Celebrating a strong, creative, resilient Lunenburg County
NOW, MORE THAN EVER...
Story by Tina Hennigar
Anyone who thinks that a new resident in our province can’t possibly be more ‘Nova Scotian’ than someone who was born and raised here, hasn’t met Laurie Paxton. You can rediscover your provincial pride while she lifts your eyelashes or fixes your eyebrows in her cosmetic tattooing studio in Bridgewater, The Symmetry Studio.
Laurie was working in Fort McMurray, Alberta, when everyone she encountered told her she could pass for an East Coaster.
“When my contract ended out west and the price of oil tanked, I reinvented myself at 51 years old,” Laurie said. She asked herself, ‘what do I want to do when I grow up?’” Laurie got trained in the application of permanent makeup, doing eyebrows, eyeliner, lips and lifting eyelashes and started to think about where she wanted to live and create her business. Not where she had to live, but where she wanted to live. And she remembered all those comments over the years about the east coast. She packed her bags and her trusty dog, Frazy, and went house hunting in communities all around Nova Scotia.
Laurie found the ideal vibe and the perfect house in Bridgewater. She put a few of her vacant bedrooms up on Air B&B and rented them to travellers and nurses working here short-term. She’s very outgoing and meeting people has been no trouble at all. “I meet more people because of my dog,” she laughed. “Everyone loves Frazy.”
“I tell everyone I meet how special this place is. My friends always say, ‘You needed to move here to remind us all of what we have.’” And so, I asked Laurie, ‘what is that?’ What do we have here?
Over the next two hours Laurie shared her view of Lunenburg County, Nova Scotia. “The people here are so generous,” she tells me. “People drop stuff off for me and I want to pay them. But they insist. They’ll say, ‘Laurie, let us do this for you.’ That doesn’t happen everywhere. And the air, it’s clean here.” She went on. “The pace is nice. Even on my busiest day, people are a little more relaxed here. And they ask you how you are. And they want to know,” she said in amazement.
Laurie acknowledges that
not everything is rosy. “I see things that bother people. I understand it,” she said. “But
I also see it from the other side of the country. It could be busier, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world,” Laurie said of her old life in Alberta and working in the oil patch.
“People in other provinces sometimes call us a “have not province” and that may be so, but people here, they put their head down and get to work.”
I pointed out that she now refers to herself as “us” as in Nova Scotians. “Yes, absolutely I do,” she laughed. “I am a Nova Scotian,” she said. “I’m so proud to be here.”
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