Interviewing an islander during the pouring rain

It was Thursday and the rain would just not let up. Knowing it would rain, though, I had arranged to meet with Lyle at his farm at 10. In this way I would not interrupt his busy world nor my explorations on a good-weather day.

Wish I had taken more photos, but I do want to protect his privacy. As I got out of my car, I was greeted by a lovely old blind dog. Then Lyle opened the farmhouse door sporting a hair net. What?! I soon found out it was breadmaking day and he had just finished putting a huge batch of dough on top of the woodstove to rise.

He taught me that if you take the lid off slowly, it will come off clean.

We talked for over two hours and I found him to be so kind and intelligent and hilarious! I like to interview people who have lived on islands all their lives and this was Lyle’s case. He was born and raised on a farm practically across the street from this one.

I found out just how many talents and interests he has. He plays the fiddle, banjo, ukulele, mandolin, piano and sings. He plays in a band and even got a call asking them to play while I was there. He even tried to get me to sing “5 foot two, eyes are blue.” Lyle went right into the living room and started playing and I reluctantly sang the few words I know. But it was fun. Next time we meet I’m going to have the lyrics with me so I can sing with him.

Lyle is active in his church and looks over the cemetery. He told me his father and father’s brother married sisters and then shared the whole story around that. He talked many times about his lovely wife who I was able to meet as I was leaving. She even gave me a hand sanitizer to put on my key ring. Love having it with me.

Here he’s telling me a joke, one of many that even got this serious Norwegian laughing.

Much of what we discussed is for the book I’m working on, but let me just say I left as a friend. Before I left he called Mike and arranged for the three of us to meet the next day at the church across the street from where I was staying. The church Lyle attends. We were all to meet there at one to give Lyle time to dig a grave in the morning. Not kidding. Quite a wonderful human being.

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