Lynn's Comments: We had a small piece of property near our house in North Bay. Friends who were involved with a tree planting program gave us two dozen evergreen seedlings to plant—which we did, hoping to see at least some of them survive. All of the seedlings grew, and today, there is a forest on that land. Hard to believe I have lived long enough to see a forest grow!
Lynn's Comments: In the real world, my son was becoming interested in everything from girls to driving to life on his own. He was growing up, and it was getting harder and harder to follow "Michael's story" without including material that might be too close to home.
Lynn's Comments: In Ontario, the growing of enormous pumpkins is more than a hobby. It's an obsession. Friends who had a small hobby farm would trade, buy and sell seeds to grow the most prize-worthy "breeds." Vines would be tended with care and the competition was serious.
Lynn's Comments: When we lived in Lynn Lake, Manitoba, the growing season was so short that people would sprout vegetables in their houses, and when it was safe to do so, would transfer them to heated tents outdoors. We called these determined folks "the intense gardeners." Every year, we had a vegetable growing contest and one year, first prize went to an enormous cabbage proudly submitted by our friend, Thelma. She was soon accused of having purchased the celebrated choux in Winnipeg and smuggling it north for the fair. A loud and frenzied fight had to be broken up right there in the community centre. Yes, if there wasn't enough entertainment in the north…we made our own.
Lynn's Comments: As Elly became rounded, I became more and more preoccupied with how she looked and how she felt. I began to feel what she was feeling, and had to keep reminding myself that this was happening in the comic strip and not to me.
Lynn's Comments: I had a friend in North Bay who would take her zucchini door to door. She had so many growing in her garden that she didn't know what to do with them. It makes me smile now when I go to the grocery store and see tiny, meek little zucchinis for quite a price. I used to get huge ones for free!
Lynn's Comments: Now that I live on the West Coast, I see these images of an Ontario winter through different lenses. I miss the beauty of the autumn leaves, the warmth and the smell of a wood fire…but I sure don't miss the snow!
Lynn's Comments: Whenever a serious story was on the rise, I always had to remember there were other things going on in the Pattersons' lives. There were other characters to include. In real life, there so many facets to every day…we don't focus on just one topic. Here, Farley comes in to break up the pregnancy storyline.
Lynn's Comments: A flashback in time: I once saw my mother at a party (after a few drinks) put a green grape up her nose and ask for a Kleenex. You never know when a flash from the past will come into your head and become a comic strip. This is what cartoonists rely on: a memory bank full of crazy scenes!
Lynn's Comments: In order to be up to date, I read books on pregnancy. I became very aware of how many weeks along Elly was and how she would be feeling. If you start to think about these things, you start to feel them yourself. The idea of cravings made me want to buy stuff I didn’t ordinarily buy.
Lynn's Comments: This was done at a time when several people I knew were dealing with serious health problems. The "rainbow day" remark came from my dad. My parents lived in Hope, BC. Dad and I were coming home from visiting mom in the hospital and it was raining. Set in the Fraser River Valley, Hope is surrounded by mountains. When it rains, the slanting rays of the sun always seem to make a rainbow. Dad said, "Look, it's a rainbow day!" Since we had both been in tears, it was a lovely observation. I saved it for a later time when I could use it in the strip.
Lynn's Comments: In reality, my husband and I did talk about having a third child. Our son and daughter were growing up, I did miss "my baby," and we had room in our home and our hearts for another. The sobering truth was, we just didn’t have the time.