Well, today is our last day in the Annapolis Valley. It has been a wonderful week, relaxing, visiting family and friends and visiting my old stomping grounds. Some favorite highlights of our time here:
- visiting the family farm
- going to Hall’s Harbour and Scot’s Bay
- making phone calls from the middle of a vineyard
- wandering the main street of Wolfville and sampling apple cider at the Annapolis Cider company
- seeing all of my cousins on the South Shore
- visiting my friends Nicolas and Trudy and reminiscing about our childhood
- seeing the chimney swifts
- the kids dancing in the torrential rain
Today, we visited the old church I attended when I was younger. The present First Cornwallis Baptist Church was originally built in 1910 and it is a beautiful old church still rocking its original pipe organ. My grandparents would take us whenever they could. I remember having Sunday School in the common room area and pre-service singing in the basement. It was wonderful going back to the church this morning and seeing some familiar faces, including my old Sunday School teacher, Mrs. Cassidy.
Mrs. Cassidy was the most feared teacher at Glooscap Elementary school. She was the only Grade 2 teacher then so none of us could avoid her. As is mostly the case, she was actually a wonderful teacher, script by loving. Of course, if you got on her bad side, things did not go well for you. I remember one time visiting another classroom because we were going to watch an old National Film Board video on the film projector. Yes, a film projector. Those were the days. As a treat, when we were done the film, the teachers were going to play it backward, which we were all looking forward to because, well, it was always hilarious to watch the tractors, farm trucks and people going backgrounds.
Unfortunately, as we were waiting, another boy and I started fooling around and were sent back to Mrs. Cassidy’s class. She was not very pleased to see us and, as punishment, had to write lines on the board. Of course, we also missed watching the film backward, which was the worst punishment of all.
The second memory of her was when we were in Grade 5. Our Grade 5 teacher had signed out the film projector and was just about to start it. As he was threading the film through the projector to the other reel, we heard this slam and footsteps clonking down the hall getting louder and closer. There was a loud banging on the door and, when our teacher answered it, there was Mrs. Cassidy, her face like a thunderstorm. We discovered that Mr. White had apparently taken the projector at the wrong time and it was actually Mrs. Cassidy’s turn to have it. Graciously, returning it to her, she wheeled it out the door, slammed the door behind, and proceeded to take it back to her classroom at the end of the hall, the clonking of her feet and the squeaking of the wheel gradually receding into the distance until the slam of her door signalled that the journey was done.
Mrs. Cassidy was also the teacher who taught me beautiful handwriting (unfortunately ruined as soon as I got to University) and introduced me to amazing literature including The Little House in the Prairies series, the Mary Poppins series, the series of John Bellairs novels, which I still enjoy today.
Ironically, on our last night, the family who owns the motel were having a display of fireworks when we got back from a swim at Uncle Paul’s house. We started our first night here with fireworks and ended it with fireworks!
It was a nice way to end off our visit to the valley. We are sad to leave but looking forward to our next adventure in P.E.I!