The sign said “Granny’s Well Turnings and Handcrafted Gifts.” So that was two more things I thought I needed to do: find out what a well turning was and meet Granny. Neither was what I thought and neither disappointed.
It was good to get out of the car and stretch my legs. Walking up to the house I was greeted by an elderly man, Bren, in work clothes. We exchanged greetings and introductions. He said I was the first one of the year. Anywhere else, I would have thought this to be the opening line in a bad horror movie in its undertones. Here it meant I was the first tourist of the year. Not surprising as it was still winter and most visitors wisely wait until the weather is a bit more clement.
He invited me into his house. Bren said he would have to get his wares out of the closet where they’d been in the off-season. We walked through his workshop where on the floor, all over in heaps and piles, were unfinished bowls and spindles and trinket boxes curing and drying before he could finish them. They came from burls he’d taken off trees. He said it was several years worth of work to do. (I did say he was elderly, didn’t I?)
Bren was and is your typical Newfoundlander – practical, unpretentious to a fault, funny, and most welcoming. And his work was beautiful. We talked some more; he wanted to know what I was doing up in Newfoundland and if I liked what I had seen. Oh, yes. I loved it. I told him where I was off to next and he asked me if I would be back his way after my trip when I returned to St. John’s, a couple of hours away. I told him I would try and get down to see him again. I would. Little did I know at the time but it would be the first of several return trips to visit with him.
Oh, by the way, there was no Granny, just Bren. And a lot of well turnings.