There were other M places: Montreal, Michigan and Musquodoboit – all of which I’m writing about under other letters, so for M I’ve chosen the Miramichi, or Miramichi City as it’s now called.
I lived there in my last year of high school, when I was 17 and again for a couple of years before moving to Alberta. I lived with my parents in Loggieville, a small village just outside Chatham, which has now been amalgamated with all the other towns and villages in the area to form Miramichi City.
We lived in the United Church Manse – an enormous house, on an equally enormous property. Dad planted a big garden, and had to spend hours mowing the lawn. I had a large bedroom, plus a huge room at the back of the house that was my creative den. I used to sit there and draw houses with my geometry set. I wanted to build houses that blended into the surrounding nature. That was my dream in my last year of high school. Architecture or Ryerson Polytechnical School to study Mass Media and Communications.
While living in Loggieville, I went to James M. Hill Memorial School in Chatham, and although we arrived in October and I had to start school a month late, I do remember it as a fun year. Was active in the drama club and nominated for Best Supporting Actress in the provincial drama competition, and did my first radio broadcast with the radio club.
Because I was an out-of-towner I naturally gravitated to hanging out with the Army Brats who lived at Chatham Air Force Base and am still in touch with many of those people through Facebook. I’m sorry to say, many remember me better than I do them: there were so many of them, and only 1 of me, so I really appreciate that we have reconnected via Facebook. They hold Miramichi reunions, and always invite me. It’s great to be considered one of the gang when I lived there such a short while!
Over the years, I’ve reconnected with different friends from the Miramichi. I crossed paths with one such friend in Red Deer, and also, Victoria. In fact, for a while she stored a suitcase filled with my childhood mementos and poetry. I remember giving it to her and knowing that she would safeguard it. And of course she did, and then one day I picked it up and there it all was, just as I’d left it.
When I first moved to Ottawa, I stayed with a Miramicher and slept on her couch till I found my own place.
Then years later, in Montreal I hooked up with yet another Miramicher, and when I left Montreal for Budapest, he took over my flat.
It’s wonderful to reconnect with people all those years later. It’s wonderful how our paths cross at different junctures in our life. A little piece of my home is in each of them, and that makes each of them very precious indeed.