At breakfast there is a young couple from Germany who are agog at how theyve been treated on their trip to Canada. They tell us that when they arrived in Halifax Nova Scotia a woman with a bunch of flowers was at the airport waiting for her daughter to come home from Italy. When she found out they were going to catch a bus into town she insisted she give them a ride. She goes out of her way to take them to their destination and they were amazed that someone would take such trouble to see them right. I know all about that because my friend Joanne who lives in Clementsport NS has that streak a mile wide. Would I do the same if I met a couple of travellers in the Vancouver airport? Yes I would and I have but itís more down to my time in the north and not a habit I would expect most Vancouverites to display. However, I wouldnít say it couldnít happen. Iím pleased these two had such an experience because theyíll certainly be sharing that story when they get home. Before they leave Melinda and I sing I's The B'y to them.
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I decide to complete the circle tour and travel down to Moretonís Harbour. Itís less than an hour away and I pause at the causeway to view the Iceberg again. Itís moved closer to shore and I wonder how far it will travel before I leave on Wednesday. The trip is uneventful and thereís not much to look at except an odd looking sculpture at a Post Office by the road on the way. I decided Iíd stop for a closer look on my way back. Not much to see in the way of anything different except a brick and sod root cellar structure which had been dug into a hill. Iíd seen a few of these in different places and was pleased when I was told by Melinda they were what Iíd thought they were. This brings up the subject of land and how the locals managed it before there were local shops.
Houses were built on the rockiest bit of a property and all the rest was used for gardens and grazing. Many families in the outports had cows which, to me would have looked incongruous on rocky outcrops but that was before I knew about Newfoundland. After all, one couldnít milk fish.
I notice a very lovely house with a plaque reading - My Outport Home - in flowery font and wonder if this is owned by someone from away who has succumbed to the charm of Newfoundland and if itís a seasonal resident or theyíve totally committed to life here. From what Iíve heard around my west coast island many are snapping up homes here for summer use to take advantage of the bargains. Granted it is closer to Europe but other than that I donít see the logic of leaving my paradise for this one. I turn around and head back happy knowing Iíve done Ďthe circleí in the shanty.
At the Post Office I take a photo of the weird looking sculpture that looks like itís made out of whale sinew twisted into loops and go inside to find out what itís all about. Iím told that during the 70ís there was all of this extra government money for the arts and it was decided a Halifax artist would have his creation displayed in a Newfoundland hideout. I think itís a bit bizarre that itís decided to display another provinceís artist off the beaten path where nobody knows what it means or what itís made of and thereís no plaque for clarification. Thatís the government for you no matter which country you live in. Their logic is never clear because they believe we all should know what they mean. I write down the artistís name and promise the postal worker that if I ever do find any explanations Iíll flip her an e-mail.
On the causeway to Twillingate Island thereís this fishermanís museum and it has the bones of a Sei whale stretched out on the dock. I have pulled into their driveway a number of times to admire the Iceberg and take photos. I figure I should stop in and do the tour because Iíve used their compound so many times. Itís windy but I donít see any notices saying theyíre open or closed so I wander around the buildings until Iím hailed by a fella down on the wharf. He tells me to wait and he motors up the hill in one of those small all terrain toys which he probably puts to good use. When he arrives he tells me theyíre closed cause they just got back from St. Johns and his wife is poorly. I nod sympathetically once again enchanted with how every bit of bad news comes with an explanation. Just like at Nicoleís, telling me they were closed just wasnít enough. I continue on and stop in at the Harbour Tours cafe for coffee and some home-made carrot cake. Most everything seems to be made locally instead of bought and itís all delicious. What I have noticed is that thereís seldom butter served which was a surprise but now itís one of those things. I use margarine at home so I just shrug and accept the custom.
I return to the Inn and busy myself sewing a button on my fancy blouse and wonder if anyone will notice that my pants have some darning repairs when I go to the dinner theatre Gus booked me up for. Dinner is at 1830 and I leave a bit early to travel to Crow Head where itís at. This community is just a few minutes up the road on the way to Long Point Lighthouse. When I arrive Gus, his wife Geraldine and her sisters and his pull into the parking lot. Gus calls across that Iím sitting with them. Gus is a bit of a kidder so I think ... yeah sure .. smile and wave and walk into the hall that used to be a school and am greeted by another jocular Newfoundlander who hails me with, ďAre you Pen?Ē and the banter begins. I notice the table reservation says GUS - 6 and do a quick head count and there is only five in their party. Iím amazed! My chat with Gus the night before and my short conversation with his wife Geraldine at the cafe on my boat excursion day has entrenched me as someone who must sit with them. I am totally enchanted with their hospitality. I have no idea what Iíve done to endear myself to these people except be who I am. Me being me is not really the same as when Iím at home because I canít imagine being immune to the east coast hospitality.
The night is full of laughter and song which is delightful because itís so unpretentious. During the evening Iím invited to Gus & Geraldineís home the next day for a visit after dinner. Gus tells me heíll come by the Inn so I can follow him to their house which is on the other side of the harbour. Iíd heard that morning one of the Innís guests ended up in the hospital on Saturday and Melinda goes by for a visit after church on Sunday. I hear that Gus paid him a visit too. He gets discharged on his wife Patís birthday which Gus celebrates by bringing a cake and sheís serenaded by the troupe during the show. He tells me that she got a small gift too. Thatís what they do here when someone has some trouble. They share the load by taking on some of the burden. The evening ends just after nine and itís been a fine time.
Now, if Iíd only stayed a day or two I wouldnít have witnessed all of this. I would have been that much poorer spiritually too. This place is good for the soul.
"Tigers bloom where there's oodles of room." Zodiac Zoo