Sunday 24 October 2021

And so it goes . . .


So here I am sitting in a chair at the auto-repair place waiting for the mechanic to do the things that I am here to get done.  My sister was working otherwise we would have just dropped the car off and then gone back to her place for a paint party or some such. They could have called me when they were finished and I would have gone back to pick my car up and gone home.  

So anyways, here I am sitting in an old chair scribbling this down in the back of a book I brought with me to read. I did read for a while, but then everything just started to become so interesting to me.  Without the distractions that dog my every day I started to notice things I had not experienced in a very long time.  I thought it all so interesting that I wanted to make a note of it and keep it for my posterity. I am re-experiencing a glimpse of something from my childhood.  Things which I have not seen, smelt, felt or heard in a very long time. 

Two old guys are having a conversation with each other up by the desk about their various aches and ailments. It is almost reminiscent of an episode of Andy Griffith. It sounds as if they have known each other for a very long time. They mention a friend of theirs who isn't doing so good.  They talk about him as if he is on his way out.  Sad that  . . . 

 I love listening to their Nova Scotia accents.  I never realized just how much I had missed hearing that accent until now.  

The first time I noticed a Nova Scotia accent was when I was a child and we had moved back here after living out West. We went to visit my cousins and "beans" suddenly became "banes."  "Banes on you!"  we would shout at each affectionately, a testimony to just how much we loved our family. 

"Thar's a bar!  Whar!  Over Thar!"  Another thing we delighted in saying. That accent became a part and parcel of who we would become over the next decade or so.

I can remember when I first left home and moved out West to Winnipeg. One of the first things my new brother in law said to me was, "Boy, you can sure tell you are from Nova Scotia. Listen to that accent."  I had never known I had one.  People marvel that in my twenty years in the UK I never picked up a British accent.  I'm a Canadian through and through. 

So anyways, I am sitting there listening to these old guys talk, listening to the ebb and flow of their conversation amidst the sound of an air drill and clanging metal from the work bay which abuts the office space.


This is really an old boys kind of a place. Its nothing fancy, nothing to really write  home about. There's a sign on the desk which reads, "The older I get, the more everyone can kiss my ass."  (Their words not mine.) I half expect to see Gomer and Goober Pyle lounging in the corner chewing on toothpicks and passing the time of day.

I don't think the front window, despite its neon "OPEN" sign, has been cleaned for years, if ever.  Its a mess of grease and cobwebs and dirt and dust.  The walls are filled with a multitude of car parts.  I'd tell you what they are, but I know nothing about cars and their parts. If the engine starts when I put the key in, I'm good to go.  My sister has a new fangled starter on her car.  All you have to do is push a button.  If the key's in your pocket, the car turns on. (What will they think of next.) 

There are more parts and car bits stacked on every inch of the floor.  Tires, oil cans, etc. I am sure there is a filing system of sorts, only to be understood by the guys who work here. In any case, I am sure they know what they are doing.  There is just about enough room for the chair that I am sitting on and one more next to the desk. The place smells like old rubber, tar and dust, oil and dirt, and petrol, gasoline.  A garage kind of a smell that only a man can appreciate.  A smell from the annals of my memory. I will tolerate it because I must. I have no choice. 

But after a while, like any smell, it ceases to be a smell.  You no longer notice it. Funny that  . . . 

Outside the yard might have been paving at one time, but now it is a tangle of gravel and mud, clumps of tenacious grass . . .  and potholes filled with water. I will have to navigate carefully when I leave. It's all a part of the experience.  I'm not complaining. 

Its really the back yard of somebody's home.  An add on. There's a pool back behind the garage. The owner probably lives here with his family.  He is living his dream.

One whole edge of the yard is lined with trucks of every color, description and model.  Some look as if they date back to when trucks first became trucks. After a while the two old guys hobble out there and spend some time inspecting them. They are clearly enjoying themselves.  That makes me smile.

But, just beyond all of the mud and the gravel and the dirt and the trucks is a line of trees, all dressed in golds and russets, the reds have since let go . . .  leaving bare branches behind. Just above them is a sky so blue as to make your eyes ache at the beauty of it. Filled with naught but a few wispy clouds that are moving ever so slowly in the mild autumn breeze.

I fine  myself feeling almost happy that there was nobody to pick me up and take me home to wait while my car was being done. Had it been so, I would have missed all of this, and what a pity that would have been.

Its not every day you get to experience the un-busyness of life in such a meaningful way.  An opportunity to take a pause and really drink in all that is happening around you and think about it without many of the distractions that pull at us from every side on a day to day basis.  To smell and to observe and to write.  Its good.  Very good. I'm almost sorry when it ends and I am pulled back to reality. Who needs a fancy vacation when your mind can take you back to places like this . . . I know that I will never forget the blue of that sky or the gold of those trees, embroidered with the music of the mechanic's drill and the perfume of this old garage . . . 

Its a snapshot of time that  has meshed together the present and the past  for me in a most beautiful and charming way.

In The English Kitchen today . . .  Apple Cobblestone Pie.  A simple bake with quartered apples, spiced and placed in an unbaked crust and topped with a delicious coconut streusel before baking to perfection. So good my father enjoyed two pieces.

Have a wonderful and blessed Sunday.  I have the family coming over later for dinner.  Looking forward to that. I truly am. A year ago it was only a dream.  Dreams can come true.  Don't forget . . . 

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And I do too!  


  1. What a beautiful post Marie ...I felt like I was there with you!

  2. You paint a beautiful picture of days gone by with your words, Marie. I feel like I shared your experience. Today is the memorial service at the nursing home where my brother was. I'm sure it will be emotional. Enjoy your dinner with your family. Love and hugs, Elaine

  3. We all need to experience the un-busyness of life.

  4. What a lovely post, you took me away for a bit. So nice to observe and appreciate and share. Thank you. Have a most delightful time with your most delightful family. xo, V

  5. My daughter is coming soon for eats fun to do!! My other daughter on opposite coast will call for skype for awhile when she is here...that is always fun (wish it was in person, but we are grateful at least for skype). You have a fun time fixing food for your kin...I am sure they look forward to eating YOUR food!!
    Elizabeth xoxo

  6. I enjoyed seeing the garage through your eyes. You described it so well. I can smell old fuel spills and see the grime. You have a gift to appreciate your surroundings and wisdom to know that beauty is in small things sometimes. Every day is a gift. Be well.

  7. You have such a gift of writing. You took me back to my Uncle's car repair shop. I could almost smell the smells here. You discribed those old shops, perfectly. My Uncle loved to tell stories to hose who came in and they were whopper's. Anyway, thanks for the memory, I really enjoyed reading your experience.
    Blessings and big hugs today!


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