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Saturday, March 2, 2019

A Trip To Town

Living on Campobello means you are pretty much removed from everything most people would take for granted to have around them at just about any time of the day. (or night)
Example: We don't have a gas station, we don't have a bank, there's no big supermarket, and no public offices, (if you don't count the community clerk office). Then, of course there's no shoe-nor clothing-store, no Home Depot, no Walmart, no theater, no amusement park (we amuse ourselves). I'm sure you got the picture now. If not, you gotta come here and see for yourself.

Oh, I almost forgot, we don't have a whole lot of people here either, at least not during off-season. "Off-season" is everything except June, July, August and 10 days in September.

Why do I mention this? Well, I thought it might make you understand our excitement when we finally decide to "take a ride to town".

"Town", means town, as opposed to city. I have to laugh every time when I fill out one of these forms and there is a line where you gotta fill in the name of the "city". Or sometimes it asks "closest city". I can really see people's eyebrows raise when I say it takes almost 3 hrs to get to the city. Hell, it even takes more than an hour to get "to town".

So yeah..."town" is St.Stephen, while "city" is St.John. Yup, our province is full of "saints". I guess it derives from the time the French were dominating these parts. They were mostly Catholics, while the Brits were Anglican.

So, we have to drive a lot, if we want to get somewhere. Life on this island is full of surprises. Let's just say you want to buy a new fridge, or a cook stove. Choice is you can buy it in Canada or in the U.S. If you buy it in the U.S. and talk the dealer around to deliver it, you gotta pay the guy 50 Bucks extra. If you buy it in Canada, the dealer can't deliver it at all.  That's because he has to drive the piece through the U.S., meaning he has to be bonded, which he is not. BUT, and now it gets interesting, if you should own f.e.x a pickup or a big van you can take it through the U.S. without being bonded. You just tell the friendly CBP-officer you have been shopping and he waves you on. Neat, isn't it?

Now let's say you wanna buy lumber from the building supply place. They are bonded and offer to bring the stuff to your house - for a fee. Of course our fellow New Brunswickers on the mainland enjoy free delivery of their lumber. Tis is life!

So the need for a big vehicle is the reason why we still had that full-size monster of a Chevy Ambulance. It has served us well over the years. But lately we ran into problems. Our vehicle insurance company, the CAA, kicked the ambulance off the policy. After years of having the thing insured in the same company and (get this) after 15 years of CAA-membership they found out that our van was a commercial vehicle. The CAA doesn't do commmercial insurance, which is fine with me, but the ambulance had its last commercial driving order when it picked up some seriously ill person 6 or 7 years ago. Ever since, it was cared for by loving owners who used it for private errands.

So this insurance matter forced me to sell the damn thing. Now, SELLING a vehicle on Campobello is about the same as if you want to reach the full moon on a ladder.

Advertising it on our area's many facebook motor group pages, many inquiries rolled in, and only one of them was special, as it mirrored some serious interest for purchase. The fellow was from up north in the province. We messaged back and forth and an appointment was made for him to get here today. This morning I noticed another message from him asking whether he HAD TO GO THROUGH THE U.S. ????

And here I thought we just had a lot of media attention about the missing ferry service from mainland Canada. 
So it turned out he had barely slept all night as he panicked about going through the border. I could literally see the deal go the way the chickens are kicking. So I was quick to offer a meet-up in St.Stephen.
It would just be 75 minutes to drive and...heck, the trip could be fun. I left first and took all the recycling cans and bottles with me for drop-off at the bottle depot. (another thing we don't have on the island)
Bea would follow with the other van an hour or so later, taking Dixie along for the ride. Later Bea told me that Dixie had scared the CBP-officer by letting out one of her deep-throated growls, when the officer got a bit too close for comfort.

At 12:30 the fellow from up north turned into the Irving-station where I had been killing time, enjoying a coffee and an apple-fritter from Tim Horton. Bea had not arrived yet. So I kept us busy with small talk about the van, until I finally saw Bea coming into the round-about next to the station.

So the van and the money changed hands, papers were filled out and the deal was done.

Then we went shopping. Groceries!

Gotta take advantage of "being in town".


  1. Lots of people don't know what it is like to be far from the conveniences.
    Insurance Companies only want to find ways to charge you more money. I remember when you got the Ambulance for towing your travel trailer out west.
    You did the right thing and it paid for your groceries.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

  2. Strange that the insurance company considered the van to be a commercial vehicle.Don't suppose they have an Aldi's in St.Johns?


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