Thursday, September 15, 2011
Thoughts from the Road
I am staying the night in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia. It is a pretty wee town, picturesque and prosperous, judging by the fine old buildings and the number of boats at anchor in the river. I was in the original Glasgow back in the day, I must say I am more impressed with the New World version. Cleaner and more hopeful.
Does anyone else do this? I see that Strawbella's (the car's) odometer is about to click over on to a major number with lots of zeros and I get all excited. I really, really want to see all those 0000000s tumble over at the same time. I get ready about 100K beforehand. The tension's unbearable. Will she do it? Will it all go smoothly? What if she gets stuck? And yeah, somewhere near Springhill, NS, the monumental event takes place to cheers from me. 170,000K is now on the smooth face of Strawbella.
And in New Brunswick, just past me, is where I always think of my friend Burt. Burt saved my life back in the day. He was one of those New Brunswick country men at odds with the city around him but making the best of an uneasy co-existence. He liked nothing better than being out in the woods and me along with him. He often caught our supper in a nearby stream. A great trouter. I learned a whole pile about simple living off Burt at a time when my life could not have been more complicated.
He would show up at my door on a Sunday morning, just when I'd put down a self-important busy week and haul me and the dog off for tramps through the undergrowth followed by, very late in the day, a peculiarly Canadian supper called a hot chicken sandwich - layers of cooked chicken slathered between two slices of the whitest bread ever, untoasted, with a mound each of green peas and french fries: all of this business covered in thick brown gravy. I was too starved to ever refuse.
(to be continued)