Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Trip to Fairyland

In 1947 my dad went to Kelowna for a holiday to see his family siblings. He took me along for company. My dad's brother and sister lived in the Okanogan with their families and his younger brother had just arrived there after a long period as a prisoner of war. When I say " took me along for company", I use the word advisedly since when my dad broke free of his responsibilities, then, he became a free spirit.I don't remember seeing him much during the week long holiday! Bonding wasn't in! No matter! I had acquired the company of my cousin, Joyce and her friend, Linda. Kelowna in those days was like a fairyland to a boy from the bald prairie. Both of the girls I was chumming with for that week seemed like princesses! And they liked me, wonder of wonders! I had no real time communion experience with girls before. They both had boyfriends but they set them aside for the week to devote their time to me,an object of interest. The three of us were sitting in my cousin's back yard ,a fairyland of lawn and flowers and a small clear stream. Our conversation was innocent and intimate. My aunt was busy hanging clothes on the clothes line. "Jim",she said ,in loud and ringing tones, "You didn't bring enough clothes. I'm hanging up your underpants that I washed and you only have this old yellow sweater as well." I could see the underpants swinging down the line with my only sweater,designated as old, and could envision my newly found princesses with horror that I,a boy, would have somewhat worn underpants. The humiliation was intense. It's easy to be humiliated at 13 years of age. They however, didn't miss a beat. I don't think they even noticed! It was one of my best holidays ever. It was a year when I realized my "anima" for the first time, and came to appreciate the gifts of girls.

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