I grew up in the country, had my own farm in the country and now live on 8-acres on an island where working farms occupy the majority of the island acreage.
That’s my way of saying I can’t imagine living anywhere else but the country.
So while city people may not know their next-door neighbour, country people know the “next door” neighbours several concessions away.
And while city people can live mostly anonymous lives, country people have few secrets that remain hidden over decades of church socials and country fairs.
And this is an important “but”.
These stories are NOT about any single, real-life individual. My neighbours (past and present) may think they are. But they’re not.
This is a two-edged sword for me as the author.
If you the reader think you know the people involved – it’s good news and bad news.
On one hand, the story will have resonated so the reader thinks they know the people involved – this means the story is authentic and sounds true. On the other hand, the story may not be flattering and could get me into some “neighbourly difficulties.”
Having said the above – these are not about you or our friends even though there may be a grain of truth hidden in there.
People are more alike – with hopes and dreams and internal voices – than we often think, no matter where they live.
Where The Stories Take Place
I grew up in Pickering before they paved it and farmed at Oak Leaf which you might find on really old maps. I now live on an island that’s still (thankfully) mostly country.
The stories take place sometimes “in the country” and sometimes “on an island” in some unknown, somewhere.
These stories will have their own place and menu item here on the site.
The most important part is that people are all the same – and the stories I grew up with can be – and are – the same kinds of stories no matter where I lived.
Living on an island is one of the best things I’ve ever done, so I set some of the stories on one.
This is all by way of saying – none of these characters are real people.
(And let me repeat – if you think I’d write about the people I’m living with – you haven’t learned anything about living in the country.)
However, there may be a glimmer of truth in the stories themselves – not that anyone would ever consider knocking down a mailbox in the middle of the night after a party… (He says having rebuilt his mailbox more than once as the father of four country-raised children. And no Peter S., I haven’t forgotten. )
As for pie-making reputations… Well, those are universal, yet every community thinks they’re unique. And yes, winners and also-rans exist in every community. And yes, the fights about pies are real. So real…
As are the other stories…
The bottom line – these are fiction stories and if you think you recognize someone, I’ve succeeded in getting the story right.
Note they’ll be filed under “Blog”