Recalling the Past » Kathleen’s Diary
By Josie Furlong
I never realized how difficult it was to put your thoughts down on paper until right now. It’s one thing to think about them in your head, but when you try to write them down, everything becomes complicated. We were told to write what we like about Blackville and what our lives our like. My teacher told me that someday people might want to know how people of my generation manage to survive and what we do for fun. I can’t imagine anyone from the future wanting to read a boring entry from a teenager, but if I get a good grade, I might as well. I don’t even know where to start. My teacher told me to start from the beginning, but I don’t remember being born so I guess I will start from this morning.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Everyone eats together at the table, where we share stories and talk about what our plans for the day are. This morning, I missed breakfast. It was my fault because my mother woke me. I knew the consequences of not getting up; not eating. Everyone eats as a family, if you miss breakfast, dinner or supper, you don’t eat, no excuses. I remember one time my brother didn’t eat for a whole day; it was when I was 9 and he was 13. He was a bad kid growing up and when he became a teenager all he wanted to do was run around with his friends and act crazy. He had chores to do, that wouldn’t get done, homework to do that wouldn’t get done and church to go to but wouldn’t.
It’s a sin not to go to church on Sunday. My brother knew that; everyone knows that, but it’s not as if church is boring, it is actually quite interesting. The church is in the center of the village and is also in the center of our everyday routines. It is the place where everyone can gather and be together as one. I personally, even now at my age of 15, enjoy spending my Sunday’s at the church. It’s great to be involved with people from my community. We are having a Christmas program tomorrow night because it is Christmas Eve. I help the Sunday school teacher take care of the children and teach them so I know how excited they are about tomorrow night.
I’m still not sure if I’m doing this whole “journal entry” thing right. I don’t know if people are going to want to know about me, or the place I live, because the place I live is notably more exciting than me. I have a smaller family than most people in Blackville do. Most families have 10-12 children or more, but my mom only had 8. We spend most of our days doing chores and/or outside. My brothers help my father in the fields while my sister and I help my mother with tasks such as washing dishes and clothes, cleaning the house or going to the store to buy supplies. Even through all this work we still have time for relaxing and having fun. My youngest brother is 10 and he adores creating sculptures out of leftover wood and pieces of rock. Whenever he has spare time that is what he will do, then, when he is sure his sculptures are perfect he will set them up and show us. My closest brother, who is 2 years older than me, plays the guitar and writes music. He is our source of entertainment and he always makes up an interesting song to brighten a dark day.
The people who live in Blackville are extremely respectable and incredibly interesting. EVERYONE is willing to give a helping hand. I remember, during the summer that just passed, my neighbor was building a new barn because his burnt down. My father offered to help him even thought he was exceedingly busy. I remember seeing buggy after buggy drive up to his house day after day to help him build his barn. People from all across the village were involved. That’s what we do, we help out and we love it. Everyone in Blackville gets along really well, and that’s why our neighbors are like part of our family. Simon Bean’s closed in skating rink is a very popular place to be. Our fathers form hockey teams and everyone goes to watch. Then, sometimes as a treat, we form a teenage team and pay against the parents. There is always something to do here. If we aren’t doing chores we are at school, if we aren’t at school we are having fun. It’s a great place to live – a great way to live, and I wouldn’t change it for anything.
Emily had been extremely infuriated when she found out she had to help her grandmother clean her attic. Emily’s thoughts were that she is a teenager and didn’t think it was fair to be stuck inside doing housework on such a nice day. Come to think of it, she didn’t think it was fair for her to be doing chores on any given day. However, finding this old diary changed her point of view on a lot of different things. Emily had asked her grandmother about the diary and she explained that when her grandmother was 14, her 18 year old sister, Kathleen, had died. The diary Emily had found was Kathleen’s. Emily had just turned 16 and couldn’t have been more excited to read Kathleen’s diary. She felt like maybe she would be able to relate to the events that were taking place in Kathleen’s life, and in a way, she could. Some of the points said about Blackville are still true to this day. Emily filled a cup of coffee and made her way back up to her room. She couldn’t wait to read all about Kathleen’s life.