Christmas Is…

This year’s Christmas message is actually one I am recycling from 1996.

I came across this one written and dedicated to my children.  The inscription reads:

Dedicated to A….and G….. That they will always remember the true meaning of Christmas.

Christmas, 1996

Our daughter was 16 years old and our son was 13.  I believe I stuffed this poem in scroll fashion into their stockings.  A Merry Christmas indeed!

the-tree

Merry Christmas 2016

Christmas Is

Assembling the Manger, all golden and bright

Decorating the house with boughs and lights

Helping my sister trim her tree

Then chopping our own, hoping all agree.

Christmas is

Receiving cards and pictures from friends new and old

The excitement of opening them stiff from the cold

Lining them on shelves for all to see

While stuffing the special ones deep in the tree.

Christmas is

The smell of roast turkey and candles burning

The motorized ornaments slowly turning

Welcoming family and old friends alike

Excitement mounting for the wonderful night.

Christmas is

More than the exchange of gifts and toys

A time of celebration and lifelong joy

The true meaning lying there deep in your heart

A time for togetherness; never, ever being apart.

Christmas is

Tiny gestures of love; and kind words spoken

Gifts of good deeds; soothing hearts that are broken

Opening your arms to one needing a hug

Sharing laughter and cider in an old Santa mug.

Christmas is

Singing  carols with the choir on Christmas Eve Night

Classics like “The Little Drummer Boy” and “Oh Holy Night”

Memories of our own childhood flickering past

The years have flown by only too fast.

Christmas is

Watching our children sharing their love

Praying for their blessings from God above

That in their hearts they will continue sharing

Gifts of family, with good health, and tender caring.

By: ELR Christmas 1996

 

 

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The Forest Beyond the Trees

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The forest beyond the trees. Photo ELR

Almost 40 years ago my Dad bestowed a wonderful gift to me. He wanted me to own land in PEI “so you always have a place to call home” was his reasoning and I didn’t argue.
So we agreed on a price and seventeen acres of his (pride and joy) woodland was deeded over to me. This land was carved out of the “Scully” property in the 1940’s so without question it was something I knew I would always cherish. Dad continued to cut firewood there until he could no longer. He loved ‘the woods’. And he passed that love on; when I’m there in ‘the woods’, I am in heaven.

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This fall day was spectacular, sunny skies and a warm stiff breeze and 17 degrees. It was a perfect day for a stroll through ‘the woods’. We drove the jeep into the field edging the property as close as possible. The sun was high in the sky and the wind left the streaks of clouds resembling ‘angel’s wings’ everywhere. I grabbed my phone “click” to enjoy later. “Later”, I realized the camera caught more than the naked eye. Today we are not alone on this stroll through the woods.

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A spectacular display of Angel wings; pink auras; and a bright light to the left of the picture ….. Hello Dad!

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A beautiful day for a stroll through the woods.

The path/road is still there and cuts through the middle of the property. A lot of wood has been cut off – we’re not sure who would do that. Unfortunately I don’t live close enough to monitor traffic in and out. The path looks well used with tire tracks possibly made by ATV’s and snowmobiles in winter. Hoof prints appeared in the mud here and there. “The woods” has attracted many. I guess I’m okay with that. It is too beautiful not to be enjoyed.

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Moist grasses and fern still vivid green and a stream in the middle of the woods concoct the most wonderful pungent aroma. We stop and breathe. Birds and squirrels flit about calling out to their friends to warn them of the intruders in their space. If only we could bottle the scent and sounds. Nothing like it!

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We take a second path back. It was rough going and I worked up a sweat climbing over fallen trees; sliding on spongy moss covered logs; and de-tangling my sweater from low lying branches. I was relieved to see the clearing appear through the mess of branches – I’m clearly not used to ‘bush whacking’.

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A perfect tree!

We choose a tree for our front yard. Christmas is six weeks away and I don’t want to miss this opportunity. In front of us, standing tall and alone amid fallen and otherwise scrappy bush is a beautiful fir tree. Without question it will be perfect for all to enjoy. I can almost see my Dad smiling. He would be so proud and thrilled to know a tree from his ‘woods’ will be decorated this year.

 

 

 

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The tree stands proudly in our front yard.

I wasn’t quite done though. A few days later I head out again with my daughter and grandson to gather the bay berry, red branches and boughs and birch sticks to create a winter scene for the front doorstep. Laden down with cutters, garden gloves, a saw and rubber boots, we climbed over many a ditch to gather our treasures. With some help from a little pair of hands we were done in no time!

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Many hands make light work.

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The ditches did not deter him from his task.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The ‘before’. With everything I need for the work in progress.

The best part of all the outdoor fun was the fact that it was all a gift from nature. With a few lights and recycled pine cones from previous years, the urns will soon be transformed into Christmas glory.

 

 

 

 

 

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The ‘after’ ~ Ta dah. Our front door is adorned with some treasures from ‘the woods’.

Chapter 11: PEI Roadside Stands ~ Keeping it Simple

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“I think we may safely trust a good deal more than we do.” Henry David Thoreau         Photo: ELR

Offered for sale wild berries in wooden quarts,
Or crook-necked golden squash with silver warts,
Here far from the city we make our roadside stand
And ask for some city money to feel in hand
~The Roadside Stand~ by Robert Frost

In the poem A Roadside Stand, Frost presents the lives of poor deprived people with pitiless clarity and with the deepest sympathy and humanity.

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Roadside stands are a familiar sight in PEI.    Photo: ELR

It is now fall in Prince Edward Island. The air is cooler and fresher and the morning grass more often than not is covered with a heavy dew and the beginnings of frost. The pumpkins are dotted in many a field and the grocery stores, farmers markets and roadside u-picks are full of the plump orange vegetables along with their smaller cousins the gourds. It is a time to take a deep breath and brace myself for the winter ahead. The leaves are turning yellow, orange and crimson. If you are lucky enough to fly over our Island at this time of year, the sight is breathtaking! Fields of freshly harvested potatoes leave a brownish okra square where once potato blossoms flourished. Grain has been cut and corn has reached maturity and what is left scattered in the fields provide valuable sustenance for the flocks of Canada Geese winging their way south. Our seasons are short and the more reason to enjoy them to the fullest.

new potatoesPrince Edward Islanders are open, friendly, and trusting people. The ‘salt of the earth’ one might say. I love stopping at many a small unmanned kiosk at the side of the road in many communities. Residents and occasional travelers can purchase produce such as potatoes (which is the most popular with our Island being famous for these tubers), strawberries, garden vegetables, and in the fall, pumpkins, gourds and sunflowers. Purchases are based solely on the ‘honor system’; sometimes in the form of a plastic or metal tub attached to a pole, where you can deposit the exact change. There are many roadside stands of this sort and they are open seven days a week. Local residents, who are intent on supporting the 100 mile challenge or the ‘support local’ initiative find these mini marts serve the purpose nicely. Unsophisticated maybe, but they work!

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uPick Pumpkin patch on a main road in Perth PEI.                                                          Photo: ELR

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“on your honor” – pay here….   Photo: ELR

The fall is an especially pretty time of year to cruise all the back roads (and main roads) to see what can be found. Pumpkin patches offer a wide variety of pumpkins, gourds and at some farm markets, a veritable playground while the elders shop for that special pumpkin arrangement for display or cooking.

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Balderston’s farm market Stratford PEI Photo: ELR

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Balderston’s farm market.

Farmers’ markets in the larger cities, towns, and villages host local merchants and Artisans who have been peddling their food and wares for years. It can be a place to catch up on the local gossip, or have lunch of sauerkraut and sausage on a homemade bun, while you chat. There is no reason or rhyme to what you will find to buy, or sample, making it all the more intriguing to cruise the rural roads on a Saturday morning in P.E.I. Arrive early, though, because by mid-day, the farmer’s market in Charlottetown closes up shop!

The fruit stand has been a neighborhood hub for many generations. As a young girl I setIMG_1124 up a small stand at the end of our lane and sold our fresh strawberries from my Mother’s patch for .25c a box. Handpicked by me and my sibling usually in the cooler early morning hours, it was a hot and long day’s work often seeing us pack it in before the heat of the afternoon sun which could transform the berries to mush in a manner of hours.
It’s not as common anymore to sell strawberries at a roadside stand. strawberry-1352

The more common method now is the uPick fields that are around the countryside.
A simple stand located adjacent to an established road/transportation route is the most familiar model. Fruit and produce stands in PEI are seasonal, harvest-based operations.

Whatever your pleasure in fruits or vegetables, you will not leave disappointed. So gather your significant other and/or young’uns and head out for a road trip.  Bring lots of change so you can pick what you like. Be thankful we live in such a beautiful province with farmers who work around the clock in all kinds of weather to bring such harvest to our tables!

Chapter 10: Summer in PEI: Beach Combing and Clamming

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Footprints in the sand.                                                                                                    Photo: EL Roach

“Our memories of the ocean will linger on, long after our footprints in the sand are gone.” ~Anonymous

Washed up and strewn across the shores and riverbanks on P.E.I., flotsam and jetsam (debris and driftwood) lay ‘beached’ from high winds and tides. Unfortunately these same weather patterns tear away the unprotected riverbanks, and the trees that have been growing for decades fall prey to erosion from the same tides. Breaking away and drifting for months or years, beach combers will soon delight in finding these driftwood treasures.

Floatsam on ‘Poverty Beach’ PEI.                       Photo: EL Roach

One thing Prince Edward Island has in abundance is beaches. Someone once said you can never get lost on PEI; to keep driving until you reach water.

Our Island is rich in this way. We may be the smallest province in Canada but we possess the largest jewel in the form of an Island.

beach combing 3I have my own beach. Well it is not exactly a white sandy beach – but a dark coarse sandy one rich with shells, broken glass and driftwood. I collect it all – even the broken glass that has not tumbled in the sea long enough to have the smooth edges like the sea glass gathered and coveted by beach goers.

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Jagged broken shards of glass lovingly displayed in a large vintage pickle jar.                         Photo: EL Roach

I can walk for an hour on my beach (at low tide) and not run out of beach. I do not take this gift for granted. I share this time and this beach with our heron that visits us nightly, the crows in the early morning who choose our beach to have their morning chat or arguments; the snipes who pick their way through the water’s edge looking for a snack; and the majestic eagles who patrol the shoreline daily feasting on whatever the river decides to provide them on any given day.

Driftwood on the Brudenell River’s shore.                                                                  Photo: A. Roach

A piece of driftwood this size has been here, on the Brudenell River for some time, and will be a challenge for a beach comber attempting to drag this one home! Sometimes you can discover the most beautiful pieces of driftwood, like this treasure which resembles Burlwood.

This piece of Burlwood drifted in to my beach and is now on display.                   Photo:  EL Roach

Or if you are so inclined you could rescue an old lobster trap washed up on the beach.

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Abandoned lobster trap on Sheep Pond Beach. Photo: Angie Packer Dunn

The sand flats revealed on low tide are rich with shellfish for the patient, willing to dig for them. Razor fish, soft-shelled clams, and bar clams are there for the taking (as long as your daily limit does not exceed 100). You need a license to fish all bi valves but recreational fishing is allowed (with the exception of scallops and oysters). Daily limits can be viewed on the Department of Fisheries and Oceans website. Shellfish areas are monitored closely and signs will be posted if any areas are closed to the public for shell fishing.

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Digging with bare hands. Photo: EL Roach

This clam digger is brave enough to use his bare hands, although there are other ways to dig without sacrificing cuts and scrapes.

Beach combers digging for clams here on Argyle Shore is on a ‘first come, first served’ basis. With an unhurried pace and the circling of seagulls, you can still net enough for an afternoon meal of delicious bivalves. Receding tides expose hard packed sand flats perfect for digging clams, or a long, casual stroll at sunset.

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Clammers come to shore to dig clams.                                                                      Photo:  EL Roach

“Clammers” who clam for a living use proper rakes and clam baskets to keep their catch fresh. It is back breaking work and they fish in all kinds of weather. If you have the opportunity to watch these fisherpeople, it will guarantee a whole new level of appreciation for the food on your plate!

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Mussel boat harvesting the blue mussels at Seal Cove PEI.                                      Photo: EL Roach

Mussel growers on PEI fish year round and many rivers are harvested with their ‘socks’ marked by the familiar buoys. PEI’s ‘blue mussel’ is a favorite nationwide and is one of the provinces largest industries. As a child I picked wild blue mussels off the rocks on our shore – they have come a long way since then.

As the evening sun sets on this large expanse of sand flats, this father/son duo make their way home, with whetted appetites, to cook up their bar clam and soft shell clam feast.

beachcombining

Photo: EL Roach

Clay shores and sandy beaches are in abundance in this small province. Whether your pleasure is rocky shores or long, squeaky-clean sandy beaches, it is sure to delight even the most discerning beach comber’s appetite.

Island sandstone with vines

A long stretch of sandy beach can be quickly transformed into a beautiful, rugged, rocky coastline.                                                        Photo: Angie Packer Dunn

P.E.I.’s beach combers habitually collect the abundant sea glass shards, deposited on the beaches on low tide. Some of these pieces have been in the ocean waters, tumbling for decades, to become smooth opaque gems. Ocean worn in all shapes, sizes and colors, sea glass is a collector’s dream, and can be found in local artisan shops, fashioned into intricate pieces of jewelry and keepsakes.

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Sea glass by the Seashore.                                                                                                  Photo: EL Roach

I hope you enjoyed a walk on the beach in PEI ~ if you haven’t had this pleasure, then my wish is for you to have this virtual walk with me.

“Eternity begins and ends with the ocean’s tides.”

Chapter 9: Trout Fishing in PEI

Victoria Day – May’s Long Weekend

“The fish were so plentiful, you had to go behind a tree to bait the hook.” ….R. Fee Roach

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Mid May’s long weekend ‘Victoria Day’, also known as ‘picnic day’* brings young and old alike out on the first sunny weekend holiday. Trout fishing season officially opens and for this weekend only, families can enjoy the experience without the required fishing license. As morning dawned, it was cloudy and overcast. By noon, the wind removed the cloud cover and the sun beamed through the trees. Out came the fishing poles and worms, but not a seasoned fisherwoman, I forgot a bucket for my catch!

DSCF2647A stocked pond in the Caledonia hills, (Ben’s Lake), that has been in business for several decades brought some entertainment and for about $3.50 per pound, I could take my ‘catch’ home. The pond is stocked each season with over 5000 pounds of young trout, each weighing about a pound each. The young fish are brought from a fish ‘hatchery’ nearby, and are plentiful on this spring day.

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After the fish are caught, they are weighed. In a wet sink outside you can clean and fillet your catch, leaving the discarded fish heads and ‘innards’ to be ground up and recycled back into the pond for fish food. Nothing is wasted here!! (Cleaning our catch ~ I did NOT participate in this activity!) DSCF2663SignThe rules for our fishing experience were clearly displayed on the side of the ‘weighing hut’, where we were supplied with fish nets and buckets. Expecting the fishing experience to last for at least 2-3 hours, we were finished, with fish caught, cleaned, and on our way home in little over one hour! It might sound like cheating but it was a novelty that we could enjoy the fresh air, sunshine, and bring home our catch of the day, without sacrificing the entire day.

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Early in the season, there were few flies or mosquitoes. The water was moving rapidly and was free of moss and long grasses. Young families, arriving by the carload were squealing with delight, jubilant over their catches. Little children were experiencing their first fishing trip of the season. DSCF2653DSCF2655 That evening, we feasted on our speckled trout, and made a customary toast to Queen Victoria. I had come a long way from peanut butter sandwiches and orange Kool-aid™!

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*PICNIC DAY: THE EARLY YEARS

As a kid in the early 60’s, a tin lunch box was packed with peanut butter sandwiches on soft white bread, and orange Kool-aid™ in a mason jar to drink. I would then set off to picnic with friends. The destination was within walking distance of course, and the ultimate goal was to find a ‘secret spot’ in the woods; spread out a blanket and feast on the contents of my lunch box.

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Real Trout Fishing – Later The Hard Way

Al“There are two types of fisherman – those who fish for sport and those who fish for fish.” ~Author Unknown~

Real trout fishing (an arduous task for the faint of heart) is an experience in itself. Arming ourselves with fishing licenses, plastic tubs with clay & dew worms, rods, reels & rubber boots, we set off to find those ‘fishing holes’ that may or may not be known to the locals. Lathered with bug spray, we were determined to be undaunted by the black flies, who also came out in droves for the occasion. Many bridges over rivers and brooks by North Lake had a vehicle or two parked with anglers fishing nearby.

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“The fishing was good; it was the catching that was bad.” … A.K.Best

We settled down under one such bridge, and perched on the rocks to wait for the first ‘bite’. A pair of geese and a lone pigeon, startled by our presence, flew off in a huff, verbalizing their displeasure with squawks and honks. A short while later we had to move on. The trout were not biting here! The only thing biting was the black flies!     ********************************************************************************************* This is trout fishing at its finest, with a large dose of patience being the order of the day! Punts and dories dotted the riverbanks along this pond near North Lake, waiting like faithful servants, for their next fishing trip. trout fishing2 The scenery on our trout fishing tour was by far, the most rewarding. Though we didn’t catch trout for our dinner that particular day… we brought home lasting memories of a day like no other. Invigorated by the fresh clean air, sleep came quickly to us that night, with visions of large trout dancing in our heads.

Chapter 8: Spring in Prince Edward Island

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“April Showers Bring May Flowers.”

Beautiful beyond description.                                            Photo: E.D.Stanley

Witnesses to this scene in a field of Queen Anne’s lace will be tempted to overlook the wildflowers, overshadowed by this youthful beauty!

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The calendar tells us it is spring. But anyone in PEI has only to look out the window to refute this fact. Mounds of snow still linger, residuals of numerous snowstorms throughout what some say was one of the longest winters they can remember. With the official spring here I would be remiss if I didn’t blog about spring in PEI of the not so distant past. After moving here, spring was one season I had forgotten about. So over time I made notes about this wonderful season. A season of awakening and new beginnings.

A Typical Spring in PEI

The last remnants of winter snow and ice has melted away. Winter boots and skis are stored away once again, and finally, spring arrives on P.E.I. After ice and snow storms ravaged P.E.I. for four months, spring is joyfully welcomed. April’s heavy rains, and rare days of sunshine bring the first vestiges of green, and new life forms appear.

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Bald Eagle                                                          Photo: Paul Arsenault Photography PEI

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Raccoons are plentiful in PEI.                       Photo: Paul Arsenault Photography PEI

The month of May arrives with small animals appearing in droves. Skunks and raccoons return, as if by magic, to steal young daffodil bulbs, or to hide in compost bins to await their next feast. Bald eagles hover overhead, ready to dive into the shallow waters to feed on fish now visible since the ice has left.

Young red fox cubs are often seen scampering across the fields hunting mice and moles that have come out of hibernation. Food is plentiful now. Mounted on windows throughout the countryside, hummingbird feeders stand replenished, awaiting their first visitors. Islanders love their wildlife! Finch birds that seemingly hibernated in some areas are back singing their spring songs on top of the feeders. They mimic our joy of seeing sunshine and some green grass.

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A young fox cub ready for play.                  Photo: Paul Arsenault Photography PEI

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Squirrels and bluejays often compete for the same food.                         Photo: ELR

Canada Geese dot the cornfields and hay fields feasting in preparation for their young. Ganders stand at attention making their arrivals known with incessant honking. Squirrels and Blue jays fight over nuts and sunflower seeds heaped in feeders.

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A Blue heron swoops in for a landing on the shores of the Montague River where fish are plentiful. A welcome sight, they signal the official arrival of spring in P.E.I.

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A Blue Heron is almost invisible in these surroundings.                                         Photo; ELR

Fiddleheads (young fern not yet unfurled); now abundant near damp and mossy low lying areas are a delicacy for those who relish the earthy flavor of this natural wild growing plant. Fiddleheads are rich with nutritional value and if I was to liken them to anything, I would say they taste like spring!

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Fiddleheads about to unfurl!

In the woodlands of Naufrage, near streams rich with damp soil, other delightful signs of spring are sprouting. You might mistake this wildflower with its large bright conspicuous leaves for buttercups, but a closer inspection of this five-petal flower reveals leaflets similar to a strawberry plant. The “Silverwood” wildflower is related, as they are both of the rose family. This plant provides seeds for small birds and mice and is named for this silvery underside of the leaves. The leaves were believed to relieve the pain of sore feet, if stuffed into the soles of your shoes.

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Silverwood flower commonly found near streams.                                             Photo: ELR

The spring brings the clothes out to the clothesline to capture that ‘fresh air’ aroma that cannot be mimicked no matter how hard they try. The earth is still very damp and the moist clay is ready for planting. We have very fertile soil here in PEI and of course the potato (which should almost be our provincial emblem) will be sprouting everywhere in the countless farmer’s fields from East Point to West Point.

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Rubber boots – a ‘must have’ in the spring. Photo; ELR

The four seasons are very distinct here. One does not blend into the other as I often experienced in another province whereby one day we were wearing boots and the next day, open toed shoes. We wear clothing appropriate for all four seasons and it is prudent that a resident of PEI be the owner of a pair of rubber boots!

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Soon I will back on the shore, enjoying our spectacular sunsets, beach combing and well…just sitting.

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“Just Sit”                                                                        Photo; Paul Arsenault Photography PEI

The Canadian Snowbird

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Beach and ocean waves combined – whisk you away from the snowy frozen north!

 

I have to confess. I have never been to Florida. Ever. I am not sure I even know the reason but for years our holidays always centered on visiting PEI (when I lived in another province). My vacations home to visit my parents and family always trumped the Florida/Disney vacations. I have no regrets. My children did not know our parents well, but at least I gave them every opportunity to know them.
This year after much persuading (and it wasn’t easy) and with time constraints I and my better half succumbed to the ‘Florida’ getaway – amidst much sub zero weather in our East coast/Northern hemisphere. It was a getaway for a week. A mere week – but with wind and snow and freezing rain howling around our rafters it sounded great. I have my friends to thank. I don’t think we would have chosen Florida – but choose it we did.
So off to Canada’s winter bedroom we flew. The flights were all on time. Air Canada didn’t disappoint. But I really, really do not like security checkpoints. Even as we departed our fair province with shoes off, belt off, all jewelry off ( that could set off that alarm); and all liquids visibly available to the agents; no contraband items (and the list is extensive) we finally settled in on our flight. One stop to connect to the 2nd leg that would take us to Orlando. Great! Half way there…yay! Toronto was as usual…Toronto. Long lineups and thankfully we both had carry-on luggage. Good thing. We dutifully ‘quick stepped’ it to our gate for USA. But we were outside security so back through ‘the drill’ we went again. Unbeknown to me the airlines tagged my boarding pass to the USA with a series of ‘SSSS’s’. Now to the unsuspecting eye this wouldn’t mean anything. BUT to the security agents at the USA connections it DID mean something. The hot pink highlighter scribbled ‘ssss’ should have been a dead giveaway. NO…not to me – I live in a bubble you see!

Security

Yes…and pay attention to the hot pink highlighted section on your boarding pass. It makes you special!!

So when I was ushered into a ‘different’ lineup for baggage scanning than my husband I beckoned him to join me…in my lineup. The security agents respectfully said …no no…he can go over there. I ignored them and asked again…come with me…my lineup is shorter. At this point the security guards were starting to smirk. What’s the e’ffing joke I was muttering to myself. One sweet young guy in an official uniform asked to see my boarding pass. “Ahhh…he says…did you notice the hot pick highlighter?” “Huh ?” I reply. He giggles and informs me that I was ‘randomly’ picked for the ‘works’. You know what that is right? Yeah. The full body scan. The full body ‘pat-down’. Baggage and everything I own scrutinized. Come on…you’ve got to be kidding! By the time I got through ‘the drill’ I had them laughing because I went into great detail on how I dressed/packed so I wouldn’t set off any alarms – that I read all the tips for security requirements in the ‘departure guide’ online and followed them to the letter.  Ok – so call me anal!  I looked over to my better half. He is shaking his head and grinning. Haw haw.

Florida cocktails by the pol

At LAST…Sangria by the pool…life is good!

Florida was grand. Temperatures on a daily basis were in the low 80’s (Fahrenheit). It was lovely getting into sandals and having cocktails by the (heated) pool in the evening. We had a grand tour of Orlando – even did some shopping at downtown Disney.

Florida Talking parrot at downtown disney

A talking parrot at downtown Disney.

St. Pete’s was my favorite though as I could see beach and ocean. Call me crazy, but in the dead of winter it is such a treat to see ocean crashing into the shore. I need it;  it restores my sanity.

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St Pete’s beach. Not many there in January!

Florida Pelicans in St Pete's

Pelicans…all with their own personal perches. Priceless!

Florida st pete's the moon under water

We sat outside at this quaint little spot along the waterfront in St Pete’s

Florida orange grove

And the oranges were delicious!

The orange groves were plentiful and I couldn’t resist getting out of the car to touch an orange on a tree. Simple pleasures!

Florida seems to be inhabited by everyone who isn’t born and raised in Florida though. I waited to hear ‘an accent’. Nope – not one. I enjoyed the wine stores with the bargain basement prices….are we ever fleeced here in Canada when it comes to wines!! I did not partake in much shopping (the Cdn dollar is at an all time low right now). Anyway, shopping was not what took me to Florida.
Now, I can say …I’ve been to Florida. Will I live there for the winter in the future? The jury is still out on that one. But I can see why people would want to escape. We just weathered another storm of storms here in PEI! It will take days to dig out after 67cm of snow dumped in our little province. But somehow the change in seasons is what makes life interesting. I don’t have to worry about getting to work. I am not sure if I want to shovel snow forever, but there is always an alternative.

Life is good like that.

Florida St petes marina at dusk

St Pete’s Marina and boardwalk…at sunset.