The Road to Qua ~ Qua Farm is an inspirational story of a young couple living on a hippie commune in the early 1970's. Together with a small band of Hippies from Cambridge, Massachusetts, they moved to the back woods of Nova Scotia, Canada.
The Old Weagle Farm was over one-hundred years old, run down, and in need of major repair. This farm would be the ideal place to begin, because it allowed them to live communally in a healthy environment, free from the norms, and values they had grown accustomed to. They would have an opportunity to create, and shape their very own community, influenced by their own imaginations. No longer dependent on society to achieve these freedoms, they would learn to live off the land, barter for things they could not provide for themselves, and create a new society within itself. They would face challenges they could never have imagined. Daily living was pushed to the limits with the absence of electricity, indoor plumbing, and central heating. Determined to break the mold for the American Dream once, and for all, their journey led them to this place, and they were determined to find out why!
Their Quest was spiritual in nature, and they would soon discover the dusty road leading to the farm was just the beginning of a journey to awaken their souls, and satisfy the emptiness within their hearts. It would be a quest toward the King and His Kingdom!
The Road to Qua ~ Qua Farm will compel you to pursue a journey of discovering for yourself. These true life stories will inspire, guide, encourage, and help you achieve the hopes, dreams, and purposes for your life.
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.54(d)|
The Road to Qua ~ Qua Farm
By Kathleen J. Perry
AuthorHouseCopyright © 2010 Kathleen J. Perry
All right reserved.
Chapter OneSowing and Reaping
A huge ball of fire and black smoke billowed upward into the morning sky reaching far above the tree line. The explosion echoed for miles awakening the sleepy little town of New Elm. The old logging road leading toward Shingle Lake was now blocked by an old red panel van engulfed in flames.
Fall was quickly returning to this part of Canada, and it would be the first trip back to the farm since the purchase of the property earlier in July. The plan was to begin renovations on the old Archibald Weagle homestead before moving the hippie commune from Boston, to New Elm, Nova Scotia.
A week earlier five hippies packed up Steve's Ford Delivery Van to begin a twenty-four hour drive to the new farm. This time I was going! Money was limited, and before long, we would discover two of the friends Steve brought along were very resourceful. Unaware at first of their clever scheming, things began to unfold at the first gas station we stopped at. The van was large enough to block the activity going on between the pump, and the gas station attendant. Apparently Steve, Rico and Glenn were experts in acquiring additional amounts of gasoline without having to pay. Glenn would begin by partially filling the van with gas while Steve and Rico went into the station to pay the attendant, and distract him. This gave Glenn the opportunity to fill the rest of the gas tank without the attendant's knowledge. Yes, they had mastered the art of stealing gasoline!
Soon we were on the road once again, relaxing in the back of the van, getting high, and listening to eight track music tapes. This was far more exciting than worrying about the consequences of the day's events.
The following day we arrived at the farm eager to get work started, since we only had a week to accomplish our goals. The amount of work to be done repairing the house would prove to be extensive. The first priority would be to replace the roof. Inevitably a leaking roof would cause more damage. After purchasing the materials in town, the old shingles, and rotten beams had to be torn off before tacking down the new asphalt shingles. After replacing the wood on the roof, the tar paper was rolled out, and the roof was ready. The next step would be to spread the black sticky tar onto the back of each shingle. It was like spreading peanut butter on Wonder bread! After that process, one by one, each shingle was secured to the roof. The weather cooperated, and the job was complete by weeks end.
Toward evening of each work day we found ourselves covered in black sticky tar. We used gasoline covered rags to remove most of the tar from our hands and bodies. The portable gas tank was kept in the back of the truck for convenience. After cleaning up, the rags were stuffed back under the seats of the van to be used over and over again.
With the lack of running water, we were a sight to be seen. The combination of sweat and dirt from a hard day's work, and the tar, and stench of gasoline was overwhelming. The lake was a good twenty minute walk from the farm, but regardless, we needed to wash up. It was a refreshing, and relaxing end to a long day of labor!
When the week came to a close, the old house had a brand new roof, sure to withstand another ten to twenty years of harsh Nova Scotia weather. Preparations for the long trip back to Cambridge were underway when the unexpected occurred.
Early that morning, Glenn, with an aversion to strenuous exercise, decided to drive the truck down to the lake for a morning swim. When he was finished, he climbed back into the van, lit up a cigar, to begin the bumpy return trip back up the old logging road. The road was filled with ruts, bumps, and boulders embedded deep into the ground, which made driving extremely difficult. Suddenly the van hit a large rock in the middle of the road causing it to abruptly lurch forward out of control. The cigar Glenn had been smoking fell from his mouth, and tumbled under the seat atop the old gasoline covered rags, spontaneously igniting into flames. Glenn was allowed only enough time to hurl himself through the open door of the burning van into the bushes, before the violent explosion occurred. When the ordeal was over, the intense heat and flames had incinerated the entire van, tires, and everything inside. Thankfully, the fire was contained to the van alone, sparing the surrounding woods from the consuming fire.
Glenn wandered back to the farm on foot, with half a surf board under his arm, dazed, and covered in black soot, minus the van. Seeing the hairs on his face and arms singed, we stood in disbelief as he described in detail the entire ordeal. Steve was furious, and difficult to restrain! In one brief moment Steve lost his van, surf boards, and livelihood.
After this stunning news, the question now was, how would we get back to Boston? Knowing we had no transportation, an old local man offered to drive us to the ferry. By evening, we were packed, and in the back of his pickup truck, spread out on top of our sleeping bags under the star lit skies of Nova Scotia. It was a long, somber ride back to civilization.
Our thoughts returned to the trip's beginning, and the irony behind our actions. We had stolen gasoline for the van, and it was destroyed by the very thing we had stolen. There are consequences for our behaviors. We reap what we sow! Our characters had been tested, and the lesson from our actions resulted in a difficult and painful reproof! But this lesson would only be the beginning of many more to come!
Grateful to be alive, the truth was obvious. Reality dictated we were not invincible! It was time to take responsibility. The laws of life, both physical and spiritual, demonstrated to us, that every action has a result, good or bad! We are responsible and accountable!
We would never see Rico or Glenn again, but knew the entire experience left a powerful impact on all of us. We gained a useful piece of practical wisdom through this one event. This was only the beginning of the many life lessons waiting for those of us who decided to leave civilization behind, and come to Canada. Would we be strong enough to accept the challenges ahead?
Chapter TwoCanada or Bust
Winter allowed everyone in the Commune extra time to save money. The anticipation of the big move motivated us to reach the goal of paying off the five-thousand dollar mortgage for the farm. This would leave the yearly taxes, seventy-five dollars per year for the one-hundred and fifty-eight acres, nine room house, carriage shed and massive barn. No doubt, we had just acquired a little piece of paradise!
In the early spring of 1972, two dogs, two cats, and the first five hippies from the commune packed up their belongings, and headed for the Canadian boarder. Our dreams were soon to become reality, as we left behind the hustle, and bustle of our hippie commune in the big city.
New Elm was the place we choose, twenty miles from the nearest town, tucked in the back woods of Nova Scotia. Isolated tar papered homes, and trailers were scattered along miles and miles of dirt roads. Driving was a challenge during any season. Summer stirred up clouds of dry dust as you drove along the dirt roads. Winter brought heavy snow making some roads impassible. By spring the melting frosts turned the roads into a thick, deep mud.
Drawing near to the first New Elm settlement, the sweet smells of the smoke rising gently from the chimneys of the wood burning stoves instantly caught our senses, causing a wonderful familiar feeling of comfort and home. These simple people would teach us valuable lessons, merely by living their humble unadorned daily lives.
New Elm, came by its name in the early 1900's after John Henry Fancy, the local mailman, planted a single Elm tree in front of his farm. Throughout the century, this graceful and majestic tree continues to stand alone proudly holding in its branches years of peaceful history. It was a very idyllic settlement, a step back in time, to a place where yesterday was much the same as today causing life to be tranquil and simple.
Most of the landscape throughout New Elm was formed by glacier drumlins; small whale-shaped hills gradually rising up from the wet lands. Our property was surrounded by small lakes formed in the hollows left behind by the glacial shifts. Many of the farms were nestled among a variety of fir, oak and ash trees, in a scenic forest wilderness. Life was uncomplicated in this part of the world, and the people of New Elm were familiar with contentment.
News traveled fast when something of interest caught the attention, and curiosity of this particular township. When a very unusual mailbox appeared at the beginning of Weagle Road, it caused a stir among the inquisitive minds in New Elm. Americans had arrived at the old Archibald Weagle Farm. American's with long hair, and unkempt funny clothing appeared to be putting down roots in this small town. This one event awakened a new excitement amongst young and old, changing New Elm forever.
Have you ever thought about the roads you travel, and where they lead? The frustration of being lost, or in the middle of a large traffic jam often causes you to abruptly want to change your direction, consequently leading you somewhere unexpected. Life is sometimes like that. The adventure begins when you allow your attitude to change, and you commit to accepting the situation you find yourself in.
Roads are intended for journeys, not solely for destinations. The road of life is quite similar! It can be filled with meaningful events and memories if you pause for a moment, and consider all of life's details. If inattentive, and concerned with only reaching your destination, the journey will be over before you know it, and boredom begins to set in. Life's journey becomes exciting when you take the time to pay attention to all the in betweens. It's a process that will bring us face to face with ourselves, shaping, and influencing our characters along the way.
Without a specific direction, or roadmap of life to follow, this little band of naive Americans eagerly pressed forward on a quest compelled by inner determination. Making life matter was essential to our existence. One of the first goals we decided to pursue was to find the meaning of life. Nothing would prevent us from searching, and finding this worthwhile truth.
Regardless of where the adventure would lead us, it was probable we would indeed be forced to confront our greatest fears. We had already experienced unbelievable events, but nothing could effect our decision to continue the journey ahead. Instead, we allowed our fears to strengthen us, giving us new hope to gain a new perspective about life itself. These challenges motivated us to search even deeper, as the adventure continued to unfold on the life road leading to Qua ~Qua Farm.
With the gift of time, and youthful indiscretion, we left America, and the political unrest behind, hoping to find freedom and truth. Returning to nature would be restorative, for our health, both physically and spiritually, offering us a way to escape urban civilized life as we knew it.
Living off the land reminded us of who we truly were, teaching us a better understanding of our innermost identity and spirituality. We were learning what was sacred. Would it be possible to change our dreams into a reality in this new place?
Chapter ThreeCast of Characters
The farm was over 100 years old, without electricity, central heating, or running water. It was the most rustic place any of us had ever encountered. It was a challenge we were willing to accept, as we approached it from a very idealistic perspective. The farm allowed us an opportunity to create an alternative lifestyle, a free society, where people could share everything. Gardening, growing natural, organic foods, and herbs was now a possibility. Communal living would help us achieve these goals. It would be our chance to shape our environment into a pure, unadulterated community, without any outside influences. The challenge we now faced, was how to create our very own Utopia, socially, politically, morally and spiritually. We were finally free from the norms, rules, and laws of the rest of society.
The town was small enough to provide opportunity for everyone in New Elm to know each other's business, privately and socially. Even being isolated, our farm was not exempt. Our property had been owned, and sold to us by a gentle old soul named Anzel. He was a woodsman, and hunter who drove an old blue Chevy pickup truck. After selling the farm to us, Anzel's new home was a trailer. It sat on the property of one of the most prestigious farms in New Elm, on a hill overlooking the main road. He told us the story of how he and two other men had vied for the attention, and heart of Esther, the daughter of the richest man in the settlement. In his youth, his heart had been smitten by Esther. Sadly, she had embraced another's heart, causing Anzel to be single, and alone for most of his life. However, he held onto these memories for what seemed like an eternity, and never stopped loving her through all of those years.
Fate intervened when Esther's father and husband passed away. Esther invited Anzel to move his trailer up to her farm on the hill. This is when he decided to sell off his farm. Although much older now, the boyish smile, and twinkle in his eye, testified of the love he continued to hold in his heart for Esther.
Anzel was one of the first characters we had come to know. He was a middle aged gentleman with an amiable disposition, no agenda, and all the time in the world. Once a week on the back of his pickup truck, Anzel would place his dirty clothes into a fifty gallon drum barrel filled with soap and water. He would proceed to drive around all day back, and forth visiting friends in the different settlements. The bumpy roads would agitate the water much like a washing machine would, cleaning the clothes. The next morning the barrel would be emptied, and replaced with clean, fresh water for the rinsing cycle. He would again drive around for the remainder of the day until the clothes were ready to be rung out, and hung to dry. He was a resourceful and clever man!
The manner in which these folk lived was unlike any we had ever encountered before back in the United States. They were a happy people, living modestly within their means, never striving to acquire more then they needed, and content with what they had. Their goal was to live uncomplicated lives, and we witnessed their success in doing so.
Following the same life choices, and directions our parents did, had lost its appeal. If our only choice was to attend college, marry, start a family, and pursue the American Dream, then what would there be to look forward to? The choice was too ordinary, we thought. I didn't want this to happen to us. Together, we were intent, and eager to find out what life was really all about. This would mean breaking through society's expectations of how to live. We would break the mold, and explore other alternatives. After all we were "hippies," belonging to a subculture, who believed in "doing their own thing."
Our cast of characters included a group of unique individuals, who brought variety and excitement to this commune. Henry was a Chemical Engineer, a graduate from Northeastern University in Boston. He had been working six years at a Chemical Research company in Cambridge, and Waltham. Being exposed to an environment of harmful chemicals on a daily basis became the catalyst for change in his life. He had reoccurring respiratory problems, and his doctor told him it would be best if he stopped this type of work, and get out of the city into fresh air. Henry was the one who convinced the commune it was time to move, and began researching alternative places to live.
Henry had brought with him a personal library consisting of books in reference to organic gardening, and edible wild life from around this Canadian region. It was important to learn as much as we could to survive, and possibly live off this new land.
Steve and Ellen, Henry's sister, met in high school, and were still a couple. They would follow the surfing circuit every year living as nomads in search of the big waves, but also wanted to be part of the move to a healthier place. They hadn't set down any roots yet, but hoped to check out the waves more toward the Atlantic shore. Their visit would be brief, after finding a small cabin on the shores of Cherry Cove. Surfing continued beckoning them to the big waves all over the world.
Excerpted from The Road to Qua ~ Qua Farm by Kathleen J. Perry Copyright © 2010 by Kathleen J. Perry. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Sowing and Reaping....................5
Canada or Bust....................9
Cast of Characters....................12
A Day in the Life....................17
Isaac the Billy Goat....................29
Qua ~ Qua Farm, Asking the Owl....................32
Immigration and Apples....................35
Beware the Ides of March....................41
The Return Home....................53
The Big Red Barn....................59
Labor and Delivery....................70
The One Acre Garden....................81
May Day Declaration....................87
Tepees, Goats and Provisions....................91
The Grand Ole Outhouse....................96
House on Wheels....................98
Revival in Paradise....................109
Love in the Peppermint Field....................125
Out House Revelations....................133
Betty and the Black- Smith....................141
Church; Plain and Simple....................146
Commitment is Golden....................160
Death of a Volkswagen....................165
Miracles Do Happen....................169
Love, Joy and Peace....................172
Contentment and Faith....................185
A Single Light Bulb....................193
Providence and the Appointment....................201
Conclusion Home Sweet Home....................225
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
No s in &stars. Do & star &star <br> do &# 9819 ♛ <br> There is no ace <br> do &# 9788 ☼
&stars &crowns &hearts &clubs &aces
Where are your stories? I read book one. IT ROCKS!!!!!! i'd really like to read book two
Nowhere i meen i am done
I stand suddeny at all the people, "who are you?" My hand rests at my side where a small silver dagger is in my belt loop
The Road to Qua Qua Farm is a wonderful account of a couple's search for purpose and meaning during the turbulent years of the 60's and 70's. Communal living, natural life style, drug experimentation, searching for meaning in multiple religions - it was all a part of those hippie years and it is all in this book. The ending may surprise you! Definitely worth the read!