We got on the 27 foot sailboat after work on a Friday night for the five-hour “sail” to this island. I say sail but the truth is, it was more often than not a motor trip with a wee 15hp kicker. It was 1982 and a week before my wedding. It was my first trip to this island. A weekend spent in a very small boat cabin with my husband to be and his Dad. Papa, as my eldest later named him intended to remind the groom of the intricacies of entering our harbour before he lent us his boat for our honeymoon.
You can imagine how nervous I was. Unfamiliar as I was with a father figure (didn’t have one) and completely unaware of how to relate to the strong silent type. Papa, love him never spoke an unnecessary word in his life. Instead, he would sit quietly until a moment of dry hilarious wit would burst forth from his stoic demeanor.
This island provided, over the years many such opportunities to get to know each other and indeed form strong bonds between both Papa, Guy and their new daughters and sons in law and their grandchildren. Adult children also benefited by relaxed conversation which naturally arrives over the campfire or while raking leaves side by side.
So often these days, conversation between visiting adult children takes place during a formal dinner. Grandchildren see their grandparents watching their weekend sports activities or for evening babysitting. A healthy dose of chopping firewood beside your Grand-Dad does wonders for the casual conversation which forges inter-generational relationships.
We were broke when we were first married. So after that first trip with my father in law, E and I spent most long weekends here on the island with him and Guy. Our young children grew up at first camping in the mud where the cabin now sits, and later endlessly cutting the large expanse of lawn/bocci court leading down to the ocean.
Last week our eldest brought his girlfriend to the island. Although they live together and have been together for two years, we really don’t know her. We had an awesome time raking leaves, sharing stories by the bonfire and teaching her our standard after dinner card games.
This island provides an avenue for families to grow and nourish and even heal.. Doesn’t matter which property you are on.. Our family will thrive by a future vacationing at our little cabin on the cliff. E has most definitely set his
heart on it