Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Thanksgiving Month, Day 24: On Blueberry Hill

When our family came back to Canada the furlough after I had finished at Hebron School in India, we settled in Three Hills. Well, most of us did; I went to a little college in Edmonton and came home some weekends and for holidays.

Then I went to university in the States. The next time I came to Three Hills, apart from Bronwyn's and Paul's wedding, was in June 1988. 

It was a devastating time in my life. I had no idea where to turn and nowhere to go, so I came to the town that housed my sisters Bronwyn and Cathryn. 

Of course, you know the story about Don hiring me at the Dairy King. I also worked at the Food Cellar for Larry. And I tried my best to adjust and to fit in and to make some friends.

Two people who befriended me came from out of the blue - they were parents of a friend, and yet they took an interest in me, always chatting to me when they came to the Dairy King, inviting me over to their home, greeting me at church, going out of their way to make me feel welcome and part of things.

I left Three Hills in 1990 and rarely saw them for years after that.

But when I moved back to start the TH, they picked up where they had left off. 

She brought me china cups and saucers and the odd knick nack that she spotted which she thought might work in the TH. He fixed the railing on my banister and sanded down the broken surface of the mortar part of the mortar-and-pestle set I use to grind the spices for chai.

They come to the TH when they can and they always bring laughter and snappy comebacks with them. They also get into the spirit of things and are welcome additions to the evening supper crowd.

But at the end of this summer they outdid themselves: I got a phone call one Sunday afternoon before we had opened. "I have some china for you - can I drop it off?" We got to chatting and she also mentioned that they had been blueberry picking and had some extras. I told her I would buy blueberries from them if they would sell. She said we'd have to talk ...

And then they showed up that evening, blue berries and china in tow! I pretty much had to force money on them for the blueberries, which they themselves had picked and paid for at a U-Pick place in British Columbia. So what they did was they stayed for dinner, "so that we can give you back your money," is how he put it.

Ron and Elizabeth. Uncomplicated, undemanding friendship from two people with very big hearts and a care and concern for others that is rare and precious. Exactly the kind of friends a person needs in those times when the clouds loom large overhead and life gets tangled and complicated and you just want someone to say hi and give you a hug.

As Elizabeth always says to me when she hugs me goodbye: "We love you we miss you!"

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