The Kingston General Store is home to many treasures. It has your basic food staples – bread, milk, tinned spaghetti, maple syrup – as well as dog food, fish bait, antique tea cups, children's toys, and fireworks. My mom and I stopped by while I was home, and I acquired a Maritime lighthouse to go with my little Christmas village. It is utterly adorable and cost a total of $5.00. Mom bought it for me, which is remarkable because one of her favourite things to talk about is how much she’s looking forward to the day I move back to North America and retrieve my boxes from the garage. Adding to the hoard is typically discouraged. Vehemently.
The Parentals and I were out for a drive last Friday afternoon, and I requested a stop at the spot where the ice fishermen like to do their thing. There were a few batches of people out that day. Mom went to chat up the fishermen while I skulked around taking pictures. Just as we were approaching the huts, a little kid who was out there started shrieking, “I got one! I got one!” in tones of great excitement. He had indeed caught a little trout.
The guys my mom was talking with showed us their catch for the day and claimed that they weren’t cold. I slid around with my camera and tried to capture the characteristic angle of their bodies leaning over the slushy holes they’d drilled in the ice. “Could fish all day on a day like this,” they said.
People in rural Kings County believe in barns. They like their barns big and grey, with red trim and tin roofs. They prefer barns that sag to those that stand erect and barns with paint that is faded and flaking to those with paint that is fresh. Kings County folk like to let nature take its course with their barns. As a result, the Belleisle Bay area is scattered with barns that are maintained in an exquisite state of disrepair. It is not unusual to see a beautifully-kept house standing beside a lopsided edifice that hasn’t been painted since it was built by the homeowner’s great-grandfather and, by all appearances, has survived a fire or two. Often, it is impossible to tell without close inspection whether a barn is home to horses, ski-doos, racoons, tortured family ghosts, or more than one of the above.
There is a home of which my mom is quite fond. It is located right beside the Evandale ferry, across from the inn. Mom likes to drive by really slowly, stopping sporadically to study the chimneys or the foundation or ponder the family history. It concerns me because I don’t want to weird out the people inside. I have to admit that she has made some interesting discoveries about the history of some homes in the area, though – some are homesteads dating back to Loyalist days and have slave quarters and tunnels. This particular home has neither slave quarters nor tunnels, as far as I know. It does have a barn, however.
We passed by on our way to the ferry one day. It was a cold, cold day, the wind was blowing, and snow was sweeping off the ice and across the ferry crossing as though it were some sort of Arctic tundra. Across the road, a goat and a dog sat placidly side-by-side in the doorway of the barn, keeping watch over their quiet corner of the world.