Monday, 15 February 2016

Summers in P.E.I.

I have many fond memories of my childhood summers at Prince Edward Island, Canada. My family visited this incredible island for six consecutive summers while my brother and I were growing up. Driving from Ontario took three days, so we were ecstatic when we arrived at the P.E.I. port. The entire vacation was spent at a lovely, quaint motel in the small town of Souris, which is on the eastern tip of the Island.

 My family swam and relaxed much of our time on the stunning seascape. The long, empty beaches created by red warm soft sand were a simple joy. Swimming was a little difficult because you had to walk far out into the ocean before you reached a point where the water was over your head. The ocean could be quite cold, but we didn’t care and swam all the time.

Along the red beaches were spread every possible kind of shell and sea creature. I loved finding the circular imprinted sand dollars and the dead, stiff star fish. As we sauntered along the warm coast, we would collect all sorts of natural debris. My mother and I created very artistic ornaments by pasting the coloured shells onto many different shapes of driftwood. Much to our surprise, we later discovered similar crafts being sold in the tourist shops for $10.00.

My parents always organized small adventures around the island. One such scheduled trip was to Green Gables and the make-believe home of Anne, the main character in Lucy Maud Montgomery’s novel Anne of Green Gables. It is such a wonderful story about an odd little girl who was adopted from an orphanage by Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert who lived in Avonlea. Due to many mishaps and good deeds, not only do the Cuthberts fall in love with Anne, but she also earns the friendship of the townspeople. It is a marvelous tale full of laughter and tears. It was made into a television series.

One day, a brown station wagon pulled up in front of one of the rooms at the motel with two big, beautiful, black Labrador Retrievers in the back of the car. Like a magnet to all dogs, I immediately marched over to make friends. Suddenly, from the front driver’s side of this ugly brown car, came a very gruff and angry short man with a full, brown beard and steely brown eyes that seemed to pierce right through you. He vehemently shouted at me to get away from his car and to leave his dogs alone. I slunk away feeling quite dejected.

The next day, the horrible, little man’s lovely wife invited me into their room. Her husband was out walking the dogs. They were her husband’s dogs, she explained, and he did not like anyone touching them. I was not to be upset by his behaviour. He wasn’t good with children, she added. She then talked to me about my holiday and other incidentals. We had a very pleasant time. When it was over, she gave me a big hug and sent me on my way. I liked her very much.

After the couple and their dogs had left, my parents told me that the man was Farley Mowat; a renowned and well-respected Canadian author who has written many novels. I must admit that I was very surprised. From that day forward, I never again read any of his books.

Do you have any childhood memories that bring sunshine to a dreary day?

As far as the Syrian refugees are concerned, I arrived at the soccer venue at 9:20 a.m. They didn't arrive until 10:15 am, but it was only the men and kids. The women remained  at the hotel because of sick children. It also snowed so that probably freaked them out. I left my card with a couple of men looking after them so if they need me, they'll call.
have fun,