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As many of you know Sydney and I travelled to PEI for the PEI fibre festival. We had travelled as vendors. We left Ontario last Monday, not knowing what was about to happen.
We arrived safe and sound Tuesday evening and settled into our seaside cottage rental in Summerside.
We knew there was a threat of the hurricane hitting, but truthfully I didn’t know the gravity in which it would strike.
Thursday morning the festival was cancelled (it was the best decision that could be made and our hearts go out to the organizers). We watched the radar, we calculated our risks based on the information we had. We would be safer to stay. We prepped, we locked down anything that could be a projectiles, we filled the bath tub with water, had food that didn’t require cooking, candles and lanterns.
Friday the air was so strange and the sea spray smelled different than the day before. The neighbours of the cottage had already invited us into their home for anything we could need. I can’t express my gratitude for the love and kindness they offered. Before bed I sharpie markered emergency contact info on my body (default panic mode, first hurricane, and it was the only natural disaster tip I could remember in the moment).
We went to bed with fear and uncertainty, we woke to the cottage shaky so violently I can’t believe it didn’t come apart. The rain and wind sounded like cannons, we held our breathe. When daylight broke, the sea water had moved so dramatically from the night before. We didn’t know if we’d float away or whether the water was already receding. The neighbour arrived at the door by 8, inviting us in for coffee, and to tell us the water was going back to sea. With a breathe of relief, gathered around the neighbours kitchen island safely inside, a generator, heat, coffee, and experienced kind wonderful humans.
We were lucky, so lucky.
In the aftermath, as we returned to the cottage, we bundled under all the blankets, as the winds and rain still howled. We lit the candles, we spoke of gratitude. We tried to knit with shaky hands, and ate storm chips.
On Sunday morning we fled, simple as that we fled, we drove, the devastation of the landscape we saw first, then the homes, the barns, the cars, the hydro lines, and so many trees plucked out of the ground.
I left part of my heart on that island. The sea didn’t take us, the storm didn’t ravage us, we were able to drive away. It doesn’t feel right. Something in my soul changed sometime between Friday and Saturday, it’s going to take some time to unpack that.
As we continue our drive homeward, we talked about what we could do from afar to help. There is so much damage words can’t describe. So much displacement, so much clean up, so many needs.
This dear, sweet island gave us back to our family, our family needs to give back to her. Thoughts and prayers are not enough.
One of the ways we’ve chosen to help is releasing a limited edition Pickle Jar, simply named Fiona, each will be in the shades of blue and green of the sea and red and beach colours of the sand. We will contribute $5 from each jar to Team Rubicon, who are on the ground already working amongst the communities across the Atlantic provinces (Picture from their twitter above). We chose this organization to maximize the amount of actual dollars that will go into the community’s aid. We will release 250 jars at a time, to avoid lengthy shipping delays. Shipping times for these jars is approx. 2-3 weeks, due to the specific colours being made. We will produce up to 1000 jars.
You can find the link to the Fiona Jar here: Fiona Jar
We want to thank everyone again for checking in on us, for taking us under their roof, making sure we were safe. Our gratitude seems inadequate. Home has never felt so welcoming, and full of love, until my husband and dogs greeted us in the driveway.
If you'd like to learn more about Team Rubicon and what they're doing to help in the wake of Fiona, please click the link below and of course, feel free to donate to them directly through their website.
With a humbled, and gracious heart, thank you.