Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Searching for a story

I am sitting here with the intention to write a story for my blog. I've just completed The Story Factor by Annette Simmons, and I am resolving to use more stories in my writing, as easily as I use them in a training room.

It's funny, but I don't remember how we picked Charlottetown for our honeymoon. I know we picked Halifax because I wanted to go to Dalhousie but decided, for many reasons, that Western made more sense. So the week before we packed up to move to London, ON, we got married and headed first for Halifax, then for a few days along the southern shore of Nova Scotia, and then to Charlottetown.

My memory of the island begins with my husband's aunt driving us north to meet family, then dropping us off at the side of a road. Presumably she was more confident that the bus would arrive than I felt as I watched her drive away. It's a funny moment for a city kid: standing with luggage in the middle of nowhere, trusting that a bus will come.

It must have come. We must have made the ferry, and then taken another bus to Charlottetown. We stayed at the Dundee Arms, and we went in search of lobster on our first night. I remember we ended up at the Charlottetown hotel, and the lobster was served cold. It wasn't at all what I expected and I wasn't a big fan. It was many years before I learned to love lobster.

We saw a sad play at the Charlottetown festival - not Anne of Green Gables, but something country and sweet and at least a little tragic. The name Johnny Belinda rings bells, and Google shows me that it is, indeed, a PEI play. Funny what sticks over time. That was 1983.

I dont' think we left Charlottetown that trip: we just enjoyed it. It's a very pretty little city with a lovely waterfront. I do remember that we had to take a bus to Summerside to fly home. For some reason, the Charlottetown airport was closed.

We flew out of Charlottetown on the same plane as many cast members from the festival. I have never experienced people being so excited to leave: they cheered when the cabin door closed and again at lift off. I guess high-spirited young people from Toronto found a whole summer in Charlottetown less enthralling than two honeymooners who were only there for a couple of days.

On the plane, we also ran into one of my professors from Trent. We chatted briefly, and he mentioned how many Trent students had a hard time leaving. They tended to stick around Peterborough. He advised me to get away and grow.

And I did. But I still love Trent, and I still enjoy visiting Peterborough. And Charlottetown is one of my favourite places in a world of wonders.

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