about Lynn

My beginnings were simple. That was a luxury. The raw beauty of Markdale was my cathedral. My father the dairy farmer, my mother the nurse who retired when she was married, my three brothers and me went for walks together. We ran in the fields and fished in the river. The larger family of aunts, uncles, cousins and Grandma met at Irish Lake for Sunday afternoon picnics. U.S.S.#18, Barrhead was our school of 20 or so children, one teacher for all of us. I lay on the ground and watched the clouds, played baseball and swung on swings nearly as high as two of our fathers, aiming to be level with the top. Centre Grey District High School in Markdale was the size of my public school times 10; with classmates I knew or at least knew their parents. The community of expectations was strong. In a time of adolescent angst, I battled physics and devoured English. I sang in the church choir, babysat children, attended youth groups and Canadian Girls in Training. Attending Toronto Teachers' College introduced me to the complex environment of city life. I spent an extra year there to attain my Primary Specialist Certificate and began teaching in Scarborough.

Upon marriage I moved to Hamilton Ontario and taught for 4 years before my children were born. Throughout the next years, our family moved to Burlington, Ontario, Calgary Alberta, and Richmond, British Columbia. In order to maintain some additional income I cared for children in our home under the Community Health umbrella, worked as a teaching assistant and as a daycare worker. A further move to Mississauga Ontario with our children now in school full time, I took courses towards a degree and English as a Second Language specialist and worked as a supply teacher. Attaining full time employment as an ESL teacher with the Peel Board of Education introduced me to new Canadian families helping with language and navigating the often-peculiar world of school politics. As the model of ESL coverage changed with shifting political focuses, I taught in primary classrooms until retirement from teaching.

Throughout the years of early marriage and a growing family, the natural world was our playground. We backpacked and camped, canoed and skied Provincial Parks in Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia. In these settings I learned to release the tension of work. Upon return to Ontario, my husband Ron and I purchased land just outside of Markdale, the community where we both grew up. In 1996 we built a home and we came home. Back to the river filled with trout and the sky so wide I could lie on the grass and watch the clouds.

Writing underscored every part of my life from the beginning. I enjoyed writing in school and felt some of my best writing was report cards that allowed me to express the essence of a child that did not fit into the blocks of A's and B's. Retirement from teaching opened my life to writing full time. I wrote poetry, essays of concerns and memories. Fascinated with ordinary people who lived extraordinary lives, I interviewed and wrote their stories. I sat in nature and wrote about what I saw and felt. Articles, stories and poems were published in The Mosaic, Women's Concerns, The Markdale Standard, and The Owen Sound Sun Times. I self-published three books, A Firm Foundation, A Mother's Letters and Wild Clematis. In 2007, the trip of my lifetime took me to China to walk the trails and ride the waters my maternal grandparents experienced as missionaries in the early years of the last century. Genealogical Research into my grandmother's life resulted in Agnes Annis: Mother and Missionary, published by Brucedale Press in 2011. A member of Grey Bruce Writers, I continue to explore the simplicity of the natural world. Each day is surprising. Each moment is a blessing.