Monthly Archives: August 2011

Monday August 1, 2011

Lynn’s Notes:

We were on the train for several nights. Even though the kids were the best they could be, they tossed and turned. And their constant up and down to the toilet made each night a real challenge. We also met others in the hallway as they reorganized themselves into these confined spaces – and more than once we heard “why didn’t you a book a compartment instead of a roomette?”

Tuesday August 2, 2011

Lynn’s Notes:

The dining car was, by far the highlight of the trip. At the time, CN Rail was still into “elegance”. We had tables with cloths, nice dishes, good cutlery – and even the children behaved better in this classic and refined dining room. This is one of the rare strips in which I showed them being more of a hand full than they really were!

Wednesday August 3, 2011

Lynn’s Notes:

For a number of years, the passenger train was scheduled to go through the Rocky Mountains late at night. This astounded us as the most breathtaking view in Canada is here and we didn’t want to sleep through it! Eventually they realized they were making a mistake and changed the schedule. Over time, we eventually forgot the discomfort of the small sleeping quarters – but we’ll never forget the view!

Thursday August 4, 2011

Lynn’s Notes:

Aaron did not put a marble in a man’s mouth – but he thought about it. He was standing on a seat, looking into this snoring aperture. It was an open invitation to neatly drop something in. I caught Aaron’s eye just before he let go of the marble he was holding. We both smiled. It was almost too tempting to resist, but resist he must…and we both laughed out loud just thinking about it.

Sunday August 7, 2011

Lynn’s Notes:

It doesn’t bother me now. In fact, a mosquito in the room when I was married meant a 50% chance of being bitten and I could sleep quite comfortably. When I was a kid, however, the high-pitched whine of a hungry insect drove me nuts. I’d turn on the light and take whatever time it required to hunt it down and do it in. I considered myself to be an excellent sniper. I’d wait for however long it took for the prey to appear and SMACKKK!!! I won. I fairly ruled the summer night until my brother showed me an article that said, statistically, we eat at least 3 spiders in our lifetime – they crawl into our open mouths while sleeping. AAAAAUGH!!!!!!

Tuesday August 9, 2011

Lynn’s Notes:

We were totally beat by the time we made it to my folks’ place. It was such a relief to turn our two busy offspring over to healthy, active grandparents. Mom and dad weren’t used to having such busy kids about, but they soon managed to get into the swing of things. It was fun for me to see them being parents again – from the vantage point of being a parent, now myself!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Lynn’s Notes:

Having a long distance relationship with my family was difficult. I was getting to know my in-laws very well and the kids were at home with everyone on “the other side of the family”, but I missed my own. Both of my parents were creative and would have been happy to play a larger role in the children’s lives, but time and the cost of travel separated us. Every visit was filled with activities and the time always flew by far too fast.

Thursday August 11, 2011

Lynn’s Notes:

My mom did say things to make me feel like a kid again. I felt as though she was watching everything I did; wanting to correct me or give advice. I had been living on my own, coping with all kinds of challenges and I wanted to feel like her equal. It didn’t take long before the old sandpaper formed between us and we had to make sure there were no match heads in the middle!

Friday August 12, 2011

Lynn’s Notes:

There’s nothing like being at the lake to keep kids happy. Aaron and Katie learned to swim at Kawkawa and even though the fishing was limited to minnows, it was exhilarating just to catch one and let it go. “The boys” would go out in my dad’s old canoe and if they were lucky, there’d be something to photograph and some tall tales to tell. It was a wonderful time and the kids never wanted to leave.

Saturday August 13, 2011

Lynn’s Notes:

Despite his penchant for causing trouble, Aaron was a sweet and sentimental little boy. The bond he shared with my mother was very strong. The two of them seemed to have a secret between them and my dad thought he should spend more time with Katie to make up for it. Katie didn’t seem to notice a discrepancy, though. Maybe she knew that Aaron needed the extra attention my mom gave him.

Sunday August 14, 2011

Lynn’s Notes:

It’s strange how we slip from being careless and sloppy to fanatically clean. For years, I maintained a house so tidy you could enter any room and find every last thing in place. My lingerie was rolled, folded and colour coordinated, my linens were in perfect piles, my bathroom cabinets immaculate. Even if it was out of sight, my stuff was in order.

Now that I live on my own, however, I have reentered the “who gives a ****” phase of life and I view my habitation much as I did as a kid of 10. I haven’t made my bed since last week. My work has spilled into the dining room where I can easily get to it and if the dishes sit on the counter over night…ehhh! I don’t do laundry until I run out. I don’t pick stuff up until I have to – and I can only describe this lack of decorum as liberating.

The other day as I was leaving my bedroom comfortably littered, I distinctly heard my mother say “For heaven’s sake stop living like a hermit and take care of this mess!”

I thought about all the times I railed at my own kids for living in squalor and I sympathized with them. No matter how well you pick up after yourself, a place is going to deteriorate. I figure “what’s the point?” So, like a kid, I only clean up if I have to. My incentive is company. Every time the mess gets to the point of no return, I invite friends for dinner. It’s time again to shovel out, so…yesterday, I bought steak.

Tuesday August 16, 2011

Lynn’s Notes:

After living in my garage for more than a year, my brother, Alan got a job with the Stratford Festival Theatre and moved to Stratford, Ontario. My room mate, Fran, moved to Calgary to continue her studies and I was suddenly alone in the house. I helped Alan move to his new apartment and wished him well. Although I was happy to have the place to myself again, I missed their company terribly.

Wednesday August 17, 2011

Lynn’s Notes:

I was a bit jealous of Alan. He was still living in the land of the free. His friends were unmarried guys who travelled and partied and had few responsibilities other than coming up with rent and food money and I wished I could be as unrestricted as they were. Meanwhile, he was wishing he had a little more stability and thought I had the right idea. The grass was always greener somewhere else, it seemed.

Thursday August 18, 2011

Lynn’s Notes:

I don’t remember if Alan was seeing someone in Dundas when he left for Stratford. My efforts to pry had never been too successful. I looked forward to visiting him and seeing him perform at the Festival Theatre. I didn’t show this in the strip, but one of his jobs was to appear in a green velvet Edwardian suit and play the herald trumpet from an outdoor balcony!

Friday August 19, 2011

Lynn’s Notes:

Coming up with lines based on sayings is especially fun. Take any saying, twist it around, change the lettering and see if you can make it work as a punch line!

Most certainly, this one has been used by someone before me. Great minds shrink alike. But if you can do something different, you’re golden- and I was always quite chuffed when I came up with a gag like this.

Saturday August 20, 2011

Lynn’s Notes:

Good dialogue makes a comic strip work. It has to flow like poetry. If you’re lucky, someone will come up with a smart remark and this becomes the punch line. Here was an opportunity to think like a kid who wanted summer to last forever and still be his mom who was thinking in real time.

Michael was able to counter her argument with something that worked, and I thanked the muse – again – for helping me come up with another daily.

Sunday August 21, 2011

Lynn’s Notes:

The Odeon Theatre was a two-mile walk from my house on 5th Street in North Vancouver. The Saturday afternoon matinee was always packed with kids, looking forward to a double bill, separated by a cartoon, a newsreel, and a commercial. This was the arena into which we crushed ourselves: rich, poor, native, and new immigrants, to tease, shove, joke, and annoy each other until the screen lit up with whatever Hollywood had to offer.

My routine was to go early and be first in line, so I could get the pick of the seats. Somewhere in the 6th row, near the middle was best and if the crowd exceeded the seating then wooden orange crates were set out in front of the screen for the slackers. I once watched Tarzan from the orange crates. All I could see was Johnny Weismuller’s enormous feet and tiny head, all out of focus.

We talked through the dialogue, cheered with the action, groaned when the kissing started, and laughed at the cartoons ’til we wet our seats. This was kid heaven. Here at the theatre, we were all equals. The movies brought us together at a time when so many things tore us apart. The Odeon theatre is gone, now. This Sunday cartoon brought it back to me!

Monday August 22, 2011

Lynn’s Notes:

For some reason, stinking socks are funny… much like burps and toots. In truth, the fact that kid’s footwear did give off noxious gasses surprised me. But, then again, kids and odors go together like dogs and fleas. My son could wear a pair of socks until they were stiff and no amount of washing could restore the colour, no matter what it was. I dragged dirty socks into the text several times and each time readers reacted with comments like; “Whoa! this happens at your house, too?”!

Tuesday August 23, 2011

Lynn’s Notes:

This exchange is, word for word, from my own childhood. I knew if I said to my mom “do you think I’m some kind of servant?” she’d go completely off her nut. Why did I say it? I don’t know. I have always enjoyed a punch line – even if it meant getting a punch in return! So, I said it and she swatted me and put me in my room. I hoped that when she saw this strip, she’d be vindicated… once more!

Wednesday August 24, 2011

Lynn’s Notes:

I absolutely hated cleaning my room. I couldn’t see the point. Why make my bed just to sleep in it and mess it up again? Why put stuff away when I’m just going to get it out again? Nobody lives in my room but me, and if I don’t care…

None of my arguments held water with my mom who would stand at the door like a jailhouse warden and watch me tidy up. “There”, she’d say, “isn’t that better?” Honestly, I couldn’t say that it was. *Sigh* The things you have to do to please your parents!

Thursday August 25, 2011

Lynn’s Notes:

I think I got a dollar a week. If I did extra stuff, I got a more. I remember saving my earnings to pay for a new bicycle seat and when I did, I was so proud I told all my friends that I’d bought it myself.

Giving us an allowance was such a good way for the folks to teach us about saving and being responsible. It was augmented and reduced according to grades and behaviour and when times were tough, we could even chip in. Even though values and circumstances have changed, I hope parents continue to make an allowance pay off!

Friday August 26, 2011

Lynn’s Notes:

It’s hard for a young artist to get her work published anywhere, so I volunteered a lot in the early days. I did posters, bookmarks and signs for the library. I learned about borders and lettering and ways to get the most from two plates on the press. It was an opportunity to learn and to make up a good folio. When I hear people complain that they have to volunteer I remember my dad saying “You pay for an education, don’t you?” Well, this was an education and I was getting it for free!

Saturday August 27, 2011

Lynn’s Notes:

I imagined Elly accepting the opportunity to write a column for a local paper just to see her work in print. She is aware of how much she will learn. She is looking forward to working with others and to practising her skills – and she is not embarrassed to admit she needs the outlet and the change. It’s easy to question someone’s direction and motives – until you see the world through their eyes!

Sunday August 28, 2011

Lynn’s Notes:

Women have a sixth sense when it comes to their men folk “checking out the competition”. A subtle sidelong glance will be transmitted to our waving antennae and we know that our partner has not only seen but has evaluated another female. Deny it he might, but we know it happened. Guys do this as instinctively as a hound sniffs a tree. Fortunately, wives and girlfriends are now countering this behaviour by accepting it as normal and natural, by understanding and communicating their feelings…and by doing a little ogling of their own.

Monday August 29, 2011

Lynn’s Notes:

A friend of mine in Lynn Lake was expecting at the same time as Annie was and her input was priceless. I could capture the way she walked and shuffled in slippers as her feet swelled. I watched her shape expand in all directions. She was more than happy to play a role in my research and, even though I remembered going through it myself, having another mom to talk to, made all the difference.

Tuesday August 30, 2011

Lynn’s Notes:

Once again, I sort of threw a shot at Rod. I often made remarks suggesting that he was less than supportive, when in reality he encouraged me to do what I wanted to do. I ran a small business, had my own income and made my own decisions, but I wanted Elly to be more like the person I might have been. I loaded her with some of the baggage that I might have carried and made her a bit pathetic, sometimes. Maybe it was an effort to separate her from me – or maybe there was something I was trying to hide. I don’t know, but that’s the way it was!

Wednesday August 31, 2011

Lynn’s Notes:

It was interesting to go to the Hudson’s Bay store with my friend, Jane. Everyone knew everyone else in town and we felt it was necessary to comment on the weather, folks’ health and their families. People she hardly knew would come up to her and feel her swollen tummy and I laughed when she remarked ” Why do they do that to pregnant women? Nobody goes up to a guy, grabs his nether parts and says ‘Hey, Jake! How’s the ol’ hernia??'” You’ve gotta have a sense of humor. You just do.