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Wednesday, August 31, 2016

To Campobello By Boat

The boat arrived at 10:35am bringing 10 visitors from the mainland, whereof 6 were to play golf on our very scenic 9-hole golf course, 2 were hikers and the last 2 were bound and booked for a van tour of the entire island.
1-20160829_101026     630 hp powered ZODIAC
I got them all installed in the van and off we went directly to the golf course. The hikers were dropped off at the beach and the rest started the van tour.  When my passengers got hungry we got to the FIRESIDE Restaurant for lunch, before we continued the island tour.
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At 4pm it was time to get both the hikers and the van-tour couple to the Wells-Shober Cottage for “Tea with Eleanor” (Roosevelt) Meanwhile the golfers enjoyed an early supper or late lunch at the FIRESIDE and shortly after 5pm i had them all together again for departure at the floating dock of the Roosevelt Park. 
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Arriving at the beach we were greeted with whitecaps on the water, which brought out concerns whether the boat would be coming.
But it came, almost on time and the short video below shows the arrival.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nv4pjUKrgoE&feature=youtube_gdata_player

The last thing I saw was the boat racing across the wild waters of the Passamaquoddy Bay. I am sure that none of the visitors will ever forget the day they visited on Campobello.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Only A Year Ago I Would Have Taken Molly Along On This Walk

 
This would have been her favorite walk along the beach. She would have been riding on the rear seat of the convertible and then we would have strolled along this beautiful part of Herring Cove Beach. But now she was sleeping inside the house and I left her behind.
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It was low tide when I got to the beach and large areas of seaweeds were exposed. The beach seemed so incredibly wide.
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I climbed a rock which under a springtide often turns into a little rocky island.
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It is strange how climbing a little elevation is changing the view.
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A stiff warm westerly breeze made the pine trees above sing their sharply swishing melody.
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The dark blue of the sea seemed to go on forever. 40 miles across the sea and one would land on the south-east coast of Nova Scotia.
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Looking along Raccoon Beach, the cliffs are marked of erosion.
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Storm waves have been licking along the cliff side taking away soil and making big trees topple over.
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It is hard to find the right words for what I feel along this beach, but it is relaxation and a big calm and a great peace.

Friday, August 26, 2016

A Day Off, Yet Keeping Busy

No reservation today so I had myself a leisurely start of the day. After enjoying coffee on the porch I got myself into the brambles. 
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Yup--- blackberry brambles that is. We are having the biggest harvest of blackberries I have ever seen. They can almost be picked like grapes. 
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I have already frozen many bags of blackberries, but today was time to make jelly. After boiling the berries and separating the juice I added sugar. The sweetened juice needs now to be brought to a roiling boil, until the juice doesn’t run off a spoon anymore. In the past we have added pectin but have all but abandoned that practice
now.
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While the juice was boiling I heated water to sterilize the jars. The result of all that work was 5 jars of nice blackberry jelly.
The action was followed by some lawn mowing and some office work.
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Driftwood Art at Jocie’s Porch
Since it was Friday, we went to Jocie’s Porch for some music listening.
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Friar’s Bay is always showing a wonderful sunset, and of course, I had to take some pictures again.

The other day, while I was waiting for my passengers to return to the bus, I took a walk through the Roosevelt Park at the Visitor Center. Again they have done an excellent job with all the flowers.
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Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Hospital Express In Style

This morning, I got an email from friends out west, and the message was alarming. We had met Dave and Irene in Southern California and gotten to be friends. A couple of days ago Dave had complained about his chest feeling tight. Irene, who is a nurse,
called 911 right away and Dave got to the hospital in time where he got 2 stents. Dave got lucky and he is home again.

The story reminded me of my father’s heart encounter in 2005. But Dad was kind of picky with what kind of transportation he chose. When mom called emergency she accidentally had the number of the police. (Germany has no 911) But those guys understood an emergency when they were told one. After understanding that Dad and mom were living 12 km out on the countryside, they radioed a chopper which happened to be in the air. Well, the medical team also happened to be onboard,so they flew a little detour and landed in a field right by my parent’s house.
rettungshubschrauber
So yeah....Dad took the chopper to the hospital. Just too bad he doesn't remember all that glamour. After all, mom told us the entire neighbourhood had been watching as the celebrity was shoved into the chopper. 

Well, then next day he was sitting bolt upright in his bed and wondered just what the hell had happened. That's my Dad, folks and his story. And Bea and I happened to be in San Francisco on our way south for our first snow-birding adventure.

ju52

Dad had only flown once before in his life - when he was a soldier in an old tin can of a Junkers 52, which was called Auntie Ju. (Tante Ju)

By the way, at an age of 91 Dad is still doing fine, now in a nursing home.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

It Might Have Been Her Last long Walk Along The Lonely Beach

It was one of those days you would want to make a copy of and look at it every morning. And it didn’t really start out all that wonderful, which was the reason why I fired up the chainsaw for cutting up a stack of firewood. Even though the temperature stayed under 68F throughout the morning, I managed working up a sweat. But the air was quite dry and fresh and when the sun came out after lunch it was downright wonderful.
After me having a few quiet hours of relaxation, a quickly baked blackberry cake and a short shopping trip,  Bea got home from work. We had to try that new blackberry cake and it was very, very good. At around 3:30pm I gave in to a hankering for a walk along lower Duck-Pond Beach.
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It’s the most lonely of all beaches on Campobello and I always found it most inspiring to gaze across the water over to Maine and the shoreline of Lubec, where West-Quoddy Lighthouse marks the most eastern Point of the United States.
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Since I planned on taking Molly along, I chose the van for the short trip, as she can’t get into the Buick anymore, yes, Molly is now nearly 14 years old and we are sad to say that she is getting weak. 1-20160820_1523031-20160820_151931
Her hind legs are often giving in and she has developed a new habit with drinking copious amounts of water. We have seen the vet about it, but her urine-and blood samples haven’t shown any illness. We used to do many beach- and forest walks with Molly but have been hesitant lately due to her weak hind legs and general slow-down. Yet, I wanted to give it a try today, mainly to see how she would be doing on a longer walk. 
It may have been her last extended walk. 
It wasn’t that she didn’t follow me or that she wasn’t interested in investigating all the beach treasures, she even walked out into the water to cool off, but I noticed she was panting a lot. I had taken water from home and at the turn-around I poured some into a bowl. After a while she drank a little, but didn’t seem very thirsty at this point. So we began the return walk and it went OK until we were back at the van. As soon as she noticed the van she was eager to get in. We have a ramp for her to enter the vehicle. And once she was inside she lay down between the front seats and didn’t touch the water I offered her.
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Of course we are getting very worried about Molly. It is hard to comprehend that we have had her nearly 14 years, which is the entire time we have been in Canada, and that we have to face up to the fact that the day we have to say Good Bye to her is getting close. If she/we are lucky we might have her another year – you just never know. What I do know is that it is going to be a very, very sad time for both of us.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Canada Is Different. The Story Of 2 American Couples Being Ignorant And Lying At The Border

We have a hard time to understand American’s love affair with guns. Even harder it is to understand why so many Americans are thinking that their US-permit to “carry” is extending into a foreign country.

 

Read the story about two American couples coming across the border at St.Stephen,NB and how they learned that import of guns to Canada is illegal. And that it also meant the end of their vacations in Canada.

 

Canadian vacations end for two Texan couples who brought guns along on separate trips

SAINT JOHN, N.B. — Two Texas men who tried to bring hidden guns along on separate Canadian vacations last weekend have lost their guns, been fined and sent home.

The men, both retirees in their 50s from the Dallas area, came separately across the border with their wives at St. Stephen, N.B., federal prosecutor Peter Thorn said Wednesday.

st.stephenborder

                      Border Crossing from St.Stephen to Calais,ME

They arrived a day apart, and there is no indication they knew each other.

Thorn, who appeared for the Public Prosecution Service of Canada at a Tuesday court hearing, said he could not comment on the case. But he confirmed he told the judge that Than Jeffrey Do, 56, and his wife arrived shortly before 10 a.m. on Saturday driving a pickup truck towing a camper trailer.

The Dos, of Murphy, Tex., told a border officer they were not carrying weapons, but were pulled over for a secondary inspection, Thorn told the judge. In various storage compartments in the trailer, inspectors found a Bersa Thunder .380 handgun along with loose rounds in a Ziploc bag, a Smith and Wesson .38 Special, and a Rossi .357 Magnum. They also found a 12-gauge shotgun and pepper spray, Thorn said.

Thorn said Lloyd Norman Chaffin, 57, arrived at the border around 2 p.m. the next day with his wife, in a motorhome towing an SUV.

They also denied carrying weapons, but after some ammunition was found in the SUV during a secondary inspection, Chaffin, of Aurora, Tex., admitted there was a .40 Glock handgun in their motor home's safe.

Thorn said provincial court Judge Henrik Tonning fined Do $1,700 and Chaffin $1,000. Their guns were destroyed, and both men were told to leave the country.

The Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) said Wednesday such seizures are common.

"The majority of firearm seizures at designated land ports of entry involve the undeclared personal firearms of U.S. travellers," CBSA spokeswoman Esme Bailey said.

Last year, it seized seven guns at two crossings in St. Stephen, up from five the previous year, it said. Nationally, the CBSA seized 671 firearms last year, 313 of which were prohibited in Canada, mostly in Ontario and B.C.

The CBSA would not say whether it is more likely to do secondary searches of travellers from states with more liberal gun laws.

"It is not the practice of the CBSA to discuss its tactics or strategies, but I can say that our officers use proven indicators and advance information, innovative technological tools, information sharing and training to carry out their mandate to target high-risk goods and people," Bailey said.

In May, the agency reminded travellers to and from Alaska they had to declare firearms at the border. It noted in a press release that about half of the 297 firearms seized in Western Canada last year "were from travellers bound for or leaving Alaska."

— By Rob Roberts in Halifax

The Canadian Press

Monday, August 15, 2016

Texas Boondockers In Our Yard

They had sent an email through
“Boondockers Welcome” a few days ago, and yesterday they showed up around 3pm. I heard the Diesel coming up the hill and moments later Jim and Linda were standing on our lawn. They came up from Texas for visiting friends in Maine and experiencing Campobello Island.
1-DSC_0818Above Winnebago Journey, below our Damon Ultrasport.DSC_0102
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Their Winnebago Journey resembles our own motor home we had until 2012 and they parked it where our rig used to park.
Today Jim and Linda went to the Roosevelt Park, saw the president’s summer residence and had “Tea with Eleanor” at the elegant Hubbard Cottage. Then they drove up to the Head Harbour Lightstation and enjoyed a tour of the 1829 Tower. When they came back later Jim remarked that he was surprised to see that the buildings out there were actually built in wood, while most lighthouses in the U.S. are made in masonry. And that is also true for the West Quoddy Lighthouse one can see across the water from Campobello. They even met friends on the headland – quite the coincidence if one is so far from home. We spent both evenings together chatting about all our half-dangerous and hilarious RV-adventures up through the years. They are going to have another sightseeing day tomorrow, but might leave in the afternoon for a meet-up with another couple in Maine. Their visit puts another highlight on our membership with “Boondockers Welcome”.
1-DSC_0814August is the month with our most beautiful sunsets and we are so blessed that our property is facing west and we get all sunsets over the water. What a treat.
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Saturday, August 13, 2016

When A Wall Is Built….NEVER AGAIN!

Whenever a government wanted to either isolate its citizens from outside influences or prevent a foreign invasion, a wall was built. The Chinese built the longest wall on earth, Europe has had walls built around towns (medieval age) and even the early Wikings had walls around their villages. Castles were surrounded by walls to protect from “the pitchforks” and so were Christian Convents. In America, Forts were surrounded by palisades.

Building walls has always been seen as the most appropriate way of either confining or protecting people.
I grew up in Germany after the war. While I was a kid in West Germany the country went through the aftermath of WWII. Germany was divided  into allied zones. Americans were in the south, French had the west and the Brits had occupied the north, and the Russians held the entire east, including East Berlin. While the western allied forces were working towards an orderly release of government to German authorities, the Russians never had any plans of giving back the eastern zone. Instead they started a new country, The German Democratic Republic (DDR). It became a satellite country to the Soviet Union and was systematically robbed of its resources and put under a dictatorship of the Socialistic Unity Party (SED) It was all other but democratic. What had been the Gestapo under Hitler became now the STASI (Staatssicherheitsdienst) in the new state.
And of course, the Russian-led DDR government started to build a wall through Berlin “to protect its citizens from western capitalism propaganda and influence”.  I don’t know whether they ever realized that the wall did not prevent western news from its free flow into the east.  Instead, it was dividing families and friends and cutting off any trade across the border. It became the biggest drama and tragedy in Germany after the war. And the Russians didn’t only build a wall through the city but also set up a country-wide border line fortified with barbwire and mines, and guarded by border guards trained to kill people who did not believe in their shrewd anti-western propaganda and  attempted to cross the “Iron Curtain” into the west. Around 800 DDR-escaping citizens have been killed, some execution-style, at iron-curtain borders which led into freedom. I don’t know whether there has ever been a more tragic border in the world, but it made me the most freedom-loving person.

 
Pictures of a post-war Berlin after the city was divided by a wall.                         By Swedish Photograph  Bernard Larsson

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  “Bernauer Strasse” w. wall and closed-off windows
  Before those windows were closed people escaped the east by jumping down into the street which was West Berlin

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image-1033429-galleryV9-wche-1033429                                     Make-shift wall

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image-1033441-galleryV9-peym-1033441                     Hiding the view to “Reichstag” building

image-1033443-galleryV9-tnut-1033443                                Young boy with a toy pistol
Listening to a self-destructing bigot idiot of a U.S.- Presidential candidate talking about building a massive wall towards Mexico is making me sick to my stomach, even though I know it’s never gonna happen.
It’s just one of his crazy sick NAZI fantasies.
The mere fact that he now received an “endorsement” of the American Nazi Party, is hopefully making even his most eager supporters realize what kind of fools they have been to even consider him as their president. And if not they qualify as Nazis themselves.

Walls may have filled a purpose when wild hordes of enemies were lurking outside, ready to kill and destruct, but walls have outlived their time. Today, our world is facing global problems none of which can be solved by building walls.
No country should build a wall towards its neighbours. Instead, every effort should be made to be on friendly neighbourly terms and encourage trade and mutual exchange. Nationalism has never been a way to increase prosperity.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

What We Have Said And Talked About For Years…

If you are still wondering about where the country’s economy is heading and what can be done about it, you read the following article (click on link). The answer about the economy is not a rogue and rude President but a very sensible approach you will find in this article. WARNING: It’s very long but full of economic common-sense insight.
http://www.topinfopost.com/2014/06/30/ultra-rich-mans-letter-to-my-fellow-filthy-rich-americans-the-pitchforks-are-coming

8/9/16 or 9/8/16 A Mix-up With A Date

We are having busy days. In fact, the last 2 days have been so busy that I barely got time to eat. But yesterday was a special. I had a passenger pickup at 9:45 at a B+B and another down the road at 10:00am.
1-DSC_0806We all had a great tour around the island and I was back at the visitor center with both parties at 1:15pm, when the next party came up to the van. At the same time my phone rang. And there was a lady telling me she would expect me at the Fireside Restaurant at 3pm. Checking my watch, I knew it would be a tight fit but I promised to be there on time. After all, I could just ad the new party underway.

At 2:45 we were at the Fireside Restaurant, where I saw a tour bus parked in the shade.
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And that was the moment when I thought my heart skipped a beat or two. Was my mind playing tricks with me or what was going on? Slowly, two numbers appeared in my memory:  8/9 and 9/8 and then “3pm”.  My reservation list contained a note for a bus-guiding on September 8 with a pickup at the Fireside Restaurant. at 3pm …….or was it August 9???  When the confusion cleared, I realized what had happened. Whoever was waiting for me inside the restaurant was not a single couple but an entire bus load! I had mixed up the dates. In Canada we usually put the day before the month. The U.S. does otherwise.  OMG.. I had to find a solution and preferably right darn quick. There was only one person who could do a bus guiding right now and that would be Bea. I called the hotel where they told me she had gone home. Good heavens…she would be available. I tried to call home but the landline was still forwarded to my cell, so it didn’t work. Had to take my van party home to our house where I found Bea in the kitchen. After a short-cut explanation she was racing up the stairs to get dressed. Moments later, we were both out on the road again. Bea was heading to the Fireside while I continued my tour with my passengers. 
It sure was a tense afternoon but at the end it all worked out. When we both had returned home, Bea showed me a pile of US Dollar bills on our dining table – her tip came to 41 Bucks! Not too shabby for 2 hours of work.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Just Being Happy

Today we had the most picture-perfect day one could imagine. No fog nor haze was obstructing the view and no humidity in the air and just a few white clouds were sailing along a deep blue sky.
1-20160803_105754   View of Lubec,ME from Mulholland Point
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  A Marine Mammal Interpretation Center at Mulholland Point 
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If I would have been a painter I would have gotten out to paint this day. At around 10:40am I received a call from a couple of visitors at the Roosevelt Park Visitor Center requesting a tour of the island. RCIP visitor Centre Roosevelt Campobello International Park Visitor Centre

When I met them an hour later, they had already been through the Roosevelt Cottage and were eager to explore the rest of the island. While we were cruising along the beautiful carriage trails of the park, they told me that they had been on Campobello a few times earlier but that what ever I showed them today was new to them.
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So I got the feeling that I made their day very complete. Halfway through the tour they asked whether I would be joining them for lunch. So we went to the Golf Course Restaurant and had a great lunch there.
Herring Cove Restaurant  Herring Cove Golf Course Restaurant
While we sat around the table I used the opportunity to let them in on various details of the island’s history.
Every time I drop off people after a successful island tour I am very happy myself. 
Later I was sitting on our porch pondering about this great day and what little I really need to feel happiness. We are living in a beautiful place, we can pay our bills and have good food every day. We got great neighbours in a safe and wonderful rural community, I have my favorite job and our home has the cozy feel I grew up with; I love my dear wife…and our dog and on top of all that, we got a great summer this year. There is really nothing more I could ask for.

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