We all know death is part of life, thing is, we don't know when it's going to happen. But that's a good thing, too, for I am sure most all of us worry or think about passing on, which we know is going to happen some day, and not a thing we can do to stop it either.Recently, the oldest resident of Shoe Cove passed away at a grand age.Clarence Gray was born Oct. 9, 1922, and passed away Sept. 9, at the age of 87, one month from his 88.
Mr. Gray was a man of humour and could make just about everyone smile with his funny stories, for he had that way with his words. He married Gertie Mitchell 68 years ago, and between them they raised 12 children, seven boys and five girls.
Back then that may not have seemed like a huge family but by today's standards that's considered more than a huge family. His wife, Gertie, is the oldest lady in Shoe Cove.
They both lived in their own home until his passing and although she has some hearing problems, she is in good health otherwise. Someone said recently they saw Ms. Gray and she looks and gets around smarter than a bee! She's also over 80 years of age.
Most of their grown children live around home with two in La Scie, and two in AB, so she is well taken care of and has lots of company for now anyway. As I write this, Ms. Gray is still at home with her youngest daughter who is home from AB, but it seems she will be moving in with one of her daughters here in Shoe Cove, for the winter at least. No one is sure what she will do when spring breaks!
I am sure Mr. Gray will be greatly missed, by his wife especially, and also by his 11 living grown children, 36 grandchildren, 49 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild. Mr. Gray loved to hunt in the fall, especially with his two younger sons, who played many pranks on their dad, all in the name of fun for sure. But Mr. Gray could play his funny pranks, too, for where does children get some of their traits if it's not from their parents! Everyone in Shoe Cove will miss seeing him out around, but for a while Mr. Gray would only mosey to the post office in the mornings, and several weeks before his passing, he didn't feel well enough to do that, so he stayed at home with his wife, and entertained his grown children, family and friends when they would drop by, which was daily for many of them.
Unemployment falling down around us
Don't seem like things in the economy are looking real bright, especially in rural NL, for seasonal workers at least. The economy is still in a slump, I agree, but why blame rural NL. Well, that's how it looks to us in rural areas anyway.
The unemployment is the most important agenda right now and with all those new proposals, nothing looks good for rural regions. When the 14-week rule came in a few years ago, people didn't know how they were going to adapt, but now that we all have, more changes are in the air. I have only been getting bits and bites, therefore I don't have much of a clue as what might happen. But thing is, you can bet your bottom boots none of what comes out of it will be very good.
This 14-week divisor is supposed to end at the end of Oct, if I heard correctly. If they make away with that and bring in the 20-week divisor, I'm just saying for I don't really know, then rural NL may has well shut the lights off and lock their doors.
There is no way people in seasonal work like the fishery, plant workers, etc, can make a living at it if this change alone takes effect. I am sure this well hurt most people and send more packing in search of greener pastures.
This is not the case for all people though. Many people over 55 cannot and do not have the ability or means to pack it all in and go away. Many of the ones who have done so do not want to be away from their beloved NL, but they wonder what other choices they had.
They say there are no other choices, so away they flee just to make a living, leaving their homes back here to maybe fall down around their ears or in some cases some people do sell it all and try and make a go of it somewhere else. I wonder how many would quickly return if given the chance.
Let's call our MP's, MHA's, anyone in government who has a hearing ear! I know everyone can state how they feel, no matter how they say, I can't talk like you, or I don't know how to state that we don't want those new changes to make us worst of than before.
Everyone can tell how they feel, no matter how few words they use. Let's tell government that rural NL is still alive and well, and we won't stand for those proposed changes that will leave us in the ditch once again.
We have been on our hands and knees, scraping and scrimping long enough and now to dump us into more frigid waters, well no thanks.
Different species snagged in our waters
It seems quite a few sharks have been snagged in fishermen's nets over the past few weeks. One was caught up in a fisherman's net here and the same crew were out fishing one day, while cutting fish on the gunnel of the boat they looked back by the motor and here was another live shark about eight feet long, with it's snout sticking out of the water watching them gut and bleed their fish.
Was it waiting to come in for the kill or was it just curious, I am not sure but I know I would not want it sticking its nose out of the water if I were out in speedboat!
The one snagged in the nets was about five to six feet long, and was dead when hauled in the boat, so it was brought to shore and most to all of the lower body portion was eaten by residents.
I hear the upper part is not as good for it's more jelly than firm meat. We were given three steaks, and it was delicious barbecued. I didn't care for it fried, for it's very dry, but rolled in foil wrap dressed in bbq sauce and a little spice, it was as moist as any meat or fish we have ever tasted.
I know we can't say much, for we have tasted almost every fish species that my husband has brought home, including dogfish and lump. Neither of the last two made my taste buds bloom, but sculpin tails (they blow up when kept out of the water) sure did, for they were super delicious. As good or better than any cod!
Recently, while the commercial fishery was open, my husband was on his way in from fishing one day and saw something floating in the water which turned out to be a huge dark brownish turtle.
When he looked it up in the books, it looked like the leatherback he saw. When he stopped for a closer look at it, the turtle seemed to sense he was there and it stretched out its neck and looked back at my husband, before settling down into the water and out of sight.
About mid week last week, a huge turtle weighing 1000 lbs or more was caught in some fisherman's nets in the Green Bay area. It was dead so they towed it in and hoisted it on the wharf where it caused quite a stir, even dead! It drew people from all over, for a close up view of the huge beast. I don't know if those animals are common in our waters or not, but this one was not the same colour as the one my husband saw. If that's the case, then many of these huge turtles are swimming in our waters, not a nice thing to hit going at top speed in a speedboat, I'm sure. No matter what type of fish you see or taste, just come on back next time and see what else is, new from the Shoe.