Oh, I Just Remembered

On the path leading to the Viking settlement at L'Anse Aux Meadows

Have you ever been afraid to go home? Reluctant? Mildly unhappy? This last week in Newfoundland I’ve smiled to myself and with my husband way more than usual. You know, when at home we do the normal visits with friends and family, meals out, the odd movie, and the occasional event but mostly our lives are predictable and filled with minutiae. (Oh, that sounds negative!)

Here in Newfoundland every day has been a revelation. My mind is filled to overflowing with new questions and answers each time we hit the road. What are the piles of stacked wood doing along the roadside? Why are there homemade bridges up on to the road from dense trees? What is that bird with the bright orange beak? Or why are those six men at the table over by the window saying absolutely nothing? (And we’ve been here half an hour.)

These are but a few of the queries filling my head. And I love it. A driving trip through a new place punctuated with stops to talk to local people is about the best holiday I can think of. Today at L’ Anse aux Meadows we talked to two local men working there and most of the conversation was about things other than the wonderful 1960 discovery of the Viking settlement dating back to the year 1000 A.D.

We learned that the older man has worked there since the opening of the centre and is pictured on the brochure. The younger fellow was full of information about life in Newfoundland. (His house is heated by electricity but he put in a wood burning stove in the basement and now cuts his wood every winter to save big time on his heating bill.) He talked about the impact of the Hibernia project and the fact that many people his age are forced to go off island for jobs. Currently many of them head for Alberta.

Wonderful Recreation of Viking homes with 6 ft thick walls and an R factor of 100.

We, too, must leave the island in a few days and head home. Back to our regular lives. I long to revisit my manuscript and keep working on my other writing as well; in fact, I am anxious to pick it all up again. Not so anxious to prepare meals, scrub toilets, dust furniture, remember to water my flowers or wash window blinds. So I am somewhat reluctant to leave Newfoundland.

Oh, I just remembered. Waiting for me are my son and grandson. Okay, I have a smile on my face and in my heart a song.

Note:  I just found this post on my iPad2.  Forgot to actually send it out to webland.  Better late than never, I guess.

Elaine Cougler

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