* photo by National Geographic
The whole weekend is another story that I’ll have to save. It was big and full and flew by and before I knew it Monday had come and it was time to fly home. I knew that I knew that this was where I was supposed to be and where I wanted to raise a family. I just had to hope that the folks in Summerside were convinced. I knew I’d have to do a little work to convince the Elusive to move clear out of the country we were born in, far from kin but I was pretty sure it wouldn’t take much persuading. New friends drove me to the airport that day and took me along the North Shore on the way. The North Shore was where Cavendish is tucked away and where Anne of Green Gables is set. Green Gables actually exists , it’s a real place and they offered to take me in but I had to pass. I’d promised the elusive Donna that I wouldn’t see it without her. We’d either move there and see it together or not at all.
After I arrived at home I got the call: we were hired! Donna was ready to go. We broke it to our parents and then our friends and then we told the church in Rapid. I like to think the folks in the church in Rapid that applauded the news were just happy for us.
In August of 1991 we drove our trusty Toyota from Rapid City, South Dakota across country to visit family and friends and to finally make our way up the east coast and to our home on Prince Edward Island.
On the way we stopped at my folks and had an Intervention. They had a couple over that we knew and what we thought was a friendly sort of farewell visit turned into a segment from “Scared Straight”. They told us all kinds of scary stories they’d heard about the Island and they started to bring them out one by one. Life was harsh there. Friends who had friends who’d ministered here had told them. Among the harsh reality, the kids would learn Canadian history but not American, Canadian geography but not American, they’d never even learn the names of all 50 States . The worst news of all was this: the children had to be bussed off the Island for school every day and in the winter some times storms would make it impossible for the children to get back home. I started laughing out loud at that point which did not go over real big with my folks. This was serious stuff. But I was laughing because when I had visited the Island I saw the local elementary school a block from where “the senior” lived, one of the two junior highs was just around the corner from there and the high school was within walking distance. I’d been on the campus of the University of Prince Edward Island in Charlottetown and driven by lots of schools of various sizes between Summerside and Charlottetown. I told all of this to my parents and the couple (who I’m pretty sure still don’t believe me).
Despite the fears about our boys growing up to speak Canadian instead of American we continued on our journey with my parents and Donna’s sending us off with fear and blessing. As we crossed upper New York State with its mountains, vineyards, great lake and rivers I thought about Abraham in the Old Testament book called, “Genesis” and how God had, as the story goes, called him to a land he’d never seen. And there we were the Elusive and me, our two kidlings strapped in the back seat and all our worldly good strapped to the rack on top of the car crossing a State I’d never been to before to get to a country I’d never driven to before to live in a place I’d visited for 3 days and that Donna had never ever seen.
We arrived just in time for a hurricane.
But that’s another story.