Submissions Page 4
What do I love most about my community; the people and the beauty of the area?
I have been lucky enough to live in Plympton-Wyoming for the last 39 years. We lived next door for 20 of those years and then we were lucky enough to buy the farm next door. When I say next door, that’s exactly what I mean; didn’t have to change my driver’s license. The two farms used to be one, until it was divided in half for each of the sons; hence the same lot and concession.
Our home was built in 1900; however there have been upgrades throughout the years. I always say, my home is very peaceful. It doesn’t matter where in the house you are, there is a sense of peace. When you look out any of my windows you get to see my gardens that I have nurtured throughout the years. For us nature lovers this is the best place to live.
My neighbor across the road is a testament to this area being a great place to live. Not many people can say you live in the house you were born in, but Tob can. Our neighbours for the most part, haven’t changed much over the years which also makes it nice. In some areas people don’t even know their neighbor next door let alone the neighbors’ down the road.
Let’s talk grocery store. Did you know at Wyoming Foodland, they not only pack your groceries, they carry them out to your vehicle? Everyone is friendly that works in the store and are always available if you need help. The butchers in the store are terrific; the best. If you want good meat and excellent customer service, this is the store to go to.
Zekveld’s Garden Market, not only has excellent produce, they sell homemade meat and fruit pies. I can attest to how good they are. Again, customer service is exceptional. They even stay open in the winter using the honour system; you put what you owe in a basket. There is a number you can call if you need assistance but they make it pretty easy for you, even leaving the plastic bags to put your purchases in.
In the spring I can buy my gardening plants across the road at Country Lane Greenhouses. The young couple that run this business are very accommodating and take the time to help their customers chose the right plants, including taking the time for me, to pick out the plants that would look best to make my pots beautiful for the spring and summer months. They too, will help to carry all your purchases out to your vehicle.
Marley’s Pharmacy has been in Wyoming way before I came to this area; again, great customer service and a caring attitude.
There are numerous other businesses in Wyoming that give excellent customer service. I haven’t been to one business where I have said, Ï will never go there again”.
For a place I originally didn’t want to move to, I can’t think of a place I would rather be.
By Vicky Ducharme
My Sister Mary and I
emember the days, when we were young,
forget the bad, remember the fun.
Times were tough, but we didn’t know,
our mother’s love, made everything glow.
Skate in the ditch, swim in the creek,
go to the barn, to play hide n seek.
Up in the apple tree, sitting for hours,
gathering bugs, and picking wildflowers.
We’d catch lots of mice, they all had a name,
Couldn’t tell them apart, they all looked the same.
We built them
a house, a roof made of glass,
watch them for hours, as we lay in the grass.
The pigs were great, we went for a ride,
we needed a saddle, to cover their hides.
It seemed so simple, we had a new blouse.
Then we had to face mom, when we went in the house.
You’d go to Anna’s , to lend a hand,
but you left me alone, to play in the sand.
I’d tag along, you’d make me go home,
you always wanted, to go there alone.
Your pet was a pigeon, mine was a chicken.
we hid them in the closet , away from the kitchen.
Mom wasn’t happy, she wasn’t impressed,
didn’t we know, they’d make such a mess?
We hide our shoes, on the way to school,
we didn’t need them, it was a rule.
You were prettier, and wiser by far,
but on my spelling, I got the star.
Forget any hurt, remember the days,
we’ve always been close, in many ways .
Our childhood is gone, it’s in the past ,
we’ll have our memories, they will always last.
Click on the link below to hear the ukulele band
The complete meaning of the Ojibwa word Aamjiwnaang in a sonnet. Aamjiwnaang is a
descriptive noun for the outlet of Lake Huron where it perpetually empties itself into the
St. Clair River and its environs. The imagery in the poem represents Aamjiwnaang at the
time of Confedereation.
Tumbling waters tumbling by
Past boulders, and rock bed two visions vie
Thunderous falls versus mist clouds on high
Jointly both beckon to gathering nigh
Into narrow strait swift current weaves braid
Then flowing upstream beneath placid shade
In midst river yet deep deluge’s not staid
Bright dancing sunbeams reveal spirits rayed
Now downstream widens it’s turbulence past
Deep waters belie an irenic cast
Yet peaceful shallows raise tall reeds at last
Abode of both fish and water fowl vast
Shore boasts of maple, oak, elm all grassed
Shading wild fruit trees abundantly massed.
Memories of a Typical Boy
By David D Plain
“Memories of a Typical Boy” is a collection of short stories, snippets really, of my boyhood growing up on Exmouth Street in Sarnia, Ontario, Canada. This short collection also includes two poems.
David, my mother hollered. Come in now. I want you have have nap. Like any toddler I obeyed while
complaining, “I don’t want to have a nap. I want to stay outside and play.”
“Come and lay down. I’ll lay down with you” she pleaded. And so we laid down together on her bed
where she dropped off into dreamland. I was not so dutiful. Slipping from the bed and out of the house
I scurried off to the field where I came across a treasure, a nest of baby garter snakes. Home to the
garage I rushed for a six quart basket. Back to the field hoping all the way they would still be there.
All tangled like a puzzle. You couldn’t tell which head belonged to which tail and all wiggling with
tongues darting in and out sensing life and all it’s dangers.
Quickly I scooped them up filling the woven container. I couldn’t wait to get home and share my
smashing good find with my mom. I found her still fast asleep.
“Look I exclaimed as I shoved the basket under her nose! She opened her eyes and screamed. I dropped
the basket in the bed. Snakes writhing all about. Some began to slither away in all directions.
“Get them out! Get them out!” she yelled. I began picking them up two and three at a time. Then
returned them to their home in the field. Poor mom.
The White Owl Cigar
A snippet concerning my best elementary school friend and myself, a stolen White Owl
cigar, the illness it wrought and my home remedy.
Summer vacation had arrived. My good friend Dick and I needed something to do. ‘Ever smoke?’ I
asked my fellow ten year old.
‘Nope’, he replied.
‘I’ve got just the thing’
I told him to wait outside while I went into the house to make sure no one was around. There wasn’t. I
pulled a kitchen chair up to the counter so I could reach the top cupboard. That’s where my grandfather
kept his White Owl cigars. There they were, a package of five. Three left. I slipped one out, put the
chair back and grabbed a half dozen eddy matches from on top of the kitchen stove. Out the back door,
down the drive we hurried, headed for the bush.
The bush didn’t have a name. We just called it ‘The Bush’. It was a wood lot with a creek running
through it just a block up the street. We made our way down a pathway that cut through the bush to the
tennis courts on the other side. We veered east following the creek till we were out of sight of the well
We built a small campfire on the bank of the creek. The creek didn’t have a name either. We just called
it “The Creek”. Sitting cross-legged in front of the fire facing each other I lit up the cigar. We were
going to be Indian Chiefs you see. I don’t know what made us suppose Indian Chiefs smoked White
Owl cigars. I guess it was because my grandfather did and he was a ‘real’ Indian Chief. I took a long
haul off the liberated smoke, blew a big cloud of it in the air, then passed it to Dick. He did the same. I
noticed he seemed to swallow his grey cloud, but I said nothing. Back and forth we shared until it was
pretty much done.
I doused our little campfire and we headed home. When got to my house Dick was green.
‘I don’t feel so good’ he gagged. ‘You and your bright ideas’. Poor Dick, holding his stomach and
complaining about the pain.
‘I know just what to do!’ I said leaving him doubled up on the front porch I went through the front door
and retrieved a bottle of soda pop from the fridge. Kist Cream Soda, that syrupy pink liquid, well
carbonated. ‘Drink this down’ I barked, sounding very much like a doctor. He did.
Dick let out one of the loudest belches I had ever heard, either before or since. He stood up straight,
smiled at me and exclaimed, ‘That worked. I feel fine now!’
The young teen’s eyes surveyed the poster on the YMCA’s bulletin board. “HALLOWEEN
COSTUME DANCE!” it said in huge, bold, capital letters. Saturday, October 31st – 8 PM. Prizes for
the best costumes! I wondered who all would be going? I began to ask my friends at the Wednesday
after school sock-hop. “Oh, yes, most answered. It will be a blast!”
The kids at the sock-hop were from the local high-schools. There were even many who attended St.
Pats, the only Roman Catholic high-school in the city, defying the standing order from their pre-Vatican
II diocese. Their priests had told them they were not allowed to attend functions at the “Y”. The
acronym, YMCA, stood for Young Men’s Christian Association and being a Christian organization that
was not Catholic attendance was forbidden. They went to the dances anyway.
“Are you going to the Halloween dance I asked my best friend Mary. She was one of the many ‘lapsed’
Catholics. I had lots of girlfriends, but Mary was the closest.
“Oh yes! But I’m not sure what I’ll dress up as. I think it will be something nobody will recognize me in
“Me too”, I replied.
It wasn’t long before Saturday the 31st rolled around. Family dinner was over and I began to get ready
for the big event. As I applied each piece of my costume, with my mom’s help, my transformation
began to take shape. Convincingly, I began to appear what I was not. Finished! At last I was ready and
off to the dance.
Oh, the dance went swimmingly, as they used to say. Mary was there as “Little Miss BO-Peep”. Most
were in costume, but not all. I had many requests to share the dance floor, even to some of the slow
tunes like Marty Robin’s “A White Sports Coat” and Shirley and Lee’s “Let the Good Times Roll”. The
night was fantastic!
The dance was over at eleven and I was home by midnight. I was in the living room telling my mom
how successful the evening had gone… How many boys asked me to dance and how much fun I had
Just then my big brother Ron came through the front door. He looked at me, but I could tell by his
inquisitive look he did not recognize me. So I began to disrobe.
Off came my blouse and I stood there in my bra. His eyes popped open. “What the…!” he exclaimed. I
began to take my bra off. Ron turned his head, but looked right back at me with mouth agape. I
removed my hair piece. He bust out laughing.
“Gotcha!” I hollered at Ron who was in shock at seeing his little brother in drag.
Rendezvous with an Ancestor
This poem consists of rhyming couplets describing a memory. It remembers a hot
summer’s day, an approaching thunder storm and an old man. The old man is my
grandfather who enjoyed nothing more in his old age than a good cigar and a visit from
his great-great grandfather. Nimikiins or Little Thunder was an Ojibwa War Chief who
visited us often on those hot summer afternoons. There was nothing I enjoyed more as a
boy than to sit with him on that veranda on Exmouth Street and take in Nimikiins’
Searing sun beats down on asphalt
Too hot to tread the feet does assault
Hot weather calls for shorts and tank top
And lone robin chirps for nature’s raindrop
Hot stagnant air harms cool breeze belief
But shade covered porch provides some relief
Gentle warm air washes over the face
And rustles the leaves high in their place
Spring loaded screen door slams shut behind
Old man on bowed legs shuffles to find
His favourite seat on rocker his choice
He’ll sit in silence, he’ll add no voice
He takes out cigar his favourite pass time
To smoke on his thoughts of past paradigms
He strikes Eddy’s match, he draws on White Owl
As robin awaits a response to its call
Ominous clouds the horizon’s hedge
Flashes alight dark billow’s edge
Tempest approaches but not quick enough
While quivering lips draw uneasy puff
Soon deluge cools hot pavement’s breath
By droplets that bounce… Oh, inches at best
Hot summer breeze turns cool season’s wind
Strong maple bends but comes not unpinned
Dark sky alights with electric display
Ozone’s burnt odour drives robin away
Thunderous cracks produced the scent
Repeats and repeats until it is spent
Storm travels eastward enabling blue sky
Above cooled pavement steam rises high
Robin returns to hop all about
Then tugs on a worm the rain has coaxed out
The old man relights content at his visit
Nimikiins returned his power’s implicit
To visit descendant and relive the time
When enemies quaked at this warrior’s prime.
Cold Winter Chores
A day in the life of the author circa 1954. Dead of winter chores: it was my duty to arise
from my unheated, but insulated attic bedroom first, get a fire going in the kitchen and
re-stoke the coal furnace in the cellar so the home would be comfortably warm for
parents and siblings when they arose. I loved this job not only because it made me feel
useful, but it also taught me the value of doing something for others.
The kitchen is heated by coal burning chamber
A brick is warmed in the kiln so tender
The burners and oven are natural gas
But this breathless comrade’s warmth won’t last.
Jack Benny has bid Rochester good night
Mantle clock chimed, nine times it is right
For boy to bunk in for a long winter’s night
Where breath can be seen in pale moonlight
Up attic staircase boy trudges alone
A cordless heating pad his very own
Hot brick in flannel to help keep him warm
At least for a time till cold overwhelms
Numerous blankets help keep him in place
Snug in his bed his dreams to embrace
While fires die down and cold overtakes
The warmth of the home, then morning breaks.
Twilight breaks through frosted panes to awake
The lad to his chores, frigid floors that await
The warming that comes with new fires stoked
By the youth who prepares a welcome evoked
Down staircase he’s nibble, cold hot-pad in tow
Cook stove’s coal chamber is first to bestow
A welcoming heat from logs that were split
A mercury reverse after kindling’s been lit
The boy and his bucket tread down cellar stairs
Where slumbering behemoth has lost all its cares
If octopus left its purpose just dies
But boy pokes and prods causing sparks to arise
Old ogre awakes raising its hackles
Hungry for fuel this monster that crackles
Gaping mouth ready the boy will oblige
With shovels of coal, the giant subsides
Iron door closed with black smoke locked in
Jacket replenished holds water within
Now refill the bucket, haul coal up the stairs
Replenish the chamber so each fire flares
Warming the home with a welcoming warmth
The kitchen’s now toasty a comforting wealth
The boy’s tepid greeting to his family’s delight
He now feels worthy, his chores made it right.