An azure blue lake dotted with evergreens and surrounded by snow-capped mountains graces the cover of my old scrapbook. Underneath the photograph is a caption which reads: "CANADA -- A common sight to tourists in Canada is the magnificent, hidden beauty of a deep mountain lake surrounded by tall evergreen trees. Such a scene, once viewed, is always remembered." In the upper right hand corner is a sticker with the price -- 50 cents. At the bottom of the cover I've scribbled my signature "Linda Tufts" over and over from Grade 4 until Grade 10.
Inside, early examples of my writing line its pages: "When We Went to the Caledonia Fair" is a story about our Grade 4 school trip. "The Haunted House"is a rhyming poem in book form. "The Exciting Trip to the Moon" with the "c" missing from exciting, is an early attempt at fiction. "Billy!" is one of the many poems I wrote about my baby brother; I became a little mother hen when he was born. A poem about Grand Bend reads: "But when it comes to French fries, Cheryl-Ann is hard to beat" while another poem typed on the typewriter, "The Sky", includes the lines "The stars are like a piece of foil/Shot to the sky/The moon is like a holy baseball/Floating by and by." A story about Christmas 1976 features my grandparents visit to our house in Hamilton. The following day we visit my aunt and uncle in Ajax where we play cards with my other uncle who chain smokes and I end up stealing his cigarettes (even then I was anti-smoking). He discovers they are missing and I give him a treasure hunt to find his cigarettes. Those were the days! On a more serious note, I wrote "Why I Want to be a Writer", a Grade 5 essay, in which I explain that there are not very many writers and everyone in my class hates writing, even my teacher. In Grade 6 I made a booklet about Thanksgiving complete with a drawing of the Mayflower.
Yesterday my daughter Jacqueline was reading some of the entries in my decrepit scrapbook. Then at meal time, I heard her making up a story in her head about Nat the Cat and a family of mice that he was chasing. Maybe she will become a writer some day, too. For now, the scrapbook goes back in the drawer.
Photo courtesy www.pbrownacsw.com