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The Black & White


My first house in Nova Scotia was in a small fishing community. I bought an old house and renovated it. I had a big studio and two beautiful golden retrievers. The contrast with New York City was a joy. I remember sitting on my back deck, talking to my daughter in NY and telling her “I can’t hear you. The sea gulls are making too much noise!” I’d sit in front of the large living room window with a bowl of popcorn. Life seemed ideal.

But it was a hard place for me to live in one very important way. I didn’t relate well with my neighbors. On one side were the Blacks who chained their dog to a small dog house all year long. On the other side were the Whites, who yelled at me every time my dogs got loose. (Katie was the ringleader, always finding a way through the fence.) “If your dogs get on my property one more time, I’m going to shoot them.” And maybe they would have. I moved.

The other day I met a man who had been in some classes with me taught by my tai chi teacher. I hadn’t known his name at that time. We started chatting and he told me he’s a White. Luckily he didn’t live there when I did and we can joke about it. It’s his relatives who threatened to shoot my dogs. He now owns a lot of the land around there and has a big fish plant beside my old house. The house, by the way, is up for sale, again.

I’ve said many times before and I’ll say it again: I feel so lucky to live where I do now. I have a decent studio, amazing scenery, wood, lake, brook and most important, the best neighbors anyone could want. I am lucky and I chose wisely.


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