Meet Melda

Wondering what I have been doing lately?
Glenn and I have been at our Nova Scotia home since early May. Of course, I have been looking for storytelling opportunities. I visited three classes at Lockeport Elementary School. The students were great listeners and participants in my silly songs and games. I would like to visit more schools, but need to figure out how to get in the door.

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On a whim,  I contacted the Child Life Services at the IWK in Halifax. Storytelling in a hospital was a new experience for me. Several children and parents joined me in the Play Room. One little girl had an infectious……giggle. She laughed and we laughed. Something especially funny happened. At one point in my story, I mention “stinking up the family car.” As if on cue, our littlest visit tooted and pooped right up her back. That made everyone belly laugh.

I have one more storytelling event to go. I have been invited to participate in the Town of Lockeport’s Day Camp program.

Mental health is a passion of mine, because childhood trauma, an eating disorder and major depressive order have cast shadows over my entire life. I crafted my story into an engaging presentation to share with others. I scheduled my first event in June at Ragged Islands Baptist Church. A church full of people whose lives have been touched by mental illness filled the pews.

I have two more presentations scheduled in Ontario, and a third in the works.
Peterborough Lions’ Centre: Thursday, September 14th, at 7 p.m.
Lakes Community Church Bobcaygeon: Thursday, September 28th at 7 p.m.

I will conclude with 15 minute Q & A session about my experiences.

I am a wife to Glenn, a mother to Jeremy and Allison, a mother-in-law to Dana and Edward, a grandmother to Edison, Isaac, Maddie and Greta, a sister to Myers, Edsel and Francis, and aunt to many.

That reveals a tiny bit of information, but I would like to paint a larger picture of who I am by answering a wide range of questions.

What is your favourite childhood memory?
Living next door to Great-aunt Adena. Following the death of her husband, she was afraid to stay alone at night. Each evening, I ran the familiar path to her house for a sleepover. She told me an original, spell-binding bedtime story every night. In my mind, she was Lucy Maud  Montgomery and I was Anne of Green Gables.

What was your first job?
I worked at a fish processing plant feeding mackerel into a machine that chopped off their heads and tails.

What teacher in school made the most impact on you and why?
Mr. George Perry, my Grade 11 economics teacher, believed I could pursue any career. He tried to steer me into social work, law and medicine.

Why did you become a teacher?
I didn’t know what else to do. Teachers were pushing me one way and my family another. Consequently, I followed my cousin to Teachers’ College.

If you had a chance for a “do-over” in life, what would you do differently?
I would follow my heart to become an ordained minister.

How did you meet your husband?
Now that’s a story! I met him between my first and second years of Teachers’ College. I was walking along Lockeport Beach and a friend introduced us. Glenn was from Ontario and was visiting Lockeport with a good friend who had relatives in the area.

What do you feel most proud of?
My children and grandchildren are my pride and joy. My children chose wonderful spouses and have blessed us with four grandchildren…so far.

Who do you admire most?
My late mother. She suffered from undiagnosed bipolar illness until late in life.

What five words that describe you best?
Compassionate, patient, reliable, generous and honest. (Perhaps you should ask my children.)

What was your most embarrassing moment?
Just one? I upset a giant Diet Coke display in a grocery store. It looked and sounded as if a bomb had exploded.

What musical instruments do you play?
I “sort of” play the ukulele, the recorder, the piano and the autoharp.

What are your three favourite movies?
I am a hopeless romantic and watch the same movies over and over. My favourites are “Steel Magnolias,” “You’ve Got Mail” and “Sleepless in Seattle.”

How do you spend your free time?
I have been smitten by the writing bug. I feel driven to record the stories of my childhood in a tiny fishing community in southwestern Nova Scotia.

What is a skill you’d like to learn and why?
I would like to become fluent in French. I can speak enough to get by, but I would like to feel comfortable in a group setting, like at a coffee shop.