Seven Treasures, Part 1: guest post by Carin Makuz

CARIN MAKUZ spends long hours writing short fiction. Her work appears in various literary journals in Canada and the U.K., and has been broadcast on CBC Radio and BBC Radio. She has been working on a novel for a very long time. It’s expected to be completed shortly. She can be found thinking out loud at

These are my seven treasures:


A large painting of a house in a field, purchased for $100 in the early ’80s when I was living in Edmonton and had exactly zero extra funds to splash out on art. I probably forfeited a month of groceries. When I moved to England I left it with my parents, after which it was returned with an ugly frame my dad made. Not wanting to hurt his feelings, I left it on — temporarily, I thought. Wouldn’t dream of removing it now.


Joey the stuffed panda, which I’ve had since we were both the same size. He’s scruffy and a bit wobbly and some many years ago underwent eye surgery to restore his sight with old coat buttons, but otherwise fine. He sits on a bench in my office. Still smiling after all these years.


An orange Fire King bowl, a.k.a. my childhood popcorn bowl. Can vividly recall sitting on the gold vinyl couch in the basement (I’m wearing pale blue pedal-pushers), watching Hitchcock’s The Birds, the weight of the Fire King on my lap, buttery fingers and the kernels rattling against the glass.


A print of a purple gallinule. Reminds me of the Everglades, their peace, beauty, magic. A gift from my Florida friend Judy, who lived to be 101 years old.


My dad’s 8mm and 16mm films. This was before sound so you can’t hear him shouting stand there, climb higher, move closer, walk, dance, jump, smile . . . do something for god’s sake! All you see are nervous people mouthing: is this okay? Watching them used to make me cringe, now they make me laugh, and cry in a good way. It’s all so clearly us. And it’s all okay.


A picture of Peter and me at Peggy’s Cove the year before we were married. We’re both in jeans. I’m wearing the pearls he gave me. There are lobster traps and a tiny house on a hill.


My mother’s chopping board. Older probably than me. Ancient. Eleven by six inches, half an inch thick. Faded red edges, a few nicks, two small scorch marks, and hundreds of thin incisions made by the only knife she ever owned — a cheap thing that cut terribly (and which I thought was dandy until I was introduced to a decent blade by the soon-to-be-chef-in-my-life). It might be the one item I associate most with her. Just one glance and I’m back in her kitchen, can hear the chop chop chop of dinner prep, the way the board, slightly warped, clatters against the countertop; can smell the finely cut garden thyme for soup, the garlic for potato salad, see her hands slicing peaches to be canned. How could I part with this bit of wood when it has the power to so easily take me back to all that . . .

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Carin’s guest post is Part 1 of a series. Here’s the Introduction.

What’s one of your treasures? Please share it in the Comments.


  1. Mary says:

    I follow Carin’s blog already, and wouldn’t knock it off my inbox for anything. Carin is a colourist, a cat and book lover, a vegetable gardener (and eats from her garden), a traveller, a muser, a quirky sideways analyst, a humourist … and a writer.

    And now I must google the word “gallinule” to figure out what that is. Thanks Carin.

    • carin says:

      Hi Mary!

      What kind words. Thank you! I so enjoy your comments and takes on my takes. Always a highlight. (BTW, I especially love that you call me a colourist. Tho’ I may have to google the word to bone up on any job requirements I’m not aware of…)

      Speaking of googling. Did you find gallinule? 🙂

      ‘see’ you around!

  2. Linda Sansalone says:

    Carin, I enjoyed reading your treasures. Also, thank you, as you inspired me to write a vignette of my late sister’s desk.
    I especially liked the old family movies treasure, which brought back memories of my family sitting in our living room watching those same choppy black and white films. Peggy’s Cove also brought back fond memories for I went there a few times with my family when I was a child. I still remember running from one huge rock to another jumping over the little puddles that the waves left behind.

    Thank you.

    • carin says:


      I love that you’re writing a “vignette of your sister’s desk…” Please let me know where I can read the final product, if it’s something accessible. My sister died twenty-three years ago… You have inspired me to write a vignette of ‘her’… Funny how the world works, isn’t it?

      with thanks,

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