Ok, so I said YES! What’s that got to do with the creation of this blog, OperationBlankPage? Well, there’s a little more to it than that. You’ve got to hear the whole story in order to really see how this all comes together…
First of all, I’ve always been a firm believer in the idea that everything happens for a reason. That the universe has a way of aligning itself in such a way that it leaves you thinking THIS IS MY DESTINY. Without question. No doubt.
So, July 14, 2010. I said yes. I’m back at my dorm room at Université de Moncton where I will be until August 5. The new job starts September 1. Reality is setting in. How am I getting my things from my old apartment in Fredericton to PEI? Where am I going to live? How am I going to make all these arrangements when I’m stuck in classes all day for the next 3 weeks? Will I have time for a quick visit home to see friends and family…..
Well first things first, I get another day off from school to go house hunting in PEI. My first stop is a house in Summerside. A bit of a commute I know, but selection was minimal, so I had to explore all possibilities. I ring the doorbell and a young fella my age opens the door. “Ah man, sorry, I just rented the place. Too bad, looks like you would have been a good tenant” I still remember the phrase today, over two years later. The kindness of complete strangers in PEI never ceased to amaze me over the course of the next two years. Before I could respond, he said he would look into a few things and send me an email later.
I checked out another place in Summerside (too big & expensive for me!) and headed ‘up west’ as the locals say, to my only other appointment. Another unforgettable moment. I met the couple renting the home at their place in O’Leary. Easy enough. Getting to the rental. Well, not so easy. The drive to the rental took another 30 minutes. I wouldn’t be able to tell you where the place is today, or ever intentionally find my way back there again. We drove down one farm road after another and another and another. I was completely mesmerized. The more we turned, the further away we got from civilization. Eventually, when there were no signs of homes anywhere to be seen, we pulled into a lone driveway to an old trailer surrounded by the densest strand of trees I have ever seen in PEI. I didn’t even want to get out of my car to see the place. I knew my answer already. Not. A. Chance.
I was feeling pretty deflated. What now? I took a drive into the community of Alberton to check out the community bulletin boards. There was one place renting apartments, and according to the add, they had vacancies. Perfect! Feeling optimist and absolutely famished I went for lunch (an amazingly delicious bowl of seafood chowder at the Albert & Crown Pub & Eatery…that’s another story for another day!) and called the number listed on the add.
I’ll never forget the drive to the apartment building. I passed a curling club – woot woot!!! – with a sign advertising yoga classes upstairs. My two favourite activities held under one roof. Another sign from the universe no doubt. The apartment building was literally 30 seconds up the road. Cute place. Lots of light. But, no dogs. He suggested I look into selling my 10 year old companion. AS IF!!!!
I was feeling pretty deflated, and a little anxious on the long drive back to Moncton. Exhausted, I closed the door to my dorm room and logged onto my laptop to catch up on all the news on Facebook. But wait! There’s a new email. A ginormous email in fact, from the landlord of that first house I checked out in Summerside. He had taken the time to send me contact information of cottage owners, B&Bs, Inns etc who do long-term rentals after Labour Day. By August 1, I had a quaint, 2-bedroom cottage overlooking Cascumpec Bay, fully furnished and dog-welcoming all lined up for me and the pouch!
Next up, moving! I pick up the phone and send my cousin, a tractor trailer driver, a quick text telling him about my new job and upcoming move on the off-chance he happened to be passing through or knew someone in the business who had room for a small load. Low and behold he was going to be passing through Fredericton on August 6, the day after my program at UdeM ends. But where was he heading? Home, no doubt, to NL. I wouldn’t dare ask him to make a detour to PEI, it’s not exactly on the way. Lucky for me I didn’t have to. His next text informed me he was moving a teacher from Alberta to Summerside and could grab my stuff and drop if off on the way, no problem. Yup! I was definitely meant to go to PEI, can’t argue that.
So August 5, I load up my Echo will my school belongings, head back to Fredericton and start packing up the old apartment. The next day, Troy arrives and within an hour everything is packed into his trailer and on its way to PEI. I throw my suitcase into my Echo, say goodbye to my landlord and jump into my car for one last road trip of the summer…a quick visit home to NL.
*Welcome Home Sign created by my cousin’s son Ian…he was pretty excited to see me…and Haylee I guess 🙂
Ferry. Friends. Family. Godson. Saltwater. Cabins. Pubs. Ponds. Canoes. Cape St. Mary’s. Road Trips. East Coast Trail. Fires. Food. Ferry. And I’m back to the mainland to start my first year of teaching…