This is the third time I’ve been to PEI in my life. The first was when I was very young – younger than 3 because both my parents brought us and that’s when they separated. The second was in 1989 or 1990 I think because in pictures from that trip I’m wearing my Joey McIntyre button.
A few months ago my mother decided that she wanted to bring my sister and me back along with her granddaughter, so we planned the trip and here we are.
PEI is very special to my mother, you see. She wasn’t born here and she’s never lived here, but she did fall in love with Anne and write her MA thesis on Lucy Maud Montgomery, favourite daughter of Prince Edward Island.
For each of my first three Christmases I got Anne books (Anne of Green Gables, Anne of Avonlea, Anne of the Island, to be precise).
We had a cat named Marilla.
I didn’t read any of the books until I was older, and I started with Anne’s House of Dreams for some reason (that would be number six in the series). I can’t remember when I first watched Kevin Sullivan’s adaptation of the three first books, but I know I’ve watched it countless times since. I fell deeply in love with Anne and Matthew and Marilla (and Colleen Dewhurst), and Gilbert Blythe.
Gilbert Blythe was who I dreamed of marrying.
To this day any time I see a picture of an Anne that’s not Megan Follows it looks wrong to me. If I ever met Jonathan Crombie I would FLIP OUT. (Just upon searching to make sure I had his name right I found out he’s the voice of Benjamin Bear and my jaw literally dropped, no wonder I like that show).
My favourite books are the later ones, I adore Rilla of Ingleside, but those movies (the first two, that is, Anne: The Continuing Story is a piece of crap that messes with all the dates and characters) were a major part of my upbringing.
So here we are, introducing my little girl to something that has been a part of our lives for decades. She doesn’t quite understand, but I read her a shortened adaptation of Anne of Green Gables before bed tonight and she proceeded to tell me about when she met Anne at Green Gables and they told her she could stay.
She told me about playing with Anne and Diana, and things Marilla told her.
I told her that Anne has a wonderful, wild imagination just like her.