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Gwen Tuinman

NOVELIST

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introspection

The Auction Barn

Last fall, my husband and I moved to a rural one-acre property in Ontario’s Kawartha Lakes region. Farmers fields surround us and from every direction we see where the earth and sky meet. At night, stars are visible in the natural darkness and howling coyotes often lull us to sleep.

We also found unexpected pleasure in a local auction barn nestled on a nearby sideroad. About once a month, a blend of antique and contemporary pieces is auctioned off. Visiting there is a writer’s field trip. I’m always on the lookout for artifacts I might incorporate into my novels or short stories. We’ve seen Model-T Fords, Persian rugs, rustic cross-country skis, 200-yr-old furnishings, dishware, and collectibles.

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A Woman Looking Through a Window

Wouldn’t it be interesting if instead of writing our signatures, we were called upon to “sign” our names with a simple drawing of our choice? An image that represents us more accurately than an assemblance of letters? I know exactly what my drawing would be. A woman looking through a window.

In my mind, I carry so many snapshots, from over the years, of me looking through windows.

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Cherished

My great-grandmother Essie always wore an apron, the full-bib type that buttoned together in the back. Hers were made of lightweight cotton printed with floral patterns and trimmed with piping that matched. Even as a small child, I felt the love and warmth and story inside her tilting house. Although mindful and very much living in the now, part of me lingers in that time so vivid in my mind.

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