Once again, I awoke at 6:30 am, so got up and went for a walk. I inhale the lush earthy scented scenery as I walk, admiring the luscious greens and browns and bright flower colours of nature...slapping mosquitos all the while. (Val & J call them nippers.) Yikes, they are nasty and plentiful over here! When I got back, Valerie was up and wondered if I was up for another walk...yup, always! We went over to collect J, and then walked up to Rattling Brook. This is the brook I mentioned earlier that feeds into the Exploits - the mouth of which they call the channel. I saw kids playing in this part of the brook too, although we never did (why come up the road for a swim in the brook when we can just walk out the door and down over the bank to the much larger Exploits River!)
Val and her sister J:
After our walk, we put on our bathing suits and went down to the beach...the water was pretty cool, so we just waded around and sunbathed. As we lay there, I said to Valerie that I felt like I was in a fairy tale. It was absolutely magical lying there, listening to the soft breeze rustling the leaves and the water lapping at the shore, feeling the warmth of the sun on my skin, watching the cloud of dragonflies overhead.
When we got back, Mark and Kees were making a salad and hotdogs. Valerie said hey, if we time it right, maybe we'll never need to make lunch!
After lunch, there was work to be done, a gazebo to be built. A gazebo pronounced gizzeboo, which is what Val's dad called the old one. Apparently a couple (few?) years ago, the original gazebo/boathouse collapsed and Kees has wanted to build a new one ever since, but Mark admittedly wanted nothing to do with it (I don't think he fancies himself a handyman by any stretch of the imagination!) Valerie joked that's why she invited us...free labour! It was quite amusing watching Kees and Dave measure and measure and measure some more just to be sure... At one point, they were going over to get more tools from Cal, and K said "what do you need more tools for, there are three big tools right here!" That cracked us all up.
While the guys were putting up the walls, Valerie, J and I measured and cut the screen panels. I borrowed the measuring tape from the boys, and joked how on earth would they manage without it?! :) Once the walls were up, Val and I stapled a couple panels in place, and added some trim. (Valerie sawed up the strapping while I sat on the boards to hold them still...tough job, eh?)
And now it's time for a beer break!!
Valerie mentioned that she was going to paint the gazebo white, in honour of her dad who painted everything white...I gathered that in his mind, there was one and only one proper colour of paint: white! I said I thought she should start her own Bermuda-esque trend along the Exploits and paint it orange instead (knowing too that orange is her favourite colour). Valerie loved that idea.
A while later, she headed off to the hardware store for paint and more wood (the guys kept underestimating their requirements!) I asked if she wanted company. No, she was going by herself, she said and seemed quite distant. I wondered what is this wall I feel between us, is it me, it is her, it is both of us, or what?? I went down to the beach to be alone myself and shed a few tears...maybe our visit wasn't turning out as she'd hoped and she was disappointed or wishing she hadn't invited us...that's what it seemed like to me, at that moment. When I came back up from the beach, she was back but was upstairs comforting K. M and K had a spat and one was pouting downstairs and one was pouting upstairs. I had a chat with M, and said that the important thing is to remember that it was just a misunderstanding and to let it go. She said she got it, but would I please leave her alone to sort herself out. Fair enough, my poppet.
Valerie came downstairs and we made lunch (yummy hash from J's leftovers) and talked. She said she'd just needed an hour alone earlier. I said that I hoped it wasn't because she was sick of me already. No, not that at all...she just has these times when her walls come up and she needs time alone. (Interesting that she spoke of walls since that was exactly how it felt to me.) She doesn't know why her walls come up, but never wants anyone with her at these times, not Mark, not her daughters, not me...and for me not to take it personally. I said I'll try, although will be a challenge for me and my oft thin-skinned inner child. Also told her that her walls are very, very obvious...she agreed and said just ask her kids, they too will agree. I was relieved to have learned about this quirk of my friend's, and to now understand what her "leave me alone" face is all about (which I have felt before and always took personally.) I felt refreshed like the air after a big rain, my heart was no longer heavy with feeling unsure of myself. Also relieved to know I'm not the only one with irrational quirks! Makes me feel that much closer to my friend knowing she also has what I call inner child moments. :) What a strange journey, my friendship with this wonderful woman. Sometimes the bumps in the road are hard on my heart, but they always lead to new understanding and a renewed and deeper closeness.
Suppertime was fun and relaxed. We appointed the girls as dishwashers, and the boys settled in the house to watch snow (that's about what the TV reception was like), while Valerie and I went out to the cabin to chill. J came over after a bit, then went along to see what Cal was up to. At that point, Val and I decided to go watch a movie that the girls had been watching earlier and had piqued our interest: Charlie Bartlett. It was in some ways a typical teenage comedy, with farcical bits etc, and yet it was also quite moving, and I thought had a deeper message than many of the high school movies. (I would put it in the same category as The Breakfast Club.) The young lead actor was excellent, portraying the angst and confusion of his character brilliantly, without going over the top into parody. (Plus any movie with Robert Downey Jr is ok in my books!!)
Tomorrow we go to Twillingate!!!