It has been exactly one year since we left Parry Sound. It was a very warm morning with many, many mosquitos hovering around and Janice, the new owner, rolled up in her rented truck at 8:00 am. We were ready to leave 102 Lorimer Lake Road even though it was sad to go. We had built everything from scratch and even though it was a lot of work doing so, we had fun there. We built Nick’s cabin, the steam bath, all the trails and Dennis built the little stack wall shed, and Nick helped build Dennis’ shop. But, we knew that it was time to move on to another adventure.
Coincidentally, our boat, the Split Crow, left this morning – exactly one year to the day of us leaving. The boat was sold in December but it stayed in Souris for the winter. Dennis watched it leave on the webcam this morning. We hope that all goes well for the new people.
So much has happened over the last year. It has flown by and we are having tons of fun on Prince Edward Island. Not to say that we don’t miss Parry Sound and our friends, beautiful Georgian Bay with its rocks and bent pines, but we needed a change and this was an opportunity that we couldn’t miss. Our view every morning is spectacular – we look right out onto the Northumberland Strait and watch the tide, the boats, the birds and sometimes even seals.
Summerside is really a good place to live, especially if you live downtown. We can walk everywhere because many places are close by. Samuel’s Coffee House is our major place to go and we have had a lot of coffee and tea there. Everyone is friendly, the food is good and the atmosphere is great. We can also walk to the bank, the pharmacy with a post office (Lori Hill is the lady who runs the post office and she is so good!), the hardware store, a grocery store, lumber store (Kent) and a wonderful shoe store right on Water Street. I also go to the Humble Barber and since my hair is short, he easily cuts it. I can ride my bike everywhere too – traffic is not too bad so if I need to go “uptown”, then I just hop on my bike and it is less than 4 km away. I can easily get to Canadian Tire, the Atlantic Super Store and the mall. On the rare occasion that I can’t find what I need in Summerside, then we make the 45 minute trip to Charlottetown and there is everything we need.
The people are very friendly here and have been most welcoming to us. I think many people were very curious as to what in the world we were doing at the old Green Shore Marine store. We turned the industrial building into our home. It is a two bedroom 1600 square foot house, all on one level, and we love it! William Jones, was our main contractor, and he did an extraordinary job, so if anyone needs carpentry done, he comes highly recommended by both Dennis and me. Read the post about William.
One of my favourite places in Summerside is the Farmers’ Market. Now, we were lucky to get a vendor table at the market, but we already frequented the market when we were on our boat. We buy most of our vegetables (year round – fresh cucumber, tomatoes, a variety of lettuce, spinach and peppers), some of our fruit (apples, berries – even in the winter as the ladies from Souris have frozen blueberries, strawberries and raspberries), most of our meat – pork, chicken, sausage, fish, beef, and of course, we do get a few treats! Carrots, cabbage, kale, onions, potatoes, garlic, cheese, eggs – enough fresh food for us, that’s for sure! Some of the prices are a bit higher than the grocery store, but some are not, so we are happy to support the local farmers. Once you’ve had carrots fresh from the garden, you’ll never want another grocery store carrot again!
I also like the trip to the Charlottetown airport. What a easy, low stress airport. It is only 45 minutes away and I usually take the noon hour flight to Toronto and then catch whatever flight I have to from there. I do not miss driving on the 400, the 401 and getting to Pearson. We have also used the Moncton airport and that is pretty good too but it is 90 minutes away and you have to cross the bridge which is $46 (you only pay to get off the island).
The music here is awesome! We have seen Matt Minglewood and Sam Moon, Nathan Wiley, Fiddlers’ Sons, Keelin Wedge, the West End Blues Band, Fallback and many others. The Fallback Band plays Thursday nights in Kensington from 8:00 to 11:00 (April, May and June and in the fall). They play songs from the 50s, 60s and 70s and the place is packed every week! People just go to dance and I am talking about people of all ages. It is a lot of fun and being able to see Johnny Ross on the keyboard and Steve Guy on the sax, is amazing. Apparently, they don’t even practice together, they just up and start playing! We also gone to some ceilidhs and that is also great fun! The Festival of Small Halls will be on soon and the entertainment lineup is excellent.
The one thing that we were worried about was being able to find a doctor. We had heard that it would take at least two years but it didn’t for us. We’ve had a doctor since January and she is excellent. Now, she practices in Alberton, which is 45 minutes away, but we don’t mind the drive. She works right in the hospital so when Dennis had his foot looked at, they were able to x-ray it right away. There is also a walk-in clinic in Summerside but now that we have a doctor, we won’t need to go there unless we have to.
So, in all, I think things have worked out for us quite well. As I said, we do miss our friends but they are all coming to visit this summer so that will be great! We have found some new friends too and there does seem to be a lot of people moving this way. We’ve met so many people from other provinces. We also have kept in touch with a few of our neighbours. Dilys Buchan from Fort Frances, retired to Charlottetown, so we’ve met up with her and our neighbours from Parry Sound, the Pottingers retired to Cape Breton. Their daughter Shona, lives in Charlottetown and works as a music therapist. She used to babysit Nick. We had a great visit with her on Sunday.
We’re doing well, Dennis has bought a new boat – this time it is a fishing dory and he is expected to get it tomorrow. We will have fun going around the harbour and seeing the sights. I’ll post pictures when it arrives.
That’s about it for today!