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Archive for the ‘Seasons’ Category

Clyde River Women’s Institute welcomes you to attend their annual Strawberry Social on Wednesday, July 11th, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Riverview Community Centre. You can enjoy the flavour of strawberries and ice cream along with some home-baked treats.

Enjoy the succulent sweet taste of the season and a stunning view of the river. You can un-wind and re-connect with friends, relatives and neighbours. There’s bound to be a few folks home from away. Admission at the door.

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Spring clean up of Murchison Place Park will take place on Saturday, May 12th, 9:00 a.m. until noon. Take along a rake, work gloves and any other useful garden equipment e.g. wheelbarrow. Refreshments will be served. The rain date will be the following Saturday, May 19th.

It’s a great time to catch up and clean up.

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Clyde River history committee member Joanne Turner recommended to us that we view this series that she had enjoyed, Tales from the Green Valley, on YouTube. I had a chance to view it over the past week and thoroughly enjoyed it. Did you ever want to know what it would be like to live in 1620? Here’s your chance. Five history scholars agreed to live for one year on a farm in a valley near the Wales border. Did they work hard? Yes, it mentions that they burned over 4000 calories a day – equivalent to a high-performing athlete of today. Nothing, and I mean nothing, was wasted. A thatched roof takes a lot of material, patience and skill. Some of their chores would still be similar to those in the 1800s when our ancestors moved to Prince Edward Island e.g. clearing the land, churning butter and making soap. Click on the screen below to link to the YouTube series and enjoy. Please feel free to share your comments and insights below after viewing the series.

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Spring clean up of Murchison Place Park will take place tomorrow – Saturday, May 13th, 9:00 a.m. until noon. Take along a rake, work gloves and any other useful garden equipment e.g. wheelbarrow. Refreshments will be served.

It’s a great time to catch up and clean up.

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img_5223“We don’t really have much of a winter before January.” Newcomers from other provinces and countries say we told them this when they moved here. As they confront us this week, we look a little sheepish and our lips are pursed ever so slightly.

What they don’t know is we Islanders can be in some amount of denial about the weather ourselves, like it’s actually part of our identity. We brag about the sunny days and downplay the squalls. We even deflect the discussion to storms occurring in other places. “Yes, but did you see the weather they are having in Vancouver?”

We only really discuss it truthfully among ourselves. In fact, we don’t even have to discuss it. It’s communal knowledge that can be conveyed with a glance. It’s almost part of our DNA.

Those new to PEI can find our weather confusing and will not fully understand the ocean effect. Islanders have a more innate sense of predicting weather and will adjust our behaviour as easily as the local wildlife, squirreling away food and water and hunkering down, hoping the power doesn’t go out with yet another gust of wind. Rural folks with farms are operating in full gear protecting their herds and flocks. The survivalist instinct kicks in, no explanation necessary.

However, we will say to those from away, “Yes, it’s bad, but this is an unusual year, maybe the worst since the 1970s.” It’s our way of putting them off, knowing we don’t have to come up with another excuse until next winter. And with any luck, there will be a bad winter in Texas.

Heck, maybe we aren’t that different from other Canadians or even those from the New England States and northern Midwest. And who knows, it could still be raining on Christmas Day.

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Drone over Clyde RiverOur ancestors would look at us strangely if we said there was a drone flying over Clyde River taking photos, but that is what is happening. Oswald tells me that Scott Stevens has been contracted by the Golf Association of PEI to take photos via drone of the 16-member golf courses in PEI. The benefit we get is to see Clyde River and neighbouring communities from a birds eye view in all their spectacular beauty. The golf course looks great, Oswald and team.

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IMG_2760.JPGI travelled out from the city to the Strawberry Social last evening hosted by the Clyde River Women’s Institute. They had a great crowd. As folks arrive, you get a little sticker with a number which is called when seats are available. Alex Dixon says he comes at the same time each year, and this year he had a higher number, deducing there were more overall. I had a chance to sit with J’Nan and Kirk Brown to catch up on their news. They are celebrating their wedding anniversary this summer and still smiling brightly. As usual, they are expecting summer visitors. Not surprising, they live in heaven down by the river.

Sandra Cameron hosted history enthusiasts in the Emily Bryant Room during the event and she had lots of visitors. There are so many things to see. Each treasure tells a story, rather, generations of stories. I recounted one story to some visitors about the small salt dish with a pink hue on the second shelf of the display case which could easily be overlooked. The dish was Lee Darrach’s, the Lee that fought in both WW1 and WW2. He was in the Halifax Infirmary during the time of the Halifax explosion. The explosion catapulted the salt dish onto his hospital bed. He saved it as a testament to having survived once again. He passed it on to his brother Hector which was then given to his grandson and he gave it us. It sits on the same shelf as Lee’s photo in uniform and the two Christmas cards and many letters he sent to his family during the war. These were donated to us from his other grand nephew in Florida. As part of the Capturing Memories project when we invited donations of artifacts, I stopped being surprised by synchronicity. These historical items were coming home along with their stories. This is a memory room, and when we linger by each humble piece, we can remember the people who came before.

J’Nan invited me to drop down to her farm to get a dozen blue eggs from her Ameraucana hens after the social. She and Sidney Poritz who owns the adjoining property debate which of them has the more beautiful land. I am happy to stand on her front yard looking across their fields to the rivers. It’s where the West River and Clyde River meet. Sidney lives on the homestead of my great grandparents. That is where Lee Darrach was raised. I have the letters his mother wrote to her boys between 1904-07 talking about daily life. This was all Darrach property at one time. J’Nan recalls Mrs. MacNeill who lived here before she and Kirk purchased the farm. Mrs. MacNeill told her “the view sustained me”.

As I drove out the long lane from J’Nan and Kirk’s, I was struck by the sunset over Dunedin. The synchronicity of this moment was not lost. I stopped, took a few shots and emailed my favourite to J’Nan with a subject line “Sunset in Heaven”.

Editor’s note: Earlier stories were written on the Brown’s (This Old Barn has some Stories to Tell) and Poritz (Darrach-Poritz Homestead) properties.

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