Lower Bedeque School, Prince Edward Island. 

While sharing lunch with my friend in Summerside, PEI, sour server mentioned that we were not far from one of the schools where Lucy Maud Montgomery had taught in 1896-1897. 

We decided to go by and see the school house, which now serves as a museum. It wasn’t open, but we did peek in the windows as well as taking photographs of the building. 

   
  

  

How delightful to see another part of Montgomery’s own history on PEI. 

The story of her time here is quite poignant. While teaching at this school, Montgomery boarded with the Leard family. 

Lucy fell in love with the eldest son of the family, Herman, but he ended the relationship because he was less educated than her and believed she could do better. 

Montgomery’s grandfather died suddenly and she left Bedeque before the school year was finished to return to Cavendish and take care of her grandmother. 

When Herman Leard died of influenza in 1899, Montgomery was distraught, even though their relationship had long been over. 

Niagara Falls.

Niagara Falls is nothing short of amazing. Powerful, inspiring and breathtakingly beautiful, this is one place that stole a piece of my heart the moment I set foot here eighteen months ago. 

Then, it was at the tail end of winter. There was snow on the ground and parts of the cascades were frozen. There were icebergs in the river. The purity of the glistening whiteness only added to the majesty of the falls. 

  
This time, it’s early autumn and the trees are just beginning to try on the fashionable shades of the season, although the leaves are still mostly green. A blue sky, cheerful sunshine and 24C made for a magnificent day for visiting the falls. 

  
It’s not easy to even get close to describing the falls in words. There is a constant rumble of water tumbling over the cliffs, while a plume of mist rises into the sky from the base of the Horseshoe Falls, the name given to the Canadian side of the falls. 

There are cruises which depart from either side of the falls. The American one is named Maid of the Mist, while the Canadian is named Hornblower. The cruises don’t run in the winter, so it wasn’t an option to experience one last time I was here. This time, though, I was very keen to experience the falls up close and personal, so to speak. 

I donned my complimentary rain poncho and boarded the boat with my friends Sean and Jenn. In the interests of looking all mature and sensible. I said I was excited; internally, though, I was squealing like a six year old on a roller coaster. We set off, and I have a vague suspicion that some of those excited squeals may have escaped as we got nearer to the falls. 

  
What a mind-blowing experience. The power of the water, the tingling coolness of the mist, the overwhelming humility of realising how big those falls are and how small I am, and the joy of being so close to something so magnificent all combined to be almost overwhelming in the most incredibly pleasant of ways.  

 
Later in the day, as we stood on a balcony just above the top of the Horseshoe Falls, I reflected on my love for this place and the exhilaration of the sheer joy that I feel here. I can’t explain it, but both emotions are very real. 

  
This is truly an experience and a day I will never forget.  Niagara Falls, I love you. 

 

Home.

The familiar scenery of south-western Victoria unfolds along the drive home from the airport.
Green grass, cows in paddocks, rolling hills. Gum trees line the road and the early autumn sunshine filters through them.

It’s all so beautiful and so normal and I find it jarring that I find it comforting in some way, because I didn’t want to come home in the first place.
Silent tears roll down my cheek.
If anyone notices, I’ll just let them assume it’s because I’m tired or I’m happy to be back.

As we roll into the driveway, I see that my maple trees have their first full autumn colour. They really are beautiful.

My dog runs to meet me. She is beside herself with happiness. Her tail is wagging so hard that she can’t control the rest of her body.
As I unpack my bags, she follows me everywhere. She’s probably making sure that things come out of the suitcase and nothing goes back in.

When I sit down, she is my my side, seeking contact and cuddles and my hand on her head. Then she settles down, puts her head on my foot and goes to sleep.

It’s the first time I am happy to be home.