Monday Morning Musings

Posted on November 18, 2019 under Monday Morning Musings with no comments yet

Another beautiful morning in Kangiqsujuaq


I’m getting settled in but I’m not settled, if that makes any sense.

I feel at home in Kangiqsujuaq. The local people are warm and friendly. Every time I’m out walking, I get offered a ride on a four wheeler or in a truck. So far, I have turned down the rides because these are my only opportunities to go for a walk. Hopefully people will get used to seeing me pounding the pavement (or tundra!) and understand that it’s just Len out doing his thing.

I took my first stroll to the airport on the weekend. It is a short 5 minute drive from town or, in my case, a 35 minute walk. A similar walk back home to the airport in Halifax would take me six days. It’s uphill all the way but unlike our ancestors who walked uphill both ways to school, the return trip is actually downhill. “And why,” you ask, would I be walking to the airport? You’ve heard the expression “killing two birds with one stone”. The walking part is obvious and, no, I’m not planning on catching the next flight out of town. I love it here.

While I like the local grocery stores (The Coop and the Northern Store) and will patronize them regularly, there are many grocery items that many people order from down south because of the cost. You order on line and the groceries are shipped north. It can take a week or longer (!) to receive your order depending on several factors, not the least of which is the weather. I placed my order last Monday and thought that there might be a chance that it would have arrived. Not today. It didn’t matter. The morning sky was spectacular. It was worth it. I would have even cheerfully walked uphill both ways to witness the wonders of nature that the north provides.

Speaking of air cargo, I still haven’t received my personal belongings from home. They were picked up at my apartment eleven days ago and I was told that it would take time for them to arrive. A few days ago, I decided to get a status report and discovered that my five boxes, containing precious items like clean underwear, were sitting in a warehouse in Dartmouth. I was told that it would be at least another ten days before I might receive them.

One thing I realized from my Camino walk across Spain is that you can live simply out of one backpack. That is essentially what I have been doing since I got here living out of two small carryon bags. I’ll just have to be patient while waiting for my makeup kit!

When packing, I was instructed NOT to put any food items of any description in my personal belongings boxes. I had a few containers of frozen stew that I dearly wanted to take with me. I have this visual of the stew turning into a toxic brew somewhere in Burnside Park. For my new northern friends, this is a warehouse district in Dartmouth.

Winter has set in up here. I find it very invigorating as it reminds me of my childhood. It is cold, the days are sunny and the snow on the ground will stay there for several months. If you’re dressed properly, it’s all good. I have accumulated 75% of what I need. I am anxiously awaiting my new handmade parka with a fur lined hood.

In Nova Scotia, storm day for schools create endless controversy. After 68 years on this planet, I didn’t think that I would ever witness the solution to this perplexing issue. That is, until I came to the north. It’s quite simple, really. There are no storm days, even when the temperature reaches -57; even during a blizzard. True, geography plays a part in the solution in that students all live in relatively close proximity to the school and don’t have to be bussed over icy backroads like Nova Scotia. I have been told that there are only two instances when school is cancelled: a furnace breakdown at the school or a polar bear alert!

The community has a golf course adjacent to the school. It has five holes. The greens are circular and all the same size, with synthetic turf. They are running a bit slow on the stimp meter these days! For non- golfers, a stimp meter measures the speed of a green when putting a ball. My son is an avid golfer although I’m not sure he is so keen to fly north to play 5 holes on the tundra. In my ongoing discussions with him about life in the north he opined, “It might be the only golf course where essential equipment in your golf bag includes your clubs and a shotgun.”

More than one person has suggested that if I plan to stay up here for a while, that I take gun lessons and buy a rifle. They didn’t mention golf lessons!

Have a great week.


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