It’s the early 1950s, after school in a red house along the Britt road in Britt, Ontario.
Lucy is seven. She lies on her back, staring at the livingroom ceiling. Mr. McGarrity says, “Well, Maggie Muggins, I’d say you’ve had quite a day!”
Lucy smiles, kicks her legs in the air, and leaps to her feet. “Tra la la la lee!” she sings. Lucy wipes a piece of long, blonde hair from her face with one hand as she turns the knob on the radio to the ‘off’ position with the other.
Lucy feels the quiet of the house push up against her chest. The tic toc of the ship’s wheel clock on the radio cabinet whispers at first, then grows louder with the beating of her heart. Lucy hates to be home alone. Continue reading
I love sentimental Christmas presents. When I was in my twenties mom and dad gave me Grandpa’s ship wheel clock for Christmas. It works beautifully when I remember to wind it. It is an “Ingraham 8 Day Ships Wheel” mantel clock.
A few weeks ago I chatted with Erika Bailey. Her research at University of Toronto focused on experiential learning and a sense of place. Her work will be published in 2012 by Backalong Books. As I recall, to begin the stories with her research participants Erika asked them to bring an object that had meaning for them. The object became an entry point to a story about place, about learning.
Grandpa Lamondin’s ship wheel clock is one of my favourite things. I was a young child when he passed away, too young to remember him. But somehow having his clock in my living room helps me to feel close to him. It reminds me of the years he spent on the water living at the lighthouse as a child, then as a Georgian Bay tour guide for Toronto fishermen when he retired. I imagine he felt at home on the water.
The metaphor of time is powerful as I begin this journey into the past. Continue reading