books, Island Life

of relations and other matters

It’s a curious thing to live on an island.

The sea is our border and so we grow up with a very clear sense of place and identity.

When I go off the Island I am “away”

and when I return – which means the moment I touch Island soil – I am “home”.

It makes no difference that my home is another hour drive from the bridge.

A Islander is home when he or she is on the Island.

Another curious aspect in Islanders is a compelling drive to establish a connection, either through a mutual acquaintance, or, more commonly than not, a relation.

The first thing an Islander will try to find out when introduced is:

1.”Where are you from?”

         and next

2. “Who was your father?”

In a little Island community in the school district next to ours, there is a young man who has gone on to become an NHL hockey player. To be a NHL player is the dream of most little hockey players across Canada. He is a hero to  Island children.

When I was a teacher at our local school it was cute – and so typically Island-like –  to hear the kids say ” I know his neighbours” or “My uncle delivers the milk at his house”

or, if you were one of the really lucky ones,

you could say with considerable pride

“He’s my cousin you know”.

I’ve been told that this drive to establish connections is a unique characteristic of those who live on islands.

I’m often asked about island life,

Especially an island known so well as the home of this beloved literary character …

Carrie is one such inquisitive reader – as you can tell from the title of her blog, Reading To Know.

She is hosting the Lucy Maud Montgomery Reading Challenge  for the month of January and asked me if I

would share a little slice of Island life for her readers.

She had some interesting questions for me –  all about life here on PEI

and especially about L M Montgomery.

Well …

I’m not surprised she asked me about LMM

Not that I’m an expert by any means,

and I certainly don’t want to brag,


“She is my cousin you know.”


You can read all about it here

with love,


20 thoughts on “of relations and other matters

  1. =D (I’m just catching up on your blog now – can you tell from my comments coming in?) Sheesh. Anyway – this is a fantastic post and thanks for answering my questions and participating and sharing your life and your HEART! As others have said: "I love, love, love it!" I really do.


  2. "22. Islanders feel ‘strange” when they are off the Island – a little uncomfortable – because on an island you know where you are. You have a clearly delineated border – the sea – but on the mainland, where are you?? There is no border. This is a strange concept that Islanders find hard to explain and non-Islanders find hard to understand."I know exactly what you mean. I am from O’ahu, and the only directions we use are mauka (toward the mountains), makai (toward the sea), Diamond Head (towards Diamond Head) and ‘Ewa (opposite direction from Diamond Head). Living on the mainland now is weird, because the only direction that works well is makai. There are mountains to the North, Mountains to the East. It’s very confusing to an island girl like me.I will always be an island girl, never fully at home till I’m on an island..


  3. Oh, wonderful! I enjoyed the article so much – and I join you in hoping and praying for the revival! I was always kind of proud that I share a birthday with LMM. (The month and day, not the year, lol!) I’d love to create an unforgettable character like she did. I’ve read a lot of her other books, too, and enjoyed them.


  4. Can I come live with you, Kathie?! After I’m done staying with my mom, of course. I love, love, love this kind of thing, and, once again, I’m feeling just a bit envious of your spot on the earth.I live in the high desert of Oregon (as you should know since you sometimes read my blog). The high desert is on the east side of the Cascade Moutains. The west side of the mountains is rainy and damp. The high desert side is dry, and the skies are almost always sunny. We feel like we’re home as soon as we reach the top of the mountains. There is a fairly clear demarcation of east and west just in the appearance of the landscape, and even the air feels different. We always sigh and say that it feels like home, even though we’ve got more than an hour’s drive to actually get there. (I should say that westerners probablyfeel the same way I do about going back to their side of the mountain.Susan


  5. Fun post. Great picture. I just asked myself if there are any light house pictures I don’t like. I grew up in a small….very small, mining town in the middle of now where. It was not nearly as charming as where you grew up, but I found myself seeing some similarities. I moved away from there as did my whole family, but I still feel strangely connected. I can see the houses and the people that lived there in the fifties and sixties. When I can’t sleep, I walk the neighborhood (in my mind) and say the names of the people that lived there. Does that sound crazy? It just seems to be in your blood.


  6. Dear Kathie; I had a 30 year old dream of mine come true last summer; my hubby and I visited PEI for nearly 2 weeks and loved every moment, even the mosquito filled ones! It was even better than I had imagined. The red roads, the wildflowers, the beautiful sunsets, the quaint farmhouses, the Irish Ceilidhs, the sand dunes, the blue sea, the beautiful quilts, Green Gables, LMM’s homesite, the superb food and the delightful hospitality of the two B & B’s we stayed in are enough to draw us back again sometime soon! We even contemplated moving to PEI from our beautiful province of BC but then we thought about your wintertimes and changed our minds. I’m glad I discovered your blog!


  7. Thanks for directing us over to Carrie’s blog to read your thoughts about home. I enjoyed it! And I loved the whole idea of connecting with people via who’s related to whom. The lighthouse pic is outstanding.


  8. Just read your heart over at Carrie’s blog…so stirring and beautiful! You definitely make me want to come join your community there! Hmmm…what could my husband do for work…So lovely, Kathie!


  9. The other day I was getting into my car to head home and noticed in the next car over was one of my co-worker reading Anne of Green Gables. Thought of you of course, and later chatted with the co-worker about PEI and the book. We both agreed we would love to be able to visit "your" island this year!


  10. Home Again says:

    I remember that bridge. I have some beautiful pictures of that bridge and some great memories.True what you said, about the Island. People seem so genuine. I often refer to ourselves, from the country.We don’t even know how to act when we go to the city.


  11. I went and had a peek to be sure and . . .you are. . how amazing. I love the little details on living on the island. Gorgeous picture by the way. . .oh and as I look out my window now I see pink sky. .must run.


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