Bathurst, NB

This past weekend I went to visit my Pépère in Bathurst with my mom. While there, I helped him plant his vegetable garden and his flowers in the front garden of his house. We also visited Pabineau Falls and Tetagouche Falls, two places I had never been even though I’ve been to Bathurst many times! As always, Pépère gave us many plants he lifted from his garden for us to plant in ours at home. He also had lots of flowers that were growing out of the beds that he wanted to cut down, but I picked some in a bouquet for them, transplanted some into the garden, and brought some to our gardens.

Spending the afternoon gardening with my Pépère was nice. He is so enthusiastic about his garden and somehow finds a place for everything. I realized that I really should visit him and Claudia more often, it’s just so tricky during term and my summer is quickly filling up. However, working in the garden, going to the fish market, filling up the cart of plants at the garden centre, and eating Dixie Lee fries in the solarium to evade the stench of the others eating seafood (that I can hardly stand (especially lobsters, beurk!)) I was reminded of last summer in Maisonette with Julia and Thomas and the summer days at the chalet in Caraquet on Pépère’s four-wheeler in the strawberry patch. Through little fragments, although the house has now changed quite a bit, I see reminders of my Mémère. The floral print in the bathroom hasn’t changed, her slippers are still in the kitchen cupboard by the entryway, and “Fragile” the porcelain dog is still there, and every time I stand in the front yard I think of the picture on my bedroom wall at home of her, Julia, and I trick-o-treating in our costumes. An eccentric woman she was, but I still found her a very positive experience for me (even though she bribed me with stickers and books to go to church). While working in the garden, my Pépère told me that she would be proud of all the hard work I’ve done the past couple years in school and in my jobs and I hope that’s true. Every time “Marjorie” comes on I think of deck slugs, being sick on strawberries, little bowls of fruits, and the books she read to me. I’m glad I can still find her even though she’s no longer around.

Bathurst is such a peaceful place even though maybe it actually isn’t. It’s come to my attention that I know very little of this place, mostly the Super Store, Canadian Tire, Pépère’s house, and the SPCA bookstore. I don’t think I’ve ever walked the streets of the city centre. The street where my Pépère lives is quaint, with perfectly manicured gardens, the same houses that have been there forever, and the same old train and gulls that lull me to sleep and stir me awake every night. Bathurst, although sometimes boring, seems so peaceful. I always feel like I’ve entered some utopia retirement community where the biggest challenge of the day is the groceries and making it back home in time for the afternoon nap. Rarely, if ever, something changes. The house, although having changed much in the last couple of years with Mémère’s passing, is still so stagnant and immovable so much so that I could move something ever so slightly and come back months later to it in that exact same place. And I like that. It’s a comfortable place because of its consistency. I am surrounded with change at home, both my own, that of the environment around me, and that of my family, but Bathurst stays. It’s a nice refuge from it all.

Nevertheless, not even the refuge is safe from my job as Emma Tech Assistant™. Had to crack open a bomb and read all the books in the Library of Alexandria in order to figure out what my Pépère had going on with his devices. Turns out, it’s two separate Apple IDs with different data piled up on each. Imagine that. I couldn’t. Took me hours to transfer all to one ID only to not have the password for that account. Oh boy.

Other than that, watched The Buccaneers on Apple TV+ with mom, do not recommend. I think Edith Wharton is rolling in her grave with this adaptation. However, I unfortunately think I will be watching the second season when it comes out. I also got the slides done for my supervisor’s presentation at Congress this June, which made me feel very productive. All in all a good weekend trip.