August 4, 2014

Home For A Year

Scallop boats in Digby Harbour, NS
photo: Tim Hewett
Sometimes you don't choose a place to visit or to live. Sometimes a place will choose you.

When we moved in to our place on Vancouver Island a decade ago, Linda walked in the front door with a heavy box in her hands. When we left in June I helped her transfer over the threshold of our patio doors into her chair before our quest could commence.

A big part of our journey was toward a more appropriate home that would be easier on both of us. It took a while, but we found it.

Similar to how we found the perfect van for our quest, we found a fully accessible home in a beautiful rural setting 5 minutes outside of Digby, Nova Scotia, a small fishing village of 2,000 in the southern part of the province.

After contacting many rentals that were not wheelchair friendly I saw the following ad on line:

For Rent: Wheelchair Accessible Seniors Duplex. 2 Bedroom, 2 Bathroom (one with roll-in shower, the other with tub).

Built in 2013, this unit has a pellet stove, in-floor heat and a heat recovery ventilation system.

Rent includes fridge, stove, washer, dryer and lawn care/snow removal.

While we aren't seniors yet, we require a similar level of accessibility.  Linda and I went to look at the unit, and were pleased to see it had everything we have been looking for. Now we have a home that suits our needs for the next year in a rural farming area.

A bonus is it comes with a wonderful, supportive community that immediately came to our aid helping us get settled in. After our landlord's whole family emptied the contents of our van into our home, he asked why we chose Digby. We feel like Digby chose us. 


  1. Anonymous8/04/2014

    I am so pleased that you found something to suit your needs. Digby sounds like perfection. Isn't it great that you were open to a big YES and the universe complied? And to find lovely, neighborly folks is a gift.

    Accessibility is something that is foremost in my mind of late. This place is good, but not optimal as time goes on. I only hope that I can find something that will work as needs change.

    Looking forward to reading about this new chapter.

    1. Miss Marla,

      It is amazing the things that happen when you just go with the flow and follow your intuition. Our new place is not perfect, but for now it will provide us with what we need as we look for the next thing, whatever that might be.

      I think we would all be better housed if accessibility was a priority for every dwelling. My temporary handicap from my back injury is making me think about what I will need in the future because aging is a handicap from which none of us will escape.

      We look forward to sharing this new chapter of our adventure in simple living. We are glad you are with us.

      Take care.

  2. This is brilliant news. I am so thrilled for the both of you. You deserve only the very best.

  3. I'm so glad you found a place to call home. It sounds like the perfect location for the two of you. What kind of winters can you expect there? I love it that you're near water. I don't know anything about NS so I look forward to reading about your new adventures there.

    1. Clamco,

      We felt like we would need about a year to get our bearings again, and this does look like a good place to do that. Locals say that snow does not usually start until January, but point out it was October last year. They assured me I would be able to use my snowshoes up here on the ridge.

      Digby Harbour is about 10km downhill from here, and the drive there has nice water views. I am hoping that I will be able to cycle in to town after I am feeling better. The ride back home will be an uphill fitness challenge.

      I see you were checking out a new beach recently - nice. Because the tides here are so huge the beaches are also very expansive. I look forward to visiting some as soon as I am able.

  4. Some things are just meant to be...we just have to make space in our busy-ness to find them.

    1. CharlotteP,

      Linda and I have always lived spontaneously. We like to go slow and follow the lead of the Universe and see where it takes us. Never have we been disappointed, or felt led astray.

      We trust that good things will happen, and they do.

  5. Great to hear you've landed and found such a place to live in. Am looking forward to hearing more - 1. as my wife is disabled and needs one level living - though not wheel chair yet, and 2. My name is Digby - so always like to hear about Digby NS - I hear the scallops are incredible.

    1. digs,

      Digby, NS was named after Sir Robert Digby. The area's original inhabitants, the Mi'kmaq, knew the area as Oositookun, meaning ear of land. What ever you call it, it is very beautiful.

      There is a tiny old-time restaurant in town that has scallop burgers served with a view of tidal flats on Annapolis Basin, a body of water off the Bay of Fundy. The view is great, and the scallop burger is amazing.

      We have never had the pleasure of enjoying an accessible home before, and we are finding it makes a huge difference in how we work together throughout the day. That combined with the scallop burgers sealed the deal.

      The best thing so far has been friendly locals. Linda and I are currently eating an apple pie baked by one of our neighbours and delivered to our door by the whole family. The last time I felt this welcomed by a community was when we moved into a housing coop 20 years ago.

    2. Anonymous8/06/2014

      Scallop burgers would have done it for me :-)

  6. Anonymous8/07/2014

    Thrilled for you both that you have found such a great place to live, especially whilst you get used to living in your new surroundings - talk about from "sea to shining sea"! Do hope you continue to enjoy your new life. What did you do for furniture? Do hope the winters will not be too hard though. Frances.

    1. Frances,

      We think we are going to enjoy acclimatizing to Nova Scotia in this location. The house is very open and airy with nice windows placed for maximum view and enjoying the light up here.

      We had quite a struggle with furniture at first, but we are getting that under control. I am going to write a post about our temporary insanity soon.

      We may be crazy, but we are looking forward to winter. In the past we have both enjoyed winter sports like cross country skiing and snowshoeing. In 10 years on the west coast we only had enough snow for getting out twice, and even then the snow was gone by the end of the day.

      We may feel differently in the Spring.

      Hope you are getting nicely settled into your new place.

  7. Anonymous8/14/2014

    Sometimes you hear/see something and you know it is just right for you, for now anyway. The picture shows this area to be a beautiful place! Happy to hear you found an accessible place or the place found you. Accessibility can make a lot of difference on many levels. Living in a friendly supportive community makes a difference in happiness too.

    I hope your back injury continues to mend fully, now would be alright, huh? Such a challenge to work with that and so much more going on. I'm impressed with how you are dealing with it, not letting it spoil other things or your excitement. Yet, I know it changes the experience as it seems you are still waiting on some things. I still can't believe you guys marathon-ed across the continent like that. Epic!

    Having a large ageing population may be causing double and triple story McMansions to not look so habitual and desirable. What a mammoth to take are of for a 70 year old. I know it is a long shot, but the budging ageing population might have a positive impact of the colossal waste of natural resources to build McMansions, fill them, heat them, and cool them. Gosh, that would be nice.


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