While we were in Alaska, Prince Edward Island, on a recent excursion, we stopped at a boat launch area on a creek which empties into Percival Bay. The scene was peaceful on a still day, overcast without the glare of the sun.
Oyster boats were moored in a protected area in the creek and around a bend, Percival Bay and the oyster beds were visible in the distance.
Nearby a muskrat went about his busy day.
We were just setting up our table and chairs to have a picnic, when a car pulled into the area. It is a common experience in rural PEI when we stop in an area for someone from the area to stop by to check us out. We’ve come to expect it. This man pulled his car in next to ours and greeted us.
“Hello,” I said. May as well cut to the chase, I thought as I continued. “We’re from Summerside and we like to explore parts of the island we haven’t visited. It’s such a nice day and this is a beautiful area, we’re going to have a picnic here.”
My husband, taking the chairs out of the trunk didn’t hear the next comment.
The man looked at me and said, “Follow me.” I looked at him questioningly and he repeated the order, “Follow me.”
I went back and told my husband what the man had said and reluctantly he put the table and chairs back into the car and we followed this stranger.
The man drove up the road a few hundred feet and turned left to a path which led to several properties. Then he turned left again onto a field and stopped at the end of the field about a metre above the creek. The field was lined with trees, the white trunks of birches dominated.
We chatted easily with the man who owned the property on the creek he’d brought us to. There were picnic tables, a swing set, a trailer and shed on the property. The man stays in the trailer in the summer so he can watch his oyster beds since theft can be a problem. He invited us to use the picnic tables, and enjoy our lunch there overlooking the creek.
We shared our family history as he told us about his. He was a kind man, who shared his piece of paradise with us as he spoke of the oyster fishery in Percival Bay and the upcoming halibut fishery in which his son participates. We thanked him for allowing us to picnic on his land and he left us to our lunch.
It was humid that day and the mosquitoes were swarming under the trees. Rather than move a heavy table, we used ours in the open where the slight breeze helped fend off the nippers. Who would think to bring along insect repellent so late in the year?
We had creamed butternut squash soup that day, with cinnamon and ginger and the spices had gone through the soup made the evening before. Delicious. It is one of my favourite cream soups. A chicken sandwich went nicely with the soup and hot tea.
After lunch we explored the area around the creek and enjoyed the setting on a rare weather day in October. The colours of the grasses along the creek and a few remaining autumn leaves made a walk along the creek a real treat.
The peaceful setting filled the senses! I smiled as I walked.
Recently I spoke with my husband’s aunt who lives in a large Canadian city and I told her about “Follow me.” She laughed at our trusting nature in following a complete stranger to an unknown place. She related how she uses a walker when she goes to the nearby supermarket. One day a young man asked if she needed help in crossing the street and she turned him down. She is always on the alert for danger and doesn’t trust anyone she meets.
I love island life!