summer elderberries

summer elderberries

When I first went to look at the place I now call “the Nook” in July ’94, even the real estate agent had to ask a neighbour how to find this “Fisherman’s Delight”. A steep road led down through overgrown brush to a busted-up cabin with ants and mould, an old rusted car engine that had charged a battery for the radio, lights and well pump….but THE PLACE…It’s really hard to put words to the sensations you get from being wrapped in lush green seclusion while listening to rippling water of the Adolphus Reach. And then the news of an old United Empire Loyalist Cemetary just there on that hill?  WOW

In the course of the due time that has spanned these years of “restoration” (for it, or me?), I have shared this process with a crazy-quilt of many hands and heroes (and a few pirates). Writer and stonemason Charles Long captured the time as it was, in his feature on “Cottage Un-plugged” for May 2001 Cottage Life Magazine. “Can you get a shot of her in that bathtub?” he prompted photographer Laura Arsie, and she did. With every last drop of shampoo and dish soap used up to make bubbles in the cast iron tub I had found discarded on Clinton St, it took me frantically cranking an old hand mixer to keep things appropriate after a pruney hour of posing. A Toast ! to you at Unique Gas Appliances, for that first glorious propane water heater; the Safety-vent Fridge is still going strong (and that nobody has broken any mantles in my Falks propane lights lately).

But the saga of my last few weekends of guests at “The Nook” bleats like a mad goat. Jim and Tonya saw the last gasp of hot tap water, and now the gallant Dori and Rob were hoping to share a Special Birthday Weekend, and instead…well…the jury is out on the replacement water heater. I like that the folks at M Cal Heating and Plumbing (613-848-4733) have stuck with me on this despite our difficulties (ask me , or check back if you want more details…). Hopefully they will complete the installation soon, for the spiffy new tankless propane water heater.

Before it’s time to drain the water system for winter, I hope to post some videos on YouTube of some “How-To’s at The Nook Cottage” to go with my instructions manual . Sauna building? That’s for another post; possibly a workshop. It would be incredible to get my ceramic sculptor brother Ken Gangbar involved to help with that (hint hint).

For all these treasured luxury devices, I still love enamelware basins heating water on the stove – I’m not certain my cottage guests share the enthusiasm. Check out the remarkable Museums of Prince Edward County while you’re thinking about how to charge your Blackberry or make toast. Thanks “To the Brim”, and to ALL the artists and friends, (especially illustrator Carl Wiens for the poster designs; publisher Steve Campbell for printing them), who helped with our Museum fundraiser, which had auctioned enough art for the funds needed for the Rose House Museum’s “Apple and Hops” exhibit to get installed without a hitch in 2008.

to the brim

illustration by Carl Wiens