Two young men came out of my woods one day while I was reading sublime Sebastian Faulks. They were at the neighbour’s place, set to cut firewood but decided they should make sure they were on the right side of the property line. Instantly I knew they must be ‘from away’. Indeed, Josh and Eric are Ontarians, Josh recently settled in Sydney. Suddenly I saw an opportunity for symbiosis: the lads want firewood, Bob Nagel wants a better view of the Bird Islands. I introduced one to the others, symbiosis flourished. In ways we are different as night and day. They were raised with religion, are strangers to beer and are models of courtesy and consideration. I am opposite in every way. But we get along anyway, have socialized several times since, met their ‘better halves’, Danielle and Joelle and Josh’s kid sister Leah, and enjoyed terrific wide-ranging conversation every time. We look forward to more.
Pal Judith came for a five-day visit. She has a grumbling knee that interferes with long-distance hiking and biking desires but we defied it. Bob joined the ladies for the annual Big Wave Poker Run. The Big Wave is the yearly festival marking the end of lobster season; the poker run gives locals and tourists the chance to board a lobster boat and enjoy a two-hour tour of the Great Bras d’Or while collecting a poker hand. None of my dearhearts came close to winning the $2,400 payoff but they had fun all the same. Good times continued. Despite the absence of a water-warming spell of hot weather we went down to the swimming hole and took our first plunge of the season. Judith comes to Bigadore for fun, frivolity, affection – and pesto sandwiches. Not necessarily in that order. She got her pesto sandwiches and, I hope, the rest as well.
We loaded Leo with the bikes and went to Mabou to ride the rail trail with Judith and Bob. Eight years ago we got Bob on a bike for the first time in decades. He doddered like an oldster. Then he acquired his own wheels and now rides like he never stopped. He’s pedalled long-distance with us in PEI and the Magdalens and once rode 100 km with us on a single day. He turns 80 in October. I dream of being his faint facsimile 18 years down the line.