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Home is Where the Art Is

Newfoundland is the only place I’m constantly driving slower than the speed limit. The views of the gulfs, mountains, lakes and rock formations are stunning! Even the “average” cities and towns along the national highway are picturesque. 

Gros Morne National Park reminds me of the Grand Canyon; you have to see it to experience it. Descriptions, pictures and even the most professional travel videos just can’t capture the spirit of the place.

I’m writing you from Trout River, where I spent the night. I almost didn’t go because “Trout River” doesn’t sound all that interesting, does it? Plus it took forever to get there because I kept stopping to stare at the Tablelands and peer over the cliffs at the Gulf of St. Lawrence. 

This fishing village is enclosed by huge cliffs—which are surprisingly easy to climb for a fantastic view of the bay. When I arrived at 8:30 pm a few locals were standing on the beach, casting their rods and reeling in cod. They unhooked the fish, threw it back, and recast. They reeled in another fish so fast, I thought they were just re-catching the same one.

Trout River is frothy, wild and exuberant, filled with spirit and soul. And it felt like home to me. I’m not sure I could live in Trout River, but I’ve definitely left part of my heart there.

Home is where the art is 

Last week in Bridgetown, Nova Scotia I wandered past a traditional white church with a tall steeple. Since it had a Yard Sale sign posted on the door, I couldn’t resist trying the handle. The bells above the door were still chiming when artist Dawn Oman greeted me.

Dawn bought and renovated the church a few years ago. She and her carpenter husband don’t just live in it, they host concerts, events and even yard sales for neighbors.

In Historic Church is a Unique Home-Gallery-Concert Hall for an Artist in Bridgetown, Nova Scotia I share her story. Stained glass windows, staircases made from original church pews, perfectly preserved mosaics created by Italian artists and a functioning church bell (demonstrated by Dawn!) are the highlights of this house tour.

Where Do Artists Live? This Historic Church is a Unique Home, Art Gallery and Concert Hall

You’ll feel her spirit—and the spirit of all the prayers, hymns, blessings and lamentations that have echoed through this church since 1879—in this video. Dawn hasn’t just found her home, she created a space that honours the past while celebrating the present.

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Uprooted She Blossoms Laurie Pawlik Kienlen

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