Monthly Archives: June 2011

Thursday June 2, 2011

Lynn’s Notes:

During my first marriage, I spent a lot of time at night listening for our car to come down the driveway. I knew instinctively the sound of the engine and the pattern the headlights made on the walls. I’d feel guilty for being mistrustful, but then again, my husband was doing things I’d never do to him and his excuses never seemed to resolve things. This scene was easy to do and it felt good to write about it.

Sunday June 5, 2011

Lynn’s Notes:

Like most little girls, I was fascinated by make up and wanted to try it on. My mom didn’t use much and what she had was out of bounds. Had I ever gone into her cosmetics without permission, I would have been in serious doo doo. One of my mothers’ friends was a sales rep for Avon. She carried a stunning assortment of tiny “trial-sized” lipsticks which she gave away when the line changed and the colours were discontinued. Mom was often the recipient of her generosity and when the tiny tubes were empty, I would retrieve them from the garbage and use a toothpick to get the last smudge of colour from the bottom. Sometimes I’d find a big tube tossed away, which was great – except that the colour was always far too red. In order to get away with wearing the stuff, I would heat the tube and mix the lipstick with Vaseline.

I managed to sneak the slightly rouged lips past my mom… until I left the tube in my pocket. This, of course went into the wash – leaving a load of laundry covered in red blobs. Too angry to speak, Mom took the ruined clothing upstairs and with a philosophical “what have I got to lose” attitude, she boiled the lot with soap powder in her big canning pot. All of the lipstick came out of the clothing! I was saved. Then it was time for the inevitable lecture about being too young and sneaking around. The next day, she came home from work with a tube of pale pink lip gloss. I had my lipstick and I could wear it openly. Nice touch! Having the “real thing” however, sort of dampened the spirit of adventure and I lost interest in make up until I was in my early teens!

Monday June 6, 2011

Lynn’s Notes:

This was a “game” my brother Alan and I invented. It was a subtle kind of teasing which involved eye contact – or the lack thereof. We’d stare at each other – glaring, menacing, then calmly look away when a parent came by. We would enrage each other – and it’s awfully hard to plead your case when there’s no evidence of wrongdoing. I’m glad my kids didn’t read my stuff, because I would have had to explain what this was about and they would have done it, too!

Tuesday June 7, 2011

Lynn’s Notes:

Again, this is all from memory. This is my brother and me doing nasty, irritating things to each other, just to cause a rift. Perhaps it’s because we were easily bored. Perhaps it’s because it rained a lot and we always seemed to be indoors. For some reason, we couldn’t pass up an opportunity to upset one another and this lasted until we were in our teens. No wonder our folks were so pleased when we moved out!

Wednesday June 8, 2011

Lynn’s Notes:

I don’t think my brother ever wished I’d been a brother and my wanting a sister was set aside when I saw friends fighting with their sisters over clothes and dolls and hairpins. Aaron never said that a brother would have been preferable to Kate… so, this idea came from somewhere other than “us”. Still, from listening to conversations over the years, I knew that for somebody somewhere, this thought rang true.

Friday June 10, 2011

Lynn’s Notes:

My folks had a jewelry store. They carried china, glassware and other gift items as well. This meant they were often asked to provide gifts for our teacher and they would ask me to help them decide what to give to whom. It was difficult to choose something for a teacher I wasn’t fond of and the first thing that came to mind was to select something DUMB! I found myself, instead, choosing something beautiful, and in so doing I would rethink my feelings for the person it was for. Gift giving is such an important gesture, and for many more reasons than you’d think!

Saturday June 11, 2011

Lynn’s Notes:

We rarely knew our teachers’ first names and never knew where they lived. They just sort of showed up at the school and disappeared when classes were over. I once saw a teacher coming out of the washroom in a restaurant and it was hard to imagine he had been doing something we all had to do! By the same token, it was tough to make eye contact with a teacher who was pregnant, knowing she had done what had to be done to get that way. I think teachers are allowed to be human, now, and it must be a good thing.

Sunday June 12, 2011

Lynn’s Notes:

I remember being so distraught that I could break stuff. At the end of my rope, I’d scream and cry and flop down on the floor exhausted and empty and defeated. This was last week!

Seriously, when you’re too young to understand and too inexperienced to deal with life’s situations, collapsing in tears is the only way to respond. We’ve all been there and despite the fact that you look like someone to avoid…this is usually the time when you need love and understanding more than anything else in the world!

Monday June 13, 2011

Lynn’s Notes:

These children were part of a group of friends including Deanna Sobinski who were always in the background and never part of the story. It wasn’t until the kids became teenagers that their friends took on personalities and played a role. This was a good thing, because the story was already becoming complicated with the introduction of relatives and the developing relationships with the adults’ friends.

Tuesday June 14, 2011

Lynn’s Notes:

This is a small glimpse into a day in my life. My grade three teacher kept me after school on the last day to tell me that after all the conflict we had endured together during the year, she thought I was basically a good kid. This was the attitude that most of my teachers had….and when Aaron’s teachers gave him “the talk” I knew exactly where they were coming from.

Thursday June 16, 2011

Lynn’s Notes:

We didn’t have lockers until grade six, but the comic value of the leftover sandwiches, fetid gym clothes and unidentifiable crud couldn’t be denied. Our lockers were both a repository for school supplies and a place to stash everything else. It was a tiny, private storage unit; our first “home away from home”.

Friday June 17, 2011

Lynn’s Notes:

Our childhood home on Fifth and Lonsdale in North Vancouver was where all the neighborhood kids seemed to congregate. When our sprinkler was on, it meant food, fun and a bathroom if you remembered to use it! My folks were tolerant and welcoming and everyone took their generosity for granted. They rarely complained, however – they wanted to be able to look out the window and know where we were!

Saturday June 18, 2011

Lynn’s Notes:

Mud puddles provided endless entertainment for my brother and me. Dad showed us how to make boats out of matchbooks, toothpicks, Kleenex and glue. We stomped in them, dammed them up, and crunched through the ice when they were frozen. When I think of all the toys we had to stimulate our imaginations I smile…’cause, the puddles in the laneway were the most fun of all!

Sunday June 19, 2011

Lynn’s Notes:

Father’s Day has always been one of the more challenging Sunday comics to produce. We never really made too much of it when I was a kid and later, when my two were small, it was a day when the best “present” was to let Dad spend the day in his workshop!

Still, it’s a day that puts the spotlight on dads and children, no matter what the marital dynamics are – which is a good thing. We need more Father’s Days and Mother’s Days, if you ask me. Heaven knows- there’s nothing more rewarding than being recognized and appreciated for doing a difficult job well!

Monday June 20, 2011

Lynn’s Notes:

Aaron was a baby when Farley roamed the house. Because he was my dog and I was used to him, I didn’t panic when he’d sidle to the jolly jumper and remove Aaron’s lunch from his face with his big, wet tongue. When I see a dog licking a baby’s face today, I cringe. Perhaps that’s because I no longer have either one!

Tuesday June 21, 2011

Lynn’s Notes:

The real Farley rarely left the property, but if he did decide to go AWOL, he’d be gone for the day. It was hard to find him in our housing complex and there was a ravine to get into as well. It was the highway close by that really worried me. He was big and cuddly, but a pretty dim bulb; as canines go, he was no “Lassie”!

Wednesday June 22, 2011

Lynn’s Notes:

Whenever someone or something goes missing, we are programmed to think the worst. Maybe it’s the news or the stuff we see on television that makes us panic, but we find ourselves preparing for the most awful of outcomes – just in case! When Farley disappeared I wondered if he had been stolen – but someone loading his dirty, hairy, odiferous butt into their vehicle was pretty hard to imagine!

Thursday June 23, 2011

Lynn’s Notes:

This was based on a scenario which once kept my neighbours, Marg and Kenny, up all night. Their small dog “Pixie” took off for parts unknown and Marg was so upset, she had to be sedated. Meanwhile, police, firemen, neighbors and family combed the area without success. Pixie later appeared on her own. She had been under the porch, too afraid to come out with all the crying and commotion going on.

Sunday June 26, 2011

Lynn’s Notes:

I loved slapstick movies. Good animated cartoons kept me glued to the screen at the Odeon Theatre every Saturday afternoon. One of the most overrated gag ideas has always been the “slip on a banana peel”. This pratfall was something my brother and I tried unsuccessfully to recreate many times. You need: a ripe peel, a slippery linoleum floor and a bozo who doesn’t look where he’s going. All three are hard to put in the same place at the same time without deliberate and calculated effort. Unsuccessful with the surprise attack, we tried the stunt on each other, our buddies and our dad. (Mom would have whacked the both of us for doing something so stupid, so she was out of the scene altogether.) We never did recreate the wonderful slip, slide and landing that was so funny in the theatre. It was therefore important, once I had the freedom of a comic strip at hand, to complete this elusive gag in the newspapers and fulfil a lifelong quest.

Monday June 27, 2011

Lynn’s Notes:

Farley the dog was a lot of work. Not only did he bring every manner of grime into the house, he was a constant source of hair. There was hair everywhere; soft, fine, fly-away hair. Even though I vacuumed the house several times a week, balls of grey tangled fluff would blow across the room if you opened a window or a door. He was lovely to look at, but owning him was a full time job!

Tuesday June 28, 2011

Lynn’s Notes:

Here it is; the truth about Farley and the family car. When I did travel with canine, I put a metal barrier between the hatch back compartment and the rest of the vehicle. This meant that baby and I could inhabit the space safely and without dander. The one time I left Farley in the car sans restrictions, he not only covered the windows with spittle, he jumped on the doorframe and locked himself inside.

Wednesday June 29, 2011

Lynn’s Notes:

Washing a large hairy animal is a challenge – even out of doors. I had tiled the bathroom floor, the bathtub was one of those old, deep ones and we had plenty of towels. I would wait until I had the time and the patience to tackle him and then the fun began. Farley tolerated bath time. He even seemed to enjoy it. The trouble was… what smelled clean to me smelled awful to him and as soon as he was dry, he couldn’t wait to go outside so he could roll in disgusting, unmentionable things!