Featured author this week is Patricia A. McGoldrick of Kitchener, Ontario...
An acrostic story.
Best in the Bruce!
Any child knows, as Annie did, that summer is the best! “Best in the Bruce” was a phrase that Annie used each year to chronicle her photos and memories of summer holidays. Chantry Island and long summer picnics with Gran and Grandpa were highlights of the July-August memories in Annie’s mind.
Determined to make this year special, the most memorable of all summers, Annie packed carefully. Everything she needed was soon tucked into the old green carpetbag suitcase that had been given to her by Gran when she was eight years old. “Family heirloom, it was, to be sure,” her Gran had said. Gran’s assurances, years ago, had guaranteed to little blonde-haired Annie that the velvety case was hers to treasure, just like that magical case in the Mary Poppins movie!
Helping herself to a boxful of Mom’s homemade granola trail mix for the long drive to the cottage, Annie heaved a sign of relief as she closed the trunk lid. Intently, after putting on her sun glasses, she made a quick check of her cash supply, fuel gauge and, yes, a renewable bottle of water.
Just as she turned the key in the ignition, backed out the driveway and began her journey north, Annie was overwhelmed by a wave of nostalgia. Kate, her eighty-five year old grandmother, would not be able to make the trip to Chantry Island this summer. Leukemia, no longer in remission, had weakened Gran severely. Many days had been spent in the hospital. Nursing care, round the clock, now, was necessary to ease her pain.
Only the landmarks of Annie’s much beloved Bruce Peninsula stood firm, it seemed, as she was driving, while, sadly, Gran was losing the vitality that had been so characteristic of her being.
Past peninsula summers had taken Annie in directions she never would have imagined. Quests for long lost treasures had filled many hours for Annie as she explored the depths of Emmet Lake caves.
Rambling over the green countryside in the back of Grandpa’s red pick-up truck had instilled a spirit of adventure in Annie and her cousins. Sleek petals of precious rare orchids on Flower Pot Island and orange-red sunsets had been captured in family photos.
Treasures of each summer were hauled home by Annie in the carpet bag. Under a glass casing in the family room, the craggy rocks and smooth bits of driftwood later were nestled with care.
Video technology through the years had captured some of the laughter and changing profiles of Gran and the cousins at their annual picnic feasts on Chantry Island.
When Annie had children of her own, in days ahead, she vowed to herself to carry on the traditions started by Gran. Xavier, her closest cousin, hoped to do the same.
Yet, it would not be easy for Annie and her cousins without Gran’s fierce urgency to make the most of each day on the island.
Zest for living, as Annie knew, was Gran’s key ingredient for a happy life, and, as she turned into the cottage driveway with a wistful smile on her face, Annie was determined to ensure that her last summer in the Bruce with Gran would be one of the best!
Author Patricia A. McGoldrick
2013 BIO CURRENT
Patricia A. McGoldrick is a Kitchener, Ontario Canada writer whose poetry and reviews have been published in the Christian Science Monitor, The WM Review Connection, and ChapterandVerse.ca. Poems published in anthologies, including: Animal Companions, Animal Doctors, Animal People; Beyond the Dark Room, an international collection of transformative poetry, with proceeds from book sales being given to Doctors Without Borders/MSF; Poetic Bloomings--the first year.
Patricia is a member of The Ontario Poetry Society and the League of Canadian Poets.