(Roddy at the beach)*
I am on holiday in Prince Edward Island, staying at a large cottage near an ocean beach. I have the cottage to myself and although I cannot see the ocean I can hear it. The cottage is in the woods facing a potato field, robins chirping nearby. The resident rabbits are getting their exercise evading my dog.
The purpose of this holiday is to visit with my grandsons who are staying at the nearby farm of their PEI grandparents. At this moment I am sitting on the screened-in deck (lots of mosquitoes and other biting insects here!) with my morning coffee, taking advantage of the cottage wifi. Shortly Hapi and I will take a stroll on the beach to see if there are any other dogs about to play with. Hapi had quite a vigourous workout last evening with two dogs she met there.
I arrived here on Friday afternoon after a near-6-hour drive. Google Maps told me it would be a 5-hour drive, but I am not a fast driver and we did stop at a nice picnic park half way for lunch and a romp in the brook (for Hapi).
Friday evening we (Grammy Cindy, Tristan, Phelan and I) went to the nearby town of Morell for the Morell River Festival Parade, a 15-minute affair involving decorated cars and a couple of firetrucks.
Yesterday we went to the Wood Islands Seaglass Festival---in Wood Islands of course---and the boys collected lots of shards of sea glass on the beach there.
They had a fellow who would toss a bucket full of sea glass shards onto the beach, then they'd set loose the kids who collected the glass and turned it in for prizes, the fellow collected back all the glass in his bucket and returned it to the beach when no one was looking, and there'd be another round of kids sent out to hunt for glass for prizes...
Grammy Cindy makes goat milk soap which she sells at local markets, fairs and festivals, she had a booth at the Seaglass Festival. Tristan is old enough to be a help at her booth, he went early to help her set up and minded the soaps while Grammy took bathroom breaks.
Phelan and a neighbour boy Roddy came to the festival later with me, we took some back roads to get there which was kind of fun. Back roads on the island are narrow red clay affairs through the woods, when another car came in the other direction we pulled way over to the side and drove through the overhanging branches of the trees. Roddy and Phelan loved the slapping tree branches on the windshield, they thought I should drive faster to see if we could break the branches. I declined, I thought it was a toss-up which would break faster, the branches or the truck.
My truck is turning the colour of PEI, a kind of ochre-red.
Last night on the beach I met a Russian couple from Connecticut with a little dog that played chase with Hapi. I told the couple that I inherited Hapi from my son, they pointed to their dog and said, We too! Tristan was collecting driftwood that he hoped to take back to Toronto to sell to a local pet store that uses it in their reptile terrariums, and Cindy collected Irish Moss that she uses in her soaps. I collected dog poops.
Later, back at the cottage, Grampa Karl sawed some logs while Grammy Cindy, Tristan and I played Blurt. Several times there were "showdowns" between Cindy and I, Tristan called it Granny Wars.
Later today we will go paddling on the Morell River and on Monday we hope to go cycling on the Confederation Trail for lunch in St Peters. I will head back to the mainland on Tuesday.
Can't tell you how idyllic it is here, a wonderful vacation spot. The couple from Connecticut said they came here at a friend's insistence, that normally they never would have considered going north for a vacation. Now they go nowhere else, they love it here. The ocean is warm here because it is a relatively shallow protected area in the Gulf of St Lawrence. Historically it has always been a kind of vacation spot, even the Miqm'ah used to come here from the mainland for summers of fishing, berrying and the odd bit of hunting.
On another note, my brother is still in hospital being treated for a serious infection. They will set him loose in just over a week, but he had intended to be spending this time on his own island vacation spot on the west coast. He is weak, bored and frustrated but getting better, we hope. Such are the vicissitudes of one's 60s.
* The photo is young Roddy getting ready to throw a rock into the sea.