The Handmaid’s Tale

“In front of us, to the right, is the store where we order dresses. Some people call them habits, a good word for them. Habits are hard to break. The store has a huge wooden sign outside it, in the shape of a golden lily; Lilies of the Field, it’s called. You can see the place under the lily, where the lettering was painted out, when they decided that even the names of shops were too much temptation for us. Now places are known by their signs alone.
Lilies used to be a movie theatre, before. Students went there a lot; every spring they had a Humphrey Boghart festival, with Lauren Bacall or Katherine Hepburn, women on their own, making up their minds. They wore blouses with buttons down the front that suggested the possibilities of the word undone. These women could be undone; or not. They seemed to be able to choose. We seemed to be able to choose, then. We were a society dying, said Aunt Lydia, of too much choice.”

– Margaret Atwood,
The Handmaid’s Tale

Weekly Photo Challenge: Twist

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A few weeks ago, while up at my cottage, I stumbled upon a parts of an old car. We were just mucking around in the forest behind the cottage, and there it was, half hidden beneath the earth. Definitely wasn’t expecting it…Fingers crossed that there aren’t any dead bodies anywhere (kidding). It would make for a good murder mystery novel though.

What are your thoughts on this? How do you think the car got there (specifically Northern Ontario, cottage country)? Why do you suppose someone left it? I’m thinking time travel, but that’s just my wild imagination talking.

I hope I’ve caused some sort of inspiration for you. 🙂

Weekly Photo Challenge: Nostalgic

The picture on the left is of my Grandmother, Janet Bayes, as a child, in 1944. She stands on the front step of the house she and her family lived in, located in New Toronto.

In the summer of 2011, my family and I decided to go for a drive to New Toronto. Among the sight-seeing tour was, of course, my Grandmother’s house, as well as my Grandfather’s house and my other Grandparent’s homes. They all grew up in the same area – a few streets over from one another, actually – and yet both sets of my Grandparents didn’t know each other until my parents met and married years later, after they had moved away. Destiny works in mysterious ways, I guess.

It was a sunny Saturday afternoon when my parents and I decided to take the drive. We visited each house – now inhabited by other families – and took pictures from the outside to later show my Grandparents. We also went to the Lakeshore, in which my Grandparents went swimming as kids, and then to each of my Grandparent’s workplaces as teenagers and young adults. My parents told me all the stories they knew as I clicked away on the camera.

It was my idea of a perfect Christmas gift to give each set of Grandparents a framed picture of their childhood home. They laughed, and cried, when they received them, and they told me stories I’d never heard before.

But the main reason we visited New Toronto that day – the main reason I wanted to visit – was to find something tangible, stable, and reliable. My Grandmother (pictured above) was diagnosed with cancer and was undergoing chemo treatments at this time. And yet there her house stood before me. Strong, solid, safe, after all these years.

Visiting New Toronto was an amazing, overwhelming experience, and the memories and stories that were conjured from the visit made it all the more nostalgic.

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