Have I ever told you how much I love Newfoundland? No? Well, I do, my arms can't stretch out wide enough to show you. Over the past eight years more and more treasures have been revealed to me. Not just the scenery, that is a class unto itself. But so are the people. And the words.
Holy Hannah - the words. Comfort is an ordinary word you'd think. Not so in Newfoundland.
It's used both as a noun and verb here. Meaningfully. You get an old fellah and an old gal, both widowed. And they hook up. They mightn't shack up as Revenue Canada would immediately start shaving away at their single status Canada Pension and Old Age Security - fellah and gal now being coupled and domiciled at one address. No, they maintain separate addresses, usually.
Now how would you describe such a relationship?
Well, they are each other's "comfort". Oh, Eddie up the road? Oh, his comfort is Annie, lives down by the church. And vice versa.
No one thinks twice about it. I was delighted to see it formalized in an obit in the paper recently and shared it with my daughter.
John Smith (pseudonyym) survived by his comfort Shirley Murphy.
My neighbour Gracie (5 years older than me) is currently in the enviable position of having two comforts and she shares her time equally with them both, one is 87, the other is a spry young fellow of 62. She has tremendous difficulty wiping the smile off her face and tells me she looks forward to going to her own home for a night or two for a rest.
I've no idea how to get a bit of comfort for myself. Perhaps I should hang out a shingle?
"Comfort both offered and received. No strings attached."
And now I can't pass a Comfort Inn without an internal giggle overtaking me.