Meet Melda

Wondering what I have been doing lately?

Glenn and I recently moved from Ontario to my family home in Nova Scotia. Our Bobcaygeon house which had been for sale, forever, sold the day after we arrived in Nova Scotia.  Does that mean we should have move unpacked whatever necessary, but much of what we brought goes into a bedroom not yet build. That means our garage is piled high and trying to find something is an exercise in futility.

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Getting to know me.

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. My mission in life is to reach out to those struggling with mental health issues. I share my mental health story of hope and recovery with audiences everywhere.

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 the world was my oyster. He believed I could pursue any career — medicine, law, social work. Unfortunately, Mr. Perry was unaware of my painful past. I was too timid and insecure to follow through.

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.

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 managed to raise four children while suffering from undiagnosed bipolar illness.

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. As a child, I longed to take piano lessons, but my Dad didn’t think  it was worth the money, but I’m not bitter — or am I?

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.”

What book have you read most recently?

I confess. I haven’t read a book since we returned from Cuba in February 2018. I listen to a lot of CBC podcasts.

Do you have any pet peeves?

You bet. People who talk too much, people who put down others to make themselves look good, people who brush off mental illness as a sign of weakness. I guess that’s enough. I don’t want to turn it into a rant.

What food do you refuse to eat?

Mushrooms and sausages.

Do you have any BIG projects in mind?

I would like to turn my story “Are We There Yet” into a storybook, but it is a challenge to reach the right people without an agent. 

What is a skill you’d like to learn and why?

I would like to learn to knit more than a scarf. There are a couple of knitting groups to join. I am going to tag along with my cousin Verna. Is it a good idea for us to sit together? Probably not, we are a little bit mischievous.

What would you do if someone gave you a million dollars?

Hmmmmm. I already have what I need. Glenn would like a pickup truck. I could pay off my son’s student loan, my daughter’s mortgage and my grandchildren’s post-secondary schooling. On the other hand, I could eat chocolate covered almonds for the rest of my life.

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