Marge loved to ski. Sometimes she would go skiing with her mother, who was also a really good skier, and Mrs. Nora Dyke. Fairly often she would go skiing by herself or follow me when I went on my snowshoes. When she was not using her skies they would be hanging in the porch . I always thought that skiing was fun, easy to do and I’d like to do it some day.
Well the chance came one day when Marge was gone somewhere for a day shopping or something. The day was perfect, sunny, warm and there was a good crust of frozen snow on the ground. Behind our house I had a fenced garden for my little horse Billy. From the back fence the garden followed a little more than a gentle slope to the woods behind the house. The cross country skies were hanging in the porch. This was my chance to have some easy fun. With skies and poles on my back I trounced off to the back of the garden.
I was very much surprised to find that the skis were not as easy to put on my feet as I thought. They kept sliding away from me. I finally, with arms locked around the fence, got them on.
I took the poles, held myself upright and let go. I was right. It was easy!, for the first ten feet or so. Things soon began to go wrong. I had forgotten that there were several old short juniper trees scattered around the garden, and I didn’t know that I couldn’t fall down even if I tried because I was going to fast. The faster I went the wider apart my feet were getting. The old juniper trees with their dry, sticky, stabby branches were rushing toward me at a very high speed .
I did have time to think of a few Huckleberry Hound cartoons . One where he was being chased by Powerful Pierre and he ended up going over the cliff. The one most clear I my mind now , however , was when he ran face on into an old crooked tree. I saw the tree right in front of me. There he was with all of his spiny branches wanting to grab me . Then, WHAM! The stars, the pain and the blood. Luckily I did fall down. I was forced to , knocked out I suppose. I am sure that I got the quickest but most painful ear piercing ever.
I came to my sences, not dead and walked home . Thank God I was able to laugh when I was telling Marge what had happened.
No more skiing for me, Nothing any faster than snowshoes going on my feet.
It was in the winter of 2004 . It was a very regular activity for me at that time to walk around the harbour at night. This night would be different as something happened that I cannot explain and will never forget .It was very frosty that night, the road was snow-covered and I could hear the cold snow crunching under my feet . The moon was shining very bright and I could see a fair distance . The moon shining over my shoulder was casting my shadow on the road in front of me.
Just after I passed the old Orange lodge I heard the snow crunching behind me . For a second or two I just thought it was someone catching up to me from behind. You can imagine my surprise when I turned around and no one was there. That surprise however , was nothing to the one I got when I turned around to start walking . The hair was already standing on my neck and cold shivers was going up my spine. To my surprise a very bright shadow was walking along beside mine. I quickly looked behind me again and no one was there . The shadow was still with me on the other side ! As I walked on in disbelief it gradually got shorter and disappeared before I got to Ernie Crockers . I went on home and reported this event to Marge and my sister Elva. A short while later I got up nerve enough to go back again . Marge dropped me of in front of the UC Church. I got out and started walking. The conditions were exactly the same ..but no shadow appeared . Every time I walk along that spot I always think about it but the shadow have never returned.
I painted this scene in September of 2011 exactly 50 years from the time I started teaching there. One of my favourite places. I love it there.
I took a photo of this boy and man fishing at Main brook pond at Heart’s Delight this summer . The sun was setting and casting shadows , it was a lovely scene.
Evening sunset with ice around the Shag Rock in Whiteway, Trinity Bay.