Monday, August 3, 2009

tall boats, big pictures and the amish


the first of three mist of avalon articles ran in my herald road warrior series yesterday, with a GIGANTIC photo of captain george. as there was a huge clown picture on the next page, i'm guessing it was a slow news day.

here's a photo of tom, the sage of the sea who righted my course. he's plonked in what was my favourite spot - right on top of the steering-wheel box.

it was a week for wonderful beards: on the long bus ride home from sydney, a bushy-bearded man boarded the bus and sat behind me. he was disheveled, discombobulated and generally out of sorts - or so i thought. he sat right behind me, and i spent the next half hour trying to come up with a way of casually guarding my throat in case he went off the rails.

eventually, his head floated out into the aisle beside my seat and spoke these words: "can i borrow your newspaper?"

he did, and after reading it, we got to chatting. he was on the bus from northern cape breton to: british freakin columbia! the sydney-truro leg was just a gentle warm up for the week-long trek. that, in turn, is just the warm-up for what i feel no shame in billing The Greatest Canadian Bus Excursion Ever.

my new friend - richard is his name - is moving his family from the woods of BC to the woods of CB. the first leg was last winter, when they drove the family's school bus, packed full of the family and many of its possessions (he has a wife and 11 children, though not all are still at home) from BC to CB. they settled in over the winter, and now he's bussing back to get the family's second school bus and drive that puppy to CB. THEN he's bussing back to BC again, this time to collect the family's 15-seat bus and drive THAT from BC to CB.

that makes five cross-canada bus trips in one year.

wowzers.

and he was only starting to get interesting.

he had something on his mind: that was obvious.

he wanted to tell me.

he hummed and hawed.

he finally let the truth out: his home-schooled, rustic, independently christian family didn't meet a lot of other people, living on the land as they did. but: on the trip from BC to CB, they stopped into a small amish community in NB. richard thought perhaps his family lived too flash a lifestyle for the amish, what with their one telephone and use of electricity. too modern, he worried. but he was confident he could convince them that this was not an insurmountable obstacle.

you see, ricard's 19-year-old daughter has her eye set on the oldest son of the amish family. and richard's two single sons have *their* eyes set on the family's two single daughters.

!!

after much thought, the plan was crafted: richard would stop into see the amish on his way back west. he would propose they leave their rented land in NB and come live - for free - on his sprawling property off the cabot trail.

love will find a way, he is certain.

but will the amish give up the land they've long lived on for an unknown adventure in CB? will richard's daughter (and sons) finally find true love?

stay tuned. richard doesn't currently have a phone, or a computer, or access to the internet, but i did get his land address. i am going to write to him at the end of the summer to see how things are shaping up. a fall trip to CB might be in my own future.
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