with a recording telling me that I had won a cruise and could find out how to enjoy it at which I hung up. 
            Communication with the outside world is rare now.  The cottage we are renting has no television, no internet, no cell phone service, only a land line which we can use to call back home using a calling card, which we charged up before leaving home.  There is a radio which gets 6-8 stations clearly, with the one which I like best broadcast in French.  There is something interesting about listening to music sung in French.  If you like the music behind the words, you really don’t care what the words are saying.  The station plays a good mix of music, most songs sung in French but also some classical pieces, some that sound new age in nature, even a bit or rap which I would not like at all if it was in English but in French who cares what they are saying.  The music, the beat is nice, so I listen to it.  There are stations that play American music, mostly Country, and a few rock stations in English.  Often we do not have the radio at all, just the silence of the house and noises of seabirds and waves splashing on the rocks as the tide comes in and goes out. 
            It is actually not bad to not have as much news from the world around us.  We never hear about wars or fires or floods or murders or all the bad news we are accustomed to hearing about when we live our lives as modern persons.  We often feel oppressed by the weight of evil and violence in our world.  It is refreshing to be removed from it all for a short time. 
            Even when we go out into the world around us, to tour and look around, we rarely see news broadcasts or read a paper.  We may visit with people on the streets or in towns who are interested in learning what we think about their province and a bit about where we are from.  It is usually very pleasant and the world around us disappears in the friendliness we experience from others who are a great deal like we are even if we do live in different countries. 
            Anne Murray is a product of Nova Scotia.  Her childhood home and a museum dedicated to her life and music is in Springtown, which is about 100 miles from here.  We have been to it once, on our first trip to Nova Scotia back in 2000 or so.  You can learn a lot about her life and what shaped her to be the person and singer she became as you look at the exhibits.  A record she made long ago includes the song, “A Little Good News” which I have on my mp3 player that I use when I walk.  It talks about how depressing it is to daily have our barrage of negatives that come to us through the news media daily.  Then, it says how good it would be one day to have the news reporter say there is little to report that day because nothing bad has happened.  Instead, they report on a county fair, how people have cleaned up the air, and learned to care for one another. 
            Idealistic thinking, for sure, perhaps even utopian, but how refreshing it is now and then to just remove ourselves from the negative influences of the world that shape our thinking and to think about good things. 
            St. Paul told the church at Philippi to think about what is “honorable…just…pure…pleasing…commendable, if there is anything worthy of praise…” (Philippians 4:8)  Think about these things….That is a command, something that must be intentional, and perhaps even intentionally planned to do. 
            It is easy to avoid the negatives that come to us by the way of the media when you are in a place such as we are right now, but when we return to our regular way of life, how will we do it then?  Intentionally, perhaps, and intentionally planning how to make it happen. 
            This afternoon we went for a 2.2 km hike to Delaps Cove, which is about 5 miles down the road from where we are staying.  It is a nice wooded area and the hike took us through woods of maples, birches, and evergreens with many ferns along the way until we reached the shore.  We walked on a path overlooking the ocean which was at low tide so many pools of water stood among the rocks where the water had once stood. 
            We began to hear the sound of rushing water and came upon a waterfall emerging from a canyon.  When the tide is high, the waterfall pours into the water of the bay in the inlet.  Other hikers were down in the inlet area where the water resides at high tide and they were climbing on the rocks and examining them.  We paused to look at the waterfall and take pictures and then continued on through the woods again and back to our car.  We were very tired from our hike but satisfied that we had explored a bit more of the area, earning our dinner to come of scallops, green beans and potatoes with onion and garlic, and oatmeal molasses bread. 

            The sun shone brightly most of the day today which was a treat and a blessing.  The fog has been more common that we thought it would be and we sat on the porch on our chairs and looked out over the beautiful Bay of Fundy watching the seabirds and the activity of people around the boats in the harbor.  It was a very satisfying day.   

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Sabbatical Journal, Day Four


            “The Lord is your keeper…” Psalm 121:5a

            We have driven over 3500 miles on this trip so far and have had no major mishaps or disorders.  We had a near mishap yesterday while exploring Brier Island.  The island has two lighthouses, one that is on a smaller island near the south end which cannot be reached by a car since there is a small inlet that separates it from the main island.  The other lighthouse, Northern Light, can be reached via a gravel road so we set out for it once we left the ferry landing and drove to where the lighthouse sits on the edge of the island looking out over the Bay of Fundy.  There is the small lighthouse, a building used by the Canadian Parks Departments, and a trail that leads to an overlook covered with rocks and bushes.  One trail departs to go near the water so that when high tide happens it is covered by water.  The main trail leads through brushy country with wild rose bushes that are massive in size that one must go around to reach the point where sea lions are seen now and then in the distance. 
            We chose the brush covered trail and began to walk it, with me leading the way and Doris following with Bo in her arms.  We soon discovered that there are rocks along the way hidden by the brush.  One has to be very careful as one walks in that path with rocks obscured by the brush or one may have a mishap along the way.  We had walked the trail a ways and I discovered the rock and stumped by shoe on it and we decided to return to the car after seeing that there were more people in the distance than we cared to encounter.
            As we returned to the car and were emerging from the brushy trail, but still where there was plenty of grass, Doris hooked her foot on a rock and began to tumble.  She had Bo held in her arms and as she went down she and Bo began to meet the earth and Bo let out a pitiful sounding whimper.  Doris luckily landed on a grassy area and was not hurt and, although we worried about Bo for a bit, he seemed to emerge unscathed also.  He was soon up and walking about and playing after we got back to the cottage. 
            Hazards are constantly in our paths as we negotiate life.  Some are very evident but some are unseen, as the rocks along this trail were.  Some were not noticed until you had hit them with your foot as you hiked along.  Sometimes we were so busy looking at the beautiful scenery around us or smelling the wild roses that we failed to see the rocks in the way of our feet as we walked. 
            Life’s hazards will always be there but as we walk along in life we can depend on God’s grace and mercy to be with us and God’s care to guide us along.  We cannot always avoid the hazards but we can know that if we fall, God will be there to catch us and help us to be lifted up again to walk another day. 
            Today we drove up the coast to Wolfeville passing through mostly small towns and villages, driving slowly enough to really look at them, noticing how much alike and different they are than our hometown.  Most are very neat and clean with little litter anywhere.  Nicely kept homes line the streets.  The people we talked with were very friendly and courteous and very interested in us, in why we were visiting Nova Scotia and in what we do back home. 
            We stopped at a farmer’s market in Kentville.  It is located right in the downtown area on a parking lot reserved for stores normally.  There were several rows of stalls with merchants selling vegetable and fruits from their farms, homemade breads and pastries, and products they had made to sell.  We bought two pints of blueberries, some hand cream scented with peppermint, a loaf of homemade whole wheat bread, and a colorful dress that Doris found interesting.  We also bought some Indian food being sold by a nice lady at a booth.  We asked where a picnic area may be and were directed out of town to an agricultural research center where there is also a picnic area. 
            Finding the picnic area just as we were directed, we enjoyed our Indian lunch out in nature, enjoying the cool air and beautiful scenery around us. 
            Returning to our cottage, we drove into the fog once again as we went over Parker’s Mountain and descended into the Cove.  The fog surrounded us and enveloped all so that we could not see beyond our porch.  This is not what I planned on when we envisioned our time here.  I saw the sun shining brightly as we sat on the porch drinking coffee and watching nature on display before us.  The fog limits what we can see in the cove before us.  So, we still drank coffee and had a pastry to go with it and sat and talked about the fog and the lack of seagulls on the rock barrier in the cove.  Then, continued with life and our enjoyment of where we are and what we are doing. 
            Fog is part of the way of life of being Nova Scotian.  When you live on a piece of land mostly surrounding by water, you adapt and adjust to what is here. 

Monday, September 15, 2014

Sabbatical Journal, Day Three


            Fog can be very interesting if you really think about it, reflect upon its movements, its coming and going as it does here.  We arose this morning and had coffee and then sat on the porch for a while looking out at the boats and birds and tide that had filled the harbor with water over night.  It was not nearly as cool as it has been in days past, but still cool enough to be pleasant—68 degrees.  It felt really nice to sit and drink in the view as we do a lot.  The fog was light, in the distance, covering only a bit of the hillside beyond the campground that is adjacent to the boatyard.  Then, as we sat and talked and watched the seagulls coming and going, suddenly fog began to roll in from the east, blocking out the bit of sun that had shown through the clouds.  The fog moved in closer and closer, soon covering the campground and the boats in the harbor so that all we could see was just what was directly in front of us.  It ended our interesting view, at least for a while, so we came inside to have breakfast. 
            Life has fog set in like that, at times.  We think we can see things clearly and suddenly our vision is obscured by life’s events and we cannot always see the path that we should follow or know the course to take.  Life’s fog is more like the kind we experience here than the kind we have back home.  This fog rolls in, with waves, like the waves of the ocean.  It comes in covering land and sea, making it impossible to see man or beast or landscape. 
            Once the fog has set in, one wonders why continue what you are doing and why not do something else.  The fogs in life send us in different directions to take courses we had not planned otherwise.  The fog may come in the guise of an illness, ours or others for whom we are caretakers, or an issue we may have to deal with—a job change, a family crisis, a new opportunity.  We may not know the course to take and we may sit idly for a while, just as the boats wait for high tide to return before they can go back into the ocean to work, but suddenly things change for us and we see what must be done. 
            The fog here clears just as quickly as it comes.  It does not linger, as the fog back home does.  Instead, the waves of fog roll on and dissipate, allowing the sun to shine once more to reveal what had been hidden by the fog.  Our lives that are fog-laden by life’s challenges are cleared as we seek hidden truth that will bring about the focus we need.  It is our seeking the way that brings about the answer.  God is always present, ready to guide us, but we often do not include God in our plans.  We want to work things out ourselves and turn to God only when the way becomes so dark that we cannot see anything that will work for us.  Then, we pray. 
            Lighthouses are numerous in places with much shoreline and with a large industry that involves boats.  Even with modern technology assisting the boating and fishing industry, lighthouses remain active in many locations to add a visual dimension to the technological inventions that make life better for those who work and play in boats.  There are several lighthouses within thirty miles of where we are staying.  Here in Parker’s Cove there is not a lighthouse in the traditional sense.  There is simply a tall pole with a blinking green light on it that comes on around dusk and turns off around dawn.  The green light blinks off and on all through the night and, I assume, it is there to let boats that may be seeking the harbor here in Parker’s Cove to find it, to know for sure that it is there, despite any other equipment they may have that directs them in the path they should go to reach shore. 
            The odd thing about the green light on the pole, though, is that it is obviously on a timer and goes off in the morning despite the fact that the harbor could be fogged in, as it was yesterday and today.  The blinking green light could be very useful to some who are looking for a signal from shore that Parker’s Cove is here with a dock to anchor a boat.  It turns off around daybreak, though, even if it is foggy.
            We often look for signs to guide us when the fogs of life set in and something they are not always there.  There are times when the usual signs do not appear to us and that are when we must raise our awareness to the world around us to experience life so that it speaks to us in our guide to know the way to go.  Things that in the past have served as markers for us, people or places or things, may not speak to us in the usual way and we may need to keep our eyes open for new understandings or relationships that may give us a fresh approach to the world around us and to our life’s situation.  We can never know what exactly may speak to us at any given time. 
            “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:22-23)

            There are two islands that connect to the mainland just west of Digby.  The land that stretches from Digby is called the Digby Neck.  When you reach the western end of Digby Neck, you have to take a ferry to connect to the next island called Long Island.  Then, you must drive to the end of Long Island to the community of Freeport to take another ferry to the community of Westport on Briar Island.  Timing is everything when you reach the end of each land mass and need to get to the next one.  The ferries are timed to leave to go west so that a person can drive from Digby to the end of Digby Neck and catch a ferry that leaves on every half hour and then be able to drive to the end of Long Island and catch the next ferry on the hour.  If you miss the first one, you have to wait an hour to catch the next one because they only run once an hour from each direction.  The ferries run 24 hours a day but only once an hour in each direction. 
            This setup does not allow for any exploring on each island unless one determines that they do not need to get to a ferry in order to connect to another one in any certain schedule.  One can spend as much time anywhere one desires but with the knowledge that the ferries will be there only at certain times.  It sounds tricky but when you understand the system it is practical to have it work the way it does.  It can sound daunting to try to get to each ferry on time but it does work out well if you just drive through from one ferry to another or if you look around and not worry about the schedule and just enjoy the surroundings. 
            I have always had a time anxiety problem.  When I am pressed for time, I usually get very anxious.  When there is a schedule to be kept, I want everything to be taken care of so that the schedule will fall into place as planned.  I once would plan vacations where we had to be at one point at a certain time in order for the next thing on the schedule to work out.  It caused me great stress if we were running late and there may be the possibility that we may not reach the destination we had planned to reach.
            In recent years I have become much better at not being on a schedule all the time and allowing myself to enjoy the scenery on the journey as well as being at a certain destination at a certain time.  The journey itself holds as much satisfaction as getting to a certain place.  There is much to be seen and experienced along the way. 
            This trip, so far, has been very pleasant and low stress.  Even when we were stuck in traffic in Toronto I did not feel panic or stress because we did not have to be someplace soon.  We had plenty of time to enjoy what we were seeing around us, even if it was the rear of another car sometimes. 

            Life is sometimes a race, not a journey.  There are times when we seem to rush from one thing to another in order to reach some goal we have set.  That is not always bad but it is not always necessary.  There are times when we need to let the scenery pass by as we travel and simply admire it and enjoy it and see the pleasure we can gather from being a part of it.  We all need to stop and appreciate what and who is around us as we make our way on the road of life, giving thanks for the opportunity to be part of the great highway of life.  

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Sabbatical Journal, Day Two


            Fog had set in overnight.  The tide was out and the little boats sat in the mud once again.  The fog comes in waves and cycles, giving you the impression that soon it will clear.  The sun is barely visible through the clouds and you can see the fog seem to want to disappear, only to roll back in with another wave of mist.  The fog seems to descend from above and move with a motion instead of simply being there as we have back home.  The fog covers everything and at times we could not see the small harbor in front of us because of the denseness of the fog.  We could hear the sea birds but not see them. 
            A family of pheasants scurried by, three to four babies and the mother close by them and the larger male with a green head and a white ring around his neck.  He went off into the brush, leaving all of them to fend for themselves.  Of course, he may have been trying to attract our attention so that we could not notice his little family as they also took to the brush to hide and look for breakfast. 
            We had coffee on the porch to meet the morning even though we could see little of the scenery around us.    The day felt lazy, perhaps getting rested from the long journey we made to get here.  We did little for half the day and then after lunch drove over to Annapolis Royal to walk around and see if we could pick up the Wi-Fi from a business, which we did.  The cottage has no Wi-Fi as well as no television and a radio that picks up several stations in English as well as French.  We can do without television fairly easily but it would be good to hear the weather forecast now and then.  So, we found Wi-Fi that a restaurant provides and it could be picked up even out in a park near it. 
            We walked a boardwalk near the water and looked around town a bit and then drove back to the Cove where it was noticeably cooler than it had been in Annapolis Royal.  It is interesting how just driving 6 miles from the two places you can feel the change in the weather.  It was in the low 60s when we left Parker’s Cove and it was around 75 in Annapolis Royal, just 6 miles away.  It has something to do with there being a mountain to cross between the two places.  It may have to do with our being near the ocean here and in a pocket between mountains and ocean.  In any case, it is very comfortable here with cool breezes off the ocean. 
            Scallops….how we love them.  We had them again for supper today.  Pan fried with some potatoes and a salad with them, again.  We may tire of them before we leave but as of now, we crave them each time we can have them.  The cost of scallops is so reasonable in comparison to what we pay in Austin when we buy them.  We paid $6.99 a pound yesterday for medium size scallops and in Austin the large ones cost $25.99 a pound if you can find them.  Even the large ones here are half the price of the large back home.  Maybe that has something to with why we eat so many when we are here….you have to enjoy them while you can when the price is right. 

            We saw a lobster boat come into the cove today to be unloaded by a truck sent from the seafood sales shop across from the wharf.  We watched it come into the cove since the high tide was in place and thought they would unload a boat load of lobster only to find that the lobster traps they unloaded were empty.   The boat crew as well as the land crew sent by the seafood company worked for hours to unload the empty traps and other equipment.  All we can guess is that the boat crew did a job for the company here and used their equipment but took the lobsters elsewhere and now they were returning the equipment for storage.  We watched their progress in the afternoon until we tired of it and found other things to do.