In my previous marriage, we used to spend a lot of time on Prince Edward Island in the summer. Although I was born on the Island, it was only an accident of birth, because that was where my father was posted with the Canadian Airforce at the time. My ex-husband's family, however, had a long history there, going back to some of the first Scottish settlers on the Island, back in the days when the Island was nothing but trees and native North Americans. The Ramsays ended up on the Island when their ship, The Annabella, was ship-wrecked in Malpeque Bay. The Annabella had been heading for the Virginia Colonies when a storm blew it off course and the rest is history. It is said that the survivors would have starved or frozen to death that first winter, were it not for the Natives who so generously helped them out.
My late father in law came from a very large farming family, consisting mainly of girls. I think there were only two or three sons. He was the baby of the family. Most of his sisters, with the exception of one, had moved down to the Boston, New England area before and after WW2. The same thing happened in my own family. There was a lot of prosperity in America as compared to the Maritimes, which was than and still is a somewhat economically depressed area.
The old gals (as we called the sisters) used to come up to their cottage on the Malpeque Bay every summer, where they would spend a couple of months taking in the sea air and re-connecting with their roots. The air rang with the sound of hearty card games and raucous laughter. I think the game was 45's but I can't say for sure, because I have never been a great card player. I'm too slow.
I loved to watch however, and many an afternoon was spent watching the cards being dealt and listening to all the war stories and family tales. The Sister that had stayed back on the Island used to do all the cooking. She would bake thes...