Thursday, July 21, 2011

6 dead 7 alive. And a crazy day on New Gower

6 dead 7 alive. The drive across the island was dotted into moose grazing along the roadside and moose pieces from unfortunate moose and vehicles meeting.  Keeping an eye out for the moose  I couldn’t help but divert my attention to peek at my at my two boys fast asleep in the back. My wife finally asleep after I finally told her enough was enough with the house planning/ first college for the boys/ future vacations into space.

I had plenty of time to think and contemplate my decisions and huge luck to move back to Newfoundland. As a regular force soldier postings here are few and far between.  I had forgot just how precious this island was to me. While the road cut a path through the vast wilderness, it’s left nothing but dotted communities along it’s sides. No urban sprawl. Essentially a frontier path across a vast array of streams and forests. Aside from making the drive every year for 12 years now from other places in Canada; I always feel at home when I cross the isthmus into the vast barrens,glacier rocks, and thick blankets of fog.
Finally I was home.

A quick midday nap I awoke so refreshed that I threw my kayak on my shoulder and walked across my front garden to the bay. A steady south west wind pushed me out the harbour as the rain beaded on my hands. It felt surreal. Here I was home at last. 

Back to my normal haunts I was amazed at the amount of driftwood along the shore....I guess teenagers don’t have beach fires for social teenage activities like we use to. Some of the rocks had shifted into the sea from it’s losing battle against this harsh and beautiful climate; yet Hopeall head remains as it has been in my dreams.

Some of the largest expeditions I have ever done in my life had been centered on this one headland as a child. Pirate treasure certainly existed there in folklore and talk, my grandfather had found pieces of muskets there when he was a child. Add in a nice long hike for a 10 yr old with some good friends, I have a lot of great memories here.

I paddled to the front of Hopeall head to have a look for the whales that were making quite the show lately. A high angle paddle usually tires me out after a while; yet there I sat in front of the head feeling refreshed. Silence broken only by the call of 6 bald eagles and a slow surf pushing into the cliff. Licking my lips to taste the sea spray. This is where I belong.

The rest of my week has been torn between lawyers and getting introduced into my new job. Still awaiting my household items I have also been living out of a suitcase while my children stay at nan and Pop's house. Yesterday a real freaky weird thing happened that I feel I have to pass on.

The way things happened yesterday and it's almost erie outcome is akin to" the power of (Deity) email chain letters" I get from people sometimes. Yet this story is very true.

I don't shop. I don't go to stores without a detailed plan of what I need, and do it as quickly as possible. I don't bother to stop and look at things that I have no need for, or plan to purchase. So as me and my wife strolled up New Gower street in St.Johns it was totally out of character for us to look into the little store windows window shopping. As we passed an antique store a old desk caught my wife's eye; and for some weird totally out of character reason we went in and looked around. And again against every known normal action of us both...... we decided to check out the second floor.

On our way down from the second floor behind a wine case owned by Joey Smallwood ......I spotted something that made the hair on my neck stand up.
A painting of a famous ship the bluenose. The painter really knew his ships, every detail of the rigging displayed. No doubt from a long line of shipbuilders and salior I guessed.....well not really guessed.

I picked up the painting  looking for the painters name; although I already knew. As a child I remember my pop Harold Rowe painting in his little room off the back of the living room. He would give these to family who just got married and were moving into their first matrimonial home. Explaining the story to the man downstairs to the cashier and to curious onlookers who were amazed with the story, around this piece of folk art.  Listed for 300 dollars I walked out of the store with it for 75$ thanks to a very nice antique collector.

I was honestly shaking as I walked to my car with my pops painting in hand. Curious passers by glanced in interest in my large framed painting. Many family members called or texted me amazed at the crazy coincidence and weird circumstances. Regardless of how,who, what happened...

Thanks Pop for the housewarming gift.

You wouldnt believe how much I appericiate it.

It's made some things I've been questioning clear.


  1. Cool story, Lee. We have a scale model of the Bluenose that my dad, a sailor, built years ago. I also have a black and white drawing of the Bluenose, a gift from my parents when I turned 21. Loved it then, cherish it now. Glad to hear you're "home". Duncan.

  2. Hi Lee and family

    Well, Your finaly home!! Hope all is going well. And you are getting settled. Finding the painting is a sign that all will be great. I thinks its the universes way of saying this move is the right direction for you. Is also a very cool thing to have happen!!

    Are you still planing to circumnavagate the Avolon peninsula this summer?? looking forward to future updates.

    I am giving sum thought to heading out that way for a month next year. see Gros morne, maybee find a spot on the shore for a bit and paint. Have to wait and see. All so want to take Maria camping again(see blog update).

    All the best, NOrman K.

  3. Cheer's Duncan. Sounds like you cN appericiate this "gift" I recieved.

    I fully agree Norm. So amazing to get the painting. It truly is a sign that has given me direction.Awesome stuff Norm I'm sure she will enjoy the time to reflect, draw , paint, and make memories. The avalon is going to be an extended goal over maybe a year. Many larger trips coming....a few "down" the Labrador.