As a child, growing up post World War II in outport Newfoundland, I thought I lived in luxury. I was never hungry or cold, I needed no money, I was loved and disciplined fairly. I was excited to get hand-knit socks and mittens and my older sister’s hand-me-downs.
My first new dress came from Simpson’s catalogue when I was 14 years old. I distinctly remember that dress. It was green candy-striped, with a big flared skirt and a belt and I wore it to my first garden party that summer. When I danced the Lancers and the boys swung me round and round, I felt like a princess in a Fairy Tale. One Sunday that summer, I ruined that dress when I teased a squid and it squirted its ink all over it. I knew it had cost my mother more money than we could afford.