Watermelon and Pink Houses

Well hellooooo... This is my first blog post on my new website! I admit it's rather daunting to embark on this public journey but it's also lots of fun. Us writers like to ramble so…here I go!

I feel rather compelled to explain the title I've chosen for this post. My small (tiny!) city, Summerside, Prince Edward Island, Canada, population of about 12 000, has become a  rather unexpected hub for entertainment in the form of big concerts. We've enjoyed live music from  - lemme see - Bryan Adams, Reba MacIntrye, STING (my fave! Fields of Gold, anyone? Drifters, Book Three, No Greater Love?), Alan Jackson, Elton John (also a fave! I Guess That's Why They Call It the Blues has accompanied my tears on many a car trip in Tribby, my Mazda Tribute) and more.

One day, as a lightning storm approached from the distance, the power went out in the Credit Union Place, where folks can swim, huff away on an elliptical machine, strengthen their abs in Pilates, skate, play hockey or…listen to live music. 

The night the power went out, hundreds of John Mellencamp fans were hunkered outside dreamily practising their vocals for songs like Jack and Diane, patiently awaiting the word GO from the 'powers that be' so that we could pile inside and rock on with JCM, our eighties fave. I was there to hear Pink Houses, a song I'd love to open my first feature film with if I could ever get someone from the Mellencamp camp to respond to my request…anyways, some kind soul from one of the local radio stations showed up with a plate of cool watermelon and, bless his heart, he sauntered up and down the long line of impatient fans for about two hours, handing out juicy slices of watermelon punctuated with his own big friendly smile. By the time we got in to the show the thunderstorm had slid by to soak summer campers on the north shore instead of us, so we got to watch John Mellencamp with our clothing dry and our bellies full.

I love how the colours pop in this image! Between the magic hour photographers covet and the rainbow after the storm, us Islanders were given quite a gift of natural beauty.

Most of my life has been spent wanting to leave this small place. Yet, despite the occasional sojourns to live in other cities (Fort MacMurray, Peterborough, Halifax, Sydney, Vancouver) I always find myself back here in the land of the red clay and gorgeous beach-ey campfires and sunsets. I cannot seem to leave for good, no matter how much I drool when I see photos of Vancouver or miss concerts my son's band Rebel On A Mountain plays. I think it's the ocean that calls me…I hear it whispering my name in the stillness of a summer's eve, and so I hop in Tribby, plug in the iPhone, and select my favourites playlist (Eva Cassidy, anyone?). Sometimes I stop at the Frosty Treat on the way out (you'll have to read about that in Riptide, Drifters Book Four) for a cookie dough flurry on my way to Malpeque, where the oysters are famous and the fishing boats chug along in their narrow channel towards home. I sit in my blue beach chair with my toes tickling the sand and I ponder life, the ups and downs of trying to survive in this small place, fiscally, i mean…then my mind wanders to good things like Jessie and Josh and the Drifters world, because they…and music... are my escape.

The winters are hardest here, although we had a snow day yesterday and so today I am happily entranced and astounded by the natural beauty that has settled around me, cocooning all of us islanders in a lovely pristine newness.

And so life goes on…renewal works its way into my core and I think about how great this writing journey has been, this past year or so…and I think, I can go on. 

And I will.

Thank you watermelon, Pink Houses, and summertime sunsets on PEI.