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Adventure Drama Fiction

A mother/daughter travel tale from the soul. Hope you enjoy reading as much as I enjoyed sharing.



"So glad we are checked in here finally. Not a bad room eh mom?" I breathed emotion in my words. Mom was not young anymore, even this trip would take a lot out of her energy level. We placed our luggage down as we inspected out our new 'home' for the next week.

"Not bad at all. We should be very comfortable here." Martha murmured tiredness in her voice. I had already started changed into something warm. Brushed my shoulder length auburn hair, and washed up. When we got here, salt scented rain began to pelt down on us, making me shiver in my light sweater. Now I donned in jeans and a thick hoodie with a rain jacket. In Halifax, or anywhere in the Eastern Provinces you never knew what the weather will be any given moment. I brought layers always best to play safe. "How about some lunch? Room service." Mom suggested. After looking at the menu I ordered a burger platter with all the trimmings, mom ordered a Caesar salad. Her diabetes diet had to stay in tact. She savoured a few of the garlic herbed croutons, elegantly coated in lightly seasoned butter and pan fried. After dinne, we decided to we walk around the beautiful ocean surrounded Pier, with booths of food and gifts for tourists. Mom hobbled slowly with her cane, I strode patiently beside her yet giving her some space. She would get annoyed if I hovered.


Our five-star located right downtown on the Pier, close to everything Nova Scotia, was what mom wanted. Convenient and the best. The bay facing us housed boats of all sorts. Beautiful crispy white sailboats, and some square backed lobster fishing rigs. It was the beginning of lobster season, which only lasted a short period here. I couldn't wait to dig into my first lobster dinner with garlic butter and sides of various sorts. The oysters were to die for too, fresh and huge and mouth-watering swallowed by a sea breeze drink. Vodka and cranberry.


The next morning the sun shone through the shears. I had forgotten to close the drapes the night before, the bright ray's of the sun woke me up early. Coffee!!!! Oh I needed my fix and began to get the small room coffee maker going with those cute little packets of caffeine. I then had a nice shower in the luxurious bathroom with all the bells and whistles, wrapping myself in one of those soft cotton hotel robes.


"I am in heaven mom." I smiled as I came out and poured more of the scented dark liquid. "Let's go out for breakfast." I suggested. "We can grab a taxi out front here." I offered.


"Yes, there is a diner on the corner and they are really good so I was told by the guy that helped us with our luggage. But we can walk, it's only a block down" Together, the two of us left to go eat. The early morning was bright and crisp, after the night's rainfall. I inhaled the salted scent of the ocean. It was exhilarating to be here again.

"Mmmmm, this is sooo good. I love restaurant toast. It always seems to taste better." I mouthed while chewing. Mom had an omelette with bacon and fresh fruit.

"I wish I could eat toast like you, lucky." Mom said as she watched me take a big bite of the buttery toast coated with strawberry preserves. I felt a sudden pang of guilt then, looked out the window at the morning work rush began.

"Lets walk around the Pier. I hear there is going to be a music festival and a bbq this week. It should be fun. We can also take some bus tours to some of the little towns like Lunenburg and even Anne of Green Gable's." Mom was excited. I was happy to be here with her. She was getting on in the years, her legs showing signs of pain and wear from arthritis and two knee replacements, one in each. I felt sad for her. I want her to be with me forever.


While we didn't always have a great relationship, my mom my best friend. I had already lost two friends recently, and my heart continually ached for them. My high school bestie, and my horse expert friend who owned a small hobby farm where I rode and spent all my summers. Luna was my lifeline. Connie was my step stone. Neither were alike in any way whatsoever, but each were placed in a part of my heart that would never leave. I missed them every waking moment in my life and more so as I got older.


"I am so glad we came Laura. Nova Scotia is so beautiful this time of the year. Daddy and I drove here once a long time ago. Through the Gaspe. We stayed in a motel and then got here." My mom's eyes wandered off when she would remember daddy. He passed away ten years ago of cancer. I had gone many times when he got sick, and sicker. His body shrivelled up and frail as he lay back in his hospital bed and then they put him on morphine. I missed my daddy too. Now all I had was mom it seemed left. And here we were together on this fantastic trip to the Maritimes together.

"I wish we came here sooner. We shouldn't have waited so long to travel." I said after finishing my meal of bacon, eggs and toast. Traffic zoomed by on the road where we were eating while we sat at a street level view. Fake lobsters hung all around the walls and the restaurant had the flare of the sea with the usual blue and white ship style decorations. It was fun and colourful, I liked it here.


"What are you starting on about now? Can't we just enjoy this trip?" Mom huffed back. She was annoyed at my comment. I didn't mean anything by it. Mom and I didn't always have the best relationship. It took us many years to bond and only as she got older and after daddy died.

"Do you always have to start and get negative?" She continued.

"Sorry mom, I didn't mean anything it was just a comment." I said and got up ready to leave. Mom paid the bill and grabbed her cane, hovering while she walked out in pain in front of me. 'Hmph, maybe someday we can walk beside each other.' My stomach was in knots. I wasn't happy then, in that moment, wishing I had never said anything to upset her. I followed suit as she hobbled slowly out and we got into the cab waiting to take us back to the hotel.


We spent the next few days doing a few bus tours and one to Anne of Green Gable's. I loved every minute of it. Mom was happy too and we were getting along nicely, at least I wasn't saying anything to annoy her. I always felt that. No matter it seemed I would say the wrong things growing up it was hard and tiring emotionally. I tried to fit in but felt like an outsider. Nothing about my life was easy. Whatever, here we were and I planned to make the best of this trip. I made a mental choice to let go of past resentments even if for this duration to spend quality time with my ailing mom. I missed out on a lot of that growing up. My sister dominated the family. She was controlling and an over-achiever. I was more quiet and sensitive, we were not at all alike.


"How was the hike on the haunted path? Did you run into any ghosts?" Mom joked, while she waited in the garden for me. It was a lovely day, sunny and warm. She enjoyed sitting outside and taking in the beauty of the well kept grounds.


"The only thing I got were mosquito bites. My there are lots here, I should have used bug spray. Otherwise it was just as I expected, not very long though." I answered as I sat down beside her. Our driver came back several hours later as scheduled and we then took a drive around the small island, filled with red potato fields and corn. I was tired after that.


******


On the last two days of our vacate, the music festival started. Musicians and entertainers of all sorts began to settle on the Pier as the ocean was spread all around. Scents of fair food were all around and my nostrils took it all in, the sights and smells and sounds. I didn't want to leave yet, I could have stayed for awhile longer. I walked around the neighbourhood. Mom felt tired and was having a nap. The day was pleasant with some cloud and sun, not too hot and not to cold. I went up and down some side streets, deciding to rest after getting a Caramel Machiatto at Starbucks.


Then, in the silence of the corner where I rested on an old cobblestone ledge that surrounded an equally old building, I could hear a gir take out her guitar and start to tune it. She hummed softly as she did, opening the worn out beaten case open so people could throw money in it. She began to sing and play in a sad melon chic tone, maybe sounding sadder with the sea scented air and the emptiness of the side street. 'She isnt going to make much here' I thought as I noticed not many people walked here. It was a quiet little street. The sound of her voice and her music grabbed my ears and my soul. I looked at my phone to see what time it was. Nearly noon, I should get back and check in on mom. More people were walking by and threw money in her case, coins or some bills. She would have a good day today.


"He left me then and never returned, my love was gone."

I tried to think if he could ever return but the sea called out his name.

The ship was there waiting and carried him away from my heart.

My love was gone - the ocean took him away........" Her voice was filled with so much emotion my heart actually leaped and tightened. I never heard anything like it. She was like a ghost that had come into my life to bring me something? Her husky smoky alto voice stayed in my mind as I sang those words to myself long after that trip.


And so the song went on about a sailor who left his lover for the sea - her not knowing when or if he will ever return, a usual Maritime tune. Afterwards, I gave her five dollars to play it again and it made me feel so sad. Her smooth alto smokey sounding voice gave the song its haunting flavour. I had tears down my cheeks as I began to think of a young musician I dated and he broke my heart. The singer looked like she herself had been through hardships in life. Her strong arms covered with tattoos of all types and variants. Her husky voice seeing its days of drinking, drugs and smoking whatever. I never did catch her name. I thought of her often after I returned home to Ottawa for many years. There was just something unique about her music and her that brought some memories back.


My mom and I returned back to Halifax the next year, the year before Covid began. I wondered if the busker gal would be there. For many years after that trip I never forgot about her. I went back to that same street and for a second I wanted her to be there. But knowing full well she wasn't going to be. Her music was special, her voice was spectacular in its husky, smoky sounding alto tone. I hoped she was doing all right in life.








September 30, 2023 19:12

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5 comments

Rudy Greene
22:42 Oct 12, 2023

I thought the description of the mother and daughter was very strong. The story got more interesting and stronger from middle to end. I liked the busker part. The beginning lagged a bit and there were some picayune grammatical errors. Maybe you could have introduced the mother daughter dynamics earlier. You create tension and portray emotion well.

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M. M.
15:20 Oct 15, 2023

Thanks so much for your honest feedbaci. Grammar isnt my strongest point grrr, and i think you are right. It would have added some depth as per their relationship. This was based on true events and i enjoyed writing it. My mom and i went twice and now she cant travel anymore. It was special, i guess i was focused more on that for myself than portraying the idea to an actual audience. Thanks again for the positive criticism. duly noted !!!!!

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John Jenkins
13:35 Oct 12, 2023

Very good story. Here's what I thought: Beginning: The story starts out with two family members visiting Nova Scotia. It gives the backstory as well as some much-needed character development. Good parts here. Middle: In the middle, they branch out from Nova Scotia and visit a few more places, including Anne of Green Gables. On the way, they come across a busker who is performing on the street. The descriptions of the busker are copious. Very entertaining parts here. End: They return to Halifax, but the protagonist keeps thinking about the ...

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M. M.
23:40 Nov 11, 2023

thank you so much for your nice constructive criticism;; i enjoyed writing this based on actual experience. I know my writing needs work. i did want to focus on the busker part as it was the prompt. i could have done a re-write better. Thanks again glad you enjoyed it.

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Hannah Lynn
21:51 Oct 10, 2023

I enjoyed your story. There’s something so interesting about the mother daughter relationship. It’s a very delicate dance!

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