On Sunday morning, June 17, I powered open the sunroof of my vintage 1997 Prelude, slipped Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 in A major, Op. 92, into the CD player, and embarked upon my return journey to Saskatchewan.

I was as excited as a little girl who, decades ago, was seated in the backseat of my grandfather’s automobile on my way from Manitoba to spend the next two weeks in Melville. It was my turn after waiting an entire year to experience the joy of being pampered by my loving grandparents, and to this day those summer vacations remain one of my fondest memories.

As on my previous trip, just as I had crossed the border I encountered a storm. This time the vast Saskatchewan sky suddenly became alive and released a deluge, which required me to quickly close the sunroof and pull over to the side of the road to wait until visibility returned. Lost in waves of water, I realized that I was experiencing ambivalence about returning to Melville.

I eagerly anticipated being hosted by both the Yorkton and Melville Public Libraries for a reading and signing; then I excitedly planned to drive down 3rd Avenue East, the address of my grandparents’ previous home. Still, I decided I would be remiss if I did not provide the Gift Shop of the Melville Heritage Museum with copies of Arriving to sell. This beautiful building had been constructed in collegiate gothic style of buff-coloured brick as the Luther Academy in 1913, and it operated in that capacity until 1926.

However, before being restored to its original interior design and opened as the Heritage Museum in 1983, for many years it had been the St. Paul Lutheran Old Folks Home. With considerable hesitation, I climbed the flight of stairs, remembering that here’s where I had seen my grandmother for the last time.

I believe every honest author writes about what they know, and I definitely drew on my childhood experiences. As I began writing my Understanding Ursula trilogy, I often dreamt about visiting with my grandmother in her home… until my dreams started to take a haunting turn. They were so moving that, when I awakened, I vividly recalled how I had bargained with her to wait for me to return.

Although I no longer experience these frequent dreams about my grandmother, and I do miss them, I consider it poignantly symbolic that my last available copy of the first print run of Arriving: 1909–1919, written in memory of Rudolph and Mary Gares, was purchased in Melville, Saskatchewan.


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    • Penny

    • 12 years ago

    Beautiful Corrine

    I can understand how you would feel making that journey but it is so fitting. How great, and, how appropriate that the last copy will have it’s home in Melville; your grandparents I’m sure are looking down on you with much love and pride.


    1. Thank you, Penny. My visits to Saskatchewan are always full of warm memories. I was very happy to have sold the last copy in Melville, it made the experience that much more special!

    • Maxine

    • 12 years ago

    I met you at the St Albert market in July and I had mentioned I was from Sask., and ancestors were Lutheran, German settlers in Saskatchewan, Melville area, but I never would have dreamt your book would we so close to the memories of my grandparents lives, and the stories similar to theirs, its amazing. It took me back to my childhood and a little further back to understand what my great grandparents went through. You had mentioned to me not to read the book at night as I wouldn’t be able to put it down and not get any sleep. You were right!!! I absolutely loved the book, my kind of reading and am excited for Sept 30. Thank you for this great book, it warmed my heart in many ways!

    1. Maxine, thank you so much for your kind words. I am so happy that you enjoyed the book, and though I am sorry that it kept you from sleeping, I did warn you! 🙂 I hope that you enjoy the second as much as the first. Thank you for your support!

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