Monday, December 4, 2017
A Trip to Fredericton
On Saturday I took a trip to Fredericton. As I drove there I thought about the reasons I always feel good about making that trip. I lived in Fredericton from grade 2 to grade 5. 619 Regent St. is a huge and happy part of my childhood memories. I was not happy to move away. I returned to Fredericton to attend St. Thomas University. This was a huge and happy part of a stage in my life I was very proud of. I had been a big underachiever in high school and despite my desire to be a teacher it hadn't been enough to motivate me to do better. But somehow I pulled it together and found the will to make that dream come true. My years at St Thomas were wonderful. I worked full time and managed to work toward my first degree. Then I took a small break and got married and got pregnant with my first child. With a nine month old Zachary I returned to Fredericton (Burtt's Corner actually) and back to St. Thomas to get my education degree.Two summers in the 90's I traveled to UNB and participated in the Maritime Writers Workshop . Both experiences were very memorable for me and gave me the confidence to keep believing I was a writer.For one of those workshops I stayed with my friend Barb, her husband and two little girls who referred to me as Soup. What a wonderful week that was. Every morning I would walk from their house to the university and I was right back to the little girl I'd been walking and biking those streets with friends.I weaved those memories into the story I wrote of 1960's Fredericton in The Sewing Basket. Years later Fredericton became the place I would go to visit my daughter who also attended St. Thomas.She introduced me to a dish at the Diplomat that always calls me back.So on Saturday's trip I felt all those positive Fredericton feelings. I have gone several times to sign my latest book at the Fredericton Chapters. I have often seen Amy who is a strong connection to Zac and always fills me with joy as I see her little family and her smiling face.I meet readers who I've met before and always enjoy signings there. Saturday was no exception. Amy wasn't able to fit a trip to the store into her day but I met Kim a writer with her own story to tell and her own path to walk toward publication. I met Heather, an excited reader anxious to get the new book who after digging a little bit turned out to be the daughter of the salesman who sold me three of my Toyotas. I met Jennifer who was celebrating her 40th birthday shopping with her sister. She stopped and took the time to connect with me and bought three books. Her age and December birthday was a connection to Zac I felt so strongly and she was so kind.Natalie , a neighbor and her two daughters were shopping in Fredericton and stopped by to see me. She had come to my house earlier that morning to buy a copy of Maple Sugar pie for her daughter but took the time to come and support me. We talked and laughed and I so enjoyed the minutes they took from their shopping time.Then a woman came in looking vaguely familiar and I knew right away there was a connection of some kind. The connection turned out to be a previous meeting in which she had bought a book which led her to read all the books and be anxious to buy Maple Sugar Pie. She reads my blog regularly and she was so generous and kind in her praise and love for my work. That was definitely the icing on a already delicious cake. The cookies however were not the hit they were in Moncton. Only three were taken. One after a little girl picked it up to smell it (she was gluten free) and then I suggested she give it to her mother. Barb came for the last twenty minutes but wasn't able to pull hoards of Frederictonians to the table. But that was just fine. I had already surpassed my best expectations having had Kim, Jennifer, Heather, Joyce, Natalie Lindsay and Nicole make my day. Supper followed at the Diplomat with Barb and our friend Mary. An evening of knitting and chatter, a good nights sleep and a breakfast with Patrick( a Susan White fan )and his wife Catherine at The Cabin rounded off the trip. Then I had a safe and reflective drive home from a city I love and have such great feelings about.