#LLSTORY - Katie Mahoney


#LLSTORY - Katie Mahoney

This weeks #LocalLegendsStories come from Katie Mahoney! 

"My husband and I tying the knot in Georgetown, P.E.I in August 2015

That dreaded question: "where are you from?"

I have come to feel comfortable with this short answer: "I grew up in PEI". The long answer is that: "I was born in Ottawa, moved to Newfoundland when I was three and lived in Charlottetown from grade 1 to grade 12" (the real formative years if you ask me). Because true Islanders would always label our family as "from away", I was never able to confidently answer that question with: "I'm FROM Prince Edward Island". 
The continuation of my story is that I moved to Ottawa for university, did some traveling and studying in Europe and now, am happily married, living and teaching in Montreal.

No matter the answer I give, the looks of confusion never leave people's faces.
"But where did you learn your French?"
"Where's that?"
"How do you get there?"
"Isn't there a bridge there now?"
"Is there a university/airport/Internet/... there?"
"Do you eat a lot of potatoes?" 
"Do you know Anne?"
They ask, some proud that they think they know a thing or two about our incredible island, some, just plain ignorant.
Don't worry though, I have an answer for everything. It's almost cliché to which extent I LOVE sharing fun facts about our large sandbar.

While I no longer use vocabulary like "kit bag", "daed" (dad), "garaege" (garage), "dinner" instead of lunch and have NEVER used words like "warsh" (wash), "slippy" (slippery) or "hhaache" for the letter h, I still love expecting these words to flow naturally in everyday conversation when I come home once a year.

That's right folks! P.E.I. is, and always will be, my "home".

My mom has stayed on the island and is as Islander as they come! (What's funny is that she grew up in downtown Toronto and is the least "big city" person I know). Anyway, she had been recently debating buying a house in Ontario with her sister. I would nod supportively, while in my head, I was selfishly screaming "I'M GOING TO BE 'HOME'LESS!" Luckily, we dodged that bullet and they have bought a home just outside Charlottetown (or "out by L.M. Montgomery School" as I prefer to say to locals). Thank goodness I still have a reason to budget a visit regularly!

So that's a bit of my story. Call me what you like: From Away, Honorary Islander, Islander, Vagabond, Ontarian, ...
It truly doesn't matter because I know where my heart is. No matter what you label me, you can trust that this Island Girl, while living "away", still proudly spreads the good word about our favorite island."

Katie Mahoney // Elementary school Teacher in Montreal