Category Archives: Memories

Two Personal Shrines

I’ve just come across two framed shrines that meant something to me in my younger years. One I put together, one was put together by my mom.

The first is a collection of a photo, a pen and ink drawing and some pressed flowers. I made it while I was dating an Englishman. The photo is of Jeremy as a toddler. The drawing was made between the time we met in Elgin (March 1974) and the time I visited England (June 1974). It depicts a tree on a lakeshore beside a stone circle. I’m not sure about the flowers — the one below the photo was something special from Jeremy’s father’s garden — an alpine plant of some sort. The two on the other side — one looks like a pansy and the other might be a bluebell.

The second framed shrine was given to me my my mom after they cut down my climbing apple tree. It was probably a Christmas present long after I’d moved out. I was very much attached to that tree. I named it Charlie after a neither asked if it was a Jonathan. I spent many summer days in the tree, often writing in my journal, always gathering strength. It’s no wonder I had my high school graduation photo taken with Charlie — it was truly a part of me.

Writing #7 (Freshman English assignment)

I thought for sure I’d blogged this, but cannot find it via the search.

I remember when this happened. I still have that backpack!

The teacher gave me a score of 9.5 and wrote, “Fully detailed and evocative — your theme is successful.”

Writing #7                                                           Dona Patrick

My usual routine after math on Wednesdays is to clime the stairs by the lounge, shrug off my backpack full of books, and sit on the stone ledge at the front entrance, waiting until 2:05 when I walk to the bust stop my the North Annex. The bus, usually on time, comes at 2:12. One particular Wednesday, though, I thought I'd leave at 2:00, since the driver hadn't been the regular one for the past two days and consequently the busy schedule was a bit messed up.

As I stood up, putting my right arm through the red strap of my heavy backpack and walking to the revolving door, slipping the other strap in place around my left shoulder, I noticed, through the window, that the bus was already on its way down Fleetwood Drive. In a matter of seconds it would be past the bus stop and I would have to wait a half hour for the next bus.

I pushed through the revolving door, not paying attention to the squeaking sound of the rubber around each door on the glass that usually makes me think of a window washer's squeegee. Then I ran: my shoes making a flapping sound on the cement, and my books in their bag, bouncing back and forth on my back. I  passed two well-dressed men, wondering if they thought I was being pursued. All the while I was watching the bus, which by this time had come to a halt. No one was boarding so I wondered if the bus driver perhaps saw me running. I doubted that so I speeded up my pace and reached the bus in what I thought was the nick of time. I paid my fare of one bus token, taking my books off before I collapsed in the nearest unoccupied seat, panting, waiting for the bus to leave. Ten minutes later the driver put the bus in gear and pulled away from the bus stop, back on schedule, seeming unaware of the panic his early arrival had caused.

Wedding Prep June 1985

Dean and I got married at a small church outside Elgin. Then we had a picnic reception in my parents’ back yard. Here are some of the preparations. This must have been the day before the wedding.