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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Joy (05/18/06)

TITLE: Feelings Probe Memory Lane
By Trina Courtenay


We had moved from Ontario to Alberta during spring break in the year of 1979 leaving behind my beloved maternal grandparents. Attending a new school, living in a new neighborhood and trying to make new friends at the age of seven seemed a lot like climbing to the top of the mountains we now lived by. Impossible. Until one day in early June when my parents were befriended by a neighbor down the street. I canít for the life of me remember his last name but I do remember his first name, the church he attended and what he had been able to do for me and my soon to be best friend.

His name was Mel. He was part of the Salvation Army Church and he told my mother how she could send her daughters to summer camp for free and if she knew of any other children in need he would try and help them out as well.

The week prior to meeting Mel my mother and I went around the corner to welcome a new family into our neighborhood. They had five children. The oldest was a girl about my age and she seemed as lost and shy as I was. My mother spoke to her mother and they agreed to send us both to camp seeing the need to take our minds off of the moves we both recently made.

Next thing I knew we were registered for our first summer camp. The night before we left felt the same as Christmas Eve does to a child who still believes in Santa Claus. Seconds were no longer seconds they felt as long as minutes and minutes felt like hours before dawn consumed the night sky proving to us that camp day had indeed arrived. Excitement quickly turned to anxiety as I realized I would be leaving my loved ones behind, again. Oh I knew it was only for a few days but I had yet to deal with our move across Canada and now I was faced with taking this short trip and doing so all by myself as my older sister did not want to attend. The only face I knew was that of my new friend and as such we stuck to one another like PB & J.

The events of that four day weekend have since been blurred from time and age but I will never forget how I felt almost from the very moment I stepped off of that huge purple bus. Joy swept over me in the same way the winds do crossing the open prairies. For the first time in months I felt completely happy and no longer alone for I had finally found a new friend.

Oh I never forgot about my beloved grandparents. In fact Iíve since moved back to Ontario and the night before the move I once again felt like dawn would never rise. But as the sun rose in the eastern sky showing us the direction of our new home joy rose in my heart.

Funny how memories are triggered by sights, sounds and yes how one feels during a particular occasion. For me joy will always be associated with the making of new friends and by being reunited with loved ones.

What joy Iím sure to feel when in our Heavenly Fatherís timing I am called home. Until then I hope to enjoy more occasions where this wondrous feeling fills my heart, my soul, my very being.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Sue Dent05/27/06
I love your descriptions:
The night before we left felt the same as Christmas Eve does to a child who still believes in Santa Claus . . . dawn consumed the night sky proving to us that camp day had indeed arrived.

The only thing I might could add to help would be that it seemed at times you had too many main points. I thought at first something significant would happen at the camp, then with the new friend or maybe the grandparents. I had no trouble seeing after I got to the end though. I enjoyed the sentiment this brought back to me. Christmas eve, going off to camp, best friends and Grandparents . . .good job!
Steve Uppendahl05/29/06
I agree with the comment above. You give some great description that impacts the reader. But you left a few points hanging. I would've liked to have read more about what happened at camp and when you returned. Are you still friends with the same girl? How long were in your new home? etc.