this roadhouse is a little seedy, but the people seem nice
Yesterday our friends Sam and Em held a get-together to exchange seeds
and gardening ideas. Em, really. Sam stayed in his workshop, allegedly
sweeping up. They own the oldest home in the community. It was built
in 1903 by one of the three Finnish families that settled our area.
Of all our homes out here, theirs is the closest to the road. Em called it
“The Roadhouse” in her e-invitation. It’s getting a lot of love right now,
like the installation of a serious staircase.
In the center of Sam and Em’s home is this great fireplace.
On the other side of the chimney is their cookstove.
Em baked us a loaf of sourdough bread in this bad boy.
Sam and Em were the first folks we met here. Sam has many skills. One
of them, blacksmithing, was what connected us. He was on the island’s
arts and crafts tour in June 2005 when Jude and I, looking for a place
to buy, decided to check out the island. We elected to go to the most
remote stop on the tour and work our way back against the crowd.
The Roadhouse was that stop.
Sam’s affable and easy-going. He made us feel right at home. Em joined
us after a bit. We talked at least 90 minutes until another couple on the
tour arrived. When Sam was describing the community, he said “some-
times we’re mistaken for a commune”. I thought “sign us up”. That
statement, more than any other, convinced Jude and me to look for
property in the area.
So 5.5 years later I’m sitting in The Roadhouse sipping tea, eating halva,
and swapping seeds and stories with my neighbours. Here (l – r) is Sonia,
Em and Jane.
I told you the women in our community are beautiful.
Here (l – r) is Derek, Jane, Em, Vicki, Sonia and Bonnie.
I brought pods of shoo-fly plant seeds from our garden, and traded for
beans, hollyhocks, mixed greens and aqualegia. Some folks calls that
last one columbine. I used to until just now. Wikipedia says that the
Latin root for aqualegia means “eagle” and the Latin for columbine is
Seeds secured, I headed home. But not without a stop to see Sam in
his newly expanded shop. Here he is demonstrating some ancient
craft that never really existed.
On my walk home, the snow that had spit all morning started turning
to rain, cleansing the forest.
Such a day. New seeds, free bread, a cleaner forest and a milestone in history.