It is possible that you have heard of how kind the people in Atlantic Canada are. Good God, it’s true!
I spent my days on P.E.I., with dear friends in a stately old farm house that they had rented just outside Alberton. The house, and its’ fitting, lush gardens, were surrounded by thickets, and tucked in beside crop fields, and an inlet dotted with oyster pans, as they are called; wire mesh rectangular boxes that hold the oysters as they grow in the nutrient-rich ocean water.
Every morning, I took my coffee and walk out along the red-dirt road, enamoured by it all. I loved the road. I loved the path down past the potato field to the water. I loved seeing the pans, and the cormorants sitting on top with their wings open, drying them in the morning sun. I loved the fellas out tending their livelihood on the water. I fucking despised the deer flies.
It is possible that you have heard of how kind the people in Atlantic Canada are. Good God, it’s true! One evening I joined my friends for dinner in town. We had oysters, and while we were eating, the waiter leaned down and whispered, “The man there at the next table is the one we get our oysters from!” On the way out, I stopped and introduced myself and we all sat and talked for a bit.
The man, Leslie Hardy, invited me to come see his operation. He's been in business for years, has eight children who are all involved, and thirty-seven grand children! Maybe it's the water. There's just something about that island. When I showed up, Leslie gave me a whole box of Malpeques! I chatted with his son, Allan while Leslie scrounged up a pick for me to shuck these little beauties with!
These oysters are sublime, and, I'm getting decent at shucking!
During one of my morning coffee walk-abouts, I met the neightbours, David and Angela Brodkerick. David had mentioned that he did a little wood working, and I had noticed some impressive work on their front lawn while I was driving back and forth. I popped in to see them on my way off of the island and David showed me, not one workshop, but three, full of his carvings and a few paintings. He maintained that he wasn’t an artist but I pressed the contrary. Of course, he gave me one of his carvings, because, that’s just what these people are like.
For no particular reason other than it’s tourist season, I decided to put off Newfoundland until the fall. Now, I’m driving along the Acadian Route towards the Gaspé, which is beautiful. To be honest, I’ve never felt the love when I’ve been in Quebec–always felt like an intruder, but I’m hoping that the next day or two, as I wind my way back to Ontario, will change this. I do want to love Quebec. I do. If I could love it as much as the coast, that would be neato.
- Suzanne Crone