A BIT ABOUT ME
I was raised in rural
Southern Ontario on a corner lot of my grandparent’s farm. I have many fond memories
of my childhood.
There was nothing I liked better than to spend time with the cows and horses in the old
red barn. I also spent a lot of time helping my grandmother who was a role model in my
life. She passed away in 1974. I miss her but find that many things she told me still
influence me after all these years.
Grandpa was a talented storyteller. I remember well vivid tales of his childhood as well
as the stories he told of his life in a logging camp in Northern Ontario. Grandpa died in
1998 at age 93. He left many fond memories of the time we spent together on the farm.
Dad worked hard all his life. He dug ditches, shoveled coal and worked on a ranch in
British Columbia riding line. This was a hard and lonely job. He too was a storyteller and
the tales he told of his time on that ranch always intrigued me. Dad was a nature lover.
Often, he would take me along on a clear winter’s night when he went hunting for
cottontail rabbits. On these excursions, he would teach me the wonders of nature and each
time I see a doe drinking or Canada Geese in flight, I think of Dad.
For as long as I can remember, Mom has loved to write poetry. Her poems are filled with
the wonders of nature and the world. The imaging of her poetry is superb. When I read
Mom’s poems, I find myself experiencing whatever she is writing about. Mom has been a
great influence on my life as well. Even though I am a grown woman, I can always depend on
Mom to lend a helping hand or give support.
I have many happy memories of my childhood. We didn’t have many material things but
our house and that of my grandparents were filled with love. Both my parents and
grandparents supplied me with a wonderful legacy. I am thankful for their support and love
of my family.
My brother and I attended a one-room school that was a
quarter mile from our home. We made the trek to that school four times a day through rain,
sleet and snow. I remember my brother going ahead to break a trail. At times the snow was
as deep as our waists.
Though the school had no indoor plumbing and was heated by a coal furnace, my memories of
attending there are happy ones. In winter, we skated on the creek behind the school and in
summer, we enjoyed games of tag, baseball and Run Fox, Run.
My sister started school the year I entered third grade. That year we were bused to a new,
six-room school three miles from home. School was never the same for me after that, though
I do have great memories of the newer school.
When I was in fifth grade, I won a writing contest. I will never forget the words my
teacher said to me that day. “Mary, I am proud of you. Someday your writing will be
published.” For years, I worked toward that goal. In 1994, my dream of being a
published writer was realized. Two of my stories, “Buddies” and
“Daddy’s Chair” were included in the anthology, “Gifts Of Our
Fathers…True Remembrances of Fathers and Grandfathers.” Since then, I have never
looked back. Today, I am honored to say that my writing has been published in both print
publications and on the Internet. Currently, my friend, Bertha, and I are compiling
Veteran’s stories for an anthology, "Silent Warriors".
As children, my brother, sister and I were expected to work hard. We had daily chores that
had to be done. From an early age, we were expected to help feed and water the livestock
as well as shock grain, help at harvest time, and gather eggs. Besides all this, I helped
in the house and garden. It was hard work but in those days families formed a firm bond
while toiling in the fields together.
There is one other thing that makes me chuckle when I think about it. The trip through
every kind of weather to the little shack outback. Those were the good old days.
One of my earliest memories, other than the farm, was my love of reading. I have traveled
the world over and experienced wondrous things between the covers of a good book.
When I am not writing, I enjoy watching my grandsons, aged four and two while their
parents work. The boy’s mother is my only daughter. The boys are the lights of my life and I have
rediscovered the world through their small eyes.
My family is very important to me. My parents and grandparents have given me a legacy that
is worth more than gold - the love of family and the love of storytelling.
MY FAVORITE THINGS
When I am not busy with the boys or my
writing, I enjoy spending time with my husband, helping Mom piece a quilt, crocheting and
needlepoint. I also enjoy a walk on a quiet winter’s night, when the snow is falling
gently. There seems to be a tranquility about the world on such a night that is hard to
come by in our busy world.
I also love gardening. I have iris in my garden that was given to Mom by my paternal
grandmother. They are beige and brown and are most unique. My garden also includes some
other favorites. Roses of all colors, hollyhocks, delphiniums, morning glories and many
other varieties bloom from early spring until late fall. I find working in my garden
relaxing and am always glad to see spring arrive after a harsh Canadian winter.
Another favorite pastime is spending time with my many friends both on and off the
Internet. I have formed a close bond with many of these people. They are my second family
and I am thankful for each and every one of them.
Over the years, I have found that the simple things in life are the best. Family, friends
and nature bring me the most pleasurable moments. It is within these pleasures that I find
Thank you, Scarlett, This means so much to me.May, 2000