Friday, November 9, 2007

Seeking Perfection

Felix, Sara, Gus, and Felicity—walking through the fields.

Alec, Felicity, and Janet King.

Gus Pike and Felix King.

I’m going to use an example that most people won’t recognize but they should. The series Road to Avonlea is probably the best television show ever. It’s funny without being corny, it’s dramatic without being melodramatic; it’s real without being surreal. :-) It is set in rural Prince Edward Island, Canada, at the beginning of the twentieth century. The show begins by centering on Sara Stanley of L.M. Montgomery’s Story Girl series. In the second season, however, with the addition of a new character named Gus Pike, the series’ focus begins to shift to Felicity King, Sara’s cousin.

Felicity and Gus, soon after they meet.

The relationship between Gus and Felicity becomes the series’ main plot line, intertwined with and interrupted by features on Felix, Cecily, Sara, Hetty, Olivia, Alec, Janet, Jasper, and other main characters.

Felicity with her brother Felix. And with her sister Cecily.

In the end…well…I don’t want to spoil the final show if you haven’t seen it. :-) But, in the end Gus and Felicity end up happy.

Gus and Felicity at The White Sands Hotel…He got the night off. :-)

Now, you’re probably going, “what does this have to do with ‘seeking perfection’?” Just hang on and you’ll see just how well it applies. Gus Pike is a loner and basically an orphan. He and Felicity meet when he is about 16 and she is 13 and three quarters. (See the episode for explanation. :-)) His family is not the cream of the crop, his mother is presumed dead and his father, or the man he assumes to be his father, is in prison for murder. Talk about less than wonderful family connections! :-D Felicity, however, is from one of the best families on Prince Edward Island. The Kings are prosperous, well-connected, and stable: everything Gus Pike is not. Immediately, however, Felicity’s Aunt Hetty takes Gus under her wing: getting him into school and then, recommending him for a good job at the White Sands Hotel. She really becomes sort of a mother to him and he looks up to her for advice.

Hetty and Gus.

I don’t think Aunt Hetty knew about his admiration for Felicity at the time she got him the job; she merely sees a willing pupil and a true heart. When the relationship takes center stage, Hetty—though usually very aware of the King family reputation—shows no qualms. Neither do Felicity’s parents, Alec and Janet. Alec especially likes Gus and sees that Gus is honorable, truthful, and a hard worker. Sure, Gus makes him mad in one episode but that was Felicity’s fault when she was a hint over-zealous about asking Gus over to dinner. :-D Before he came to Avonlea, Gus was uneducated, rough, dirty, and didn’t keep in the best company. Because the Kings gave him a chance, he went to school, got a good job at the hotel, not to mention being able to get the job and home of running the lighthouse, and eventually, he married Felicity. Think of what would have happened to him if the Kings had not given him a chance. For one thing, he would have been stuck in South Carolina if…oops…I don’t want to give away the plot of a very good episode. :-) In any case, the picture below would never have been taken.

What is happening to all the Gus Pike's of our day and age? What about the young man/woman who has made one mistake in his/her past? Will they be rejected from consideration because of it? What if the family of the other young person does not think that his/her family is rich enough, well-connected, or perfect enough? If the Kings had thought that, Felicity would have missed her soul mate and there’s no telling what would have happened to Gus. As Christians, don’t you think we ought to give everyone a chance? Not just the people that are exactly like us? Shouldn’t we let young people make their own decisions about their future? Aren’t parents supposed to guide not dictate? Must we make the perspective suitor write ten (or more) essays? Especially if we know them already? Why do they need to be perfect? Is the person that you’re married to perfect? Is your child perfect? Wasn’t there only one absolutely blameless and pure person in history? Do we really need to pick on the person our son or daughter likes just because she/he wasn’t wearing the right thing? How do you know anything about someone if you just write them off at the beginning and never ask them about their life/plans/etc.? To look at me, as I come from a not-so-large family, you probably would never guess that I want to have six children someday. Unless you asked me. The Kings took the time to ask Gus about himself and his future and saw his worthiness. Don’t you think it’s time you saw the hidden worthiness of the people around you? Suitor or not, young or old. And don’t you think you could help bring it out?

Road to Avonlea ran for Seven Seasons on CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Company) and the Disney Channel. (Really! This was before “Hanna Montana.” Bleck!!) It won several Emmy, Gemini, Young Artist, and Cable Ace Awards. This is the link to Sullivan Entertainment; the same company that produced both of the beloved “Anne” mini-series,’ and also produced Road to Avonlea.
The official site
A very good (fan)site. We love the episode guide!

I recommend that you buy this show…right now! :-D We bought the first season and My Aunt and Uncle have given me seasons 2—well, I’m hopefully getting season 7 this December. :-) The Season sets cost $70 each but they are fully worth it. Ask for this for Christmas. And if you can’t buy it get it from the Library or Netflix.
Thanks to for some of the pictures!
This article is dedicated to a very close friend of mine...for reasons which I cannot state.


justanothermom said...

I haven't been able to visit your blog in a while and just had to leave a comment about "Votes for Women!" Dare I admit that this is one of my favorite scenes from Mary Poppins? (and I agree with your comment about about Mrs. Banks).

Thanks for the laugh and memory!

Natasha Victoria said...

So this has absolutly nothing to do with this post- however, I have been known not to see comments on far back posts and wasn't sure if others might do the same thing. :)

My comment has to do with your posts on Anna Sofia and Elizabeth Botkin, as well as Vision Forum. Its more of a question. Is what they are doing in their ministry and what they are teaching a sin? Does it not bring glory to God? Does the Philips family sin if they take a vacation to an island? Is striving to a high level of purity a sin?

Because the writers/speakers you have mentioned- Heather Paulsen, the Botkin sisters, the Phillips, Elizabeth Elliot- have had standards in there lives that have led them to not sin in there dating/courtships and in other areas.

I understand not agreeing with everything these people write and say. I don't either. But what you criticize them for is the way that they bring glory to God. Last time I checked we are to work towards being like Christ. Who has the highest standard in everything.

Teresa said...

Nice post, Ingrid. Road to Avonlea is my all-time favorite TV show and I own all the seasons. We've watched them SO many times and we all love them. I never thought of this side of the series, but you've got some great insights. Thanks!

Ingrid said...

Natasha Victoria,

"I’m writing to suggest that we stop fussing about issues that don’t matter in the long run; issues such as courtship, dating, the treatment of women, and emotional purity. I will be presenting some fine points and facts but no one has to “buy” what I say unless they want too. We will also uncover a lot of lies and brainwashing. I will present the facts as best I can but I want to let people make their own decisions; it’s up to them to run their lives." Part One of Let it Be = Love3

"Emotional Purity makes a big deal of being absolutely, perfectly, pure for your future mate. While there is nothing wrong with aiming for this, it is absolutely impossible! If you’ve made a mistake somewhere, the book actually makes you feel bad and regretful, even though you’ve moved on. I don’t think that is right." ~Part Four of Let it Be = Love3

"To wrap up, I will say one last thing: most of the "self-help" books tend to dissect romance and everything else down into perfect little stages with check-off boxes to fill in. Don’t treat your life like a list of things to check off! Make it up as you go and ad-lib. As Indiana Jones says, “I don’t know, I’m making this up as I go!”15 Its more fun and interesting to let things go and not try to make yourself fit into a box. Stop trying to control and plan out your life; let God control it; because He’s already had it planned since forever. Keep this quote handy, “I am only resolved to act in that manner which will, in my own opinion, constitute my happiness, without reference to you, or to any person so wholly unconnected with me.” It’s your life after all, not Elizabeth Elliott’s, not Jeff Myers’, not the Botkin sister’s, not Elsie Dinsmore’s, and certainly not Heather Paulson’s. You are you and they are them; “Be yourself, the world worships the original.” I will end with another Beatles song; it goes hand in hand with my message of Let it Be and actually comes first; by year of origin and by its message.
“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”18 For without love it is impossible to let it be." ~ Part Nine of Let it Be = Love3.

Annabelle said...

Thanks for sharing the Road to Avonlea post I enjoyed it. I agree with you parents on guiding not dictating. I never realized that show would show so many lessons along with all the others you shared.
Some books that you showed really helped me in my own courtship, especially Passion and Purity by Elizabeth Elliott and Boy meets Girl by Joshua Harris so I give a thumbs up and advise everyone to read them.
The "Votes for Women" section I liked but may I ask, was she right to say that? I wasn't sure if that was biblical or not.
I also want to personally congratulate you on your marriage may God bless you. I also am getting married soon and want a big family, so I find you a kindred spirit.

Ingrid said...


Which line do you find unbiblical? I always thought the line about men being stupid rather funny. We do adore them individually but sometimes they are not quite bright. On the flipside, we women can be silly too. So you see it works both ways. :-)
Mary Poppins is simply a children’s film and the Sherman brothers wrote Sister Suffragette as a fun song for Glynis Johns to sing. (See the behind the scenes on the DVD)

I will be married someday but at present, I'm um...a bit underage. I probably didn't word something correctly so if you got the wrong impression it’s my fault. I would tell my age…but I don't want others to write me off—some people think that teenager’s brains are underdeveloped. Miscreants! :-D I will say that I am over sixteen but not over twenty-one. Congratulations on your marriage though!

God bless you.