From 1999 until 2007 my family and I lived on Prince Edward Island in Canada. We had made the move after my husband retired from his job as an electrical engineer for the automotive industry.
Why did we do that? Let me just say no one is sure at this point. We started out looking for a B&B in Vermont. Who doesn’t want a B&B in Vermont. Answer: Anyone who has one.
We found out quickly that owning a B&B was great if you paid total cash for it and didn’t expect to make any money. Given the $300K and up price tag for a B&B back in 1998, getting $65 to $75 a night for a room wasn’t going to keep anyone fed and clothed. So, trash went the B&B idea, at least in the states.
Silly me, I started looking at the B&Bs for sale on-line and spotted some on PEI. I made arrangements and flew there to check them out. To make a LONG story short, I bought a house, not a B&B. Then we started the long haul to immigrate, make the move, sell our home. It was a stupid decision and in retrospect we would have been better off buying something in the states. Although it wasn’t all bad. Our home was fantastic. It was huge, large enough for all of us and our various hobbies, set on what looked like a lake with a fish dam, surrounded by 22 acres of land and forest. The house itself was 3200 square feet only counting the main floor and had a chef’s kitchen with a Garland stove. I loved that Garland stove. I still love that stove, wherever it is now.
What we didn’t know and should have, is that everything is slower on an Island. Where I was used to getting things done yesterday, the people on the Island felt there was always time to do something and were in no rush. They found my American nationality annoying. They didn’t like us and they made it plain as day. I would walk to the parking lot from the post office and smile at an old lady, you know smile, like I always do. She would turn her head as if I had mortally offended her. It was like that the whole 8 years I was there. I couldn’t wait to get back to civilization, where people act civilized and where a smile is a smile whether it comes from someone from away or someone who’d been born there.
After trying to sell the house for 3 or 4 years (took so long I cannot remember how long it took!) we finally made our last drive over The Confederation Bridge.
This bridge was the bain of my existence. I was terrified of bridges as a child because my father would drive us over old wooden bridges in the country and the boards would clatter. Whenever I had to go over a high bridge, I think of the Skyway in Chicago here, I would freak. No less would I freak on this bridge. The sides were just concrete barriers, like the kind used in construction projects. Every 8 feet there was a crack and the high winds would come through that crack and lift the front of your car. Eek.
And so we moved to Bangor, Maine. No one wanted to make a long move, for instance back to Detroit, Michigan. We wanted somewhere in America, but somewhere close. Bangor had the right combination of shopping availability, small town feel, medical centers and places to work. We went to look for a home and found a nice old colonial with just the right sized rooms. Satisfaction.
Yesterday, which you know unless you live under a rock in the middle of Antarctica, we had a blizzard. It was a bad blizzard. At one point I looked out the window and could see nothing. Absolutely nothing.
It was worse than this picture. And the wind? Loud is all I can say. It rattled that window something fierce.
The difference between a snowstorm on PEI and one in Maine? Where I live the snow plows were out by 9:00 pm last night moving snow. Up and down my street, up and down the main street next to me. Up and down. Up and down. Noisy big trucks. Forever noisy big trucks.
In PEI? The snow plows might make it out the next day. Might or might not, most likely not. Or else they’d have a grudge against us since we were American and bought a house they couldn’t afford. In which case the snow plow driver would push all the snow into our driveway to the point it couldn’t be blown out by the fellow who did our snow. Being me, I complained to high heaven. I called our member of parliament, after spending what felt like hours on the phone with the head of the group that was supposed to plow the roads, not take all the road snow and block our driveway. It was a horrible thing, being hated for no other reason than you were from America and they didn’t want you there. Sigh.
I’m not there now. And as I laid in bed last night, listening to the snow plows go up and down, up and down, I gave great thanks to God for planting me in Maine, for letting me live here, for making my life wonderful.