Celebrating a strong, creative, resilient Lunenburg County
NOW, MORE THAN EVER...
Story by TINA HENNIGAR
For nearly two dozen members of one family who have livedin various places around the world, Lunenburg is the meeting place, the home that draws them back together.
The Comstocks are a close family. Their Facebook friends have seen their annual family photos expand from six smiling siblings – Melanie, Peter, Chloe, Calee, Blisse and Luke to include their partners and then their children. At the centre of every photo, and of every family gathering, is the matriarch, their mother and Mammie, Susan.
All six siblings are well travelled and have lived elsewhere at one time or another, but they always manage to come home. “We had an idyllic childhood, and we all loved it here, and thought, ‘great place, but we won’t ever live here.’” Calee laughed at the irony that four of the six siblings now live in Lunenburg County. “Our parents wanted us to go and see the world. I think secretly they wanted us to come home, but didn’t think we would, and here we are. We all left and then trickled back in.” Two siblings, Peter and Chloe, live in Amsterdam, and while they live far away from the rest of the family, they work together in the same company. The siblings and in-laws all work in different fields, everything from computer gaming, engineering, practicing law, working at Michelin to being a stay at home caregiver.
The Comstocks are committed to making sure that they’re all together at least once a year. But at every gathering there is a void. The family is now missing the other centre – Chris, their dad, Opa to the grandkids and husband to Susan. “We’d just bought our house to be close to our family, and I thought, ‘how could he die’,” Calee recalled. “But we were all here, home with him all at the same time. It was terrible, but still, pretty special.”
Calee reflected how, as kids coming down the stairs, how normal it was to see her dad standing on his head in a yoga pose. “He was one of a kind. He was a hippie, doing yoga before it was a thing.” Calee recalled fondly. Melanie bought the family home and renovated the top floor into a beautiful loft apartment where Susan now lives. “We still call it Mom’s, even though Melanie now owns it. It will probably always be called Mom’s. It’s the epicentre,” Calee laughed. Susan loves having everyone around her. She loves to travel, and she’s involved in the community, and frequently attends Seniors College classes at the Mahone Bay Centre. “Our Mom is a total badass,” she said recalling that her mother was instrumental in bringing La Leche League, an international breastfeeding support group, as well as the Skatepark, to Lunenburg. “She’s feisty. She always supported us in all the crazy things we were doing.”
Calee is now her sister Blisse’s neighbour, separated only by a gate. “We call her kids our cuddle-ins instead of cousins,” Calee laughed. “There is magic to this place. We see our kids swim in a lake in the morning and at a beach in the afternoon. We high-five the post office workers, count the jellyfish. How idyllic is this little life that we’ve created? We live in someone else’s bucketlist.” Calee declared.