There’s a place in my childhood that I just can’t escape. A charming house that I lived in when I was 10. We only lived there for 2 years, but something about it captured my imagination. I am still so captivated that I started writing a children’s novel about my life in this little town. For the past few months I have been saying that I needed to take a trip back. I needed to see it again with my own eyes. I needed to walk down those childhood streets. In my romantic writers mind, I imagined staying for a couple of days in a little inn and writing into the wee hours of the night. Letting the air of the past inspire me in the present.
A couple of weeks ago I had a meeting for work that took me out-of-town, not in my usual direction. As my meeting ended, I realized that I was only an hour and fifteen minutes away from my little town of memories. I totally decided to be spontaneous. It was a beautiful fall day, and I felt like an adventure. So off I went. It wasn’t a romantic writers retreat. I had to be back for dinner, but I decided that something was better than nothing!
I drove towards my past with much anticipation. It’s interesting to go back to a place that feels so close, yet is so far away. A road trip backwards to my childhood.
I pulled into my town. It was the same, but different. My school was gone, a pile of rubble. My dad’s old store was now a painted blue church, and I couldn’t find my favourite book store. ( I’m sure that it was where the new dollar store is. I even went in and bought buttons and skittles, and I am pretty certain I smelled my old favourite books. I wanted to ask to see the basement. I’m sure my books were there in boxes waiting for me.)
I walked around the town (it’s small). It feels surreal to visit a place as an adult that you haven’t seen since you were a kid. I lived life in this place. But that life is so far away. My journey since then has taken me to where I am now, but the places of our past are intertwined with the life of our present. I’m different, but I am the same. That town is still part of me.
I took pictures, feeling a little like a stalker.
It was a significant time. A little peek into my real, yet imaginary filled town. Now matched up to some of my words, bringing them to life and inspiring me to keep writing.
Take a look.
The House – It was an old house. The first time she laid her eyes on it, she was very pleased. It had many corners and many cracks. Each one told a story and invited her into a new adventure. After all, a girl with an imagination surely could not live in a boring house.
The Treehouse – Going outside she headed to her favorite place. Technically she was a little old for a tree house. However, when she first laid her eyes on it, she was pleased. There was just something about having a little place to get away. A place to be by herself. A place to read, and write down her thoughts. It was a secret lair. All she had to do was climb up that ladder into the sky and the rest of the world would disappear. What more could a girl ask for? It was a bit of a challenge to keep the brothers out of there, but she had her ways. Bribery and kicking them off the ladder worked fairly well.
The Ice Store – From the treehouse she had a good vantage point to look out over the neighborhood. The first place of interest was the Ice Store. It was right across the street. A little house attached to a building that said ICE. It seemed a little bit strange. A building that made ice, right in the middle of the neighborhood. She imagined that inside the house it was very cold. Icicles hanging all over the furniture. Everyone shivering. The family must feel cold all the time and have to wear their winter coats while they slept. She watched as trucks would come and pick up the bags of ice and drive away. Freezing water into cubes and selling it. It all was very peculiar. They made ice all day long. She kept track in her journal of the times of ice pick ups. She wondered if they had a giant fridge filled with hundreds of ice-cube trays, and someone had to try to bend the tray just right to get them to pop out. Who did all that work? She only ever saw teenagers coming from the house. It was fascinating to watch the world of ice from her hot and stuffy tree house.
Being New – Grey pulled herself out of bed. She hated today and she was not happy that it had arrived. The days of summer and peering out of her tree house was over. It was the first day of school. This was the 3rd new school and Grey hated being new. When you are new, it takes time to be old. When you are new, everyone looks at you. When you are old, you blend in. It’s easier to disappear. She looked into her mirror, took a deep breath and got ready for new.
That’s all…a little peek into my inspiration….
Thank you little town of Seaforth. I’ll be back, if only with my words.