Part 7: Beach Time, Business, Construction... all on the up!
Updated: Dec 15, 2021
Since July 2nd, the weather has been stellar. Blue skies, a warm breeze off the cove... just lovely. And it's been good for our build that's for sure. On the morning of July 8, the forms came off and our foundation walls were revealed.
On the same day, we had an important meeting. We met with the team for the "Energize Bridgewater Program". It went really well – we wanted to introduce ourselves and offer to help. This is a long-term project and we have volunteered to be part of the Technical Advisory Board; believing that our experience and skills in graphic design/3D design and animations will be very useful when it's time to clearly communicate and inform residents and investors alike. While we were there, they mentioned the video company that they had been working with and suggested we give them a call. Which we promptly did!
We met with Tim & Justin of Picnic Studios – they have office space below the Mug & Anchor in Mahone Bay – quite a sweet spot to work from, I'll say! So, we had a beer together on the back deck overlooking the bay (this is how we have business meetings now) and just got to know each other; talked about collaboration possibilities... ideas of how we could merge our talents. It was awesome. The next day, Tim called to say they have a project they would like us to help them pitch, so... wow! Pretty exciting. That's the thing about being entrepreneurs and being in a new location. The possibilities are endless and unknown for us right now. How could we even think about retiring? The best thing we can do, is follow up on leads, get to know the businesses in our area... collaborations are exciting and can lead to all kinds of new challenges.
I also met with the team at the Chamber to further discuss their newsletter. The first issue is planned for September and they were really appreciative to hear that we were volunteering to do this. Well, a quarterly newsletter is a nice little project for me and I offered to do interviews and photographs of events or member profiles. It will be fun and honestly, what better way to get our name and our expertise known to the members? I'm happy to do it. In return, we will have a banner on every newsletter and an opportunity to have a Lunch & Learn and present ourselves to the business community.
There is so much happening in this area! It's much more vibrant than we expected. Oh sure, we knew that Lunenburg is a tourist destination, but there seems to be a fresh energy and a desire to see the South Shore as a whole, thrive. Another lesson learned when researching to relocate: there might be a misconception about a region that is long-established as 'fact'... but when we dug deeper and got to know people who actually live here or who have 'come from away' to build a life here, we found that the truth is very different. We're seeing a lot of positive energy, forward-thinking and entrepreneurial spirit – it's exciting!
July happened and everything burst into life! It's super lush, green and in bloom; we've seen foxes, deer and snapping turtles along the road. Lots of osprey and we sometimes hear the loons call. LOVE. All of the boats are out – beautiful sailboats up and down the river... and there is always that nice breeze. Good thing, since we don't have air conditioning and it's getting warmer by the day!
There are many festivals, live music in the bandstands and outdoor venues, and of course Lobster Suppers! I discovered a weekly yoga class on the Lunenburg wharf every Wednesday morning at 8 am – early, so not many tourists around... only $10 and I just love it.
Speaking of live music, we discovered an amazingly talented group at Petite Rivière Vineyard. Wow! Best live music we have seen since we moved here: Donald MacLennan, an incredible violinist with Duane Andrews an amazing guitarist, as well as 3 young musicians; in the style of Django Reinhardt - really terrific.
This is the level of talent we are hoping to attract to our space! And the winery did such a lovely job of hosting – they featured a local chef, had lovely appetizers and wine to complete the event.
We've been inspired musically because we suddenly have more time to sing and play our instruments. And... I discovered a women's a cappella group that practices right around the corner! I've been to two practices so far and I've been slotted into the Tenor section (high... sometime really high; my singing teacher in Calgary, Johanna, would be so proud - she was always encouraging me to sing in my head voice LOL) ... so I'm thinking of joining. It's excellent experience for me and 4-part harmony is so lovely. New challenges! It never ends.
The weather has been so lovely and we have been to the beach a lot... we discovered that it's much warmer than we had read (perhaps yet another East Coast secret?) and we've been in swimming. After watching some kids one day, we purchased some boogie boards (I think that's what you call them) and we've been playing in the waves and feeling like we are 12 again. SO. MUCH. FUN! We had exceptional waves last Sunday at Hirtle Beach and Alan put together this little video. I'm not an old lady yet!
We're getting in the habit of finishing work and heading off to the beach for an evening swim and walk. Alan says it's the best summer he's had since he was a kid, and I quite agree – even though we are working full-time, the rest of the time it feels like we are on vacation. Sometimes we get a twinge for the mountains, which I suppose is natural, since that was our 'go-to' for all the years living in Alberta... but the ocean, ah the ocean... for us, it is so soothing, calming and we are just loving it.
Back to the build! The forms are removed and insulation is added to the inside walls. When the inspector showed, he had no concerns and said 'everything looks really good!' Yahoo! We can continue on.
Another gorgeous blue sky day and another back hoe arrives, this time with Mike at the controls and the foundation is filled in over the next 2 days. The 100+ year old foundation stones are covered over and underground once again... maybe for another 100 years? Who knows...
This guy is soooo good... I am so impressed at how carefully he took all the fill from around my little garden plot, not disturbing a thing! The next day was simply amazing to me... and we can't say enough good things about Barrett and Melissa Risser and their excellent coordination of the project.
Mike was back at 6:30 am ('cause you can do that when there are no close neighbours) to finish up a few bits and smooth everything nicely... no sooner had he left than Barrett arrived to inspect the site and be there to receive the lumber and supplies for framing.
Same day, the gravel spewer is back, with a team of guys to spread the gravel and level off the entire bed of the foundation. We are so impressed with the coordination of everyone and how quickly things are getting done. It's great to live on-site and not miss a thing. No one has been camera-shy either! Maybe they're used to the home owner 'paparazzi' like us snapping pictures of absolutely everything they do.
And just like that, we are suddenly above ground! The next morning, Barrett is back to put the sole plates on in preparation for the framing.
That night, we walked all over the build, visualizing where the walls will be, getting a sense of the dimensions. I can tell that Alan feels an extra sense of pride – something he designed while we were back in the condo, coming to life... it's really thrilling. The very next morning framing began. I don't think we can express how exciting this was, to see the walls coming into view and the space really beginning to take shape.
Today, the guys are here, working away on more framing. They took the shingles off the back wall where the laundry room will attach to our house, and we had a look at the 12" wide original boards from 1916. Pretty cool.
And that's where we are at. It's another gorgeous summer day. Construction continues outside and we're planning a dinner picnic and beach time for this evening. Happiness.
(To continue the story, click here for part 8)