Country Roads

I’ve already mention the new anthology coming out this spring from Nimbus.

To my understanding, the front cover of the book has not yet been finalized, and will be different from what appears in the catalogue at the moment. If and when I get a file of the finished cover, I will be sure to post it so that everyone can have a peek.

This anthology has been a long time in the making, with a few major setbacks, but I’m pretty sure it will be well worth the wait. .

When the call went out a few years back, I wasn’t really sure if I should attempt it. I honestly didn’t think I could put together a non-fiction piece since I’ve always considered non-fiction tougher to write than fiction. But, I decided to give it a try anyway. I figured I didn’t have anything to loose. Now I’m glad I did!

So, the official title is:

Country Roads: Memoirs from Rural Canada

I’ve added a link to the Nimbus Spring Catalogue. (I noticed that Bitter, Sweet also made it into the 2010  Spring catalogue. Yay!!)

As the publication date closes in, a few more editorial changes are being made to help fine tune the anthology by clarifying a few terms in some of the pieces. (Editors do like to edit!)

How many of you know what a “chopping” is? How about a” grab bag”? Do you know if Christmas trees growing in the wild are” trimmed “or” sheared”?

It’s easy to see that because a word or term is common in a certain area, doesn’t mean it is easily understood by the general public.  I wonder if this is more common in rural areas, although I’m sure we could all give plenty of examples. Feel free to throw some out there if you’d like to.

Whatever the case, it makes the English language that much more interesting. Don’t you think?

So today, I’m thinking about grag bags and choppings, and reminiscing about days gone by…

Leave a comment


  1. I’ve never read an anthology. Need to broaden my reading interests?

    I do remember my grandmother telling stories about ‘fetching’ the Christmas tree – this would have happened in your neck of the woods about 100 years ago. Evidently it was an all day affair. Wish I could remember the names of their horses – which they used to drag the tree home.

    Someday I’m going to visit Nova Scotia – we had planned a trip about 7 years ago, but things fell through. I tried tracing the family history but apparently there was a fire that destroyed several records from the 19th century. Bummer.


    • Just so you know, I’ve never referred to cutting the Christmas tree as “fetching” the tree. I’m not sure if knowing that pleases you, but for some strange reason it seems to please me. That and the fact that I don’t use the word “reckon” when I’m speaking. And why did I suddenly feel the need to explain that? Hmmmm

      The anthology has thirty-two contributors from across Canada so it’s a good mix of personalities. I never thought I’d ever write a memoir piece. Never seemed as though my growing up years were anything to write about. Who knew?

      So, you have family in Nova Scotia? Do you know what area? Maybe we’re


    • I really need to remember the reply button


  2. Country Roads sounds like a book I’ll want to read. As a rural west coaster I can identify with rural communities elsewhere, especially in eastern Canada. I loved the Maritimes when we visited years ago.


    • There seems to be quite a few contributors from western Canada, actually. From our list of contributor’s bios I noticed that Saskatchewan has a strong representation in the book.

      Luanne Armstrong, is from BC and has won several awards for her Y/A fiction. Not sure if you’re familiar at all with her work or not.


  3. I don’t know if anyone’s left. My grandmother & her sisters were born in Joggins & moved to Springhill after their mother died. “Gram” (the youngest of 3) was sent to live with her Aunt Clara (a mean old woman from what I was told) & at age 19 she ran off to the US to live in a boarding house in NE Pennsylvania, which is where she met my grandfather. She was on her “deathbed” with a severe ailment (it was apendicitis but I don’t know how to spell that) & my grandfather felt sorry for her & married her, so she wouldn’t die all alone in a strange place. Sweet huh? (I ain’t quite done.)

    They were married for 54 years & hated every minute of it. Ah… I remember those days…. Gram & Pop visiting us on the holidays …. driving from their home to ours …. in separate cars.


    • Joggins is famous for its fossils. I’ve never been there but would like to go. Sounds like something I’d enjoy. If your grandmother was born and raised there, I’m sure there are plenty of cousins still kicking around today.

      That’s quite a family history, Dave, Sounds like the stuff that fiction’s made of. Doesn’t it? I like the separate cars bit..It made me giggle I guess you wouldn’t get that today. People simply don’t stay in unhappy relationships anymore.


  4. “Let’s jump in my rig and go down the crick.”

    When I was a kid, many of the multi-generational Oregonians stood out from those off us who were born out of state. I was inclined to use a California accent and slang–“Dude, seriously, just stop”–while some of my classmates used what I thought of as “holdover [American] Southern”.

    Rig = truck (of any size)
    Crick = a small river or stream

    Dude = a ridiculously clueless person; or, a term of slight endearment

    Once as a teenager, I visited Australia. There, a “rock melon” is cantaloupe, “having a pouf” is smoking, and the instructions to refrain from parking alongside the street are written as “Do not queue”.

    Then I moved to a Southern state and learned that “telling stories” is telling a lie, a “lightning pole” can be a street light, and a shopping cart is sometimes a “buggy” (while a buggy is simply a “stroller”).

    English isn’t a language; it’s an ever-evolving compromise.


    • I’m often amazed where some words/ expressions come from. Then of course, each generation puts a new spin on things.

      My neighbour, who lived to be 100, would often have me come down to help houseclean in the spring and fall. When we stopped for a break, we had a “puff.” She grew up in a community about 10 minutes from Dalhousie, and I’ve heard this expression used by others of that generation but I never heard it growing up here. Funny how things can differ within these little communities. I guess this shows our uniqueness.

      I’m familiar with “telling stories” and a truck being a “rig.” I quite like the term “rock melon.”

      Thanks for sharing these, Ann. I found them quite entertaining.


  5. chezjlb

     /  January 28, 2010

    Thanks to you I know what a “racket” is. As in my recent plumbing issue.


    • And I’m sure that word will be very useful in the future.

      Interestingly enough, I’ve discovered that since the kids have all moved out, we seem to have fewer rackets these days!



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