As Good As It Gets

No, this post is not about a Jack Nicholson movie.

It’s about appreciating and enjoying the beautiful simplicity of life, so perfectly described in the above song by Colin Hay.  I recently rediscovered this song and am remembering just how much I love it and its message.  I encourage you to listen while you read.  I listened while I wrote.

“My, my, my, it’s a beautiful world” he sings, “I like swimming in the sea”.  Throughout the song he croons about all the simple things that make the world beautiful to him: making his own tea, driving in his car, sleeping with Marie and of course, swimming in the sea.

It’s a lesson I learned growing up in rural Nova Scotia.  That ambition is great and all, but one should never lose sight of the things that are really important in life: time spent with family and friends.  My parents, my family, they appreciate the simple life.  We never had much money, but we had all the things that were important and we had them in abundance.  Along the way I have also learned how important it is to connect with the environment we live in, to feel part of something bigger than yourself – and thus Maritime Love was born.

“Still this emptiness persists.  Perhaps this is as good as it gets”

Most of the time I think we make life a lot more complicated than it has to be.  We hurry through life, trying to accomplish as much as possible along the way but never really experiencing any of it.  There is so much joy to be had in the little things in life, if only we took the time to fully appreciate and be grateful for them.  I tend to think that this is where the true meaning of life is secretly tucked away: in the quiet moments we share with loved ones and the world around us.  When we slow down long enough to really taste the tea, to feel the wind in our hair and the water buoy us up.  Some might say that this is the space where God lives.  I don’t know about that, but I know that it’s a place where I aspire to live.

“I watch the sun as it comes up, I watch it as it sets.  Yeah, this is as good as it gets”

It sure is.


Tips for Surviving a Maritime Winter

Since we are smack in the middle of what could potentially be a week of epic Snowmageddon proportions, I thought this would be a good time to give you some of my tips for surviving a Maritime winter:

1.  Always Be Prepared (for any possible weather event)

Joel coming in after snowblowing the driveway for the third time in two days.

Since winter weather ranges anywhere from +15 C and pouring rain to -25 C and white-out blizzard conditions, sometimes within mere hours of each other, you gotta be prepared.  Some days this means having handy: your umbrella (usually useless), rubber boots as well as snow boots, up to 5 layers of clothing (layers are your friend) including the puffiest of down coats and in the rare case that you might catch some sub-zero rays, your sunnies.

2.  Get Yourself a Snowblower

Seriously, people.  I know they are expensive, but how much is your life worth to you?  My husband and I spent one winter trying to shovel out our driveway before we said F-This and bit the bullet.  Best money we ever spent.

The kitties are trying to decide if making their escape is worth it. It was not.

3.  Good Snow Tires/4×4

Another must if you’re going to drive around in this haily/slushy/icy frozen tundra we call winter.

Massive dunes between our house and the neighbour’s.

4.  Put on Your Comfy Cozies

Comfy cozies are my staple at-home winter wear items: warm sweaters, plush socks, flannel pants – all hideous as hell – but comfy as shit.  Which leads me to my next tip…

5.  Sign Up for a Streaming Service

It storms a lot here so you’re going to be spending a good deal of time indoors in your comfy cozies.  You’re gonna need some stuff to do.  Binge watching 5 seasons of The Good Wife is a damn good way to pass the time.  Which leads right into my next tip…

6.  Stock Up on Snowmagedden Supplies

Sure, this means making sure you’ve got lots of batteries and candles and emergency shit like that, but it also means #StormChips.  Yes, this is now a thing.  Maritimers love their potato chips and when there is a storm coming, you better get to the grocery store quick or your favorite flavour will be gone!  Also, don’t forget your booze!  There is nothing quite so nice as a hot toddy on a stormy winter night.

7.  Make Your Escape

Many Maritimers will tell you that this last tip is absolutely vital to their winter survival strategy…by simply escaping it, at least for a little while.  Cuba, Dominican, Florida and Mexico are all favorite hangouts for winter-weary Maritimers. In January, February and March, we migrate like those pesky geese we Canadians are famous for to drink (alot), soak up the rays and try to tan our pasty hides.  After a blissful week (2 if you’re really lucky), we trudge reluctantly back to our frozen homeland only to discover 3 ft of snow in our driveway.  Welcome home.

Our most recent trip down south.