Dear Dr. Morrison

The Cove Journal | by JoDee Samuelson

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Dear Dr. Morrison:

On behalf of the people of the Cove, I am writing to thank you for taking such good care of us. Your fireside chats (well, without the fireplace) are eagerly awaited, and we have heeded your admonitions to be patient and take care of one another.

Life in the Cove is definitely different. Last week our Women’s Institute met in the old school, and we all sat so far away from one another that it was hard to hear what anyone was saying. Also, the furnace only blew cold air—I suppose it was out of practice—so we kept our coats on and limited the small talk. Still, it was nice to see everyone again.

Next month we’ll hold a community meeting to pay the bills and decide when to shut off the water in the school, but there’ll be nothing else to discuss. No Christmas Concert, Open Houses, Living Nativity or New Year’s Levee. Perhaps in spring we’ll be able to plan a Rhubarb Social, and you’re certainly invited.

The Atlantic Bubble has been lovely, and some of us ventured even further afield. Was it worth all the hand-sanitizing, mask-wearing, social-distancing, Lysol-wiping and paying-at-the-pump? Yes! While Zoom is amazing, the physical presence of real honest-to-goodness beloved human beings is even better. Two weeks of quarantine (or is it self-isolation and can anyone explain the difference?) was a small price to pay for recharging our spirits. Thank-you, Dr. Morrison, for having someone phone us daily to inquire about our state of health. Did we experience shortness of breath, fever, cough, etc., etc.? No no and no. Had we left our property? No. Was someone available to bring us groceries? Yes; and we appreciated the bottle of vodka that was thoughtfully dropped off at the mailbox to assist in the creation of delicious olive-soaked Quarantinis.

You might wonder how people fill their time during isolation. My list included audiobooks (Huckleberry Finn, Jane Eyre); reading (Wolf Hall); physical activities (digging garden, stacking wood); plus New York Times crossword puzzles and Netflix this and that. Self-isolation wasn’t a punishment; it was a gift, and I was sorry when it ended.

But on day 13 when we got a final call from your people telling us we were free to go, it was a good feeling to know that we weren’t contagious. We immediately hopped on our bikes and high-tailed it down to the Cove where the air was as pure, the seaweed as wet and the rocks as slippery as always. On our way home, two ruffed grouse scooted across the path to say hello, then ducked into the woods and vanished. We haven’t seen any grouse (grouses? grice?) lately, so it felt very special.

You mentioned that on Thanksgiving Day your family members said how thankful they were to live on Prince Edward Island. We feel the same way. Thanks for all you do to keep us healthy and safe.

Sincerely,

Your friends in the Cove

Jodee SamuelsonThe Cove Journal
JoDee Samuelson

Born and raised in the Canadian prairies, JoDee now lives in “the Cove” on the Island’s beautiful South Shore. She was a maker of animated films for most of her working life, and presently putters at less demanding artistic ventures like carving owls, painting Island scenes on small woodblocks, and playing ukelele.