Sunday, May 02, 2010

A Splinty Splice of Newfoundland Time

I enchanted myself with a phrase I used in a comment on Stan's wondrous blog: Sentence First, so I grabbed it and ran with it and plopped it right on my header here. Splinty Splice. Say it.

I had an intense week work-wise. Could barely manage to squeeze in my ongoing online Scrabble games which are usually priority numero uno. Followed closely by blog-reads which had to go by the board while I earned a few coppers to keep the roof over my head for another year.

A couple I don't know very well (no, not Fred and Lily)invited me out for dinner at their place on Wednesday night and a viewing of their organic garden.

They live in a saltbox house similar to mine and right on the ocean in another part of St. Mary's Bay - and what an enchanted place it is. You'd never suspect they had such a magical kingdom from meeting them. They're quite brusque, no-nonsense types. But oh my what an evening we had!

First of all he cooked 4 different kinds of fish in 4 different ways. While he did this she gave me the 5 star tour of the gardens. There were flower beds everywhere, and she proudly told me all flowers had been gifted to her or she had 'helped herself' to the gardens of strangers. "With respect," she added. Masses and masses of different flowers. They had strawberry beds, root vegetables, rhubarb and runner beans ready to go.

Best of all, however, she had created an outdoor art gallery on her trees. Hanging from about fifty trees were pictures and bird feeders of every description, plaques and shells and driftwood and lights and candles. On the ground she had glued arrangements of miniatures - people, tables, chairs on old wood in hidden little spots. I was entranced. I felt it would be totally intrusive to take pictures then but asked her if I could come back to do so and she was thrilled.

But that wasn't all of it. Inside, she gave me another tour and proudly showed me her craft room where she worked on the old treadle sewing machine of her grandmother's. An 1888 Singer. Still in great running order. She had six quilts finished. I admired one gorgeous one of subtle Mexican colours (I'm in love with Mexican culture) and she insisted, over loud and long protests, that it was mine.

After a stupendous meal inadequately squashed down by partridge berry pie, I had the unfortunate stupidity to admire a history book of his and I was presented with that as well. My face reddened even further when he wrapped up a mountain of leftovers and told me I wouldn't have to worry now about cooking for myself with all the work I had to do over the next few days.

They both had to help me stagger to my car with all the bounty they had bestowed on me - oh yeah, did I mention her collection of conch shells from the beach I had the appalling lack of tact to admire?

Newfoundland people. Salt sea.


  1. Such warm-hearted generosity is not common these days, there should be more of it. I'd love to see the pics of the outdoor art gallery.

  2. I'd be afraid to go to their house and admire anything for fear they would bestow it on me. Not that it would be all that awful. I would especially admire the things I liked a lot, of course. You better contain yourself the next time, WWW. And what do you do when they come to your house and admire things?

  3. It’s moments like these when I forget about the downward trajectory of the human race and revel in such a loving, caring community (even of two) not afraid to open its heart and mind to another. Thank God for people like these who are such solid foundations of what humanity should be all about. Sharing your story has brightened my day! Thank you.

  4. What a super end to the busy-busy week you'd had! I suspect it was a bit of good karma coming back atcha!

    We look forward to your photos later - sounds like a photographer's paradise. :-)

  5. Sounds like you had a splinty splice of a good time.

  6. What generosity, a wonderful evening and gifts to let the memories live on for a very long time.

  7. A lovely visit well recounted. Amazing to think that the sewing machine still works so well — none of that nonsense about built-in obsolescence. Back then there was more pride in progress than in profit.

    And thank you for the generous words! You were right to give "splinty splice" another airing.

  8. @Nick:
    I have never known a more generous place than Newfoundland.
    I brought them some home-made dishtowels and cloths but you know what? I'd give them anything they admired here.
    Generosity to friends is one thing, but I, a virtual stranger, being treated in such an incredible way never fails to bring tears to my eyes.
    I will go there again when lush short growing season of NL is in full bloom!
    It surely was!
    Yes, and this is about the NORM here, can you imagine?
    And I didn't mention that she has found a way to regenerate the drive-belt herself with some rubber.
    And you're welcome.

  9. This is off topic, but I was wondereing if you know what happened to The Greenstone Woman?

  10. What a lovely story.... what lovely people... what a lovely night....

    There is still some hope for humanity... maybe not all of us have lost our souls... (I'm saying this with some humor of course)...

    I would keep those people close by... they sound simply wonderful....

  11. @Anon:
    Here you go:
    Especially in today's appalling climate - I'm calling it "The Confluence."
    We need reminders of how precious humanity is never more exemplified than out here...

  12. what wonderful people. what a wonderful visit. but you do have to be extremely judicious in what you admire out loud.

  13. Very nice, and very rare these days.

    I love that picture by the way!


Comments are welcome.

Email me at wisewebwomanatgmaildotcom if you're having trouble.