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Eldon George (my uncle) is internationally renowned for his lifetime work in the field of fossils. He is best known for his discovery of the smallest dinosaurs that ever roamed the earth.
He is now retired and living in a nursing home. The Canadian Government is dedicating a section of the Fundy Mesum in his honor.
The curator of the museum (Dr. Fedak) is gathering information about his life, from those who know him best.
This short story encompasses just a few of the many wonderful memories I have of this very special man.
To learn more about him, put his name (Eldon George) in your search engine.
Now that I am old, I see more clearly through my mind's eye, than I did in my youth, all those special people who played such a wonderful part in my life. Among these people, there are a few who stand out above the rest.
They are the special people who created and gave me gems of extraordinary beauty, better known as MEMORIES. I keep them in my heart and from time to time take them out and gaze into their glittering facets so I can travel back in time. There I relive my life again.
All these gems are precious, but none as precious as uncle ELDON (a brilliant multi-faceted gem) created by God and brought to the rocky shore of Parrsboro, Nova Scotia, by my grandparents in 1931.
Today, as I sit at the kitchen table looking out at a grey sky and mud-clad fields left by Winter, I look into one of the many facets of this precious gem.
There, bathed in sunshine, I find myself sitting on a bank over the Great Atlantic ocean. The scent of wild roses, daisies, and ocean brine permeate the air.
Waves lap and break on the rocky shore. Beads of glistening light, shimmer, and dance on the Ocean's surface.
Uncle Eldon's voice and the humming of a bee come to me on a gentle breeze. Across the Ocean, a thin, horizontal line of violet-blue, separates earth from a turquoise sky.
Uncle Eldon smiles at me and says, "Just paint what you see, Elaine. Just paint what you see."
From my pallet of many colors ( a gift he gave to me), I attempt to capture this unforgettable day by painting it on on a canvas. With each brush stroke, I become more and more disenchanted.
"This is not humanly possible," I say. "How can I with a pallet of colors, a brush and a piece of canvas, recreate something this beautiful?"
Uncle Eldon, with his gentle melodic voice, tells me a great work of art can only be achieved by much practice and patience.
Many times through the years when I have been discouraged, I hear his voice and those powerful words that give me the strength to go on and be the best that I can be.
In another facet, I see a dusty road and rugged hills. We're cruising along in a half-ton pick-up truck, in search of amethyst.
"Look here," Uncle Eldon says. " See the red color of that earth. That means there is iron in it and there's a good chance we will find amethyst there. Always look for the clues on the surface to find the treasures buried beneath. It's all there for the taking if you dig deep enough. It takes some hard work, but the rewards make it all worthwhile."
With shovels, we break into the earth. Then with pickaxes, we break into a long deep-purple vein of amethyst. Deeper and deeper, we dig. We are so enthralled with our find and so intent on the task at hand, that time ceases to exist for us until the sun begins to set.
When the day's bounty is safely loaded in the back of the truck, we hop in the cab and barrel down the road leaving a billowing trail of dust behind us.
Within another facet, I'm in Grannie's kitchen. On the table, there are many cake pans filled with sand. I reach into a bowl containing small polished amethyst stones (fragments of the previous days' bounty). With a toothpick and special glue, I mount a cap on each stone and stand them in the pans of sand to dry. They will be sold in Uncle Eldon's Rock Shop.
I have now earned my first pay cheque and a rise in my self-esteem for a job well-done, according to uncle Eldon. To reward myself, I go across the road to Jack's store and by a maple walnut ice cream, (my favorite). Saturday I will go to town with cousin Bo and buy a tube of peppermint pink lipstick.
Oh, how I loved those summer days during school break. How I loved getting away from the big city of Saint John. How I loved Parrsboro and my father's family.
Many years later when I was a grown woman living in Vancouver, I decided to make a trip back to Parrsboro. I hadn't been back for many years.
Seeing uncle Eldon and the red oak stained cedar shakes of the old house I once knew so well, almost brought me to tears. How and why had I stayed away so long?
The house, after Grannie passed, had been converted to a Rock Shop. Uncle Eldon and his wife, Elaine and their son Wayne, lived in a house on the same parcel of land.
Uncle Eldon was the same brilliant fun loving man whom I still adored. To be in his presence was to know happiness. We spent many hours that day reminiscing about those days of my youth and our fun-filled adventures.
All too soon, it was time for me to leave.
We hugged as we had so many times before. It was hard for me to let him go. I wanted to remain wrapped in his warmth forever.
"Wait," he said. " I have something for you."
It was a painting of an ocean scene.
"Does it look familiar," he asked? "It's pretty good I'd say."
It was the picture I had painted and discarded all those years ago.
There on the canvas were my feeble attempts to paint what I had seen that day. Somehow, he had seen something I couldn't, something worth rescuing.
"Patience and practice," I heard him say.
"Patience and practice," I hear him say today, as I write these memories on a neon screen while looking into the many beautiful facets of uncle Eldon. A precious gem. A work of art. A MASTERPIECE!
Author: Elaine Cecelia George
Written: April, 24th, 2018
Copyright © Elaine George | Year Posted 2018