Friday, 19 February 2010

Totally Off Topic

I moved to Prince Edward Island because it's surrounded by water, life is so much more relaxed here and because it's almost snake-free.  Since I have a full blown snake phobia, that's very important to me.  And the few snakes that are reputed to live here, stay out of the water, which is even more important to me.
But I digress.  As an added bonus to the gorgeous scenery and beaches every five minutes, the people here are wonderful, particularly in the village where I live.
Just for instance, a lobster fisherman who lives down the street has three trucks.  He drives one himself, the second is what he calls "the village truck," available to anyone who needs to borrow a truck for any reason, and the third has a snowplow on it so that he can run around and make sure nobody actually has to use a shovel in the wintertime.  He has plowed my store lot for two years and we have a big argument every spring about payment.  He seems to feel that he should do it for nothing.
But the person really responsible for me needing to share my thoughts is Harry.  Harry is one of those characters who live in small towns and is tolerated mainly for his entertainment value.  He doesn't have steady work, lives in a tag-along trailer and doesn't have a vehicle.  Don't get me wrong, Harry is very smart and very kind, especially to disadvantaged kids, unless you've made the mistake of slighting or insulting him.  His memory for insults is almost as long as his fuzzy beard.  If he likes you, though, he'll cut your grass as he passes and lets you know if he's found any real deals that you might be interested in.
Somehow in his wheeling and dealing, Harry came into possession of a John Deere riding lawnmower.  This mower has become his transportation and in the summer, it tows a peculiar looking wagon, complete with armchair.  The mounties turn a blind eye when they see Harry and his friend Ira chugging up the road with Ira in the armchair and both raising a beer in a friendly salute to the law.  The wagon putts up and down the street full of kids and the plastic pop bottles Harry helps them collect for their next trip to Ontario.  Another neighbour rigged the John Deere up with headlights so that Harry could see and be seen when he stayed too long at Ira's in the other village and has to come home in the dark.
The same good neighbour helped him put a plow on the little tractor for the winter and he toots all over the village cleaning sidewalks, driveways and even the front stoop of the store.  John Deere should use this lawn tractor for a commercial, because it must be indestructible.  The other night I was up late and heard Harry coming up the road, figuring he was out late and was on his way home.  But the tractor noise didn't go away, so I stuck my head out to see what he was up to.  Dear old Harry was plowing snow at midnight, talking to himself non-stop, and when I went out to the porch, all I could hear over the tractor was him ranting something about a chicken getting away.  It wasn't hard to tell that there was more than beer involved and I hollered at him to go home to bed.  The next morning he was bright-eyed and bushy bearded when he came in to the store for his coffee and I asked him what his chicken problem was the night before.  Apparently the fellow down the street had repaid his plowing with good company and moonshine, and a frozen chicken.  He couldn't carry the chicken and drive, so he sat on it as he made his way home with a few side trips to clean up some snow and the chicken kept slipping out from underneath him, trying to make the great escape.  All the fault of the shine, of course.
How many of you live in a place where you know all of your neighbours, their parents and grandparents, and who lived in their house since it was built?  And how many of you can turn off your televisions and watch funnier things going on outside than any comedy show?  I've made mistakes in my life, but moving here was definitely not one of them.  I am truly blessed.

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful post, you are very lucky. Love your pictures, too. PEI is a very special place.