Last year our pop-up camper of 18 years was passed along to a new family. It had served us well and with a few little patches and tweaks after close to two decades of summer fun it was time to let her go.
We never did the cottage thing. Our kids were busy with summer sports. Grandparents had amazing beach retreats and for a few of those lean early years with four kids and growing a business, it was out of the budget. The answer: a canvas cottage on wheels.
When I think back, I don’t know how we managed with four kids and often two dogs inside, but our little pop up was the backdrop to some of our best summer memories.
We recall them like episode titles from the series Friends. The One when we discovered skunks can open zippers.
The One when a thunderstorm almost blew us over. The One when the camper did tip over. The One when Mum bought us all hats with moose antlers and made us wear them by the fire every night. The One when the camper fell off the trailer hitch. The One when the cooler shot out of the camper like
a scud missile while driving to a campground on P.E.I.
Yes, there were a few almost-disaster trips, but there are also memories of bathing my babies in the camper sink, card games, and crafts crammed inside on rainy days, trips with other family friends and even the nights when we popped up the camper just to sleep outside in the driveway.
But when camping trips with all four kids turned to three, then two and then trying to convince one to go camping with just mum and dad, we knew it was time to pack it up for one last time.
So, when I went to visit Amanda and Adam Langley on Sinclair’s Island for the summer cover shoot, I was hit with a serious case of “camper envy.” Lori McKay, our associate editor, shares the story of the Langleys’ trailer transformation and the little oasis, sort of their own private campground, they are creating with their two children in the popular beach community in Pictou County, Beautifying the RV Lifestyle page 32.
Who doesn’t love a little hide-a-way? Especially if you are an artist with three small children. Several days a week, painter Mary Meredith takes a little trip up the Sunrise Trail from Antigonish to the family homestead in Merigomish, to her own little hide-a-way artist studio. Surrounded by orchards and fields of wildflowers, Mary finds endless inspiration in the sunroom of a tiny cabin that was built by her grandfather in the ’70s. In The Language of Flowers page 14, Mary shares how creating her paintings in a place where she spent lazy summer days in the timothy grass awakens her inner child.
Writer Shelley Cameron-McCarron, who hails from that same neck of the North Shore, brings us two fabulous stories of enterprising young folks from the “Nish.” Check out A “Candid” Conversation page 22 and see what sisters Alicia and Miranda Teasdale are up to since opening their new compounding pharmacy and low-waste shop in Good for People, Good for the Planet page 10.
Chef Shane Robilliard knows what’s good for the planet is also good for the people. You will see just how far this celebrated chef will go to source sustainably harvested seafood in Ethical Dining on the North Shore page 29.
Just like my old pop-up camper, we have a lot of goodies packed into this summer issue. Whether you plan to hit the road this summer or retreat to your own little hide-away, I hope it’s filled with moments that become cherished memories.