Can it be?
Along the Trail
Can it be? Nah, impossible. 2019, good gravy, is it really? It seems only a month or two ago, I stopped scratching out 2017 on my cheques and now here it is, 2019 in all its radiant glory. 2019, it’s hard to imagine. Even though not a lot of things change in Victoria County (except for the Middle River road patch), time still seems to fly by at a scary pace. My mother-in-law always said that no matter how long you live, the first twenty years are the longest. For what seemed like forever, I thought she was off her pills. Now I am at an age where I get it in spades. When you are a kid, summer drags on forever and a school year took about a light year to pass. Now? Zoom, summer is gone in a flash of mulch and a cloud of bug spray.
I have never been a big fan of New Years, and now that I have two hearing aids, I am even less so. As a kid, my dad and I used to assemble in the backyard at midnight on New Year’s Eve and fire off the trusty twelve gauge shotgun. I would stagger around and go inside to bed. This was in the middle of North Sydney! I never did hear of any damage to either person or property. Then again, I didn’t ask a lot. Now my audiologist asks me, “Do you hunt a lot?”
“No, why,” I ask.
“Because in simple terms, it looks like maybe you blew out your ear drums firing off guns.” In those days, it never occurred to either one of us to wear protective head gear, and now I am destined to spend the rest of my life asking, “What?”what did you say?” Every helpful young person behind a service counter sounds exactly like the Swedish Chef on the Muppets. I lean in like a Blue Heron on a minnow, but it doesn’t help. Chalk one up for stupidity.
Well, that was then and this is now. What can we expect here in Victoria County, in 2019? Will the wave of tourists continue to pour into Baddeck and other destinations around the Trail? Let’s hope so, as there isn’t much else keeping the County together. I don’t think you need an MBA to realize you can’t build an economy on twelve weeks work and EI the rest of the way. It doesn’t look like Michelin is going to build a fourth plant here in rural Cape Breton any time soon. So, “hide the tips and get the stamps”, it is. CBRM is still dreaming big waiting for the super port and the revival of coal as King. Been a long time since coal was King and it is going to be even longer before it comes back. How long is never?
All in all, the status quo is pretty good here in and around the Highlands. The shell fisheries are stable, they are still cutting sticks on the Highland range, and there is sputtering talk about “added value” wood products. Let’s hope. You can only make so many cutting boards at Larche, but it seems in the dim recesses of my mind, I have heard this expression before.
Before you know it, spring will come again. The tarps that cover Major league baseball fields and Baddeck will be rolled back, and we will await the influx of tourists with eager anticipation. This is a pretty nice corner of Google earth to live in, so enjoy. As they say in Newfoundland, “keep a strain on her!”