One Sentence Per Year 1963 – 1971

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.

One Sentence Per Year 1949 – 1962

It’s been a long life, so even at just one summarizing sentence per year, I think this better be broken down into parts if we all want to remain sane and conscious.

1949 – My brother Ron makes his first attempt at killing me by pouring baby powder all over my face, into my mouth and up my nose;  but thankfully for the sake of the rest of this story, he does not succeed.

1950 – On my first birthday I have already been walking for three months, either trying to keep up with, or away from, my four year old sibling who still doesn’t appear to like me much.

1951 – I scare the hell out of my mother when I get the “bad” kind of measles where bright light is supposed to be avoided lest it damage ones eyes; but I refuse to co-operate and keep standing up in my crib and sticking my head up under the pulled curtains until she gives up trying to stop me and decides just to pray that I won’t go blind, and since it hasn’t happend yet I think it’s safe to assume that it was a good decision on her part.

1952 – Baby sister Ann is born and takes a special place in all our hearts, even Ron’s, but especially my dad’s;  she gets to sit beside him at the dinner table once she’s big enough to sit and will not relinquish that right for a long long time.

1953 – I get some kind of powdered fertilizer in one of my eyes and have to wear a pirate-type eye patch until it heals and my brother is jealous and wants one too, but he can’t have one, so it’s just another good reason he has for disliking me intensely.

1954 – My brother makes his second attempt at killing me by holding my head under water, finding it hilariously funny when I come up for air coughing and spluttering and crying, with a fear of water that will last me a lifetime.

1955 – I turn the magic age of SIX and believe that I am finally, finally, all grown up at last.

1956 – We have lived at Springbank Farm for a year,  and I am in grade two at S.S. #1 Aaran with my little red haired best friend Shirley who will feature in my life for over half a century.

1957 – At the age of eight I am baptized by my grandma’s brother, Great Uncle Iden, into the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (thankfully to be renamed Community of Christ in the distant future) by being dunked into the lake just like Jesus, and miraculously I do not drown and go directly to heaven although I had predicted and lived in fear of that happening for several weeks before the blessed event.

1958 – My maternal grandfather dies after he falls down our front stairs and I’m sorry I never got to tell him how much fun it was when he taught me how to ride a “two-wheeler” and how I was glad that he didn’t get mad when I ran into the rear bumper of his Pontiac to stop, and how nice it was for him to show me how funny I looked when I fell down so that I forgot to cry and laughed with him about it all instead.

1959 – My baby sister Verna turns one year old and I think she is the most interesting little person I have ever met and great fun to show off to all the summer picnic cousins.

1960 – My brother goes off to highschool and no longer has as much spare time to torment his sisters, and I discover that Ann is definitely in the running for all time best friend ever, because no matter what crazy lies I tell her or what stupid things I convince her to do, she keeps right on liking me anyway.

1961 – My last offical year of childhood I start to take an interest in my hair, and I part it on the side and let it swoop down in a big wave which I think is very chic, and I wish I had nicer clothes and beautiful ankles like my mother.

1962 – Like every other new teenage girl on the planet I am clumsy and awkward, self conscious and shy;  I have a new red purse and breasts that suddenly require a bra and a new talent  to attract the attention of BOYS, and no idea at all what to do with any of these things.