The first thing I thought as I stepped off the plane in PEI was: Who would live here? But I’d arrived on one of the worst days of winter – the snow was going sideways in 100km winds, and by the time Jasper and I got to the car, the side of his head looked as if he’d been sprayed with canned Christmas snow. It was a bad start to a weekend funeral visit (see below).
Anyone thinking of renting a car from Charlottetown airport should heed this advice: Book early or settle for the Ford Tank with the unbalanced tires and the summer windshield wipers. There’s a letter in the works. And even if the agent tells you to return the car just before your flight, when you do they’ll ding you for an extra day if you’re more than an hour “late” — whatever that means. Beware the well-meaning Hertz clerks with the feathered hair and the rather weak “I-wish-I’d-stayed-in-school” smile.
The weather was terrible. We’d come to celebrate Grandma’s life, but if she’d been alive she would have scolded us for driving in such conditions. Wind off the Northumberland Strait whipped snow into truck-sized banks and stole the visibility at surprising intervals, often as real trucks full of potatoes or pulp-wood bore down on our ill-equiped rental.
Then, yesterday, the weather cleared and the snow started to melt, and Jasper and I managed to make it up the hill to check on our wee cabin. It was love at first sight, all over again. And I suddenly realized that I’m one of those people who would live here (at least for a few weeks of the year).
- Jasper rode an inflatable sled up the hill, yelling “Faster! faster!” all the way.
- Deep snow padded the cabin from all sides. All was well.
- We checked out the bath house.
- And around the east side.
- Then made out way back to the neighbour’s place — and home to Ottawa.