Fire : From our first year, learning about wood stoves but not fast enough to prevent a chimney fire, to the very real threat of a neighbour’s grass fire heading our way (Peter was working on the roof of another neighbour’s house and called to tell me to get the kids in the car and bring any valuables. I looked around quickly and grabbed the photo albums…), to the years of Ryan working for the volunteer fire department (hearing him rush out in the middle of the night and lying awake until we heard him drive back into the driveway).
Water : From learning the value of water as we waited with baited breath while they dug our new well, each day feeling like an eternity, or the year of the ice storm as we melted snow on the wood-stove, filled our containers at neighbours with generators and showered at the Brothers.
Earth : We learned very quickly that the number one activity of country life is digging : foundations for the porches, the shed, the deck, enlarging the garden, adding flower beds, uncovering and covering the septic tank … need I go on ?
Air : the memory of coming home after a day’s work in the city and taking a deep breath of the sweet air of St. Armand. It made all those years of commuting worthwhile.
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