Salt of the Yurt

Posted on August 23, 2014 under Storytelling with no comments yet


The Cabot Links gift shop



Every once in a while, you meet someone for the first time and within minutes you feel like you’ve known her forever.  Such was the case recently when I ventured up to Inverness to pay a visit to the Cabot Links golf course.  The plan was to have a meeting with Ben and then stop into the gift shop to see if they might sell some of my books.  The gift shop is located in a large yurt.  I struck up a conversation with one of the managers, Ann, and we engaged in a conversation that lasted nearly an hour.  She was a “salt of the earth” kind of person.   It almost seemed like we were kindred spirits.


You see, Ann’s last name is Campbell.  We gave each other a knowing glance.

As far the MacDonald clan is concerned, the only good thing named Campbell comes in a can and should be heated in a pot on the top of a stove.

The Campbells and the MacDonalds have a long history, and some of it is tinged with notoriety.  Glencoe.  The MacDonalds have very long memories.

The strong handshake was a dead giveaway.  I could tell immediately that the gift shop was in good hands.  As fate would have it, they were running low on reading material and it appeared that my timing was perfect.

Ann confessed that she was not a reader but suffers a similar affliction as my wife: she is a shopper.  I told her that my target audience for my writing had become women between the ages of 45-70.  She said that most of the shoppers who frequented the gift shop were women.  I hinted that she would enjoy the book as many of the stories had a shopping theme.  I was not suggesting for a moment that she was part of the aforementioned demographic!  It is never a good idea for a man to guess a woman’s age.

We compared notes and discovered that we had both spent time in Alberta.  Everybody from Nova Scotia has worked in Alberta at some point in their lives.  We both worked with people who had challenges and we both wanted to raise our families in our home province.  We each had a parent that had died too young.

I only had a handful of books with me.  I sat at a small table and autographed them, all the while chatting with a golfer from Chicago.  I told him that my book would be an ideal gift for a man to buy his beloved.  Choosing anything else (clothing, jewelry) is fraught with danger.

It was time to leave.  I thanked Ann profusely for taking a chance on an unknown quantity (me!).   I told her that meeting her was the highlight of my day, and that when I laid my head to rest that night I would remember the encounter with fondness.

With a glint in her eye, she suggested that I sleep with one eye open.

Ann is truly the “salt of the yurt”.

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Highland Hearing Clinic

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