Tuesday, March 24, 2015


I was born and grew up in the Maritime provinces of Canada. My mother was raised in New Brunswick, on a farm not far from Moncton. We used to visit relatives in Moncton once or twice a year, so I got to know some of my aunts, uncles and cousins over the years. However, I don't remember them discussing their memories of growing up on the homestead farm, and I certainly don't remember visiting there until the summer I was 12. 

That year, we made the hot drive to the rural area to see the land the farmhouse stood on. The property was still "in the family", although now overgrown with weeds amongst the tall grasses, unpruned fruit trees gone wild, and a rusty pump locating where the well was. The car was parked, and we all piled out, walking toward the small house where my mother and her siblings had lived until becoming adults. I distinctly remember the shock I felt when I stepped over the doorsill and  into the front room.

The house was as if the family stood up from their activities and walked out the front door for a stroll, never to return. Furniture remained behind - now the resting place of mice, not men. Paper was littered on the floor. Dishes were still on the table in the kitchen! Everywhere there were signs of decay and neglect - broken windows, cobwebs, thick layers of dust - and everywhere there were still things! Things once used by a vibrant and noisy family in their everyday lives. Things left behind, as though the family was going to return soon to pick up where they had just left off...

I remember that day so well! As a child, I was so puzzled as to what happened. Why had the people living there - my relatives - just left everything, and especially the dishes on the table? What had happened? No one was able to answer my questions that day...or perhaps they chose not to reveal the reasons to an inquisitive child. No one has since been able to tell me why. And to this day, that mystery seems to "bother" me.  

Seeing this video, A Most Peculiar Trip: Searching for Miss Peregrine, has brought all those memories flooding back. I find myself trying to create a story to explain what happened to these people, what sudden and catastrophic event must surely have taken place to cause them to desert their homes and leave everything behind. It is indeed a mystery...one that now know that I share with others. Have any of you ever experienced something similar?

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