The Lake Charlotte Taxi Service
mud in the spring, dust in the summer
After the war, my Grandad was discharged from the army. With his discharge money, he bought a car. Back then, there were very few cars in their community. He used his car to start a taxi business out of the family home in Upper Lakeville
My Nanny, who lived in nearby Clam Harbour had just finished her grade ten. Unfortunately there was no one in the community who could teach her the lessons required to have her grade eleven. The school in Oyster Pond had grade eleven. My Nanny was invited to go there.
These days, the drive from Clam Harbour to Oyster Pond takes a little better than fifteen minutes. Back then, it was an old dirt road, rutted and full of potholes. The journey could take well over an hour. The duration of the trip really depended on how often a driver had to stop and change the tires on the car.
Given it took so long and my Nanny didn’t have a car, she boarded with Mrs. Jennex in Oyster Pond. My Granddad would pick her up every Sunday afternoon from her house in Clam Harbour and drop her off at the Jennex house. He’d pick her up every Friday afternoon and drop her back off at home.
“Sure there were bumps and it was muddy, but the worst was the dust. It would get so dusty at times you’d get lost in it.”
“Did you and Granddad ever have to pull over, did you ever get lost in the dust?” I asked.
A twinkle entered my Nanny’s eye, “We pulled over plenty”.
Having a car back then meant acceleration. Cars sped up the life in the village. At the same time, given the rough roads, the speed didn’t come close to what we take for granted today.
Those afternoon hours seemed timeless to my Nanny. She and my Granddad were exactly where they needed to be - together. Though they had a destination, they were not in a hurry.
“How long did you take to get together? How many drives did it take before you knew you liked each other?”
“Oh, we knew right away. He had another girl around, but he got rid of her after the first trip he took me on.”
Again, her eyes twinkled.
“Nanny, when you talk about this you look like you’re just sixteen again”.
“Of course I do. I may look like an old woman but I still feel like the same person that I was then. I’m just a bit more stiff. I don’t think that I’m ever going to get old. I’ll likely wake up dead before that happens”.
When my Nanny leaves this world, she’ll be going with her boots on, grateful but not satisfied. “I’ve had a great life Jimmy. I’m ninety years old and live at home. My house is warm. I have a huge family. I live in the best part of the best part of the world. Life has been good. And I’m no rush to leave.”
I love going fast. I also like to linger.
Where can you linger?
Where does time stand still for you?
You know, the moments that just seem to glide along.
Some of them are those commonplace, everyday occurrences - the drive to school.
Some think if you want to create something memorable, you need a big event.
But Remarkable Fools can find magic in a moment or comfort and delight in a routine Sunday drive.
It’s like the old saying goes:
Age is only a number.