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Shelly Hipson grew up in Shelburne and left to attend university and then to travel. She worked in Florida, Vancouver and Japan and then backpacked around China, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Myanmar and Thailand. In 1994 she returned to the area because she came to realize that she needed fresh air, open spaces, nature and the ocean to be happy.
Shelly now does contract work from home, primarily for the Harbour Authorities and wharves throughout Shelburne County, acting as Harbour Supervisor. She describes in her own words below what returning to this area has meant to her.
Why have I decided to return here you ask? I've headed out to the crashing waves on my "door step" to "feel" this place I've called home to reflect on the answer to this question.
This is where I belong. Living here for me is like I've semi-retired at age 40. People search all their life to find a place where it's peaceful and close to amenities. My amenities are the waves crashing on the shore in front of my home, spotting pilot whales, porpoises or a bald eagle from my home office window or counting baby sea ducks huddled together on a nearby rock. The fact that I can ride my bike to a secluded mile-long white sandy beach and spot a deer, walk my dog and count rabbits, load the canoe or kayak to explore the coastline or nearby rivers and lakes is part of who I am.
On July 1st, to hop in an outboard, motor to a nearby island and take in a youth band playing on the back of a fishing boat -- that is my thing. The event also attracted a doctor, two dentists, and the editor of our local paper, fishermen and lots of children who enjoyed dancing to the music. Everyone blends together here.
For me to be able to step away from work and never be stuck in traffic or not to have to search for a parking spot lends itself to a pace and an environment that is therapeutic for me.
So what do I do with my time?
I work from home 3-4 hours a day. I walk my dog on the beach or out our road where my neighbours are delighted to give her treats. I volunteer for Pet Projects. I enjoy growing vegetables so that I can eat organic. In the winter I take woodworking and settle into evenings near the warmth of the wood fire and watch the breakers come in as I paint or read a good book.
For me it comes down to what kind of place will add to my wellbeing. For me, this is it.
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