Farewell To Pine Cove Lodge
It was our final evening at Pine Cove Lodge. Lucy, Joan, Geraldine, and I, were sitting around the dining table, overlooking the river, when someone asked what we each liked best about our week at the lodge. While Geraldine was happy just to be invited to this wonderful place, Lucy enjoyed a stress-free week with great friends. Joan still couldn’t get over that Alex and I unknowingly immigrated to Canada on the same boat 49 years ago. As for me. Well, there was a lot to enjoy. The location, the amenities, the canoeing, the food, the staff. But what stands out for me is the people I met while staying at the lodge. In particular, two writers: Camilla Gibb, and Nicola Ross.
We met Camilla at a cocktail party. She was sitting alone at the bar and Joan struck up a conversation with her while I ordered drinks. Then Joan introduced her and we just started talking. I don’t recall at what moment she told us she was a writer, but I was definitely interested. When she told us she wrote Sweetness in the Belly it struck a chord with me. I’d heard about this book but hadn’t read it. That evening I checked it out on my kindle and started reading. To say I was impressed was putting it mildly. It was written out of her time living in Ethiopia. Who do I know who’s ever done such a thing? Lived in Ethiopia, I mean. Incredible.
A day or two later, the four of us had paddled over to a floating island in the middle of the cove to enjoy our usual cocktail hour, when who should swim over but Camilla. It turned out that the studio she was staying in didn’t have a full kitchen and she was planning a dinner of grilled cheese and chips. Lucy offered an alternative. “It’s my turn to cook dinner tonight. We’re having barbecued ribs, with potatoes and corn. Why don’t you join us?” There was no comparison. Ribs wins out over grilled cheese any day. She said yes, and we had a lovely evening together getting to know each other. She brought the wine.
I had wanted to meet Nicola for a year now. I first heard about her through the writing workshops she runs at the lodge. The owner, Alex told me about her when when I visited the previous year. Since then I’ve read her blog Dusty Travels and followed her on Facebook. We’ve e-mailed from time to time, but that is all. It was my hope to finally meet her on this trip, but I wanted it to happen naturally so I wouldn’t be nervous.
Then one evening as we were getting ready to go to dinner at the lodge, Joan received a message from the lodge that she was to call home right away. Thinking it was an emergency, I hurried to dress after my shower, and followed. If it was bad new from how, she might need my support. When I walked into the main lodge in search of Joan, she was chatting with Camilla and none other than Nicola Ross. When I went over Nicola recognized me right away from my blog photo and got up to hug me. I couldn’t have imagined a better introduction. She offered to buy us drinks before dinner that night and we were happy to oblige. We must have talked for 40 minutes before we were called in to gourmet feast in the lodge dining room.
Our final day at Pine Cove Lodge turned out cool and overcast, reflecting our mood. It was our last full day and we were all dreading the return home. Not because we didn’t want to see our families, but because Pine Cove Lodge is such a special place. Whenever I am there, something wonderful always happens.
Hours later, in another world, I had a lovely welcome home with my husband. We were both sitting on the deck with a glass of wine as night fell, and I said, “You know, meeting Camilla and Nicola reminded me of where I want to be next.” When I looked at him with tears in my eyes, I think that for the first time ever he saw, reflected in my eyes, my dream of becoming a published author, and he totally understood.