Remembering Nana

We are saying goodbye to a great woman this week, my grandmother and Rebecca and Abby’s great grandmother, Nana Mary Elizabeth White (Beaton, Maceachen). I will always remember how kind she was to everyone around her. She loved caring for others and was still trying to serve biscuits and tea to visitors well into her nineties! She was an incredibly strong person and overcame so many adversities in her life. I can only hope to carry on her spirit, work ethic and traditions in my own life. We love you Nana.

Here is the writeup from her obituary:

It is with heavy hearts that we the family of Mary Elizabeth, 94, of South West Mabou announce her passing on July 3, 2015, at the Inverary Manor in Inverness. Born May 13, 1921, she was the daughter of Mary (MacDonald) and Duncan MacEachen. She was predeceased by her parents and husbands Angus Donald Beaton (1958) and John Robert White (2007). Mary Elizabeth, was first widowed at the age of 37, continued to operate the family dairy farm for another 10 years. She then worked as a cook at the cafeteria at Mabou Consolidated School until obtaining employment as a cashier at Mabou Co-op from where she retired. Mom dedicated her time to both her family and community. She loved to volunteer and cook for various parish events. She was well known for her biscuits and rolls, delicious fudge, afghans, and of course her beautiful smile.

She was a wonderful mother, Nana and great-grandmother to all her descendants. She leaves a great legacy of family values with her example of hard work and tenacity. We already miss her.

She is survived by her family Jeanette (Albert) MacDonald, Port Hood; John (Marion) Beaton, SW Mabou; Anna Marie (John) Langley, Port Hawkesbury; M.C.(Lawrence) MacDonald, Brook Village; Stanley (Margie) Beaton, SW Mabou; Claire (Gerard) Beaton, SW Mabou; Finley (Josie) Beaton, Westville; Martha (A.J.) Rankin, Ft. McMurray; Marie Cooke, Antigonish. Grandchildren: Jacqueline (Jeffery), David (Colleen), Lisa (Anthony), Denise (Adam), Stephanie (John), Shauna (Marc), Iaian (Susan), Gordon (Sherry), Elizabeth (Bob), David (Sheena), Laurena (Nick), Catriona (Kevin), Mairead (Travis), Christina (Brennan), Eilidh (Stephen), Brennan (Sandra), Andrew (Lindsay), Kyle (Krista), Erin, Jennifer (Steve), Michael, Allen, Natasha (Andrew), Brianna (Tom), Amanda and Amy(Chris). Great-grandchildren: Dylan, Mykaela, Alexander, Michael, Maggie, Emily, Rachael, Maddie, Raylene, Ella, Ciaran, Olivia, Katherine, Sophie, Alistair, Brien, Sarah, John E., Colin, William, Marcy, Norah, Rebecca, Abigail, Calum, Danny, Finley, Ryder, Jack, Charli, Nolan, Keaton, Kelsey, Duncan, Brody, Bradly, Emma, Dylan, Morgan, Jesse and many nieces and nephews who were an important part of her life.

She was also predeceased by brothers Hughie Duncan, Dannie and Alex Angus; sisters Agnes, Sarah Cassie, Mary Anne, Bessie, and her special sister and friend Elizabeth, and by her great-grandchild Jacob.

Her remains will rest in St. Mary’s Funeral Home, Mabou, Wednesday July 8th from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. with funeral to be held on Thursday July 9th 2015 at 11 a.m. in St. Mary’s Church, Mabou, with Father Angus Morris, P.P. officiating. Burial in the parish cemetery. Family flowers only. Memorial donations in Mary Elizabeth’s memory may be made to the Inverary Manor, Inverness Palliative Care, Mabou Parish Cemetery or other charity of your choice. Funeral under direction of Dennis Haverstock Funeral Home, Port Hawkesbury.
(Dia thoir fois dha h-anam.)

Remembering Nana

Remembering Nana

Paddling in Mabou

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This past weekend, we had the opportunity to head to Cape Breton for some visiting and a few outdoor adventures with the girls.   One of them was a day of paddling on the Mabou River.  The day was overcast with a slight wind, but there was just enough wind to take the bugs away.

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The river follows grassy marshes which we found were full of nesting geese.  As we passed through the area, lots of noise from the geese followed as the males tried to lead us away from the area.

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We also were able to paddle underneath a large eagle's nest in one of the trees overlooking the river.

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Our turnaround point was this rail bridge on the Transcanada Trail in Hillsborough.

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We stopped for lunch and the girls were happy to skip rocks on the water in a heavy competition with their parents for the 'cross the river' title.  

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There are a few overhanging trees along the river.  The beavers have been working away on this tree for a while now.

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We passed by a little island where we saw a nesting goose trying to stay hidden in the grass.  We spoke with some locals who said she's been sitting here for three weeks, through floods and other weather.  The next day, we saw that she had moved off the nest and the eggs were hatched!

After leaving the river, the girls asked to go to West Mabou Beach to pick sea glass.  It was 19 C, but a little bit of wind to keep it still a bit cool at the beach.  

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I brought my kayak down for some self rescue practice in the ocean water.  I had only practiced in a warm pool over the wintertime during my kayaking course, but today had a chance to do it with some supervison from the beach.  With a wetsuit on, I worked on 'randomly' tipping my kayak and then practiced a re-entry using a paddle float.  

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It was a slight shock hitting the cold water even with a wet suit.  It was good to find out how the cold played a bit of a factor in my ability to get things started to get back into my kayak.  But, it was successful after slowing down a bit and taking time to blow up my paddle float properly (see below).

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Tricky, but a successful attempt nonetheless!  It didn't take long to warm up again while paddling around the beach area. 

Saint John Kids Fun Run — at the airport!

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A month and a half ago, Rebecca came home from school and said to us that she wanted to do a race at the airport.   We looked at her strangely at first, but then she went on to describe how her gym teacher had been talking about running and explained of a kids 'fun' run at the Saint John Airport on the runway.  She talked about doing the run since that time and Sheena and her signed up.  Sheena was to do the 5 K.  Both had done some preparatory running leading up to the big day.

So, then came May 2nd, the day of the run.  Unfortunately, Sheena had picked up the flu a couple of days earlier and was stuck at home.  But the other runner and cheering section headed into Saint John for the afternoon run.  When we arrived, Rebecca told the registration staff that it was her first run.  She was shaking in excitement when she received her race pinney, to the point where I thought she was cold!  I asked her, she just repeated, 'Dad, I'm just really excited!'

 

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After a little coaching on where to run, all were off down the runway.  The turn around was at a fire truck near the end of the runway 750 metres away.  

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You can see Rebecca there in the purple pants after turning around. 

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Rebecca was so happy to finish her first race.  She put her hands up in the air, gave us (cheering section) a thumbs up.

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A big smile walking back to the hanger where we were waiting for all of the runners.

DBM_9002Proudly showing off her medal with Abby!

Easter weekend

The girls have been busy in the warm days leading up to Easter weekend. Sheena took them to a frozen waterfall for a hike and some fun play near the icefall. Knocking the icicles off was the big challenge for the day.

We were also in Shediac enjoying views of the ice in the bay amid 12 degree and sunny weather.

The girls also started decorating Easter eggs. They were excited to paint them and couldn’t wait for the base to dry beforehand! The big hit for dessert was the ‘dirt cake’ made by Nana. A shovel full would bring you a delight made of vanilla pudding, cream cheese, cool whip, chocolate crumbs and gummy worms!

Easter weekend

Easter weekend

Easter weekend

Easter weekend

Easter weekend

Winter sets in, finally!

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With our first month of winter past us without much consistent snow, we've been hoping for some winter weather to stay so we could start our winter activities!   In the meantime, we had been taking the kids skating and swimming (indoors) as winter activities. 

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There's a couple of rinks in our area.  The rink in Norton is an outdoor rink and great for a quick skate outside as its open most of the day.  Abby has been picking up on skating very quickly.  She's gaining confidence with each time out.

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On Sundays, we've been heading to Sussex for the free skate at the Hussars arena.  The girls really appreciate the smooth ice and music to practice speed skating!
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Our second last snowstorm had some ice mixed in with it, making the trees glint nicely in the afternoon sun.   As for snow, we're certainly into it now with our first blizzard of the year.  Hopefully we'll get some quality snowshoeing in no time now.

 

Our trips as a newsprint mini-series

A couple of weeks ago, I was made aware of a news article featuring a place and adventure that we had travelled to last year on our backpacking trip to Polletts Cove. As I read on, I was excited to find that the Cape Breton Post columnist and author, Rannie Gillis was writing about our own trip from 2013 with Kris, Matt, Sheena and Karen. In a few of the earlier articles, he also has written about the history of the area. Stay tuned, one episode to go!

http://m.capebretonpost.com/?controllerName=mobileSearch&siteId=32&clearFacets=1&searchQueryString=Rannie+gillis

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