Somehow, not quite on a whim, but with a certain amount of impulse, we bought this little house in Deep Bay. The water pump is broken, it’s never had a hot water heater and it needs a new roof.
And that’s just what we know about.
But it’s great.
It has the most amazing view and it just feels right, or it did, on the few nights we stayed there in the summer.
This was our first winter visit.
With electric heat and the help of our neighbour Ron who turned on the power in the morning, the chill was coming off by the time I arrived on Friday afternoon. I unloaded bedding and clothes and grub and computers and odds and ends. As I was getting the last bag from the car I noticed something on the ice.
I was running some errands for friends so just unloaded the car, took a few pictures and had to head out again. I’d adjusted a few more radiators and thermostats and headed out to drop some folks off in Joe Batts Arm.
A van passed us going across the Island and then was stopped when we crested a hill.
Fogo Island speed bumps.
I called Leo who was getting on the ferry at 3:00 and we made plans to meet back in Deep Bay. He was bringing a car for someone and brought out drinking water and picked up a bucket of water for washing and other needs. By the time he got in, the place was warmed up and the bed was made and didn’t even look like an air mattress anymore.
Neither of us had eaten properly and fish and chips at Chester’s became an immediate need. Fish on Good Friday is still a tradition for many. It was rocking and rolling at the restaurant all day.
While we were eating, we got an invite for the same menu at Winston and Linda Osmond’s but we told them we’d come there for dessert. Dessert turned into a great visit until close to midnight. I don’t think Linda got much quilting done.
We didn’t even realize we’d had 10 cm of snow so it was a slow drive to Deep Bay and I was very thankful that in addition to caribou, bunny and fox tracks, one other person had navigated the road and left enough of a track to assist my decision making as I guessed at where the road might be.
The house was cozy and warm except for the floors so I put on my one pair of wool socks and made a note that I needed to visit the craft guild on Saturday.
You know you’ve had a good night’s sleep when you didn’t hear who was around early enough to make these tracks in the snow.
A great camping shower gadget was part of what I lugged out from Gander but I forgot the batteries to make the pump work. Sponge bath and another item added to my note: D cell batteries.
After breakfast we headed to the hardware store but they were closed for the Easter Saturday. We went on to Joe Batts Arm and found one set of batteries at Emberleys but they were able to find more out back so we were all set for showers tomorrow. But my feet were still cold.
The Winds and Waves Craft Guild did not disappoint. The wood stove was lit and there were lots of items to chose from.
I headed for the wool socks!
I’ve been bragging about my seal skin boots for 4 years but suddenly my feet were freezing. After picking through the socks to find real wool, I eventually found something my size and felt a bit like Goldilocks.
They were just right.
As I was paying for them, the ladies explained to me that they were made by Olga Cull and that made them all the more perfect when I heard she was 90 years old. I can only guess how many socks she’s knit over the years.
Another visit in Shoal Bay turned into a supper invite and we had a couple of hours to relax at our house. I’m trying to learn how to use my new camera so took a few shots out around the house and was just settling on the couch when Leo told my I might want my camera again.
For an animal that just seems to stroll along, caribou appear and disappear with great frequency and in a short amount of time.
A dinner date with the Osmonds had us full of lamb and vegetables and delicious apple crisp and home and settled after a great day. We were already booked for turkey dinner in Joe Batts Arm for Easter Sunday so it was just a matter of showing up at meal time all weekend long. I really hope no one catches on to this scheme because we ate really well all weekend. Shhhh.
A pot of Sunday coffee and with water heated by the electric kettle and our D cell operated pump, showers got Easter Sunday started. Finally broke out the frying pan and cooked a couple of eggs and toast to tide us over to noon.
There’s nothing quite like turkey dinner at Bernice McKenna’s. I’m sure I spent 15 Christmas Eves in her house and shared Christmas dinner with her family and extended family each time. One year I was sick and she sent a take out dinner to Gander that fed both Leo and I.
The Easter Sunday talk was about the Prime Minister’s visit to Fogo Island. I’d been contacted earlier by CBC for my “opinion regarding Justin Trudeau’s visit to the Inn”. Although I told them truthfully that I wasn’t at the Inn on this trip and hadn’t seen him, I guess the fact I answered them was enough to make me newsworthy. I’d glad I did the interview before getting the scoop over dinner.
Everyone in out group was excited about the visit and we talked about the impact the Inn continues to have on this family in particular. Bernice’s sister Christine is working on a project (Grant)for Mature Workers who are currently doing work to spruce up the local museums, particularly Bleak House, with new, but old looking, curtains and quilts. This is not directly related to the Inn but certainly to the increased tourism and interest in Fogo Island heritage. Their brother Junior did culinary training sponsored by Shorefast Foundation and works in the kitchen of the Fogo Island Inn.
Christine’s husband Jack is also working on the renovations of the building that will house the Fogo Island Shop and furniture building location. My brother-in-law Jerome will be back to work in 6 weeks following a medical procedure and is looking forward to returning to his job of 3 years as a cleaner at the Inn.
None of them had seen Trudeau but we were all excited to know he was experiencing Fogo Island first hand. Bernice and Christine’s brother Harold had seen him at a distance the day before when he was apparently out ice fishing on the pond and also spoke to people who had seen him at Easter Mass in the Catholic Church in Joe Batt’s Arm. Next time, CBC, call Harold. He knows the news!
Bernice did not disappoint and had a delicious meal right down to blueberry pudding. Newfoundlanders often eat the pudding with the meal so for dessert we had lemon pie and trifle.
Not OR trifle; AND trifle.
My new socks were feeling tight.
Saw this crowd in Shoal Bay as we were heading towards Herring Cove Art Gallery. They hadn’t seen the Trudeaus either.
I picked up some more Salt Fish shopping bags from Linda Osmond and then Winston walked us up the road to introduce us to his neighbour.
Marc Fiset at Fogo Island Metalworks was on my list of folks to meet and I can already see his hinges holding some kind of door for me on my little house. Or maybe the roof if we don’t get it fixed soon!
Supper was toast in Deep Bay that night. We were offered left overs but knew that we didn’t need them with all we’d eaten and what we still have left in our fridge.
A quiet cribbage tournament finished off the evening and I made note that I’d need more wool socks next trip.
Monday we packed up but left most of our gear for the next visit. Bed is all made, there’s towels and some basics that won’t freeze with the power off.
Driving home, relaxed and rested, Leo wondered when we’d go out again.
Maybe next weekend? Maybe.
Or April 9 for the new festival? Maybe.
No cold feet about Deep Bay.