You can never go home again, but the truth is you can never leave home, so it's all right
You all know me to be an overly sentimental sort. I don't mind being filed under "S" for sentimental - better that than "I" for indifferent.
And I am never more sentimental than when I go back to my old stomping grounds - St. Andrews-By-the-Sea and St. Stephen, New Brunswick, where I grew up.
I swear that I pass myself on the street, my voice still echoing as I chase my brother and sister in the backyard, sneak through the neighbours yard to spy on them, stop into a shop and buy a little wooden table and chairs for my dolls. I am everywhere and nowhere when I am back there.
I recognize no one when I am on the street today, but I can tell you everyone who lived in every house in the 1960s and 1970s. I wonder that they don't notice the tattoo that is burned into my forehead as I walk about: I AM FROM HERE. THIS IS WHO I AM.
One of my happiest things to do in the summer is this:
- Go to St. Andrews. Walk streets. Shop. Have lunch at Kingsbrae Gardens overlooking the gardens and the bay.
- Drive to hometown (10 minutes away) St. Stephen. Buy chocolates from Ganongs.
- Have tea with my mother's best friend.
But I digress. When we arrived in St. Andrews a farmer's market was going on.
Cockburn's drugstore has been there forever. You can get your prescription filled and pick up a sand bucket and nail polish..
Nearby I spotted two Irish Wolfhounds, which struck me as very Harry Potter-ish:
If you want a porch to people watch and have a drink, well this is it:
Between each house and shop on Water Street is this view:
|sorry about the blur!|
But of course en route, there are a few small gardens...
|who is that delightful creature in the mirror?|
Ah there's the café (located in an old "cottage" (St. Andrews was and is still, albeit to a lesser extent, the playground of the rich..)
I always want to sit outside to get this view:
I think I am looking very Virginia Woolf in these photos - I even know where the Lighthouse is!
Beside Kingsbrae Gardens you can stay at the Ultra-luxurious Kingsbrae Arms:
|the back of the house...|
The front door is guarded by a matching pair of whippets, who are quite stately sentinels, in my opinion:
The jewel of St. Andrews is the Algonquin Resort, which is currently undergoing a multi-million dollar refresh and will reopen later this year. I cannot wait to go back there soon! This would make a lovely spot for a club meeting...
Let's leave St. Andrews, as I have a tea time scheduled with an old friend and en route I need to pick up chocolates and peppermints at the The Ganong Chocolate Factory's Gift Store.
Chocolate Truffles all around!
Then off to see my Mum's Best Friend, who is 88 years old and a going concern. Isn't she beautiful?
Today would have been her 68th wedding anniversary. She is originally from England and married a dashing young New Brunswick lad who was talented enough to receive the Distinguished Flying Cross. We had tea and looked out over this view:
The end to a perfect day.
I think this day could use a little Tennyson (In Memoriam Section CXXIII - my favourite section):
But in my spirit will I dwell
and dream my dream and hold it true
for tho' my lips may breath adieu
I cannot think the thing farewell
I do like to go home. And while I sat on that deck, drinking tea and sharing stories with someone who has known me for almost my entire life - since a time I can barely remember - I felt nothing but joy and gladness. We are witnesses to each other's lives. And on a beautiful August day, I am grateful for that. And now it is here forever, with you all.
And since we were by the salty sea, let's make a couple of Salty Dog cocktails, shall we?