Friday, July 29, 2016

Writing in Paradise by Janice Carter

We all have our favorite places to write.  For some, that place is a corner desk or a third floor refuge from kids and pets.  Some even like to write in coffee shops, though that doesn't work for me.  Too many distractions for an inveterate people-watcher.  Even thinking about it conjures a vision of streams of interesting, sometimes fascinating, people.  See?  I'm already off track.
      My favorite place to write is from paradise.  Otherwise known as Garden Island, it was dubbed 'paradise' years ago by one of its owners and the nickname has stuck.  Garden Island is a small (65 acres) island at the juncture of Lake Ontario and the St.Lawrence River near Kingston Ontario.  It's been privately owned by the same family for almost 200 years.  As a grandchild of recent (1920s) immigrants to Canada, I find that awesome.
       The family once had a ship building empire and Garden Island is where sailing ships and steam ships were built by scores of men who worked and lived on the island.  These 65 acres once contained a village of 750 people, complete with schoolhouse, post office, general store and even a library.  A long lane running from the 'foot' to the 'head' of the island was the main thoroughfare for all those people, their work horses, carts, carriages and sleighs in winter.
       We still use that long lane, only now wheelbarrow and bicycles are the norm.  For there are no motorized vehicles here in paradise, other than lawn mowers and tractors.  The ship building empire gave way to modern times and gradually closed shop.  Villagers left to live and work elsewhere.  The island reverted to its original owner - Mother Nature- and swaths of vegetation filled in the old work places, hiding relics to be discovered by treasure hunters ever since.
          We don't own our small plot of paradise, but luckily have a more or less lifetime lease and have raised our daughters in the same cottage for the past 30 years.  Since our retirement, my husband and I have been able to live here on and off for six months of the year.  We have laying hens and a dozen Guinea hens that forage at will because, for the first time in many summers, there are no foxes on the island.  A herd of about 8 white-tailed deer and a large variety of birds and water fowl, plus more  chipmunks than one could ever wish for, and a LOT of garter snakes, round up the non-human
creatures here.  I have overlooked the insect world, unfamiliar as it is to me, but there are spiders -too many varieties to consider!- and bees.
        Yep.  Honey bees living in six hives in the meadow, tended by my husband, the island beekeeper, who treats everyone to organic honey every season.
         The 20 or so buildings on the island are, for the most part, remnants of that former ship building village and now house families that have been vacationing here for multi-generations.  The old post office is a museum and the huge sail loft where sails for tall ships were once stitched is the venue for our annual Thanksgiving potluck and other Garden Island events.  For parents, children, grandchildren and island guests love to get together to celebrate and any special event will do.
         This love of gathering makes the island a very heartwarming place.  And whether it is an exceptional sunset or a sparkling summer day, I am always inspired by our small chunk of paradise.

     

16 comments:

  1. That definitely sounds like a paradise! I would love writing there! I've thought about having guineas for their voracious tick appetite :). We have chickens and unfortunately, lately, a fox too...

    BTW, welcome to Heartwarming as one of our newest authors, Janice! So wonderful to have you join us.

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  2. Janice, this sounds amazing! So jealous that you get to live in "paradise." I can only imagine how inspiring it is to write in a place like this. I'd love to see some photos one of these days.

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  3. For sure, when I figure out that next step! Thanks Carol.

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  4. Thanks very much, Rula. I've been 'warmly' welcomed by all. Enjoy the chickens. They are fun, aren't they? And the eggs.....mmmmm.

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  5. Oh, it sounds wonderful! I hope you share pictures with us one day. Your descriptions remind me of the Aran Islands in Ireland--which I didn't want to leave.

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  6. Sounds beautiful! A lot nicer than my kitchen table - LOL :)

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  7. Welcome to the Heartwarming group, Janice! As another Ontarian, I can relate you your slice of paradise.

    As for pets, I never seek to escape them when I write. Harley and Logan are my critique team!

    :-)

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    1. It does sound like paradise. Lovely.

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    2. It does sound like paradise. Lovely.

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  8. You had me envious until you got to spiders---that tells me it's not the spot for me. But then you want this wonderful place all to yourself to write in peace and quiet. Welcome to the group.

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  9. Welcome, Janice! And I would love to write on Paradise! But i do enjoy where I'm writing now--my screened in deck.

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  10. For now, I'll have to be jealous of your garden paradise and gaze at my wilting flowers

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  11. Yes, we manage to overlook the inconveniences of this island. As fo the spiders...helps to have a good vacuum cleaner on hand!

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  12. Janice! Welcome! You have to know that now you'll be visited by a large contingent of your fellow Heartwarmers. It sounds like a wonderful place - like a beautiful spot with a backstory a Heartwarming author might have created.

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  13. Welcome to Heartwarming, Janice! Your slice of paradise sounds wonderful! As for the spiders, I consider them more friend than foe. Here in the Pacific Northwest, we have lots of varieties of spiders, including big wolf spiders that like to come inside, especially in the wintertime with an armload of firewood. I always try to catch them (before the cats pounce on them!) and put them back outside because they eats lots of other bugs.

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