May 30, 2021 · 7:50 am
Over the course of our first year following our move from the city to the country, it became apparent that I was lacking one asset: vocabulary.
For someone who loves words, who writes a weekly blog post and who aspires to become a screenwriter in retirement, who basically eats, sleeps and dreams about writing, how can that be?
The reality is that I grew up in the suburbs of Ottawa. And by suburbs, I mean outlying parts of the city, but leaning more toward the city than the country.
Up until last year, I hadn’t been fully aware of the differences, intricacies and nuances of language simply by moving from an urban to a rural postal code. As a result, the gaps in my lexicon have left my interlocutors with squints and raised eyebrows.
The first glaring problem was my inadequate ability to distinguish between conveyances.
For example, if I was ever arriving home a little late from an errand in a neighbouring village, I might say, “Sorry, I was stuck behind a slow-moving truck on the highway.” My partner realized that I used “truck” for just about any vehicle that didn’t qualify as a car, as I later used the term to also describe every type of construction vehicle that ran across our lawn when we built our garage.
Upon realizing that “truck” was pretty vague to someone born and raised in the country, I adopted the expression “agricultural vehicle” as a seemingly more accurate catch-all term for farm vehicles. At least that would distinguish the conveyance from let’s say, a pick-up truck, a dump truck or a tractor trailer hauling “stuff” (which I should also more accurately describe as goods, crops, livestock or building supplies, as appropriate). Continue reading →
Filed under home, Humour, Writing
Tagged as accuracy, accurate, adjustment, agricultural, agriculture, country, descriptive, equipment, farm, farming, language, life, nature, plants, rural, terminology, terms, vocabulary, words
October 18, 2020 · 8:19 am
One of the best parts about moving to the country has been experiencing the joy of savouring freshly picked produce.
It is interesting the way that things have flip flopped: When I lived in the city, within a small radius, I had ten grocery stores to choose from, two farms from which I could buy seasonal produce, and one farmer’s market that would set up on Saturdays. In the country, I have one excellent grocery store nearby, I am surrounded by a multitude of farmers’ stands that sell produce, and around here, any day of the week is pretty much “farmer’s market” day.
Needless to say, we took full advantage of this opportunity.
Over the course of the last four months we have enjoyed fresh tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, lettuce, green and yellow beans, peas, corn, potatoes, zucchini, broccoli, onions, garlic, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and several varieties of apples, all grown locally.
There have been other products available, but there just haven’t been enough hours in the day to try them all.
When you add to the mix a local butcher shop that also sources products from local suppliers, we have found ourselves marveling on more than one occasion at how everything on the dinner table was truly local.
I will be the first to say that I appreciate the convenience of a good supermarket that can sell you anything, anytime, especially in the middle of a Canadian winter when the ground is frozen and growing season is over. The availability of imported fruits and vegetables is certainly a delight to add colour and variety to our diets through the twelve months of the calendar year. Continue reading →
Filed under food, home
Tagged as agriculture, country, farmer, food, fresh, fruit, grocery, growing, grown, local, locally, natural, nature, produce, season, seasonal, sourced, supermarket, variety, vegetable
August 9, 2020 · 10:58 am
One of the biggest ironies about moving to the country has been the surprising shift in the way I look at weather forecasts.
Back when I lived in the city, I was not a fan of rain nor snow. The reason was pretty simple: commuting.
After our work team was relocated a few years ago, I had accepted that taking the car to this new location would always be faster and more efficient than dealing with buses or our emerging light rail system. After being a bus commuter for 35 years, I felt justified in taking that decision and in having done my part for the environment.
I occasionally questioned that wisdom when a major reconstruction project on a major artery kept adding time to my commute, but I still persisted.
But when the highway was narrowed not only from the construction itself but from vehicles breaking down in the construction zone like it was the Bermuda Triangle, my patience started to wear thin every day that lanes would be blocked, adding to the commute time.
But when you incorporate precipitation into the mix, whether rain, snow, or freezing rain, it became impossible to predict just how long it would take to get to work. Let’s just say that I restrained myself from drinking too much coffee just in case I’d be stuck in the car on the highway (between off-ramps) for lengthy periods.
Back then, whenever I looked ahead to a forecast with several successive days of rain, I would already start the week with a bit of a frown.
But now living in the country, in the Covid-19 era, where I have been working from home and haven’t had to commute in almost five months, I have had good time to recuperate from idiot drivers, construction, precipitation and stressful commutes. Continue reading →
Filed under home, Humour
Tagged as agriculture, community, country, drought, food, home, house, rain, rural, snow, water, weather, well