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Gwen Tuinman

NOVELIST

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Rural

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.

Continue reading “The Auction Barn”

Postal Service: The History of Mail

My great-aunt and uncle delivered mail together on a rural route. My uncle drove his own car down the side of the road and my aunt rode along next to him, with the window rolled down. Mail would have been piled on the seat between them. She opened the mailboxes, placed the letters and packages inside, then flipped the red flag up.
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Feeling Nostalgic — A Rural School Experience

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September is the month when children return to the hallowed halls of education to rejoin their friends for another nine months of lessons. No matter my age, I still feel the urge for back-to-school preparations. The arrival of September brings with it a sense of urgency. It feels like a time of renewal or the beginning of a new cycle. Continue reading “Feeling Nostalgic — A Rural School Experience”

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