Category Archives: Family history

March 18, 2017 – Thoughts on our trip – 3- France

Have to start by saying today was a wonderful day.  Temps in the 50’s and we took a hike in Rock Creek Park in DC and it was delightful.  Being in the woods, walking along a river, climbing hills and walking down them again.  The girls were wonderful and good sports.  We will all sleep well tonight.  The parents are out having a date night which we always try to provide for them when we come down.

So, now thoughts about France. We both enjoyed our visit to France. Going to Normandy was a good thing to do and I think we could have used one more day to see all that I wanted to see or maybe even two.  The hotel we stayed at in Bayeux was lovely and they were very helpful to us.  The one in Rouen on the other hand was not so nice and I would not send anyone else there who speaks English.  Or I would take a refresher course in French before returning there but would not stay at that hotel.  They were rude and the idea that a hotel in a tourist area only has staff that speak French is weird. No where else that we visited on this trip or others have we run into a problem where hotel staff could not assist us and just gave us the “No English” statement.  Not even the staff in the little restaurant for breakfast were helpful.

Seeing just one of the cemeteries from WWII was moving.  The men were so young and there were unmarked graves, they know the soldier was a Brit but they did not find their ID.  I imagine today they should be able to use DNA to figure out who they were.  We did not get to the Juno Beach as I wanted but that was because I was sick to my stomach that morning..  I think more time is needed to deal with and confront feelings as one visits the various sites.  By the time my Aunt Pat arrived in Mid July 1944 the troops had moved on as they were pushing back the German’s pretty quickly at that point.  Things were slower in Belgium and that is where Pat really experienced bombing and large numbers of soldiers coming in quickly from the front either to be fixed up to be sent home or to have their hands held as they died. And some went back to fight another day.

War is not something I have ever had to confront myself and even during the Viet Nam War I did not have close friends that I knew were there.. I might have found out about old classmates much later but not during the actual War.  And I do know if my brother had been drafted I would have taken him to Canada and left him there. No way would I have wanted him over there. It was a useless war and not one that brought about feelings of patriotism.  They were no direct threat to us so why were we fighting them.

But in WWII it was obvious that we needed to be there.  I had two aunts, and one uncle actually over there near or in the battle areas.  Also another Uncle worked with the US on developing treatments for those coming back with what we now call PTSD.  I found some articles he had written about this.  And on my Dad’s side he had cousins who lived in England fighting from the very beginning of the Brits being involved. And some lost their lives.  I never knew any of this but research has opened up those pages of the family history in both World Wars.

France was nice but either we needed longer or a different approach to our visit.  Maybe going their first and then up to Belgium might have helped give a clearer feeling about Pat’s travels. I will never know one way or the other now will I?




October 8, 2016 – Baseball, Dads, Sons and more

It is a gloomy, dark, rainy day. 7 A.M. felt like 4 A.M. It was so dark so I made the unilateral decision to just hunker down and sleep in. I did not really sleep but listened to a really touching story on a sports show on NPR. It was about a young boy who had died. The boy and his Dad had always gone to opening day and then lots of ball games in Miami. After his son died Dad made a decision to take his other son and go to opening day at all of the Major League parks and put some of his son’s ashes in each park.

His younger son initially was not into the baseball or the idea of the trips but the first year they went to Miami and they let them put ashes – just a tiny bit at third base. I think the other teams heard about it so when they arrived at other stadiums they were allowed to do it during the 7th inning stretch. The younger son is now into the trips they take together. They figure it will take them a few more years to get to all the parks but it is a wonderful time for them and they enjoy the games together and the time they spend away from home.

Now they are planning how they will continue to take these kinds of trips together after they cover all the parks. Somehow as I was laying there listening I thought about the movie ‘Field of Dreams”. It was all so touching about father son relationships. I remembered how Tim and Denis used to go to opening day together every year to see the Yankees. It was their special time together. I don’t remember when it started but it went on for a very long time.

It was so much better than thinking about politics and the latest nasty business about Donald Trumps life. But that helped me also think about my sons and the women they love. I believe that they love their wives so much and that they respect them. They would have learned that from their Dad. He is such a wonderful man and after all the reading I have done in the last 24 hours about slimy men I appreciate even more how loved I am. My hubby is the last man on earth I could imagine cheating. Even in the hard times his focus is always on family and my welfare. He is not perfect just so he does not get a swollen head… I could make a list of the things he does that drive me crazy just like he could do about me. BUT, the bottom line is that we have been through thick and thin and always come out stronger on the other side and together.

There are lots of good men out there and I believe the current president is a good man, husband and father. George Bush, both of them, are good men. When Bill Clinton’s behaviors came out he lost his status in my eyes. I just don’t like the idea of men or women cheating on their spouses. If you are not happy go to therapy and figure out how to fix the relationship or get out. But don’t degrade yourself or your spouse by cheating. It hurts your children and all those who love you. I know I am talking to the wind here since cheating happens all the time. But at least try to be above it.

Rudy saying we all cheat just is not true. Men in power tend to cheat. Power corrupts. But come on now. All men cheat? Rudy, at least clarify that statement – All men like me cheat.. that seems to be more accurate.

I don’t want to write about politics any more. I just want the election to be over. I cannot promise with all that will go on these next few weeks, wikileaks trying to take down Clinton, more sexual abuse claims about Trump etc will continue to pour out but I just want to hide away and just go and vote. My question to all of you is how does an internet addicted individual do that?????

I could write about hockey since it has started but will wait until tomorrow.

Charles O’Connor’s Diary –

December 1916

Dec 1 – Cold blustery day. Cleared up afternoon. The teacher started for the Bay on his way to Jones Fall to a dance.
Dec 2 – H Marshall came here to rent the place and we made a bargain as follows. He is to pay $300.00 rent and taxes if they do not go over $40.00 and anything over that I am to pay. I am to let him have the six cows and three heffers now on the place and one or two pigs and all the implements now on the place. He is to leave as many pigs on the place at the end of the year and do as much ploughing as is now done.
Dec 3 – Emily is quite sick today we are at home all day doing nothing. The teacher came back this eve. I went to Lyndhurst last eve.
Dec 4 – I drew up wood most of the day fine day. P Kelley came here on Thursday and went back this morning.
Dec 5 – I worked around the place wet most of the day. Very blustery day. J Burns here this eve.
Dec 6 – We killed turkeys and I fixed the stable floor. some colder. Snowed all the afternoon. J Bevens had the team to draw wood.
Dec 7 – Some colder this morning. I worked around the place forenoon and went to Lyndhurst afternoon to the turkey fair. I took ten turkeys up and got 30 cents per lb for them. The prices was as follows. Turkeys 28-31, chickens 18-22, Geese 16-18 ducks 18-20 and fowl 15. Leora (Leena) McNamee spent the afternoon here. Charles McDonald and Vera was here for tea. John Mc and J Bevens came in and spent the eve here. O Hall baby died this eve at 20 to ten.
Dec 8 – This is my 69th birthday and a Holyday. I spent the day around the house with Eulalia and Madeline. got a letter from Fergus and children.
Dec 9 – Worked around the place all day and went to Lyndhurst this eve. Wet day rained very hard all the forenoon and then turned to snow. I went over to O Halls at noon to the funeral. G Wight went with me. WE went to Kelseys corner with the funeral and then went to Lyndhurst. I got some things and paid for all I got. Got a pair of rubbers at Bersees(?).
Dec 10 – Wilfred Yates came here last night. WE went to Lansdowne to Mass. Scanlon went with me. Vera McDonald came back with Wilfred.
Dec 11 – I worked around all day H Marshal came out with a load of things. Madeline is working at the milk sheets.
Dec 12 – Stormy day all day did not do anything but the chores.
Dec 13 – J McDonald came out for two calves that I sold him to Slack and P flood also was here for dinner. Vera McD went home with Jack Marshall came out with his wife and family.
Dec 14 – Scanlon and I went to Lyndhurst. Marshall and I got up wood most of the day quite stormy. Miss Fry and C Ralph. P Flood and Elmer and Lena Bryan spent the eve here.
Dec 15 – I worked around the place most of the day. Marshall went to Lansdowne for something’s.
Dec 16 – Worked around the place all day nothing doing. This is a fine day. There was school today.
Dec 17 – At home all day. The Matthews boys came out for the mare they are going to work her this winter.
Dec 18 – we drew out manure all day only I went to Lyndhurst afternoon fine day. Marshall sent bill to flat rock.
Dec 19 – I helped to get out Manure forenoon and killed some chickens afternoon. I went to Lyndhurst this eve with Marshall. Madeline and the teacher spent the eve at Jacob? Bryans.
Dec 20 – I went to Gananoque took the foul in got $1.50 per pare for them I got home at six oclock. I went with the buggey.
Dec 21 – Marshall and I worked at the cow stall most of the day. Jersey cow went missing?
Dec 22 – This is a very stormey day. The teacher and Madeline went to Lyndhurst last eve. Marshall went over to his fathers today. Stayed all day. Fergus was elected mayor.
Dec 23 – Roads very bad this morning. We went to Lyndhurst drove Walter up with one of Marshall’s horses. The teacher drove Daisy there was a big crowd up there one could hardly get in one of the stores. I got 50 lbs of flour$2.45 and one bag of bran $1.60. Scanlon went home today.
Dec 24 – At home until afternoon then we started for Gananoque got there before dark and went to Midnight mass and then went to bed.
Dec 25 – We got up quite early there was a good lot of presents divided up amongst the crowd. Everyone got something. We spent the most of the day at Fergus’ but made a few calls one at Mikes and J McArdles and Tom O’Connor’s.
Dec 26 – Cold morning We started for home at 10:30 got home at 2:30 the roads was good. I got the mare shod before I started for home paid $1.40 for the work. Marshall took the pigs up to the barn.
Dec 27 – soft snow and rain this morning school meeting today there was a rough time there. All hands blamed the trustees for dis… the teacher. I got the job of getting 6 cords of wood at $2.45 per cord. P Kelsey was put in trustee.
Dec 28 – At home all day Lena McNamee called on her way
Dec 29 – Marshall went for a load of hay to Lansdowne. I worked around the place and done the chores.
Dec 30 – I cut wood Marshall helped me for an hour. J McDonald came out for Ellen and also P Flood came for her. She went home with Percy. They were both here most of the afternoon. I went to Lyndhurst this eve. G Wight went with Marshall. Me very cold 10’ below zero. I got 111/2 lbs meat from Marshall.
Dec 31 – This is the last day of 1916. Another …….. and very little change since last year. We have had a very happy year as far as our family is concerned no misfortunes or troubles worth remembering and have been blessed in many way thank god. And hope the coming year will be as happy a one as the last. This has been a very quiet day not much drive on the road. Marshall, J Beven and G Wight all called for a few minutes. We are all at home all day Ellen is in Delta. Madeline is at home side of the table and Emily on the other both reading and I am put down … from notes. It is a quarter to nine oclock. Where will us three be next year. God knows. Good by old 1916.

September 19, 2016 – Update

Been away and am really tired after the drive home today. Had a great weekend up at the school house with my niece and her family. The kids wanted to learn about their heritage on my mom’s side of the family. So, we visited the Town Hall in Gananoque where they could see the picture of their gr gr grandfather who was one of the first mayors of the town. Then I showed the the house their gr grandmother grew up in until she was nine. We walked around, had a snack, checked out the river and had dinner and then to the school house. The kids really were awed I think by it.

The next day we went to visit the grave of the kids gr gr gr gr grandparents – Daniel and Bridget O’Connor. They had never been to a cemetery before so we walked around and found other relatives. We decided not to stop at the Turkey Fair instead we went to the lake and visited with Cheryl and toured the other cottages. They are thinking of a vacation at Primus. I think they would enjoy it.

After that we toured the buildings at the Point and the kids got up on Saddle Rock. We were going to church at 5 but turns out the 5 pm service does not start for two more weeks so I showed them the graves of their gr gr gr aunts who are buried there.

Sunday they were up at the crack of dawn and packed and out the driveway by 8 am and back in VA by 5. Really enjoyed having them and hope they will come again.

Then today I drove home after finishing cleaning up. Next week we get our solar installed after our little girls birthday. Life is never dull it is.

In addition we had a conversation about the election and I learned so much about the right wing christian movement. How they manipulate people using hand picked scripture. They told me a lot that I had never thought about. It was very helpful. They are great thoughtful people and very kind and compassionate. My brother and his wife did a great job raising their daughter and she married a wonderful man. They are doing very well raising their children as well.

November 1916

November 1 – Wet morning this is a Holy day and we are trying to keep it so Eulalia here yet. Madeline is not singing and playing the piano.
November 2 – Madeline and Eulalia Wiltsie went up to Donnelleys. I drew some sand and stone. The girls got home about dusk.
November 3 – J Bevens started for Lee Valley on a hunting trip. I worked around the place ploughed some.
November 4 – I ploughed forenoon and went to Lyndhurst afternoon. Madeline and Eulalia went with me.
November 5 – At home all day. Fergus and Margaret and Maurice came out this forenoon and spent the day with us. This is a cold windy day.
November 6 – I looked for cattle most of the day worked a little while at the cellar wall. Clifford Weeks ploughed most of the day for me. Wight and wife spent the eve here. We quit the factory today.
November 7 – I went to look for the cattle and got them all together. G Leadbeater came for them at noon.. He settled up for his and J Dillon’s. He gave me $30.00 $25.00 for cattle and $5.00 for horse. I worked at the wall afternoon. Clifford ploughed part of the forenoon.
November 8 – I ploughed forenoon and went to Lyndhurst. Afternoon took Eulalia out to the crossing. Emily went to Lyndhurst with me.
Nov 9 – I ploughed forenoon. Wet afternoon. Did not do anything.
Nov 10 – I ploughed most of the day. We spent the eve at Wights. Madeline worked at the factory books and got the checks ready for patrons. The price per ton for milk was $42.58.
Nov 11 – I worked around the place forenoon and ploughed afternoon. I got parcel from Eatons went to Lyndhurst this eve.
Nov 12 – We did not go to Church today. Madeline is sick this eve was at home all day.
Nov 13 – Madeline not very well but up around. quite a lot of snow and snowing some all day. I went to look for colts but did not get them home.
Nov 14 – Cold morning. I helped to paper forenoon and Ray Larose helped me to draw in some hay out of stack. I also got up a load of wood. Lucy Bevens was married to E Griffen today. H Marshall was here.
Nov 15 – I helped to paper part of the Mrs Tim Bevins house. Called G Leadbeter got him colt and P Kelsey got his heffer out of the pasture.
Nov 16 – I worked around the place most of the day. Tom Slack came here this eve.
Nov 17 – I got ready to butcher, Jim Burns and G Larose helped me. Tom Slack here.
Nov 18 – I cut up the hog today it weighted 300 lbs. Tom went to the dance last night and started for home this afternoon. I went to Lyndhurst to meet Scanlon on his way back. I paid G Charleton $25.00 for dishes. I got some things at Webster’s paid for all I got. I also got a shovel from A Love paid $100.00 for it.
Nov 19 – Sunday – At home all day this is a very gloomy dark day. I have been at home all day. J Bevens spent the eve here.
Nov 20 – I went to Lyndhurst this morning and got a set of dishes from G Charleton. I had paid for them. Went I got home Fergus and all the family was here. N Webster brought them out in his car. This is the 40th anniversary of our marriage. We have been married forty years today. There has been a good many changes since that.
Nov 21 – I worked around the place all day fine day drew up some wood
Nov 22 – I drew some wood and worked the place all day. Leland Larose got shot in the arm.
Nov 23 – Joe Bevens came up this forenoon and fixed the cellar door. We got work this am that they had to take Leland Larose’s arm off. Wet this afternoon. Jim Burns and J Bevens spent the eve here.
Nov 24 – I went down and drew a load of wood for J Bevens forenoon and went to Lyndhurst afternoon. I paid the taxes $21.64. got some things at Websters paid for all I got.
Nov 25 – The teacher went to Seeley’s Bay last night. This is a very cold blustery day there was a big wind yesterday and last night.
Nov 26 – Cold morning. 2’ below zero. We did not go to church. We all went up to Ellen’s for dinner. H Marchal call here this am.
Nov 27 – Worked around the house all day put on all the storm doors.
Nov 28 – I worked around the place. I banked the house and fixed around the cellar door.
Nov 29 – Wet most of the day. I cut up sausage meat. Clifford ploughed ½ day. We made sausage.
Nov 30 – C Weeks ploughed port of the day. They had the team to get a load of wood. Kelly arrives.

September 15, 2016 – Thoughts on a crisp fall day

September 15, 2016 – Thoughts on a cool crispy fall day

I have not felt like sitting down and writing for a while. Just in some kind of a funk.

Got a message recently on Facebook from someone I messaged back in 2012 about a possible family connection. In the mean time I made that connection but there was no interest on the person’s side of things. So I told this person last week who was all excited about a possible connection to check it out with their elders. Have not heard back so figure it did not go well. Have learned over time you cannot force things on people but just have to wait for them to want to figure out the connections.

Then I felt very torn about being at home and wishing I were up here. Do I really want to get all involved at home again or not? I am getting use to being alone most of the time and maybe that is good or maybe not so good. If I could feel motivated to do the projects I want to do it would be better than frittering away each day. Cleaning is not that time consuming or laundry and yet I don’t get to the things I have said I would or that I want to do.

Coming back and forth might just be giving me the excuse not to accomplish anything. Only have four days so why dig holes and plant the perennials I bought in the spring. Or finish sorting the bins and take things to the Archives. Or finish painting the doors I started in July. Or cleaning out on top of the rock.

I did stop at the archives today and wish I had not had groceries that needed to go into the freezer because they have a lot I would like to look at. The box about the school house is growing and I have not been there in several years so it is all new for me. Did not even take it down and look at it. I would love to go through Lorna Warren’s boxes to see what they found of interest on her family after she died. And I heard there is a picture of my Grandfather in high school in one of the files. It is an interesting place to visit.

When I got back I unpacked groceries and then read for a bit while I ate lunch. Decided to go through some items and get them ready to show my niece and her family when they come to visit tomorrow and Saturday. I know her dad has copies of some things but then there are these items she might like to see.

I am going to meet them in Gan and show them the Town Hall and the picture of the little kid’s gr gr grandfather when he was the Mayor. And then the house their gr grandmother few up in until she was nine. And the Church she went to and if it is there the school building where she went to school starting at age 4. My grandmother was in a hurry to get them into school so she taught them to read very early and to write. She taught my mom to write right handed as she knew being a lefty would cause her problems in school. We will have an early dinner there and then come out here.

Saturday will be Turkey Fair Day which will be fun plus walking around the various places here at the Point where there are family items, Saddle Rock, the Barn, the Farm and a trip down to the water to meet Mike and Cheryl. If we are up to it we will go to Mass at St. Patricks so they can see the Stations dedicated to their gr gr gr gr grandparents. I am sure at their young ages the kids won’t grasp that but still nice for them to see a small country church. Going to take a picture of Daniel at Daniel O’Connor’s grave site. I have one of my Dan there as well. Named after a very fine man, both of them. Might also take them to the Delta Mill which is a working mill. That would be a great educational piece.

I have decided that when I don’t write my mood gets pretty darn black… Not sure why but when I write it is almost better than a good therapist. Just getting things out on paper gives me some clarity. I keep so much to myself and have my entire life that it is like an overflowing trunk. Stuff is spilling out all over where before the top was pretty well shut tight. Time to think has opened the lid and I have this desire to reach out and put an end to some of my weirdest memories or old friendships that have disappeared over the years. I am going to have to think more about this isolation and the effect it has on me. Or I am going to have to get busy and put the lid back on for a while so I can figure out somethings.

There is also politics. I wish like everything that this election would be over and done with. If the crazy guy wins I will turn to prayer to try and save my grandchildren and children. I figure with the things in his agenda we are going to sink big time. Big business will get their way, environment will go to hell and we will all bake to death in the next few years. The man cares about no one but himself and his money. Oh and his rich friends. But you and I down at the bottom of the ladder are disposable. The whole thing has contributed so much to the way I feel.

Anyway, let move on to more fun things like Charles Diary.

October 1916

Oct 1 – Madeline, the teacher and I went to Lansdowne to Mass. Tom Slack and Leo Palmer came home with us and spent the rest of the day here.
October 2 – Emily and I went to Gananoque there all night. We called on John McArdle.
Oct 3 – We spent the forenoon around town and started for home at 2 oclock got home before 5. Jim Burns gave us a pair of ducks.
Oct 4 – At home all day. Levi Williams brought out Fergus’ mare and colt was here for dinner.
Oct 5 – I drew up some stove wood forenoon. J McDonald and R Watson out to Ellens. And here most of the afternoon. Annie came
Oct 6 – I went fishing this morning got three pike. This is a fine day but looks like rain.
Oct 7 – At home all day worked up at the barn. I look the teacher part way to Seeley’s Bay. C Weeks and I divided the grain.
Oct 8 – At home all day no one here today. Very hot day. Jim Bevins called this eve.
Oct 9 – Worked around the place went back to the pasture. Rained most of the day. We had a good thanksgiving dinner. Ellen here for dinner.
Oct 10 – Did not do much today. C Weeks dug some potatoes.
Oct 11 – Madeline and I went to Lansdowne to Mass got home at noon. Then I went to Lansdowne village to the races with A Argue. Kelly here this eve.
Oct 12 – At home all day. I visited with Kelley most of the day.
Oct 13 – Wet morning and most of the day. I took Kelly to Lyndhurst on his way to Waddington. There was a big rain this afternoon.
Oct 14 – Madeline, Ellen and the teacher went to Lansdowne. Mrs Flood came here on her way to Lansdowne. ( note from Madeline – “so often he wrote Mrs Flood instead of Bridget his sister”)
Oct 15 – The teacher and I went to Lansdowne to Mass. Got home before one oclock. Miss O’Driscoll and Mr Foley was here when I got home. Scanlin went to Seeley’s Bay. J Kenney called this afternoon.
Oct 16 – I went back to see the cattle forenoon and drew up wood afternoon. Got up some for C Weeks. F McNamee and Mrs Flood called on their way to Delta. Madeline worked at the milk books.
Oct 17 – We got our milk check. I gave C Weeks his check $23.75.
Oct 18 – I ploughed forenoon. C McDonald come here for dinner and P Flood was here for tea.
Oct 19 – Ellen went home with Percy last night. I ploughed most of the day.
Oct 20 – Wet most of the day nothing doing.
Oct 21 – I ploughed most of the day. The teachers and G Wight went to the Bay last night and was out in the big storm. The teacher is sick today.
Oct 22 – At home all day no storm. No one around. Scanlen in bed most of the day.
Oct 23 – Clifford ploughed forenoon and most of the am I worked at the fences until 3 oclock and then took Scanlen out to Elgin to see the Doctor. He did not come back with me.
Oct 24 – I worked around the place forenoon and went to Lyndhurst afternoon. Emily and Madeline went with me. I got check cashed. J Burns spent the eve here. We got word that George Townsend was dead in Syracuse.
Oct 25 – I ploughed forenoon and went looking for a little bull that got out of the pasture. Big rain this eve.
Oct 26 – Ploughed most of the day and worked around the place rest of the day.
Oct 27 – I ploughed the most of the day. There was small rain I went out the crossing to meet Eulalia Wiltsy. We got home about dusk. Her and Madeline went to Seeleys Bay to a dance with Scanlan.
Oct 28 – I ploughed most of the day no stir. P Flood was here for dinner J Bevens spent the eve here. I drew a load of sand afternoon.
Oct 29 – The two girls and I went to Lansdowne to Mass. I gave $15.00 to the church debt we got home at 1:30 oclock at home the rest of the day.
Oct 30 – I ploughed forenoon and worked at the Cellar wall. J Bevins came here at noon and worked at the wall the rest of the day.
Oct 31 – We worked at the cellar until 3 oclock. J Bevens helped me. C Weeks drew a load of sand and one of stone. He had the team to go to Lyndhurst afternoon. Wight had the team to plough his garden yesterday.

August 2, 2016 – Wonderful Day

Today was a lovely day. Started out by taking a drive to Loughborough Lake to drop off some pictures and books to Kerry Sagar who I know will make good use of them. Two of the books turned out to be from her fathers mother so they should be with her and they are teachers training books which since she does that it is very appropriate. Got to see four of the kids in that family group and they have all grown up so much in a year but were as nice as ever.

From there I went to the Creamery and got scones… the best ever.. and went and bought cutlery for our family reunion this weekend and a apple for myself. Then back to the school house in a great mood.

The next pleasant surprise was a visit from some of the Doherty line. Got to meet Kevin Taylor’s family and I wished Sol and Asta had been there. They would have had fun with the girls. Got to see Meg and her son, what a cutie he is. So I was again a happy camper.

At 5 pm we headed to Gan for dinner and the theater. Had a good meal at Stonewalls? I think that is the name or maybe it is Stonewaters. Anyway, I was again happy and content with my meal. They have the best gluten free bread – It actually taste like real bread. From there we walked up to the 1000 Islands Playhouse to see “Into the Woods” It was very good. A long play and not really for younger kids.

All in all a good day. And figured out where the mice are getting into the house – they are coming down the school house wall from the area where the ceiling meets the stone wall. So I guess we have to figure out how to seal that up a little bit better. Have caught three so far and could not figure out where they were coming from since there are no droppings anywhere. They either have a way in from the roof or somehow a connection from the old chimney? who knows? Loving puzzles we will figure it out.

On to two more months of Charles Diary

March 1914

March 1 – Percy brings Ellen home. Never …. Blizzardy storm.
March 2 – no school. No mail Percy here.
March 3 – Percy still stormed in. NO school.
March 4 – Percy gets away and I go to Lyndhurst for food.
March 5 – Get word from Chas Iven that his mother Julia Hughes was dead and we are sorry. ……………………………work ….. storm,………………
March 7 – Chas McDonald and Marcella here for tea.
March 8 – Mike Slack here. Letter from Mary saying cousin Mike O’Connor was dead. (I believe this is the O’Connor’s from St. Lawrence County and was the son of Daniel O’Connors brother Michael)
March 9 – Took girls home. Roads bad.
March 10 – Stormy again.
March 11-13
March 14 – Busy all week re wood
March 15 – Madeline and I to mass. Mike and Joe here.
March 16 – Henry Donaldson came along and helped me with cutting wood.
March 17 – Nane and Mayme to here for tea.
March 18 – Warm sleighing gone. Took Ellen to Chapman.
March 19 – Emily sick in bed. Chas McD here.
March 20 – Stayed at house as Emily sick.
March 21 – Emily not much better. Cold day.
March 22 – Sunday – Mike Slack here all night.
March 23 – Stormy looked for cedar for posts.
March 24 – cut wood. Madeline goes to see Kate Bass in Lyndhurst. Emily better.
March 25 – Teacher drives Daisy to Seeleys Bay to see Dr. Kate here again.
March 26 – Warmer
March 27 – wet morn.
March 28 – 2 calves arrive. Kate is called by Dr. Belfie to go to Leadbeaters. Ernest has pneumonia. …sorry.
March 29 – Rain and snow.
March 30 – fine day.
March 31 – tapped and sap running good.

April 1914

April 1 – Call Fergus by phone re his birthday. All well there. Ernest Leadbeater very bad.
April 2 – cold and snowy.
April 3 – very cold and snow storm. Get word Aunt Ellen O’Connor is dead. Julia’s death hard on her. (Ellen O’Connor was the wife of Daniel O’Connors brother Charles who lived in Delta and after he died this family moved to Auburn NY)
April 4 – Boil sap.
April 5 – Sugared off today. The teacher enjoys it. Ernest a bit better.
April 6 – 10 – bad weather all week. This is Good Friday. Teachers father Jim comes for Jim Jr.
April 11 – Walter Slack comes from Brockville.
April 12 – Walter, Mike and Gus Slack here today.
April 13 – 16 – fish running. And we get some. Boiling sap etc. Not good season for sap.
April 17 – Fine morn more like spring. Jim Judd and lawyer visits us here for tea.
April 18 – -19 – Thunder storm. Teacher back.
April 20 – cold bad day.
April 21- Put colts out to pasture.
April 22 – 23 – Larose saws wood with his machine.
April 24 – Ellen back from Annies and stays here.
April 25 – Rainy
April 26 – wet day. Bad weather all month
April 27 – colt corn today.
April 29 – ground really flooded today.
April 30 – Get some fish today. Joe Kenney, Sue and Babies here.

July 15, 2016 – Better late than never

Yes, I wrote this two days ago but the WiFi would not let me send it. For two days it has been slow as molasses. So what will follow is from two days ago.I read it over and don’t believe any differently this evening.

First though – we went to a fabulous one man play tonight. The fellow paints a picture of the audience while he tells the story of the mystery of the death of Tom Thompson the Canadian artist who died in 1917. Some of his painting were for sale in the lobby as well. It was a great fun evening.

Then this weekend the lovely daughter and her male companion – “pretend husband’ came up. It was great seeing them. They brought the two dogs and we all got along well. The dogs adjusted quickly to this place and even stayed with me for a while.

Then we had a group of cousins some to see the school house. It was great fun. There were six young ones I believe and 13 adults I think. The kids went right to work playing school which was great to watch. They had a good visit and hopefully one day we can meet with each little group on their own to really have a good conversation.

So,that is what has been happening right here. And here is what I wrote on the 15th. Today is the 17th by the way.

July 15, 2016

Woke up to a lovely day. Still way to dry out there but if it is going to be dry at least nice days with breezes will be enjoyed. I took my neighbor Hannah for a ride this morning to introduce her to Wendy’s Farm Market, the town park and the Green Gecko. It was a fun adventure. I got more fresh blueberries and some great tasting sheep cheese.

It was also good because it took my mind off the troubles of the day. The world gets crazier every day. We don’t feel the attacks in the Middle East as much as the ones in Europe because they could be family or friends. Then I read that some of our politicians have come up with the idea that every Muslim person in the US should be asked if they follow Sharia law and if they do they need to be thrown out of the country. What does Sharia law have to do with the bombings??? Those people are not religious Muslims, they are angry, hateful people. Just like some of our right wing nut jobs who go in and shoot up movie theaters, churches etc. Are we going to ask all fundamentalist Christians if they follow the Bible to the letter and if they do send them somewhere? Where are you going to send American born and raised people? It is just plain crazy but meant to appeal to the fearful Christians out there. They don’t want anyone imposing their religious beliefs on them as they work hard to impose their version of Christianity on the rest of us.

I had an Irish Catholic gr gr grandfather who came to Canada and settled in a protestant Irish community. He was well educated and had some experience with the law so he knew how to talk to people. He befriended the various ministers who set up churches in the area and invited them to his home. He broke down the prejudices and false beliefs the early settlers had about Catholics. His family was accepted and in reading various diaries it is wonderful to see that they attended each other’s funerals in the various churches and helped each other in any way they could. I am so proud to be a descendant of this wonderful human being. He never lost his faith or left his church as others did but he was open to talking with others and being their friend. Helped to dispel others of their incorrect beliefs without imposing his religion on them.
I don’t know a lot about his other descendants other than my Grandfather and his children and grandchildren but I think if you looked at the roles of those people in the communities they lived in they were all volunteers and offered their assistance to others when they saw an opportunity and they married people of similar beliefs. I hope he would be proud of us.

When you hear about the responses of the family members of the people doing the bombings or shootings it is usually shock and sadness and shame that their child, or sibling, would do such a thing. My response would be the same if one of my children did some terrible act. Self-recrimination would be there and the question “Why” asked over and over again.

When I was in France I heard that there is a great deal of prejudice there against Arabs or other people and the country does not work to integrate them into jobs and other parts of society. The jails are full of minorities who are struggling to get by and the police are like they are here that if you get stopped it is more likely you will be arrested if you are a minority. I don’t know if that it totally true but since we live with that here I imagine it might be the way things are over there.

So how do we change that? I would love to change that thinking in the brains of some of my friends and relatives. I worry for them they are so afraid and worried about “those” people. And they fear the government. If I was afraid of the government I would move somewhere else. There are countries one could go to where someone with a decent retirement would be welcomed. And with the way things are today, you could just live in the other place part of the year and have a PO Box in the US or have your mail delivered to your children. Or take them with you and start life again elsewhere. Why stay in the US if you really believe the Government is out to get you personally? Really now, think about it!

Well it is a lovely day and hubby is returning to me this afternoon so I think it is time to sit out and read for a bit.. Sure wish it would rain all next week… we desperately need it.

Smile and hug a stranger.

June 24, 2016 – Books and the return of Charles

Oh how we love our books. My husband has a room full of books, I have plenty of books and my darling daughter has enough to open a store I believe. This week I have discovered that my son and his wife not only have a ton of books but because they went to the same college and took the same courses they have the master list of writing by white European scholars, philosopher etc. Not a bad thing to inherit!

They actually have some pretty interesting books. I have three more book shelves to pack up on my list of things to pack to help them get ready to move. Once they have moved in I may just come back in the fall and pick my 10 books to start reading over the fall and winter.

My mom and dad had a house full of books but mom was the real reader. She consumed books. I always had a library card and we would go together to the library and walk back with armloads of books for the week or two weeks we could check them out for. I did not have the volume of books my granddaughters have but also they were just not a thing you went and bought so easily. My mom was frugal so other than holiday and birthdays my access to books was either the book orders at school or the library. She saw that I got copies of my favorites so I could read them over and over again. Anne of Green Gables, Little House on the Prairie, Sleeping Beauty, Heidi, and others.

My four children always had books and over the years we collected more and more of them. The big reader though of the four of them is my daughter. She consumes books like you would not believe. She is a speed reader naturally so she can read a book ten times and still enjoy it and learn more each time. Each room in her house has book cases. She totally loves her book and I would never discourage her.

I am a slow reader unless it is a dime store novel that you open and cannot put down. But if they get boring I am also a reader from the back of the book person. If I get tired of a book half way through I will go and read the last chapter, then the one before, and the one before that one. I know it sounds crazy but that is what I do. I love to find out what happens, who gets killed off etc. Waiting does not work for me when reading certain books.

Currently I have been reading a book which is good called China Dolls by Lisa See. It is about the time before WWII in San Francisco and the how lives of young people changed when the war began and follows them through that period of time. I am finding it very fascinating. The food, the nightlife, the cultural pressures to behave in the ways of the old country. And what happens when you don’t do things the way the parents expect you to. Then I am going to try and read the book hubby just finished called “Paris”. Don’t know the author. But he really enjoyed it. It is another one about WWII.

So treasure your books and read to your children. It will develop their imaginations and bring them to places they may never be able to visit.

Charles O’Connor’s Diary 1913

Sept 1913

Sept 1 – Picked long blackberries. Fergus brought Carmel Crowley, Sykes here for tea. Carmel here for rest before her wedding.
Sept 2 -3 – Joe Bevens takes Carmel, Madeline and Emily for boat trip. Everyone loves Carmel.
Sept 4 – All of us went back to Lake then picked some berries. Carmel very happy here.
Sept 5 – Emily and I went to Nane D for tea and ……..
Sept 6 – Kate Bass back to say goodbye.
Sept 7 – Bridget and Nellie Flood here.
Sept 8 – had tea at Ellens with Floods
Sept 9 – 13 – Quiet but busy week.
Sept 14 – Madeline and I to mass. Ellen here all day and in eve. Carmel rested.
Sept 15 – cut buckwheat.
Sept 16 – Lyndhurst Fair Day. Madeline and I take Walter R and got 2 prizes on him. Guy Curtis there untidier than ever but just as cheery and friendly.
Sept 17 – Back to fair but it rains heavily.
Sept 18 – Lansdowne Fair.
Sept 19 – Nane and Mayme Donnelly take Madeline to fair.
Sept 20 – Rain all day.
Sept 21 – Ellen goes to Delta with Lena McNamee. Rainy day.
Sept 22 – 23 – Threshing
Sept 24 – Emily, Madeline and I go to Delta Fair.
Sept 25 – Fergus and Family. Lena and Ellen back here. Ellen goes home with Fergus tonight.
Sept 26 – Helped Philip K thresh.
Sept 27 – Threshing
Sept 28 – Emily and I go to Mass. Very warm.
Sept 29 – Digging potatoes. WJ Willis here in eve.
Sept 30 – Emily and I go to Sweet’s Corners.