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Most of my life has been spent on the mainland but my heart has always been home: Grand Bank, Newfoundland. And now that I am in my 80s (88) and not as mobile as before, my journey home will have to be spent in my easy chair.
How my thoughts constantly travel home and I relive my childhood years and all the wonderful simple ways we lived so secure, loved and content. We Newfies never tire of reminiscing of our olden days, way we were, we wouldn't change it for anything and feel so blessed and grateful for our heritage.
As the saying goes, "Once a Newfie, always a Newfie." It rings true. It keeps our spirits alive. I carry a stone from home in my purse daily, a little piece of the rock.
God bless and keep all of you who help me travel monthly to where I receive my Downhome magazine
Born Burin Raised Grand Bank
How sweet it is!!
This story was to have been submitted to you back in 2009 but procrastination got the better of me and had forgotten all about it until recently.
We have often heard of good old down east hospitality and in particular Newfoundland hospitality. I have often heard great stories of people visiting the province of Newfoundland and falling in love with the laid back lifestyle and the people. I now have a story to recount myself.
I am married to a Newfoundland lady who comes from central Newfoundland specifically Gander Bay. Gander Bay is located about 35klm from Gander at the entrance to Gander River well known for its salmon fishing. I myself am from the town of Topsail, Conception Bay that is just outside the city of St. JohnâÃ¯Â¿Â½Ã¯Â¿Â½s. We left Newfoundland in 1988 living for several years in Red Deer, Alberta and then moving and settling in Ottawa, Ontario. We have lived in Ottawa since 1991. Every year we love to go home to visit family and friends. In September of 2012 we planned a visit to coincide with the opening of the public cod fishery as it is one of the things that I love to do when back home. My wife's brother Gary Coates has a business in Summerford, Nfld and is an avid outdoorsman delving in fishing and hunting when the seasons are open. It was during the public cod fishing season that September that I experienced an outstanding example of Newfoundland hospitality.
We were cod fishing off of Herring Neck, Nfld and very quickly caught our limit of 10 cod. We returned to shore to clean and fillet our catch. The day before we had been out as well and were cleaning our catch near where we had launched the boat. It wasn't ideal, as we did not have a platform to clean and filet the fish. A local fellow came by and spoke with Gary and told him that if he had intentions of going out again that he had a fishing stage not far from where we were now located. He gave Gary some directions and left. So here we were the next day motoring into the inlet looking for this stage. We were having trouble locating it when Gary spotted a couple of fellows on shore. There was a house overlooking where they were situated. This fellow had a stage all set up. As things sometime happen it turned out that this fellow was related to the girl that Gary's youngest son was dating. He turned out to be her grandfather. His name was Roland Smart. He was not that well known to Gary. Gary asked him if he was aware of a fellow that works on the Hibernia oil rigs that owned a stage close by. He couldn't remember his name. He responded, no not off hand but my friend here with me who is a Newfoundlander home visiting from Sudbury, Ontario and I are just about to leave and go fishing ourselves. You are quite welcome to use my stage. Gary thanked him and after they left we proceeded to clean and fillet our fish.
A short time after they had left a lady appeared on the deck of the house above us and asked if we would like to come in for a cup of tea before leaving. She turned out to be Roland's wife Julia. We thanked her and continued to clean our fish. As we were finishing up I said to Gary, are we going to take her up on the offer before leaving? We both decided maybe we would just leave. No sooner said then she was back out on the deck reminding us of the invitation. We said why not and took off our outer clothes and climbed up the walk to the house. We were no sooner in the door when she was asking how we liked our eggs. Before I knew it we were sitting down to eggs, Newfoundland steak (bologna) homemade bread and Newfoundland music playing in the background. She sat down with us and we had a wonderful chat.
We were not five minutes ago strangers and now she was feeding us and chatting with us as if we were old friends. I was absolutely taken aback by her hospitality and it just reconfirmed what I always knew about Newfoundlanders. My wife and I were just recently home in August of this year to attend the wedding of Gary's youngest son who amazingly was to be married to that same girl that he was dating that summer. At the reception it so happened that the husband of this wonderful lady Roland Smart was a guest. It was so nice to meet him again. I had been informed some time ago that his wife had passed away. I reminded him about that previous meeting Gary and I had with him and about what his wife did for us that morning. I told him that after returning home to Ottawa I had written an account of it and had intentions of sending it to the Downhome Magazine to see if maybe they would be interested in including it in an edition, however, procrastination got the best of me and it stayed stored on my computer.
I thought that it would be fitting to acknowledge her now even though it has been several years since Gary and I met her that morning in the summer of 2012. I still have a wonderful memory of that morning and sitting down to her invitation to have a cup of tea. And what a wonderful cup of tea it was. Rest in peace Julia Smart. You are a true example of good old Newfoundland hospitality.
Tales From Away-I'm Late, I'm Late For A Very Important Date~
No time to say hello, good-bye,
I'm late, I'm late, I'm late
If you know me, then you know. I'm a little ashamed to say, I'm almost always late. But in my own defence, I am working on it and getting a bit better each year!
I detest being late, which is kind of ironic because I'm at least 5 minutes late most times (if I'm lucky)! It's a quality about myself that I really don't like and that I really have to work on.
I love to stay up late and sleep in the morning (I LOVE to sleep in, especially on a cold wintery morning all snuggled under the covers). I recently read a quote that goes something like this go to bed early, get up early because life is too short. But I'm not of the same mind frame, quite the opposite. I have always been and probably always will be, a Night Owl. My son takes after me in that respect too.
They do say, and I have admittedly noticed that people who get more sleep actually do look better and have a nicer complexion. But as per Robert Herjavec's quote below, I will sleep more when I retire :)
I just don't sleep enough. But I have never met someone very successful who, at the end of their life, says I wish I slept more. -Robert Herjavec
I googled Why am I always late and I found this answer from WAIT BUT WHY site: optimistic-people-have-one-thing-common-always-late
People who are continuously late are actually just more optimistic. They believe they can fit more tasks into a limited amount of time more than other people and thrive when they're multitasking. Simply put, they're fundamentally hopeful.
People with a tendency for tardiness like to stop and smell the roses life was never meant to be planned down to the last detail. Remaining excessively attached to timetables signifies an inability to enjoy the moment.
Yes, that's my story and I'm sticking to it! Better late than never I always say~
Take care (& try not to be too late) and all the best~Celeste