Sunday, January 8, 2023


I got a call on January 4th from my oldest brother, as we'd missed connecting over the holidays.  

When my phone rang, my husband gently cautioned that if I answered, we would probably chat for hours. I acknowledged his comment with a nod, then picked up. I went to bed when my phone died, at 2am.

Through our long-winded catchup, he asked about any old negatives I may have in my possession (pre 35mm film) of photos my mother would have taken. On a mission, the next day I went through all the boxes in my cold storage space under our front entry stairs.

Up to my home office went boxes and bags of photos and negatives, as well as a hodgepodge of items I hadn’t looked at since we moved into our current home in 2002. I did find what he was asking about. I also found a series of handwritten letters from a girlfriend that were decades old. 

Holy time warp Batman. When I began reading the letters, it's like I had been transported in a time machine. I had forgotten my college sidekick and I had stayed in touch for as long as we had. 

With none of her letters dated nor having a return address, I know I had three children and she and her husband were hoping to try for their first; my only other clue are the 43 cent stamps.

Naturally curious, I headed to the internet to see what she’d been up to. My first issue was all of her letters were signed with only her first name. Though I knew her maiden name, I couldn’t for the life of me remember her married name.

Hours and hours later, and primarily seeking out obituary notices, I managed to find her. Not her specifically, but a website where she'd appeared on the ‘sunshine list’ in Peel Region.

The next piece was I remembered I had a photo of us. (I find it amazing that I have had the photo I am sharing tucked away in a photo album since it was taken.) There were six of us that travelled from Hamilton to Kitchener for the weekend to celebrate Oktoberfest, including the festive parade. 

If my memory serves me correctly, it was the fella whose family hosted us that took our picture. And I remember her saying  in the that moment, "we have to get a picture of us together." This was it.

I am going out on a limb here but judging by the look on my face, my guess is we were having a blast by indulging in a wee bit of alkohol spirituosen and polka party fun.

That said... I would have to double check my German with Google translator to be sure!

Us celebrating Oktoberfest in Kitchener with one of her letters as the background

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