The next destination on Our Maritime Adventure was Bear River, to visit Flora Doehler (Larry was, at this time, just the handy husband in the background). I am sure many of you think warmly of Flora, as I do, even though you have never met her face to face. Such is the power of her blog ~ Our Bear River Adventure.
First, however, we had to make a date with The Princess of Acadia. Like foolish tourists, we didn’t think there would be many others crossing the Bay of Fundy to Digby. We didn’t book ahead (the ticket sellers barely managed to hide their incredulity), which is why we had to wait an hour to find out if we would make it from 7th place on the waiting list to the boat itself (excuse me, herself). We managed to squeak on, and as soon as we found a seat I phoned Flora and informed her we were on board and would arrive at their place in a few hours.
I am now one of the lucky ones who has actually visited Bear River, and been treated to spending time with Flora and Larry. We talked like instant “old friends” as we explored the home they are renovating, the studio they share and the land and gardens on their property. I met the beautiful willow Flora calls a being and has been documenting since they first moved to Bear River (though the black flies deterred me from relaxing under her many flowing branches).
Seeing Flora’s paintings was a joy: her love of flowers spills onto her canvases in bright bursts of paint and lively forms. Flora is so aptly named!
Larry’s holloware and jewellery spoke to me in a quiet, understated way, much like the man himself. I already liked Flora long before we met. Larry proved to be openly friendly and capable on so many levels (a super handyman, wonderful cook and creator of this fabulous metalwork). I was utterly charmed by them both.
While Ted and Larry went off to discuss tools, building projects, shaping copper, and wine making, Flora and I dug into art, blogging, WordPress, creativity, juggling art with the rest of life, family, and so many other topics I couldn’t begin to list them all. But this much I know, these people are the real thing, as the Coke commercials used to brag. They are relaxed and comfortable about who they are, and completely generous in sharing their lives with you if you care to watch and listen. Well, we not only cared, we were all ears and eyes!
In fact, we fully intend to take that trip again, and stay longer. Doehler and Knox, be forewarned!
Buddha taught this triple truth:
A generous heart, kind speech, and a life of service and compassion are the things which renew humanity.
That must be why the heart in Flora’s window is blue.