1963 – High School is a whole new world, a kind of cuture shock going from country to town, one room school house to thirty person classroom, and I don’t know where I belong; possibly with the brainiacs, but the bad kids are much more fun.
1964 – My brother warns me not to go out with any of his friends, no matter how keen their interest in “Ollie’s little sister”.
1965 – Riding in cars with boys, summer jobs, summer flings; eating french fries on the beach, writing love letters in the sand.
1966 – Sweet sixteen, sweet JP, and raging teenage hormones that scare me silly.
1967 – Aunt Marie, Uncle Newton, Aunt Mabel and Uncle Tom take me and Shirley to Expo ’67 in Montreal where we celebrate Canada’s centennial by pretending to understand French and flirting with everything under the age of 25 in pants.
1968 – When you know deep down you really don’t want to do something (like go to Teacher’s College) and you do it anyway, it should not come as a huge surprise when a million little things interfere with your success and you start to long for that six year old’s confidence in being all grown up, because you’ve started to wonder if it will ever happen to you, really, and how will you ever know for sure, one way or the other?
1969 – This is the year of my thirteenth tale, the story I will tell you when I’m ninety three if I live that long and still have a functioning brain and the memories of it, the year the train went off the tracks and everything everything everything was turned around and upside down but I hung on; I did not let go and I carried on until at last I went beyond it and got through to the other side.
1970 – Curious twists of fate landed me at a Brock University residence party on the first day of Spring, and there was W – he made me laugh, he made me blissfully joyful, he made me believe there could be a happily ever after.
1971 – I marry W on a cold November day and we move into our garage sized little three room house where we have hand-me-down furniture, a bed with no legs, no money to speak of, and, surprisingly enough, a whole lot of crystal, compliments of some rather deluded wedding guests.