Just a thought... The larger the island of knowledge, the longer the shoreline of wonder. [Ralph W. Sockman]
Well, what an adventurous weather weekend it was in Southern Ontario! I was keeping an eye on things as the tornado warnings swirled about the internet, thinking of my dear friend Anita MacArthur and her mum Margaret Reynolds, who were flying home from our place and into YYZ Saturday afternoon. They arrived safely after some turbulence during landing.
Anita, who is the wife of Ian (The General) MacArthur, was in Vancouver for business and made the extra effort to come across on the ferry to Victoria for four nights. And, of course, besides lots of laughs, hugs and talk of Lauren - with whom Anita had and has a special closeness - there were adventures!
Having lived here for exactly six months now, Rob and I have heard so much about Salt Spring Island that having guests who wanted to see it, too, made us go! We boarded a small ferry and rode the 35 minutes to a small island inhabited by about 10,000, making it the most populated - and most visited - of the Southern Gulf Islands.
Among the names you know who are or have been residents of SSI: Robert Bateman (who lives in a house designed for the actress Eileen Brennan), Arthur Black (CBC), Chilliwack's Bill Henderson, actor Stuart Margolin (Rockford Files), and mononymous entertainers Raffi and Valdy.
What draws these people and so many visitors to Salt Spring Island is clearly evident as soon as the ferry docks at Ganges Harbour. The word "quaint" gets used a lot, but there's no other way to describe the town of Ganges. (Oh, and I looked it up and it's not related to the river in India or the amount of weed that's been smoked there; it's named for the HMS Ganges, a ship from the Royal Navy that was stationed nearby for the latter half of the 19th century).
Nowadays, it's teeming with gift and craft shops and is home to people who live on a different wavelength - one that's laid back and unhurried.
What is a piano doing on a pier? Waiting to be played, of course. So I sat down to a surprisingly well-tuned instrument and pounded out "Drops of Jupiter" as the drops of rain fell. Why not?
We wandered the streets of the town, popped into a few shops and admired the creativity outside of one in particular.
Lunch was waterside at a highly recommended spot called Auntie Pesto's (get it?) and then we walked some more, taking in the heron who was also having a bite to eat on a rainy day.
We missed the Tuesday and Saturday markets, but that just makes for another reason to return to this picturesque spot, where one can easily find a bite, a creative cup of coffee or - get this - even my precious black licorice ice cream! By the time I'd found the place that sells the dark, rich and rare concoction, we'd already filled up at lunch, but again, we'll be back!
The grey skies and brief sprinkles didn't dampen our spirits, though, and we also trekked up (by vehicle because we're not crazy) to a gorgeous provincial park. I'll share some pictures from that part of our day here tomorrow.
In the meantime, some reflections on a week spent hosting some very special - and welcome - people. We know that we're not on the way to anywhere (unless you happen to be stopping in Victoria en route to, say, Hawaii) so when friends or relatives make a point of flying here or, as Anita and Maggie did, taking a ferry, it means a lot.
Sometimes, we need to adjust our schedule a bit, as in the case of Rob's sister Sue, who joined us for our Seattle adventures, then went to stay with friends while Anita and Maggie came, and returned for two nights before heading home yesterday to Kingston. But we're always grateful to have a house full of people who help make adjusting to our new life just a little easier, simply by being here and surrounding us with laughter once again.
Hosting the radio show and hosting company are a little bit challenging at times, I will admit, but we're managing quite nicely! I work with very flexible and understanding people and it's all good. As we get set for summer's arrival this week, our excitement at exploring our new home just continues to grow. Talk to you here tomorrow.
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