"I am 3/4ths Canadian, and one 4th New Englander - I had ancestors on both sides in the Revolutionary war." - Elizabeth Bishop

Monday, April 13, 2015

Elizabeth Bishop House — “Whither is Spring?” 2015 Update

On 2 April 2014 I shovelled snow – the latest I’d ever shovelled snow that I could remember. Well, on 7 April 2015, I shovelled snow for the umpteenth time: four or five inches fell on top of what was still on the ground, which was considerable. February and March of 2015 were perhaps the snowiest two months in living memory for us in the Maritimes. Many snowfall records were broken. If no records were broken in Great Village, still, a great deal of snow fell and fell and fell. The other main feature about the winter of 2015 was the cold, which only reluctantly began to moderate as April arrived (but the morning of 6 April again broke cold temperature records in many Nova Scotia communities).
Believe it or not, this was taken on 12 April 2015, looking across
the back field to the river. It could be January (photo by yours truly).
As a result of all this winter, the Elizabeth Bishop House was in a state of hibernation throughout. In spite of storm after storm, fierce winds, cracking cold, the dear old house managed to get through relatively unscathed. We are holding our breath for a gradual thaw, so that the massive amounts of snow will melt slowly and not cause serious flooding in the river.
EB House slumbering under a great weight of snow,
19 February 2015 (photo by Patti Sharpe).
This shoveling was done by Patti and Harold. Thank you!
I want to thank Patti and Harold Sharpe of Great Village for their thoughtful attention to the house, checking on it often. I also want to thank Cory Spencer for ploughing and ploughing and ploughing the driveway (13 times!). But in the end, even his truck plough was no match for the mountain of snow, and Harold kindly took his tractor to the house and moved the mountain.
The mountain of snow Harold moved on 23 March 2015 (photo by Patti Sharpe)
The house remained on the market, but the for sale sign, like countless for sale signs (and mail boxes, and cars for that matter) across the province, ended up being buried under three, four, five feet of snow. With at least one blizzard every week, or two, or even three, few people were out and about looking at properties (well, you couldn’t see any yards for the longest time, hidden behind the alps that the highway ploughs pushed up in front).
 The for sale sign has emerged, but the yard
is still entombed (photo by yours truly)
Gradually, winter is letting its grip ease, but it could be May before all the snow is gone. Spring is late indeed. For most of the decade that we have owned the house, there has been scilla already in bloom by the end of March. Not this year.
 We see some ground! (photo by yours truly, 12 April 2015)
On 12 April 2015 the Elizabeth Bishop Society of Nova Scotia met at the house, its first board meeting of the year. I took some photos that day, which are scattered throughout this post. John brought a most delicious traditional dessert to mark Russian Easter. All those who gathered indulged with pleasure!
John himself was not behind the bush either. Diving in with gusto!

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