A honeymoon to remember

David
David Newell
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This past week, I went on my honeymoon. Samuel Johnson described a honeymoon as the first month after marriage when there is "nothing but tenderness and pleasure." Those things supposedly wane after a month of wedded bliss.

For many, romantic destinations like Paris or Rome are the ultimate trip, or for others the Caribbean or some other place where the new couple can get sand between their toes is the place to go.

Being theatre buffs and proud Newfoundlanders, we decided on something closer.

Trinity seemed like the perfect place - and it was.

Rising Tide had a plethora of shows planned, Tineke Gow's Artisan Inn had first class accommodations and the five-star Twine Loft restaurant - complete with sommelier - and beautiful vistas were around every turn.

When we arrived on Monday, we settled in to what we thought would be a little corner of heaven to celebrate what had been the most amazing wedding ever. Our honeymoon would continue the story we had both long written in our heads.

The threat of a storm on Tuesday was romantic, too. We could hunker down in our 1840's-style room and relax, away from our offices, deadlines, children and stress.

Igor was more than a storm.

When the wind began to move the second storey of the 170-year-old inn so violently the curtains swayed, we knew it was a little more than just a storm.

And when the power went out, it was the beginning of the end of a storybook honeymoon.

We were lucky, since we had propane fireplaces and stoves, a professional kitchen and a fully stocked bar.

With all of the employees sent home to neighbouring communities that day and an owner with a family needing care, we were left to our own devices.

Here we were, two Newfoundlanders and couples from Toronto, Hay River, NWT and London, England.

And Igor.

Being Newfoundlanders and self-proclaimed chefs, myself and my wife began cooking what seemed to be an endless supply of fresh cod that was in the refrigerator. Over the next few days, our guests and host family had baked cod, cod au gratin and fish cakes. We were lucky - we ate very well.

I performed a screech in.

We had a few laughs and made great friends.

The agony of having no electricity for lights, laptops and televisions was alleviated a little by a Blackberry, so we were able to communicate with the outside world.

And twice a day, my wife and I went for a drive up the road, to see' The Hole'.

It was 'The Hole' that kept us from leaving.

And for six days, we checked it, hoping it would miraculously be filled in.

On Thursday, the voice on the other end of my cell phone asked if we could get to Trouty, which is only a few kilometres away.

Never had I even in my wildest journalistic dreams thought my first interview with a Prime Minister would be on my honeymoon.

But it was.

That interview was not my fondest memory of this week.

It took a harrowing four-by-four trip and a boat ride to meet the PM and premier.

The man who captained the little boat carrying myself and my wife - who is not a journalist, but she had nothing else to do - across the pond in Trouty turned out to be an old family friend. I had never met him, but had heard tales of he and his wife many times.

His son had lost everything he owned to Igor's wrath. An SUV, travel trailer, speedboat and camper had all been neatly overturned and packed into a neat pile when the little river his garage sat next to turned into a raging torrent and ripped it and a nearby bridge away.

The man had suffered his own material losses, too.

But he was smiling.

He said it could have been worse, like the man who lost his life.

"We are all okay," he said. "It's only stuff."

When he dropped us off after I took my photos and recorded the words of the big wigs, he put a hand on my shoulder and looked into my eyes.

"Sorry, my son," he said thoughtfully. "The next time you come by we'll have a nice meal for you."

The world was seemingly crashing down around this man, but he only cared about others.

It was a sentiment seen dozens and hundreds of times this week - people caring about people.

We are okay.

Nothing else really matters.

So, myself and my new wife drove home on Sunday, over 11 breaks in Route 230 that had been repaired enough to navigate.

We came home exhausted, weary but still very much in love.

Perhaps Hurricane Igor was a test for us, to see how much our love could take. Maybe it was the first of many such tests.

Maybe, though, it was meant to teach us something.

If we take care of each other, then nothing else really matters.

Thanks for the reminder, Igor.

The rest, after all, is only stuff.

 

David Newell

 

Organizations: Artisan Inn

Geographic location: Paris, Rome, Toronto Hay River London England

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  • jily
    October 01, 2010 - 07:08

    Fantastic article, thanks for reminding us that it's just "stuff" and that if we take care of each other nothing really matters. Wishing you both many years happiness.

  • stephanie marsden
    September 30, 2010 - 11:31

    hi, my name is stephanie and i was the lady that served your table the night before the storm. I was one of the many staff members that were sent home now knowing that it would be a long time before i could get out. i am now in st johns we came in last saturday by boat to clarenville. I just want to say that reading your peice brought me to tears because yes it is just stuff, adn i spent a week stuck there and the things that the outside communities did for us and the things that we all did for each other should not go unnoticed. you reallly become proud to say that you are a newfie after times like these. it was very nice to meet you and i am glad that you survived the week down in trinity and make sure you come back, maybe for a second honeymoon...lol. best of luck to you and your wife with you marriage. stephanie marsden