The Cove Journal
by JoDee Samuelson
The rain is falling today and it’s very welcome, for the grass is brown and crispy. Skunks and crows are having a field day turning over sods in their search for juicy grubs. In the middle of our neighbor’s lawn they have worked up a perfectly round patch that could easily be turned into an attractive flowerbed; but some folks prefer large uninterrupted lawns, and that’s okay too.
I can’t speak for the fortunes of our Island potato farmers, but our own personal potatoes have been picture-perfect from the second their first leaves poked above ground. Colorado potato beetles made a half-hearted appearance the first of August, but we kept daily potato patrol and things never got out of hand. And what potatoes we’ve grown! Red, blue, yellow, fingerlings, all perfect. A little scab on a few, but that doesn’t hurt anything.
We had a houseguest recently, a friend from Germany. I asked her (don’t we all do this?) what she thought of the Island. She said, “The potatoes have a better view of the water than the tourists.”
“What do you mean?”
“It’s just that any place else there would be giant hotels all along the waterfront. Here the potato fields stretch down the hills to the pink cliffs, and so the potatoes get the best view.”
I never thought about it that way.
Another summer visitor said, “Is it the Island or is it your house? As soon as I get here things immediately slow down. The air is clean, the food tastes better, the people are chattier—people in the grocery store all seem to know each other; and the stars! You forget there are so many.”
We went camping with these friends at Campbell’s Cove where there is a pleasant private [formerly provincial] campground full of happy people and well-behaved children. The stars were indeed bright and plentiful, the food was delectable, and everyone was chatty as hell. Potato fields stretched down to the “pink” cliffs, and the Gulf of St. Lawrence waters sparkled a spectacular grey-green. Could any place be more beautiful than this unsung little alcove?—Well actually, the Island is full of such places.
“Who takes care of everything?” asked my German friend. “Who mends the fences, cleans the ditches, paints the houses, makes everything look so pretty?”
“Why, we all do.”
“Do you do it just for summer visitors? For tourists like me?”
“Of course not! We love this place. We do it for ourselves.”
“And your potatoes: How do you get them to taste so good?”
“Potatoes just like to grow here, I guess. We’re lucky.”…And aren’t we lucky. We get to live here all year long! Somehow a lot of storms pass us by; we don’t have poisonous snakes or scary wild creatures; maybe we lock our doors, maybe not; and today the rain is falling just when we need it. Perfect.