Life in progress

#SoCS – Shortcut of my Youth


In what was the little town of Newmarket, Ontario, where I grew up (it’s a city now, so don’t go there looking for something quaint) there is a small lake, called Fairy Lake. It really was never much more than a place where the river got wider, I realize now, but something tells me it used to be much more.

Every day, I walked to school from my house on Lundy’s Lane, up Red Deer Street to Patterson Street where both my primary and secondary schools were approximately situated. I walked that way except when I took the shortcut. You see, there is (or probably was, now) a large storm sewer under Red Deer with a teeny tiny creek running through it. I used to catch crayfish there and keep them in a bucket on the front steps of my house until they died. (I was a horrible child, looking back.) But back to the shortcut.

I can only think that storm sewer existed for when Fairy Lake flooded, because it was the only body of water around. Farther down from the storm sewer was a swamp (now has baseball fields on it) and a lock for boats that dried up long before I became a teenager. I digress yet again.

One day, I think I may have been in Grade 2, I was late for school so I took the shortcut. Something I never did at the time. I was a responsible 8 year old, after all. But this day I decided to dawdle. They had the police looking for me by the time I arrived at school with not a clue what the big deal was. Because of course, when they went to look for me on Lundy’s Lane, Red Deer, and Patterson Street, I was no where to be found.

I understand now the terror that I must have caused by stopping to pick weeds along the path behind the houses. And I suppose I must have kept my shortcut hidden from the adults, because they didn’t go there to look for me.

I’ve never told anyone this story before. There are no adults left who would remember it, nor any children of that time who I associate now with who would.

Thanks for the memories, stream of consciousness. And thank you to you, who have read my story. πŸ™‚

Google map satellite picture of my walk to school. The creek is still there.

The locks, part of what is now the Global Pet Foods Dog Park.

This post is brought to you by Stream of Consciousness Saturday. Join in, and maybe you’ll take your own trip down memory lane! It’s fun!

Author: Linda G. Hill

There's a writer in here, clawing her way out.

25 thoughts on “#SoCS – Shortcut of my Youth

  1. Love this Linda, the innocence of youth. Panic, what panic ! ? πŸ’œπŸ’œ

    Liked by 1 person

  2. One time, when I was about 8 or so, my friend and I were playing in the woods with matches. We were pretending to be homeless runaways and lit a small fire to keep us warm. Next thing you know, we hear my dad calling out through the neighborhood for us to come home for dinner. We panic, and hastily stomp out the fire, running home before he could find out we’d left our street (something we were not allowed to do, but that’s where the woods were). About an hour later, as we are driving my friend home, we pass the woods and see flames higher than the trees. Apparently, our 8 year old hastily stomping feet were not effective to enough to extinguish the fire. To this day, my dad does not know it was us who started it…and he was the freaking deputy fire chief at the time!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Getting away with stuff was fun, but we missed out having the stories to look back at. Oh well, we have the memories πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Love it. Children’s dawdling is a lost art. I remember it well but can only imagine the panic it would induce in a parent. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Great tale of the innocent wandering of youth! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hmm, did you just issue a challenge for people to find the quaint places in Newmarket?

    Sorry to hear taking the shortcut got you in trouble. I hope people were more relieved than angry when they found you.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Good that nothing bad happened. You were off in your own world.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I enjoyed the meandering. Wondering if there were fairies at Fairy Lake.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. The irony of taking a “short cut” that made you late.😏


  10. Thanks for sharing Linda fairy lake was down the street from my house walked though there all the time to walk to school when I missed the school.bus. I know the place your talking about exactly.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Thanks for sharing that! We all have little secrets like that Linda!


  12. That’s an interesting story, Linda. Thanks for sharing a piece of your past. Never mind the drowning of the crayfish…how much trouble were you in after showing up at school? I bet you never took that shortcut again.


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