“Kindness is the golden chain by which society is bound together”
December is the month when people give in so many ways. They give gifts to family but also many people give to those in need in various ways. Our church has a tree decorated with hearts with the name of a gift for someone served by an agency in Schenectady County, the church also head a Fair Trade sale where we could purchase Christmas gifts that will help support people in third world countries who are making items,(Lovely works of art that make great gifts.), some people give donations to their favorite charities at Christmas instead of Christmas gifts and so many other ways of sharing ourselves to help others.
It is too bad they could not get people together from various different beliefs to spend some time together in a controlled way to talk about their differences. Maybe is some right wing Christians spent some time with some left wing Christians they might stop seeing each other as the enemy. Why do we have exchange students come to high schools? To learn about a different culture and to come to appreciate how other people live. We send groups of students to fix up houses in other parts of the US. Why not pair them with students from more conservative areas of the country? If they got to be friends maybe that could decrease much of the animosity.
Wouldn’t it be nice to live in a world of peace instead of a world of war and hate. Sometimes when I hear the news I think of when I read “1984” and in that book Orwell had the citizens being controlled by news which produced fear and paranoia. Is that what our news is all about? We hear about attacks all over the world, local deaths by violence, abuse, gangs etc. and it makes some of us just want to stay in bed. Are all those things real or are they meant to produce fear and anxiety and control? Would there be a way to know if it were all real or fabricated?
This is a pretty quiet week. But the weekend will be wild. Four Santa parties, a visit from a brother and wife, and a couple of hockey games. The house is almost completely as decorated as it is going to be. I have Christmas shopping to do. Have to find a particular dress for a special little girl and a couple of books I heard the authors interviewed and I want to buy them this week. Cannot see any big adventures coming my way but you never know. Nothing wrong with a little peacefulness with no excitement.
Charles O’Connor Diary 1902 January 4th entry is very telling about how Grandfather ended up not being a farmer. Nice that they recognized how smart he was and wanted more for him than farming. Also love that they are open to taking in the Russian Pack Women and making sure the Plunkets have enough food. Also for those wondering when the Cheese Factory was built it is documented in here. Somehow I thought it was older. Spring 1902, that helps to date when that picture we have was taken and if you look at the school house the front building was not there then. The Drive Shed was in front near to the road. And in this picture are many of the people mentioned in the diary.
Jan 1 – New Year’s Day – after big dinner Fergus and MacM. Go to Donnellys and got Nane home with them. Thea, Allie, Terrence, Herb, Susie, Florence, all the Stevens so a real party and how Fergus enjoyed it. MacMeehan made it a lively time for all. Danced, sang and laughed until 1:30.
Jan 2 – Did not do much only rest up and clean up dishes and house.
Jan 3 – Emily and I go to Lyndhurst.
Jan 4 – Not feeling very good today. Guess it is because Fergus is going to teach at Cornwall. A compliment for him to get such a school but it seems far away and we miss him so much. He wanted to stay home on farm but he is not strong enough for farm life and he has a great brain – so smart so should use it. Getting his normal will give him something for his whole future even tho’ he chooses another profession.
Jan 5 – Nane Donnelly comes for day. Stays to go with Fergus. Fergus goes to Bryans to say good by.
Jan 6 – I take the boys to the station at Lansdowne. Emily, Ellen and Madeline in tears again saying goodbye to Fergus.
Jan 7 – Yesterday was council election. All reelected but W. Berry. J Slack in his place.
Jan 8 – Go to Gananoque. Ellen ………
Jan 9 – Went to Mrs. Burns wood bee. The two Russian woman pack peddlers here for night again more songs.
Jan 10 – Women off again. I helped Shook today until storm stops us.
Jan 11 – Helped Shook with logs. Emily and Madeline at Plunketts. Emily takes them cookies and pies.
Jan 12 – Church Sun but roads blocked so we cannot go.
Jan 13 – Shook helps me draw manure afternoon.
Jan 14 – Sick all day. A meeting at school re a factory. B Stringer and E. McCready got contract to build a cheese factory to be ready May 1st. They were both here for dinner. Emily glad to see Byron S. as she had taught him in school and was fond of him.
Jan 15 – am not better.
Jan 16 – Better and had Isiac P help me get out logs 2 ash and 2 pine.
Jan 17 – Byron S and McCready meet committee here to locate site for cheese factory.
Jan 18 – Warmer day. I go to Delta. Ike cuts wood for us, Ellen and himself.
Jan 19 – Ellen home and stays here.
Jan 20 – Went too Athens with Joe Brown to see Lewis re post office. Letters from Fergus and he is meeting nice people. His good friend Joe McGillis there too.
Jan 21 – Chris borrows horse to go to Delta for Dr as Deleal sick. Baby boy.
Jan 22 – Stormy day, rain and sleet.
Jan 23 – Write to Lewis and Jim Judd re school and fish inspectorship. Snow is deep and now bad crust.
Jan 24 – Drew up load. Emily, Madeline and I go to Bob Greens in eve. Very cold.
Jan 25 – Started to get timber for factory.
Jan 26 – Made our first trip to new church. Very nice. Paid for candles. Have dinner at John McDonalds. Rainy night.
Jan 27 – Drew wood for ourselves and Chris. Emily goes to see new babe.
Jan 28 – Mike Slack here for dinner. Took Ellen down to Bob Green’s. Paid Geo Palmer in full. Let Plunketts have food as they are in bad way.
Jan 29 – Cut pine logs
Jan 30 – took wood to Gananoque.
Jan 31 – cut pine. Took 2 logs to Lyndhurst and brought home lumber for Shook.