Hookers in Nova Scotia

Henry Alford, writer for Travel + Leisure Magazine, starts off his family roadtrip article with the statement, “My mother is a hooker.” By this, he of course means that she hooks rugs. In his article Canada: Hookin’ in Nova Scotia– A Crafter’s Dream, as found on MSN Travel, he writes about a roadtrip he takes with his mother, sister, and boyfriend. He wanted to take his mother somewhere special for her 77th birthday, and Prince Edward Island was a perfect destination (where many other “hookers” also come to show off their talents).

“We’d chosen Lunenburg because it is the site of the annual Nova Scotia Folk Art Festival. And so, having parked our car in front of the Lunenburg Curling Club building one morning, we entered the de-iced hockey rink in which some 40 craftspeople were selling their wares. We beheld a dizzying welter of hand-carved mallards and yarn-based trivets and balsa dachshunds; two senior citizens, one in a keyboard vest, serenaded us all with electric piano and fiddle. I saw Mom marveling at a sculpture of a woman and a rabbit that bore the inscription 50 YEARS OLD AND ONLY ONE GRAY HARE; Mom wrote down the saying in a notebook and announced plans to hook a rug version of it, with the age changed to her own. Had I just beheld an act of folk-art theft? My brain flashed on an image of Grandma Moses reaching under her cloak to produce a Glock .357.

That night we gorged on bouillabaisse and panko-crusted frogs’ legs at Lunenburg’s charming, minimalist Fleur de Sel. So attentive and loving was the service that I suggested we play a game—my family’s defining trait is our ability to turn almost any situation into a game—called Touch the Waiter. In it, you try to touch the waiter as many times as possible during the meal without him figuring out you’re doing it. Kendy and I sallied forth, each placing an appreciative pat on our server’s arm upon the food’s arrival.

Then, when her dessert arrived, Kendy pulled ahead with a combination of wrist tap and “Ooh, how fabulous!” Not to be outdone, I announced, “I love mine, too” and gently brushed my elbow against the waiter’s side. I would have been happy to leave it a tie, but Kendy was all closure. As we were exiting the restaurant, she directed the laser beam of her personality at the waiter’s right shoulder, lavishing it with a “We loved everything” and a hearty hand clap. Game over.

On each of my first two nights in Nova Scotia, I slept for more than 10 hours (cool, piney air + tomblike silence = nature’s chloroform). Seldom has sleep been so renewing, so buoyant-making: I felt like aerosol room freshener.”