Thursday, 13 August 2009

New Brunswick - Then and Now

800px-flag_of_new_brunswicksvg Six years ago I was honoured to be the best man at my buddy Schmeck's wedding. His wife to be was a New Brunswicker from the Saint John region and that's where the wedding was held. I was excited to attend, not only to stand up for my best friend on his wedding day, but also to see a part of Canada I'd never visited before.

I'd known Schmeck's family since our university days.  They'd welcomed me into their homes when I was away from mine and tolerated any alcohol inspired antics.  Funny and friendly and makers of some killer salsa which I shamelessly stole throughout university.  Schmeck's family a comfortable known.  Kate's family?  Unknown.

But it didn't take long after arriving in Saint John to find that the Macnaughtons were every bit as welcoming and friendly as the Siemiaszkos.  In fact, the whole region seemed to be filled with like-minded people who exhibited the fascinating behaviour of making eye contact with and smiling at a complete stranger.  It almost sent this jaded Ontario boy into shock.

The Macnaughtons were exceptional though.  Peg, the intimidatingly intellectual matriarch whose generosity truly made me feel like one of the family, Al, Rachael, and their impossibly cute munchkins Hannah and Emily, and the amazing artist Molly.  They each were lively, fun participants in the festivities and went out of their way to make sure I felt at home.  That week in New Brunswick is a portion of time that will always be with me.  It was a celebration, a strengthening of friendships, a revelation that good people are everywhere.  It was good times.

But why do I bring this up now?  Six years after the fact?  Well, after that week I went home and went back to work.  A year later I returned to New Brunswick for another friend’s wedding.  This time it was for another university pal, Acad.  And the location was the Acadian region of New Brunswick in the North East corner of the province.  Despite linguistic challenges I was again blown away by the friendly attitude of everybody I ran into.  On return from these travels I decided to tip my hat to my friend Acad, his new wife, and the people I met in Acadia in a blog entry on the now static Angry Bear web site.  Why did I write about Acad’s wedding and not Schmeck’s?  I have no idea.  But it wasn’t long before Kate pointed out the discrepancy.

As is my habit, I laughed it off and used at as a way to antagonize Kate.  But, after just spending another week benefiting from the hospitality and generosity of the Macnaughton family, I figured it was time to rectify the slight.  These are just words but I hope they do something to communicate the honour and pride I felt in being a part of that week six years ago and how, six years later, I’m still giddy to know such great people.

We cool Kate?


  1. HEY! What about me???? hee hee.

  2. Above and beyond, Tys, above and beyond! We cool!

    I'm a bit surprised that you managed to enjoy yourself this time given the weather, your cold, the lack of fish, the computer, and Peg's constant doting.

    Uhhh, just one minor thing... as an honourary New Brunswicker, I'll let you in on a little secret. We ALWAYS spell out the "Saint" in Saint John.

    PS - Mom found what she thinks was a swollen up tick in your room. Hopefully from the dogs...

  3. Fixed the spelling error. I'm still learning. Lyme disease would explain some things...