Dear Amy at 10,
My letters are getting a little later and later, but the content still means the same. It’s going to be a somewhat boring year for us… at least compared to last year. This year we get the back half of grade five and the earlier portion of grade six. Good news is that we have more friends by now, but the bad news is we also have an enemy.
Enemy is an odd term. I know I mentioned this before, but enemies in elementary school are pretty fickle things. If anything they are more of bullies than anything else… and sometimes they don’t even realize it. Maybe they will think about their actions later or maybe they won’t – but just know that it is never as bad as it seems.
You’ve learned to climb out your window; pretty impressive considering that we are on the second floor and have to use the electricity box and the fence to get down… not so impressive that we can’t find a way back up so we have to use the front door. The best part about the window is actually the storms. We love storms and rain because they remind us of what we still consider home: Lower Mainland.
We live at the end of the street where the street continues but the city stops. The only thing after that is our friend Alice’s house and a Hutterite colony farther down. It’s a few kilometers out-of-town, but I remember going to Alice’s house and developing a taste for croissants and Ovaltine. We can sit in our window and watch the storms out in the canola fields past the city limits. Thunder clouds roll through and occasionally lightening will strike down to meet the ground. Luckily there were only ever one or two fires, but it is better than the cable TV that we do not have.
Our elementary school will do this weird version of what they call a carnival, but it isn’t really related outside of name. For a few days, the second half of the school day turns into an activity of sorts. Everyone who participates has to bring a certain number of coins before it starts on the first day, and you could opt in to volunteer items to help inventory the event. Some classrooms become shops or activities, and the grade 4, 5, and 6 classes are the employees who run them.
We apply to a few of these shops and we get a “job” face painting which is kind of neat. Mom lent some face paints to the school so we get to use those, but one of our first “customers” is in an automatic wheelchair and runs into our leg. We still have a small scar, but it makes for an interesting-long story. At the end of our shift we spend most of our “earnings” “adopting” a “pet” from the stuffed animal center; everything else went towards the candy shop. Since our brother was in a lower grade, he didn’t get to participate too much so I remember buying him some candy. Kind of a strange thing for a school to do, but at least it was interesting.