People - January & February 2020

Meet Donna (L), Marcie (M) and Cheryl (R) ~ Friends that seem like Family

This group of ladies at the CEP Cafe seemed like a fun and friendly bunch so we struck up a casual conversation. We found out that Donna is originally from Bridgewater, Marcie from St. Margaret’s Bay, and Cheryl from out west, but all call Truro home and though they may have come from three different places, they feel like one big family now. We wanted to get to know them better so we asked Marcie, “What can you tell us about Donna that people may not know about her?” She giggled, “Well, her sense of humor for sure. She is always positive and loves to laugh.” Of course, we then had to ask Donna the same question about Marcie. Before she could answer, Marcie jumped in with a friendly jab, “Hey, make sure you are nice,” she laughed. Donna grinned, “Marcie is very easy going, very creative, and a perfectionist. All qualities that I love about her.” Before we could ask about Cheryl, Donna jumped in and said, “Cheryl and I share the same sense of humour. We laugh all the time!” Cheryl and Marcie smiled and nodded in total agreement. Somehow we fell on the topic of how people don’t seem to take the time to connect like we used to. Cheryl shared that she recently listened to a CBC story where they were discussing how the art of the handwritten letter has practically disappeared. As if it was rehearsed, we all had the same thought. We don’t remember who, but one of us said out loud, “Yeah, to get something in the mail that is not a bill – what a treat!” and we all laughed again. Our time together reminded us of this quote: “Some people make you laugh a little louder, your smile a little brighter, and your life a little better.” – Unknown. We’re thankful we were able to have a few wonderful moments of connection with this remarkable team. For that, our lives are a little Louder, Brighter, and Better!

Meet Raven (L) and Becky (R) ~ A Dynamic Duo

“Hello, you ladies look quite cozy sitting there,” we remarked to the two dynamic looking women huddled up and chatting at a quiet table. We sat with Raven and Becky and spoke casually about many things. Then we asked, “If you could say one thing to the mayor of Truro, what would it be?” Becky piped up, “I would definitely want to say that every time I drive down Prince St, summer OR winter, the activities going on in the Square are great – I always say to my husband that ‘Truro did this right’.” Raven added, “Yeah and I live right across from it so me and my boyfriend can literally put on our skates and stay for 20 minutes or 2 hours…it’s perfect and it’s free for everybody.” The conversation continued with us thoroughly enjoying ourselves. Then Raven dropped a bomb. We asked them if they were both from the Truro area. Raven pointed to Becky’s stomach and said with a laugh, “Well I’m from her womb so I guess I grew up right in there.” Wow, we had no idea our new friends were actually mother and daughter! We prompted them to share their thoughts about each other. Becky spoke of her daughter with emotion and admiration. “Raven came out an old soul,” she began, “it’s always been who she is and she’s not only my kid, she’s a very capable young woman.” Becky further described Raven as a smart, caring person who cannot lie. “No seriously, she can’t!” Raven laughed with her mom and said, “I think it’s my reverse superpower!” Raven also shared her thoughts, “My mom is very supportive and definitely a people person. She's always willing try something new and learn new things. What you see is what you get. She’s very open.” We walked away knowing that these two women adore one another – they encourage and challenge, support and trust, and most of all, respect and love the other absolutely without question or doubt. We can’t wait to bump into you ladies again and continue our conversation where it left off. Cheers to new friends.

Meet Joann (and Hunter) ~ A Delightful Lady who Enjoys Motorcycle Rides

Heading out to do a few errands the other day, the mid-morning sun was shining, the air was crisp, and downtown Inglis Place was buzzing. We were just leaving the bank when we bumped into a lady with her dog. It was his striking, ice-blue eyes that first caught our attention followed by his gentle disposition. "Your dog is just beautiful and those eyes...wow!" we remarked. "Thank you, his name is Hunter and he’s 12 years old,” she replied cheerfully. We soon learned that Joann is originally from Isle Madame, Cape Breton, but has been living in Truro with her family for 18 years and just loves it. "There is always so much to see and do and a lot of things cost little to no money to enjoy. We especially love Victoria Park,” she said, looking down at Hunter. She added, "I just came from Prince Street where I saw a lady skating on the outdoor rink all alone. It was just a beautiful sight to see on such a beautiful day." We agreed and asked if she also enjoyed skating. Joann giggled, "Well, I used to skate...and I really like it but I can't seem to find my skates...maybe next year!” We wondered if she has any adventures planned for this summer. With a happy grin she said, "Well, my husband has a motorcycle and we love to go riding." Her enthusiasm showed how much she enjoys it. "And do you have a favourite spot you like to go?" "Yes, my husband has a family member in Inverness, so we go up there with the bike to visit him at least once over the summer. The other spot we go is Lunenburg. We park the bike down by the Bluenose and walk around the waterfront and browse the shops." As she spoke, we imagined the feeling of driving down the open road, warm summer breeze, and relaxing by the ocean. She continued, "You know what else I love? Fridge magnets! I try to pick one up at each place we visit as a souvenir. Plus, they’re tiny so it doesn't take up too much room on the bike to bring home which my husband loves,” she chuckled. It was a pleasure chatting with you, Joann. Your cheerful and friendly disposition is great to be around. We wish you many amazing motorcycle road trips over summer and a fridge full of new magnets. Keep the rubber on the road!

Meet Lindsay – Live and Let Live

As soon as we walked in, we were greeted by the aroma of freshly brewed coffee, the sights and sounds of an open kitchen, and 80’s music playing over the speakers. A friendly gal behind the counter said, “Go ahead and find a seat I’ll be right with you.” And that’s how we met Lindsay. After she poured us a huge, HUGE mug of coffee, we got to chatting and found out that Lindsay was born and raised in Truro, has a 13 year old daughter, and is a cancer survivor. “Where did you draw your inspiration from?” we asked. “My dad…he passed from cancer and I felt like I had to fight for him and for my daughter.” We noticed a vibrant tattoo on her upper arm and inquired on the meaning behind it. Rubbing her arm softly she recalled, “My best friend was a musician, he passed now, but he had written a lullaby for my daughter when she was born and this is it.” It was easy for us to see how much it means to her. Lindsay, a self-confessed ‘neat freak’, straightened up salt and pepper shakers while we talked. “I love good food, good people, and good coffee,” she laughed. “And I love meeting people. I think that’s why I love my job so much.” We couldn’t help but notice the music playing when we walked in the front door, so we had to ask, “Do you enjoy music?” She quickly replied, “Oh yes, I love it!” She leaned in and lowered her voice to a whisper, “You know what? After hours we play old 90’s hip hop and dance around while cleaning up!” We joined in her giggles. We felt comfortable asking Lindsay one of our quirkier questions, the one about favourite superheroes. She didn’t even have to think about her answer. “Batman! Because he’s just a man in a suit who knows how to do things.” She also loves mysteries which all started with watching Scooby-Doo cartoons. “I went to HalCon dressed up as Velma this year. I found one Shaggy who I just HAD to take my picture with,” she laughed. Well Lindsay, you certainly left an impression on us. Thanks for just being you and for sharing your time. Your free-spirited, ‘live and let live’ attitude reminds us to seize each moment, take chances, cherish memories, and live with a grateful heart.

Meet Joe (aka “Tigger”) ~ A community team player!

There is so much we could say about our chat with Joe. He is an incredibly positive, energetic, kind, and friendly fellow. We were invited to his home to have a more in-depth conversation which we happily accepted. After parking the car, we looked up and saw Joe waving at us through the living room window with enthusiasm. He threw open the door and cheerfully said, “Welcome! Come on in.” The house was inviting and warm. His lovely wife was sitting snug in her arm chair, their dog wiggled around us, and two of their four cats sat on the couch keeping watch. “So Joe, you seem to be a very happy guy,” we remarked, “tell us a little about yourself.” Joe grew up in Truro, started ball hockey here many years ago, and was a goalie for several games at Deuville’s Rink. He also worked at the old Truro Hospital from 2006 until it closed and then spent four years at the new hospital. He shared a few cherished stories and said how much he had enjoyed his job. “I just loved it! I loved being part of a team. My co-workers would tease me because I was always so full of energy - even at the beginning of the night shift. ‘LET’S GO! was my favourite saying,” he told us with a loud chuckle. Being a team player all his life, Joe now enjoys being part of the Town of Truro’s Diversity Committee to address Racism - he’s also joined the Town’s upcoming Accessibility Committee. “We are all neighbours. I love to work with the community to be able to change the community – it is huge,” he exclaimed. Joe is co-founder of the Mobility Ryders and is wholeheartedly committed to the grassroots project. “I have a passion for fixing scooters. I fix them when my body allows me to. I would love to have a shed in my backyard where I could store and fix older scooters,” he explained, “and to have a young person volunteer to help me - that would be great. I could accomplish so much more!” It was very easy to see how much Joe enjoys his life, his passions, and his community. We left his home feeling inspired and grateful for meeting a new friend. Ride on Tigger!

A Micro-Moment – “New Beginnings”

We first met this kind gentleman a little over a month ago while out and about in downtown Truro. During one of our first conversations, we discovered that he was new to the area and that he was taking steps to improve his life and relationships. As a result, he was excited to share with us that he had recently registered for the Adult Learning Program offered at the NSCC Truro Campus. We bumped into him again recently and our conversation continued where it had left off. With a huge grin he opened his arms for hugs. “Hi, it is so nice to see you ladies again!” We embraced our friend for a moment and said, “It is great to see you too!” We all made our way over to a comfy couch and chatted. “So, how is the Adult Learning Program going?” we asked curiously. With a heart-warming smile he told us, “For the first time in my life, I opened and read my own mail last week.” We applauded him, saying, “That is a huge accomplishment…wow!” He added, “You know...we cannot change people, we can only change ourselves…and I am trying to change myself for the better.” He went on to say that he is beginning to settle into his new community and that he is hoping to find meaningful companionship. “Life is all about relationships. It’s about getting along. It’s about connecting with someone.” He continued, “Life is short, love is long.” We couldn’t agree more. We believe it is quite fitting to leave you with these words by Helen Keller, “The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart.” Isn’t that what life is truly all about?

Meet Jessie ~ Friends and Neighbours!

Meet Jessie ~ Friends and Neighbours! Jessie is probably the most cheerful ‘work neighbour’ we’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing. Considering how much we embrace the idea of talking to your neighbours, we thought it high time we sit with this splendid person we’re also glad to call our friend. We began our chat with a simple question we thought she would enjoy answering, “What was your favourite toy growing up?” She poked the air with her finger, “What were those tiny dolls called? Polly Pockets!” she exclaimed. “Used to have a Sobeys bag full and I’d take it everywhere with me.” She looked so delighted remembering her beloved toys, we wanted to stay in that moment so we asked, “You must have a favourite childhood memory too?” “The road I grew up on, Adam McCallum Rd in Onslow Mountain – my great aunt and uncle owned the entire side of the mountain from way, way, way back. They built on it and their 10 kids built on it…my parents, grandparents, 3 great aunts and uncles, and 6 first cousins plus all their kids, me included.” Needless to say, we were duly impressed as Jessie shared one cherished memory after another - running up and down that road, how the kids heard their great aunt call no matter where they were on the mountain, and being surrounded by family, love, and endless jars of homemade blueberry jam. “It was just us and it was amazing – the entire family was always right there – we all played together and we all got in trouble together,” she laughed. “So who, of all your family, gave you the best advice?” Jessie didn’t hesitate to answer. “My dad,” she said fondly. “He said if I spent more time thinking about the good things that could happen instead of the bad, all my stress would just disappear – and he was right, it totally changed how I looked at things.” Thank you Jessie for sharing some of your time and sweet childhood memories with us. We will leave you with this quote, “We do not remember days, we remember moments.” - Cesare Pavese

A Micro-Moment ~ The Compliment

On one of our many outings around town, we bumped into a lovely young woman with a warm smile and soft, subdued disposition. Feeling welcomed by her demeanor and, of course, being the chatty people we are, we struck up a casual conversation. After talking a bit about the weather and exchanging pleasantries about our day, we just had to comment on her eye-catching, naturally red curly hair. “Can we just say, you have the most beautiful hair ever?” With a humble grin, she gave us a simple, “Thank you.” We went on to chat about the origin of red hair, how unique it is, and why we think it is such a beautiful thing. “I always felt like I was a bit of a mutant,” she giggled. “We don’t think you should feel that way at all! Your hair is just gorgeous. You should celebrate your uniqueness,” we said with much kindness. She gave in and nodded back with a look of acceptance and grace. Every so often in life it is the little micro-moments that mean the most. We leave you with this thought: “Sometimes just a little compliment can make someone’s entire day” ~ Unknown Pass it on

Meet Brandt ~ A Love of Balance, Art, and Life

We noticed him just as we were leaving the 2nd floor of NSCC’s McCarthy Hall. He was carefully unpacking boxes that contained very unique pieces of artwork. He gently handled each one - giving every piece the respect it deserved. While taking a few moments to casually peruse some of the works already set out on display, we struck up a conversation with Brandt. “Wow, there are quite a few interesting pieces here...love the metal crow sculpture,” we said admiringly while taking a photo. “Yes, there are a lot of great artists’ works featured in this show and I love them all,” he smiled. Brandt, who grew up in Chester Basin and moved to Truro from Halifax with his husband five years ago, told us he is also one of the artists. “I believe we are all creative, just in different ways.” Brandt went on to say that his own works are more autobiographical. “Each piece I create reflects a message about life experiences, not just my own.” Since Brandt was such an easygoing person, we thought we would ask him a question that we hadn’t asked anyone before,” Do you have a favourite season?” Without hesitation he replied, “It’s always spring or fall. I love the transition between new life in the spring and the beginning of dormancy in fall. I like the extremes as life is all about balance.” We nodded in agreement. Brandt laughed and went on to say, “You long for balance when you come from a mess. My brain is chaos. I feel everything…as I’ve gotten older though, I’ve learned not to take things personally. You have to have problems and conflict - that is how you grow. You have to work it out for yourself and not let others try to do it for you.” Thanks so much Brandt for taking time away from your task for us. Your energy is inspiring, contagious, and yes indeed, very balanced. From the great artist, Degas - “Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.” They don’t call it ‘the art of conversation’ for nothing

Meet Randy ~ New Truronian Who Loves Adventure and Life

It was a bright and brisk afternoon when we decided to take a stroll to the library. As we got closer, we spotted a lone gentleman on the outdoor ice rink happily skating around in great big circles. “Hey, it looks like you are having a great time…and you have the whole rink to yourself!” we called out. With rosy cheeks and a huge smile he called back, “I AM having a great time! Hey, are you guys going to the library to rent skates?” he asked. “No, not today, maybe another day. It looks like fun though - we’ll have to try it,” we answered. And that’s how we met Randy. As he skate-walked over towards the bench to change into his boots, we kept on chatting and we learned all kinds of interesting things about him. We found out that Randy moved to Truro from Hamilton, Ontario last June. We asked him if he liked living here. “I love it!…actually I know a young couple who also love it,” he said with a hint of intrigue. Randy went on to tell us a story about how a young couple from Switzerland stayed at his Airbnb not so long ago. “They came to Nova Scotia with enough money to live for about six months. They wanted to tour around in order to find a new place to call home. And, guess what? After traveling around the whole province, they ended up picking Truro!” He also told us that just this past January, “They became Canadian citizens - imagine that?!” he said proudly. Randy said that he and his wife also enjoy traveling and recently purchased an RV and have plans to journey across Canada with it in May. “It’s going to be quite the adventure, but hard to be away from the grandkids,” he admitted, his hand over his heart, adding, “I think we will just have to fly back now and then to visit them.” That sounds like a fabulous idea, Randy. It is always great to travel, see the country, and go on new adventures, but there is nothing like coming home – Home Sweet Truro Home!

Meet Sue ~ Carol’s work chum, crafter and more

In our recent story, “Meet Carol” (posted Feb 4th), we mentioned her work chum, Sue. Here is her story… Sue, a bright and engaging “crafter,” originally comes from Yarmouth, but has been living in Truro now for the past 36 years. After we introduced ourselves to her she told us that she was born into a very creative family. “I’ve done everything from Ukrainian Easter eggs to painting to textiles (especially quilts, even a few ‘ugly’ ones..lol) – but sewing seems to be where I’ve landed.” Sue believes that you should never limit yourself and always be trying new things. “Actually,” she revealed, “I just finished a 20-year stint with 4H Nova Scotia as president of the provincial organization and I’m looking for a new volunteer opportunity.” We wondered if she had any hobbies, so we asked, “Do you enjoying reading? Perhaps you have a favourite book?” Sue says she doesn’t really have one and is more of a “book-a-day” type person, preferring to read the whole thing in one sitting. Lately though, she says she simply hasn’t had the time because her interests mostly steer her towards crafting. “There’s just always something else I want to do – and it’s hard to do it all”. Since she enjoys reading, we asked her what she thought of the library. “Our library is a beautiful, beautiful addition to the downtown,” she exclaimed, “It’s such a hub for the community.” Carol, who was standing right next to her, nodded in agreement. We’re so happy to have met this pair of brilliantly creative and sweet friends. Thank you both for chatting with us that day and sharing your lives with us. We know very well how fun a work day can be when you get to share it with someone who isn’t just a co-worker, but who is also a truly good friend. Here is to good friends, great conversations, and always being willing to try new things – you just never know what you may discover.

Meet Carol – An Artist with a Passion for Wild Medicinal Plants

Growing up a ‘military kid’ meant a lot of moving around for Carol and her parents, but she and her family eventually landed in Truro – she actually spent her grade 5 at the Little One Room Schoolhouse the final year it was operating. She finished her education in Tatamagouche, but ended up back in Truro again and seems in love with her life here. One of our favourite questions to ask people is “do you have any hobbies?” After a moment of hesitation she replied, “I have an illness…and it’s called art!” We then learned that Carol creates woven metal jewellery. “I love challenges. And I can’t do anything more than once. I make jewellery, but I have a hard time making earrings because I have to make two the same,” she laughed. Carol also shared with us that she loves doing photo shoots with her daughter. “My daughter is a cosplayer which means that she loves dressing up as characters from movies, books and video games. I get to use my past skills as a photo editor to create fantasy backgrounds for her.” It was easy to see how much that time means to her. After chatting a bit more, we learned about another hobby she is passionate about – wild medicinal plants. Her work chum, Sue, whom we also interviewed, jokingly said, “No one is allowed to ever mow her lawn!” Carol laughed and added, “I move weeds INTO my garden. My husband is not allowed to mow until I’ve gone through the weeds to see what’s there. Sometimes I am tempted to put up caution tape around a plant and let him mow around it,” she chuckled. “I believe that if you’re in an area long enough, you’re going to find what your body needs…and it’s going to be provided for you.” What a gentle, harmonious, and peaceful way to look at this world. We feel the same way Carol, especially about people just like you and your good work chum, Sue. Here is to an early Spring so you can get out there to enjoy your lawn and life to the fullest!

Meet Trevor ~ Strong Spirit and Dedication to The Past

Meet Trevor ~ Strong Spirit and Dedication to The Past It may have been freezing cold outside, but it was beautifully warm inside the gym for the 13th Annual Mawio’mi this past Wednesday. And while volunteering at the event, we met Trevor. “Hey, why don’t you guys come sit over here and join me for lunch?” he asked with a huge welcoming smile and vibrant energy. We took a moment to scoop out a hot bowl of chili from the buffet laid out for the dancers, drummers, Elders, vendors, and volunteers then headed over to join him. As soon as we sat down Trevor introduced himself and the conversation started flowing. We learned that Trevor grew up in Eskasoni First Nation, Cape Breton, which is not only the largest Mi’Kmaq community in the world, but also the largest Mi’Kmaq speaking community with close ties to traditional culture and beliefs. “Growing up I only spoke Mi’Kmaq until I went to school. It was there I learned to speak English.” He added that in the future, he has plans to learn French and Gaelic as well. Trevor, who has been working for the Department of Justice for the past 13 years, told us that he very much enjoys his current role as Indigenous Liaison Officer. “I love to help people. I am actually on my way to the Southwestern Shore area tomorrow where I was invited to attend a Circle. I am also going to be part of a committee regarding the inclusion of Native law into our current justice system,” he said proudly. It was easy to see that he holds his culture close to his heart and enjoys sharing it with others. Thank you Trevor, for taking the time to share your story with us. Your spirit and energy was contagious! We will leave you with this quote by Rudyard Kipling: “If history was taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” We couldn't agree more

Meet Ed ~ Big Guy with an Even Bigger Heart

Meet Ed ~ Big Guy with an Even Bigger Heart Security at NSCC Truro by day, part-time kickboxing coach by night, husband, proud step-dad, and lover of all things nature…especially his dog – that’s Ed. We ran into this burly, yet soft-hearted fellow during one of our visits to the NSCC campus. Trenton-born and still a resident there, we asked him what inspires him (beside the paycheque of course!) to dutifully commute to Truro those early, weekday mornings. He impressed us by saying it was meeting people with all different backgrounds, beliefs, and lifestyles. “Like, when I eat at the NSCC cafeteria, I’ve learned about Muslim and Hindu cultures, things you don’t read from a book, and you get to hear them first hand…it’s quite interesting.” Ed also revealed his powerful passion for nature and its connection to the inner self. “I love nature, big fan of nature – I have a dog and I spend a lot of time in the woods with him.” He firmly believes that, “Spirit, mind, and body go together and they have to be in a straight line otherwise your life may get skewed.” Sparing a few, final moments for us, Ed showed us HIS true nature by adding how important it is he do his best to make sure the people he interacts with, from his family to complete strangers, feel safe, protected, and most of all, accepted. He humbly said, “All it takes is a few kind words and you can make a huge impact on someone’s life.” Well Ed, we can easily say you and your great big heart certainly had an impact on us!

Meet Jennifer – She Loves Her Family and Music

Meet Jennifer – She Loves Her Family and Music Well this seems to happen a lot – we pop into a place looking for someone in particular and end up having a fabulous conversation with someone else entirely. After introducing ourselves and being advised the person we were looking for was out, we fell into a chat with Jennifer instead. Her open and friendly manner gave us plenty of space to ask all kinds of questions starting with, “So where do you hail from?” “I was in foster care over in Canning and was adopted at age three – I grew up in Truro and lived here ever since.” Jennifer burst into laughter when next we asked what motivated her every day. “Getting out of the house for a break!” She went on to explain that she has a rather full house at the moment and as much as she loves her family, it’s good mental practice to find some much-needed alone time. Since she’s a long-time Truro resident, we thought she was the perfect person to ask if she noticed her town changing over the years. “There have been a lot of new developments going up. It’s really nice to see,” she replied. “And what do you like to do for fun in the Hubtown?” we asked curiously. With a slight laugh she said, “Well, I don’t really have any hobbies, but I do love listening to music.” She was overjoyed telling us, “The Marigold Cultural Centre had T. Thomason playing there a couple weeks ago and I surprised my son with tickets – he was over the moon, it was great! Since then, I’ve been listening to a lot of his music and I really enjoy it.” How wonderful of you to spend some of your day chatting with us Jennifer. As we parted ways, our conversation reminded us of this beautiful quote by Marvin J. Ashton: “Home should be an anchor, a port in a storm, a refuge, a happy place in which to dwell, a place where we are loved and where we can love.”

Meet Melissa - A People Lover Who Now Calls Truro Home

Meet Melissa - A People Lover Who Now Calls Truro Home It was not long after finishing high school in Ajax, Ontario, that Melissa decided to follow her mom and husband and move to Nova Scotia. This married mother of two has been living in the Truro area for 18 years now and loves it! “I met my husband here, had my kids here, and I feel like this is home,” she told us. Melissa went on to say that her Dad lives in Newfoundland and her whole family really enjoys visiting him. “What is your favourite part about going there?” we asked. She giggled and replied, “Well, I think it is the fact that my Dad lives in a place where there are no neighbours close by. So my kids actually go outside and play while they are still in their pajamas and they think that is just the most amazing thing.” Melissa struck us as being a very social person. We wanted to know what inspires her to get up each day. Once again she giggled and said, “My kids! And people - I just love people. I worked at a call centre in the past and I just could not do it anymore as I missed dealing with customers face to face so much. I love retail, I love chatting with people.” We decided to give Melissa a fun question to answer. “If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?” Without pausing she replied, “Brazil to see the rainforest! But I don’t like bugs so that is a big problem,” she laughed. “I would also like to go to Greece to see the architecture, the sea, and experience the lifestyle.” Thank you for taking time to chat with us, Melissa. Your passion for people inspires us to keep getting out there and engaging in friendly and meaningful conversations. As D. Hettiarachchi said: “To change a life, you don't need to do anything grand. Sometimes all you have to do is just say hello.” Hello!

Meet Debbie ~ A Cheery Lady with a Passion for History

“Hey, do you mind if I put these down on the table?” she asked. An armload of books hit the table and that’s how the conversation began! We had just walked into the Truro library and sat down in two cozy chairs a few minutes earlier. “No, we don’t mind at all,” we replied and invited her to sit down and chat with us. We soon learned that this cheery lady in the bright red coat is named Debbie and that she has a passion for history, research, and travel. “Wow, you have quite an assortment of books there,” we remarked. “A friend asked me if I had any books on Japan,” she explained, “which I did not…but, I knew where to find them and offered to pick some up for her.” We continued to chat about all sorts for things – the weather, her dislike of spiders, and she talked about her young niece who wants to study Oceanography after high school. “Who inspires you?’ we asked. “I had tutors in school that got me interested in history…and my best subjects in school were history, reading, and geography,” she recalled fondly. Debbie also loves researching different people, places, and culture. “If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you like to go?” With wide eyes she said, “I am half Irish and half Scottish so I would like to get myself a passport and go to Ireland and Scotland someday.” It is so nice to meet someone who finds the time in this busy world to still follow their passion. I bet that is part of the reason why Debbie is so happy, cheerful, and exudes such an upbeat energy. “Travel opens your heart, broadens your mind, and fills your life with stories to tell.” ~ Paula Bendfeldt If you make it to Ireland and Scotland one day Debbie, we would love to chat with you again to hear all about it. Here is to more travel, more experiences, and new adventures!

Meet Neena - Local coffee guru

The first thing we noticed upon entering the shop was a bright young lady sitting at a table hunkered down behind her laptop - she was reading intently while sipping a cup of coffee. We recognized Neena as the shop’s owner whom we casually spoke with several times over the past few months whenever we popped in for a treat. This time we decided to approach her to have a more in-depth conversation. After re-introducing ourselves, she graciously invited us to sit. We asked how she ended up opening her own coffee shop. “I’ve always loved coffee,” she said. “I started drinking it at around age two even though I think my ‘coffee’ was really made mostly of milk and sugar.” Neena went on to tell us about her eventful journey first studying Biochemical Engineering at DAL, to switching to Environmental Science at DAL AC, then finally settling on Boulangerie & Baking Arts at NSCC where she earned Certification a little over two years ago. In November 2018, she followed her true passion and opened up her own little shop. We further learned that Neena is an only child who grew up in the Truro area. She also has a Lhasa Poodle who lives with her Mom, two Himalayan cats, and enjoys traveling with her boyfriend. “What place have you visited that you enjoyed the most?” we inquired. Her face lit up as she told us about her recent trip to Costa Rica. “I visited a coffee farm. It was very interesting to see the process from bean to roasting to cup. Everything at this farm was working in harmony – the rain forest, farm and people. It was a wonderful experience.” Thank you Neena, for spending time with us and reminding us all to follow our passion which allows us to live in harmony and happiness each day. We believe this quote by Ray Bradbury sums it up best: “Love what you do and do what you love.” Now we can sip to that!

Meet Collin – Home sweet home

It was a clear, crisp sunny afternoon when we spotted him in Civic Square. Collin was wearing a Canadian hockey toque, rosy cheeks, and a blissful smile and he was skating at the outdoor rink so effortlessly it was captivating. We watched him from rink-side for several minutes before he decided to step off the ice. Coincidentally, his boots were under our bench! This was our chance to strike up a conversation with him. He made his way to where we were sitting and asked politely, “Do you mind if I sit down here to change into my boots?” “No, not at all,” we replied, “in fact, we were hoping to speak with you. We were just mesmerized watching you skate. Did you used to play on a hockey team?” Collin chuckled and told us that a couple of guys from his hometown played in the pro league and one actually played on his team. “Your hometown…where is that?” we asked curiously. “My hometown is Fernie, BC.” He went on to tell us that he and his wife moved from Calgary to Truro in 2012 to look after his mother-in-law. Since he moved from one far side of the country to the other, we wanted to know how he felt about such a big change of life. “How do you like it here in Truro?” Smiling, he replied, “It was hard, a bit of a culture change, and not a lot of money going around. But, it is home now and I am used to the slower pace and I love it.” He continued, “Nova Scotia is one of the most beautiful provinces, it is just gorgeous. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.” We wouldn’t want to be anywhere else either Collin. This reminds us of one of our favourite quotes: “If you want to feel rich, just count the things you have that money can’t buy.” With all the beauty around us, simple pleasures, and new friendships, we are so much richer than we think.

Meet Rose ~ Bringing out Greatness in People

While taking a walk around the downtown area, we passed by an interesting little shop that offers Victorian salvage items, paint, flooring, and more. Naturally, we just had to go in for a look. As soon as we entered we were greeted with a warm, friendly hello from the woman standing behind the counter. After exchanging a few pleasantries, we introduced ourselves and asked for a few moments of her time - it turned out to be a wonderful conversation. We learned that Rose, who owns the shop with her husband, has an interesting past and an exciting future ahead. She is one of six children and her entrepreneurial parents inspired her to open her first business when she was only in Grade 9. “I remember reading an article in Seventeen magazine about the Top Summer jobs. One was opening a Summer Day Care which I did and ran for years from my parents’ house during high school and university,” recalled Rose fondly. “Where did you go to University?” we asked. “I attended Acadia where I received a degree in Opera Singing.” Wow! Maybe she will sing for us one day…stay tuned

Meet Bill ~ Fiddle Playing Retired Principal

While doing some Christmas shopping in one of our local downtown shops, we struck up a conversation with the store owner who, as it turns out, follows our Facebook Page. We chatted about some of the great people we’ve met and featured so far when an older gentleman strolled in. “Hey, you’ve got to talk to this guy…he has a story to tell,” the store owner exclaimed happily. And so we met Bill. With a kind smile, Bill replied, “Not sure if I got a story to tell, but I can certainly talk with you.” We suddenly realized Bill looked familiar. He thought the same and said, “I’ve met you before somewhere. I recognize that beautiful red coat.” That’s when we remembered that a couple of weeks earlier, we shared a moment while purchasing two angels to hang on an Angel Tree at the mall. Bill is a dedicated volunteer with the Colchester East-Hants Hospice Society - a perfect fit because he exudes plenty of warmth, compassion, and kindness. After talking for another 20 minutes or so, we learned that Bill is a retired local principal. “I was Principal at the Willow Street School for 9 years…Douglas Street for 17 years…and Victoria School for 1 year,” he said. “So, what do you like to do for fun?” we asked. Bill told us, “I play the fiddle.” He explained that it all started when he was the Principal at the Douglas Street School where a lady from Halifax would come to the school to teach fiddle to some of the students. It was at that time he decided he wanted to learn to play as well. “I now play the fiddle with the Scottish Caledonian Fiddle Orchestra…and we even have a CD,” he said proudly. Thank you Bill for reminding us that you are never too old to learn something new, follow your passion or to help others. Live each day to the fullest my friend – Fiddle on!

Meet François – Tennis Pro from Quebec making the Cougar Dome his Home

While out and about Town, we’ve driven passed the Cougar Dome many times. On this day, we decided it was time to stop in for a tour and introduce ourselves. Just past the front desk upon entering, we spotted a gentleman in his office working away. “Hi, it’s the first time we come in here and we would love to go for a tour. Can you help us?” He quickly got up from his desk and walked towards us. “Sure, follow me” he said with a smile in a beautiful French accent. We were quickly whisked off through the huge revolving doors with a sense of wonder as to what we would find on the other side. Once on the other side, the first word out of our mouths was, “Wow!” as we looked around in amazement at the hugeness of the space. “We have several indoor tennis courts, indoor turf for indoor soccer and we also have the walking/running track that runs along the outside edge of the playing surfaces”, It was during the next 20 minutes of conversation that we learned that François, who is originally from Trois-Rivières, Quebec, move to Nova Scotia with his wife (who is originally from Nova Scotia) three years ago. He worked with the Tennis Federation of Quebec for 35 years and now manages and instructs tennis at the Dome. “How do you like Truro?” we asked. “I love it here….I just wish more people knew what we have to offer.” It was clear to see that François just wants to share his passion for tennis with Truro and area residents. Not only so that the community falls in love with it, but that he gets to fall in love with it all over again match after match. He left us with this thought, “Any form of exercise is good for you…good for your mental health…good for your physical health…good for your general well-being”. We couldn’t agree more! Here is to a happy, healthy 2020 - Match on!

Meet Jessica - Hungarian Christmas Memories

It was so easy to strike up a conversation with this charming lady. She was chatting to everyone around her in the coffee shop order line up. Her beautiful smile and energy radiated positivity which she spread to everyone around her – including us. We had to speak with her. So, as we always do, we introduced ourselves and said hello. Jessica warmly replied, “Hello” and we continued to make casual conversation about the busyness of the season including the long line up ahead of us. “I don’t mind. I am actually getting treats to bring back to my staff… they so deserve it”, she said appreciatively. Her accent was so beautiful, just has to ask where she was from. “I am originally from Hungary…Budapest actually. My husband and I moved here from Toronto 18 years ago and never looked back. We love it here…it’s very friendly and less busy – except for at Christmas time”, she laughed. Before wishing her a Merry Christmas and parting ways, we had to ask one more question, “What is one of your fondest Hungarian Christmas memories?’ Her eyes lit up as she told us about a very special Christmas candy called Szaloncukor which is usually made of fondant, covered by chocolate and wrapped in shiny coloured foil, then hung on the Christmas tree as decoration. “My Mom would always tell us not to eat the candy off the tree until Christmas morning. “ She continued, “She actually used to mail me some here every Christmas. My favourite was the chocolate orange flavoured candy”, she said with a warm smile and a heart full of love. We thank you Jessica for sharing one of your fondest memories with us. It is a reminder to all of us to stop to reflect on happy memories, cherish family and friends, carry joy in our hearts and spread kindness all year around. Near or far…Merry Christmas everyone Comment as Hubtown Life

Meet Denise – Big personality...even bigger heart!

The first time we saw this lovely lady was at a local coffee shop. She was wearing a bold Christmas sweater, a tree “skirt” (flared red and white stripes with garland and ornaments on the fringe!) and some Christmas reindeer antlers perched on her noggin - all topped off by one of the biggest smiles we’ve ever seen! Before we had a chance to tackle her, she picked up her coffee and headed out the door back to work. The next day, we decided to pop by her place of work to introduce ourselves. As soon as we walked in the door, she greeted us with that big beautiful smile. “We saw you yesterday at the coffee shop and your outfit was just fabulous! We just had to come by to meet you.” With a big smile Denise replied, “Oh really, there is a story behind why I wore that outfit yesterday.” She told us about a friend of hers who is going through a bit of a difficult time. “I decided to dress up like that for him…to boost his spirit and give him a laugh.” She added, “I called him and said you have to come down to my work right away I have something to show you!” Denise’s plan worked. He showed up and definitely got a laugh and a boosted spirit just as she had hoped. Thank you for sharing your big beautiful smile and heart-warming Christmas spirit with us Denise – it is contagious! The more joy you spread, the more you get back. As Denise’s shirt says, “Keep it Jolly.” Pass it on everyone!

Meet Allie, Ben and Hank ~ A walk in the Park

Last week on a snowy afternoon, we decided to take a stroll through Victoria Park. Just passed the bridge and not too far from the entrance, we noticed this quiet couple walking towards us with their Saint Bernard. “Hello, what a beautiful snowy day…and wow, what a beautiful dog you have!” we remarked enthusiastically. “Thank you,” said Ben. “We love walking Hank in the park,” added Allie. The Truro area couple went on to tell us that Hank is only a year and a half old and is very playful. “Do you ever take him to the Lorne Street Dog Park?” we asked. Ben and Allie both laughed, “No, because Hank thinks he is the size of a little puppy in his mind. He wants to play with other dogs, but he is a little bit intimidating at 170 lbs, so we prefer this park.” After parting ways, we were reminded of a valuable lesson. Do not judge a book by its cover….or in this case, a dog by its size…lol. Hank is one gentle giant with wonderful, caring guardians. Acceptance, understanding, and love - it’s what we all need

Meet Doug - Retired Town of Truro employee with a passion for old bicycles

We were sitting at a cozy restaurant table when this sweet, older fellow passed by us and said hello. After exchanging a few comments about the weather, we invited him to sit with us and chat more. We introduced ourselves, shook hands, and asked him his name. “Well hi there, my name is Doug,” he said. We found out that Doug, who grew up in Middle Musquodoboit, moved to the area and worked for the Town before retiring after 35 years of service. “I used to do a little bit of everything,” he informed us. “So what do you like to do for fun now that you are retired?” we inquired. His personality shone through as he mostly answered using sharp yet funny one-liners while barely cracking a smile. His heart was happy as he told us that for the last 42 years he has been fixing old bicycles. “I fix them and sell them. Sometimes I donate them too. I have donated several bikes to organizations where they were shipped overseas to less fortunate people to enjoy.” We asked to take his photo and he exclaimed, “Sure! Go right ahead,” and offered us what he considered a smile. He may not always show it on the outside, but Doug is sure smiling on the inside. He told us he is feeling in good health and enjoying himself. That sounds like a great retirement plan to us Doug. Keep the wheels turning – until we meet again

Meet Serena ~ Beautiful smile, beautiful person

While sitting down in the food court enjoying an afternoon coffee, we noticed this very pleasant and methodical cleaning lady wiping tables and picking up trays. It wasn’t just the way she took pride in her work that caught our attention, it was her big beautiful smile. We had to find out who was behind it. So we picked up our coffees and made our way over to say hello. Her name is Serena and we found out that she loves her job. “I love my job because I love to talk and I love to clean. I also think I may be borderline OCD when it comes to cleaning,” she laughed. “But I love it.” She went on to tell us that she is originally from Ottawa but now lives in Truro with her boyfriend and loves it. Before going on our merry way, we noticed that she was wearing a cute little snowman pin on her smock. “We love your snowman pin, it is so cute,” we remarked. With a sparkle in her eye she replied, “I love snowmen because snowmen mean winter and snow angels…and it’s impossible to be unhappy while making a snow angel.” We couldn’t agree more Serena. Here is to a winter season full of fluffy light snowflakes, little snowmen and many happy snow angels.

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