This past summer, my oldest daughter took part in what is becoming a family tradition: she spent a week as a Time Traveler.
No, not that kind of time travel. This is a camp run through Upper Canada Village, a recreated historic village located on the banks of the St. Lawrence River in eastern Ontario. My family has made many a visit to the Village over the years. All three of my sons were Time Travelers, and now my daughters are following in their footsteps.
The camp is amazing. Very few kids in our neighborhood have had the chance to work with a tinsmith or slop pigs or help on a tow scow, but Time Travelers do that and more. They dress in period clothes, attend the village schoolhouse, work on farms or with the village shopkeepers, and learn the history of the area. They sing Temperance songs and eat vegetables from the gardens they've weeded and pose for photos taken by the folks touring the site.
The Village itself is a treat to visit, a place to step back in time and catch a glimpse of life in a bygone era. It was born out of a combination of progress and sorrow – many of the buildings were from areas flooded in the creation of the Saint Lawrence Seaway. Today, it's a bustling tourist destination, a vibrant and exciting place to visit.
And in my November Superromance, NOW YOU SEE ME, I burned it to the ground.
Oh, not in the pages of the book, and not by name. My imaginary fire that destroyed the Old Village, as I called it, took place 25 years ago. Not surprisingly, the loss of the main tourist attraction dealt a serious blow to my make-believe community of Comeback Cove. And J.T. Delaney, the local bad boy who was spotted running from the fire, became seriously persona non grata in his hometown.
But as is so often the case, there's a lot more to this story than many folks in town would want to be know. They've sat on the truth for a quarter of a century. But when J.T. comes back and starts to show an interest in Lyddie Brewster, widow of the town's sainted hero, a lot of folks aren't very happy to think that the past might be catching up to them …
Now tell me, readers - if you were able to travel through time, where and when would you choose to go?