Category Archives: Family memories

March 25, 2017 – Final Thoughts on our Trip




It was a fabulous trip and have been thinking of the highs and the lows.  So let’s see what comes out as I write my final memories.

Favorite city was Gent/Ghent. It was full of life, interesting things to see, good, delicious food and chocolates, and it was old with great opportunities to imagine what it must have been like hundreds of years ago.

Favorite people – well that has to be a split decision – the people we met in Athens were so full of life and humor and were helpful every step of the way.  I know the guys in front of the restaurants were working but they were also fun and interesting.  Aside from them trying to get us to eat our meal with them we also talked travel, politics, family and other topics.  It was a great way to start our holiday.

Second favorite people would have to be the Laughland cousins in England = all of them.  They are a lively bunch, with great humor and lots of spirit.  The little kids were all warm and friendly which says a lot about their lives. The folks I met for the first time I really enjoyed getting to know and hope I get to see them again.  All in all it was fun times.

And third but not last = Pat and Una Weir.  We have stayed in their apartment three times before I believe making this our fourth visit to them.  They are a lovely family and made us, as always, feel at home and totally welcome there.  They go out of their way for their guests and the feeling is always one of friendship and family.  So I could not talk about favorite people with out including them.

Favorite new food – I think it must be Tzatziki that we ate in Greece.  Not being a brave taster of new foods, in fact totally resistant most of the time to eating anything new, I was proud of myself for trying several Greek items.  The Tzatziki was delicious and I can see myself trying to make it and eating it again.  Oh and I have to add the alcoholic drink Advocaat, it is a creamy yellow, egg nog favoured drink that we had with whipped creme. It is Belgian and if you are there in Gent by the train station there is a little bar restaurant that serves it with a cup of coffee. It was delicious. Those two items were worth the trip.

Favorite archaeological site – Would have to be all the things we saw in Athens. The old Olympic Stadium, the ancient ruins, the Acropolis and all were spectacular.  Yes, we also saw lots of old cathedrals and buildings but I think what we saw in Athens was awesome.

Favorite historical item – In thinking back I believe the Bayeau Tapestry was extraordinary.  It was done at the time of the Battle of Hastings in 1066.  It is 70 meters long and is displayed in all its glory in its own museum.  It tells the story of the rise of William the Conqueror and the battle to maintain his kingdom.  They give you a hand held speaker to take around with you which tells you what is happening and who is shown in each part of the tapestry.  I learned a lot from the experience.  If you are near there don’t miss it.

Favorite Museum – In Dublin we went to the Viking Museum at Christ Church across from our hotel.  I had been there before and it was good and wanted to see it again.  It was equally as interesting the second time around.  Learned that those Norwegians came over looking to be farmers and needing more land to farm. I can see that with all the mountains in Norway.  At the end of the Museum you can go into the Cathedral and tour it which is also very interesting.

Another interesting museum if you can call it that was the Bell Tower in Gent.  I learned how they make those bells so that they ring in a certain tone  and believe me it is not easy or a quick job.  That was fascinating to me so I included it this list.

I don’t know if I should call this the funniest or saddest thing from the trip.  It was an observed event.  One night we were out having a drink and were going to listen to some music.  We had been in this bar before so recognized some of the regulars we had chatted with.  Everyone likes to ask about Trump and our opinions as well as give their own. Did not matter the country or the language.

One fellow there appeared to be on his way to one whale of a hangover and this woman drinking next to him was chatting him up and it was obvious she and her friend knew him.  Her friend just kept rolling her eyes.  But the one chatting with him seemed to be moving in for the kill.  He had his hand on her shoulders and then her back and eventually on her butt.  She seemed to move away a bit but then came back to him again.  I was just sitting back in my spot watching all of this dance of the frustrated lonely old people.  All of a sudden I saw this fellow move his hand the way he had before except this time he went for the Trump move.  She moved pretty quickly back away from him but my mouth was almost on the floor.  I turned to hubby who had also been watching and said something about they have Trumps over here as well who feel free to grab what they want.

Well I figured that her moving down the bar to chat with others meant this whole show was over.. ah the fools we can make of ourselves.   Nope it was not over.  After a bit she returned and was rubbing up against him and whispering things to him.  I was just starring at this point in disbelief.  Then her friend told her to put her coat on and after some more intimate moves she put it on and left.  I think if they had been in between 20 and 40 I might have just thought not a great deal of it but she was heading in my direction age wise and he was maybe my age or older. Hard to tell since the love of the drink can make you look older than you are.  Anyway not an episode I will forget any time soon.

Disappointment – We went to see the play “The Weir” in Dublin and I could not hear or understand the actors very well.  I missed so many of the humorous lines that it was kind of a waste on me. I was disappointed in that since I had been the one who suggested we go see it.

Regrets = My biggest regret is that the trip was not longer.  Several of the places we visited  had so much more to see and a couple more days would have been better.  I am sorry that it had been rainy so I did not get to climb up to Queen Maeve’s Tomb.  Meeting of the Waters had also been on my list of places I wanted to see again and we did not get there.   But I know we could not do everything with the time we had.

Hopes = to win the lottery and just go and spend a whole year or so traveling around to all the places I would like to see before I croak.  And that I don’t lose my mind and forget all of this. Too many fun memories to go and not remember them.

Gratitude for Denis for being the person he is so that the trip was our trip and we both enjoyed our time together with no work, no pressures other than getting a train or plane but the rest of the time we just took our time which made it joyful.

Cutest thing that happened – this goes along with the last paragraph – in Dublin we were walking up O’Connell Street holding hands and this woman walked towards us and we did that little dance you do when one person starts to go right and the other does the same, then you go the other way etc.  We all kind of laughed and stopped and she came up and said how pleased she was to see two people who obviously still love each other and are just enjoying being together.  So glad it showed…



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.

August 21, 2016 – Vacation with the kids

Our computer connection has been misbehaving again and it was too hot for a while to do anything so here I am on August 21st. starting again.

Last week son and his wife and kids were down at the lake so we were going back and forth quite a bit. Now the girls are with us for the week. Love it so much. This weekend daughter was with us as the girls love her to bits and she provides them with auntie love and affection which is just great. All kids need an Aunt with no kids of their own to show them unconditional love which is what they get from her. My kids got it from an aunt and uncle who don’t have kids of their own but are the best loved aunt and uncle ever.

The kids were so cute with their Aunt this weekend. We had a great chat about that in 10 years Sol would be able to drive me around when I am a really old lady and my kids won’t want to have me driving but she can bring me up to Canada with Grandpa and drive us around and won’t that be fun. Then she can go out to the water with the cousins and hang out and they can use the School House as an alternative hang out. We would be in the back and they could take over the school and use the kitchen and bathroom. Sol just giggled not really understanding but knew it had something to do with having a fun time.

This morning my little one “the Bear” decided to act like a puppy so asked to have the Aunt’s dogs leash attached to her and she was going around on all fours confusing the day lights out of the real dog who was already spooked by the wind and rain. She was hysterically funny. We all had a good laugh with her and she would crawl over and “Lick’ my knees or the tops of my feet etc. She was acting out Stella the real dog accurately.

Their Aunt left at noon and they went shopping with Grandpa after lunch and I cleaned up around the place. Used my Bissell electric broom to clean up the floors and the furniture of dog hair and everything else brought in from outside. Place is back to kid normal now. Was able to clean up after dinner and feel happy with the way it looks. The chaos at home does not bother me but up here is my haven and I like some degree of orderliness when I am here.

We played Old Maid before dinner and War after dinner. They both caught on quickly so we were able to play and have fun. Loved watching Little Bear figure out her pairs in Old Maid and being so happy when she had the winning cards in War. Not bad for a 4 year old. It rained most of the day and then we took a walk down to the stream to see if the water level has risen at all. It is higher but still several feet below where it has been every summer before this.

Now all is quiet on the western front. Son and his wife are home and sending pictures from the week. All great. It was such a nice week. We went to a race in Brockville Sunday morning. Even the 6 year old ran. She was so proud of getting her medal. Then the girls stayed over two nights so their parents could go out and have some adult vacation. I don’t remember if my parents did that for us but I figure if I only have these two grandkids and am able to I want to make sure when I visit them or they visit us that they have a chance to go out on a date night. With the hectic life of couples where they are both working and in professional jobs that require all kinds of time that any opportunity I can give them I will do it. If we lived down near them I would do either before or after school care to make it easier as well. I just feel so badly for the parents who have these kinds of schedules. It is not easy for either of them and puts stress on the relationship. I admire people like my friend Susan who moved closer to her grandkids so she can take care of them as she did not want them in day care. I don’t think I could have done that but more time would be good.

So anyway, maybe tomorrow I will write about the election events. I have been very interested in the direction things are taking. But am too tired at the moment to go into that.

March 1915

March 1 – Took Jim’s wife to Gan also cradles. Girls delighted with them.
March 2 – Stayed at Fergus overnight and this morn to Kingston with Fergus. We have dinner with Kate Bass at Mowatt. Les there too then I go to Dr. Bogart for medical check up then called at Allie Donnelly to Les’s room and to Gan. In eve go to Gan town meeting with Mayor Fergus. Men very friendly with me.
March 3 – Went to Mass, called at Mike’s. Father Kehoe and John McArdles then home.
March 4 – went up to Lee’s found him very sick. Phoned Asher Lee about his father. March 5 – went to Sims sale
March 6 – …. Kelly here for day.John M comes and Madeline goes home with him
March 8 – Sawyers here. Got all wood cut.
March 9 – John brings Madeline home. Herb here.
March 10 – Asher Lee phones so he is in Brockville. Comes by car and takes his father across ice to Charleston to St. Vincent De Paul Hospital Brockville. Herb and I help Lee get ready. Tim and wife here.
March 11 – Madeline very sick today. Warm day.
March 12 – Asher Lee here all night. Good visit.
March 13 – Asher here and all night after trip to Brockville. His father better now.
March 14 – Asher returns to Herkimer NY.
March 15 – Warm. Dusty roads
March 16 – sick again.
March 17 – take Ellen to see Sara Ann Bryan and after she returns hear SA is dead.
March 18 – All went to Tom Bryans to SA wake.
March 19 –Madeline, Emily and I go to funeral they stop to see 100 year old Sophia Berry. 100 years old, quite a visit. She tells Madeline about bears at her door and tearing clothes off line. Madeline comes home and writes a story for Star.
March 20 – Take buckets to bush. Jim and I tapped 175 trees. Fine day. Good run of sap.
March 21 – Frank and Lena Mac here.
March 22- Tim and I gathered sap.
March 23 – same.
March 24 – 25 – 26 –Sandy McD here.
March 27 – … arriving.
March 28 – Madeline and I go to Mass. Fine day. Home at 2.
March 31 – gathering sap. Roads dry.

June 22, 2016 – Belated Fathers Day Thoughts

I wrote the following on Father’s Day but could not bring myself to post it until I thought about it for a couple of days and decided to go ahead and put it out there. Considering the kinds of abuse other of my friends experienced as children this was minor and yet to me it was major. The abuse is in the eye of the beholder. Perception is everything. So here goes.

June 19, 2016

Today is Father’s Day. I struggle with this every year since I was not close to my dad. I probably loved him at some level since I know it hurt when he died suddenly at age 65. He had come up with Mom to visit us before they took their trip to Ireland and we were very excited for them. They had just celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary and I believe the trip was part of their gift to themselves. They had been taking some really nice trips in the three years that he was retired. Spain, North Africa, England etc. They enjoyed going on tours and meeting new people and seeing new places. I am sure if he had lived they would have done much more traveling as the years went on.

We had given him and my mom a weekend at a Marriage Encounter for a 40th Wedding Anniversary present. We told him he could ignore the religious parts but that we thought they would enjoy the experience since many of their children had attended and liked it. Some more than others I am sure but it really gave our relationship a boost. And after 40 years of marriage we could all use a shot in the arm.

But then he died before they could go or even take the wonderful trip to Ireland they were going on a week or so after his death. Poor Mom had to cancel everything herself. We were all in shock since it was so sudden and we all had little kids and kids in school and could not take that much time to stay with her. We all managed some time to help her but probably not enough. I think we just figured she was so self-sufficient that she would be okay. Always the quiet stoic one never asking for anything. Dad had worked in the field a few weeks every month so Mom ran the show. She attended concerts we were in, occasionally a track meet but usually it was our musical events she came to. Dad missed most of those at least I don’t remember him ever attending any of mine.

I remember being around 7 years old and getting mad at my Dad and making the decision never to be close to him. Not sure what was said but I know whatever it was I was pissed off and decided I had had enough. I figure it was something to do with the Catholic Church but you never know. It might have been something else. Around that time I would have made my first Communion and it was so weird. Sneaking out the back door of the house, putting on my pretty white dress, going to church with my Mom and seeing all the other kids there with their families all happy and proud of them. Not my family. Afterwards they all went home for parties and I went home, took off the dress and put my shorts back on and went out to play. Then for my confirmation my Dad insisted my Mom go sailing with him. She went and left me to go by myself to confirmation. I was in a roar through the entire ceremony, actually homicidal would be more appropriate. As I walked out my brother John was standing at the back of the church. He was always there for me. But it did not help that my mom was not there. I always felt cheated out of being a real family. Dad had this mad on about the church and although he did not stop my mom from raising us as Catholics he certainly did not make it easy on us.

It was not hard to be jealous of my friends and cousins. They were celebrated for going to church and it was an event when they received sacraments. Not in my house. My brother John decided that we had been raised in the equivalent of the catacombs. We had to do everything on the sly. Our religion books were hidden in the sideboard and we could only do our homework when Dad was not around. We all learned early the rules. Don’t get the man angry about this stuff.

One year we did and found out how he would behave.. We were on vacation and camping and Mom asked if she could take us to Mass at some church in a town we were passing through. So Dad pulled up and off we went into the Church. Afterwards we got back in the car and off we went thinking this was okay. NOT….. after a while – I imagine he had been brooding the entire time – he stopped the car at a bridge and told us that we had our hour so now he would have his and he was going fishing and none of us were to get out of the car while he went to his church. Yes, it is true, a big baby reaction. At age 6 or 7 this really is imbedded in my memory. It was just stupid but that was my dad. He and my Mom, I wonder if they ever talked about these things. I somehow doubt it.

So over the years I would try and find ways to get back at him. Never really worked until my brother Jim’s wedding. He and Sally were married in a beautiful ceremony in Baltimore and we were all in the wedding. We were not sure how Dad would react to having to sit through a High Mass. As usual he did not stand or sit when everyone else did. He was an observer that was all. The bros and I were keeping tabs on this behavior hoping he would not do something stupid. Well that was about it but I was pissed. At the reception I refused to dance with him. He never said a word but when I was home the next week my mom, who never said a word usually, wanted to know what that was all about – well I let her have it with double barrels. No one had ever asked me anything about how I felt in my entire life and it all poured out. I think she was in shock.. It was never spoken about again but I think from then on she knew what damage had been done.

So that is why I don’t feel good on Father’s Day. Dad and I never got to work out our differences. He never knew as far as I know how mad some of us were at him for his stupid behavior. I had been hoping that after all those years he might be willing to talk about it and get it all out on the table but no – he had to go and die… so there never was a resolution.

In the years since I have learned so much about what my dad’s life was as the child of a roving minister who was out to change the world at the expense of his children and wife. I am sure that was not easy on him and after meeting my mom’s stable family and being embraced by them in spite of his not being Catholic the stupid Bishop in Kingston tried to have the wedding called off. He called in grandfather and tried to get him to stop his daughter from marrying the son of a protestant minister. Lots of luck there bishop. My dear sweet Grandfather did not stand for that kind of intolerance so the wedding went on or they would have gone to another church to be married and just think of the scandal that would have caused! I think my Dad had some good reasons for his anger but I wish he had found another way to express it rather than to cause us such discomfort.

He was not abusive and loved my mom like crazy. They were a cute couple and I know they loved each other very much. And I know he loved us. They were good to us and made sure our kids got nice things and had loving grandparents. And we have tons of pictures because Dad could not take enough pictures of all his kids and grandkids. Life is not easy and I am sure some of my kids might feel the same way about stupid things I have done in my life. But if they told me I am sure I would ask for forgiveness but since I don’t have a clue I guess I am just like Dad. Nothing was ever said so one cannot do anything about it.

Happy Father’s Day out there.

June 16, 2016 – Ah to be where I love to be

Well now I can say that summer has started now that we are up here in the north. It is warm during the day and cool in the evenings. It is very dry here which is not something we usually see. Hubby used the weed wacker today to clean the trim up so it all looks very nice. He also came up with a great idea for getting rid of the weeds in front of the main entrance to the school house – without using chemicals.

I have to figure out what projects I am going to take on this summer. One is going to be delivering pictures of the various relatives to those in their family lines. I recently found a photo album with many pictures of my cousin’s parents when they were young up through the 40’s. and maybe some in the 50’s. I want to take some of the pictures and copy them myself onto the computer so I have a copy. But then they should not be kept here but passed on to their family members. I would like to find one person in my kid’s generation in each family who is interested in family history rather than giving it to the old folks. We shall see.

I also want to meet with someone from the local archives to figure out what they would like to hold there. It makes no sense to have them here since in an archives they will be copied and put on line and then anyone in the family who wants to come and see them can just do that. I don’t have things organized in a way that would make it easy for anyone to see them.

That sounds like a big enough summer plan for me. I also have a stack of books I want to read and people to connect with and day drives I want to take. In the fall I will have to report on whether I accomplished any of it…

It takes a few weeks to relax and get into the pace of things here. I am trying very hard to face up to that fact since in life I always run at a speed that needs to be slowed down. Struggling with hypothyroid every day makes it strange to say what I just said but it is true. I need my 10 hours of sleep but once I get moving I cannot stop, just have to build some passion for what I am trying to accomplish.

Another good project might be going and purchasing some furniture for the upstairs loft and actually set up my office up there so I can work and have the boxes up there. Something tells me this summer won’t be as long as I think since time flies when one is having a good time. Even this visit is very short since I have doctor’s appointments and a trip to DC to make and then more doctor’s appointments and shopping.

Why does life seem to be moving along so fast? As we move towards the end shouldn’t it be moving slower? Every day seeming to take forever? I find I just have too much to do and not enough time.

Enjoy every day and if it is warm where you are embrace it for the fall is not that far away.

July 1913

July 1 –Dominion Day. Madeline, Lennis Bryan and I got to Gan. Big celebration. Fergus givesgreat speech at the evening affair. Home at 11:30.
July 4 – Gray brothers here to buy sheep. 15 for old, 10 for young.
July 5 – All go to Arthur Slacks for mass then home and Mame comes for tea. Father Kehoe calls here.
July 6 – Madeline, Emily and I go to Mass. Dust and wind terrible. We are choked with it. B Harrison here for tea.
July 7 – Buy raspberries from Van Dusen. Frank, Lottie and Gerald here. Palmers at Ellen’s means Leo here.
July 8 – Young Berry died. Go to his funeral then all to Lansdowne picnic. Bad storm by eve but we have good drive home.
July 9 – Very tired so rest.
July 10 – Went with Emily to Lyndhurst.
July 11 – Picked berries, Madeline and I then heavy rain.
July 12 – heavy rain.
July 13 – Rain all day. Nane and Mame here.
July 14 – Started haying.
July 15-19 – Busy mowing, raking etc.
July 20 – Sunday = Madeline and I to mass. Rained all way home.
July 21 – 25 – Haying when not raining.
July 26 Friday – Emily and I go to Gan.
July 27 – Haying
July 28 – John and Chas McDonald. Annie, Fergus and family, Loretta and Somers. Leo here of course and Miss Daley of Toronto, daughter of Home Bank Manager.
July 29 – Drew rails for fence. Leo helped then he and Madeline go to Stevens meet Frank, Lottie and Gerald Stevens. Jim came too.
July 30 – Frank S. Leo, Madeline and I went up to Donnelly’s to a party. Frank danced every dance. Leo and Madeline have great time.
July 31 – Fergus and family here. Frank and Leo helped me put up hay so had chance to visit.

May 31, 2016 – Good bye to May, Hello June

Sitting here this evening with no running water wondering if the well went dry or the water heater blew out. Whatever I have no running water. If I were staying here tomorrow I would be having a date with a plumber but since I leave in the morning guess it will just have to wait.

Got a lot completed today. Grants all in and had a nice chat with the Feds about the grant. Might have to have a phone call about one of the applications but that is okay. Seems my score did not match theirs. Makes for a fun time. I liked a few of them but the rest I thought were too much about academics and not enough about helping people. Just my thoughts though.

Also chatted with a woman writing a book about one room School Houses. That was interesting. I was able to give her a phone number of someone who has some involvement with a one room school that she is writing about. She is not interested in ours.

The house is cleaned, beds made, floors cleaned to start the summer. So when I return I can focus on going to the archives to get things copies either for me or for them. Going to have a meeting with one of the Archivists when I get back to see about which way they want to go with all these records. I would like them to be some place where anyone can access them. If someone in the family just wants to see the old stuff or what ever. Better there in a very safe and well preserved state than with me or in an attic somewhere.

So that was my day. I should be upset about the water going off but to tell you the truth – stuff happens and it will get fixed. I have no doubt about it.

Charles O’Connor’s Diary 1913 – I have always wondered what condition the violets were in by the time they reached Nebraska. Maybe they pressed them like four leaf clovers.

May 1913

May 1 – Ascension Thursday. I help Emily pick violets and send them to Susie in Nebraska. She and Madeline always do this on Ascension but Madeline not able. Ellen and I went to Mass. Emily not well.
May 2 – 3 – Spring work.
May 4 – Hot day.
May 5 – Fergus and Uncle John McArdle here today.
May 6 – Sad to learn Etta Willis had died Arbor Day eve. J Walker and H Smith here. Latter bought colt 140.
May 7 Weds – Not very well. Dr. Young here to check on Madeline and prescribed for Emily and I.
May 8 – Went to Etta Willis funeral. I feel badly as she was a fine girl. Madeline had had a letter from her at Hobart just last week. Diabetes coma.
May 9 – Ploughed .
May 10 – Cold. Mrs Sykes and Madeline drove to Lyndhurst.
May 11 – Joe Bevins, Ford Townsend and Sykes here.
May 12 – Fergus spends day here.
May 13 – Rainy, cleared and I started gardens.
May 14 – Planted garden.
May 15 – went to Gan
May 16 – Mrs Kelsey’s mother Mrs. Taylor died at Kelseys and we went to wake this eve.
May 17 – Emily, Ellen, Madeline and I went to Mrs Taylors funeral.
May 18 – Sunday – Quiet Day.
May 19 – Madeline and I went to Donnelly’s for heifers.
May 20 – Fergus, Frank and family arrived in his car, big grey one.
May 21 – ….
May 22 – Rainy went fishing.
May 23 – 24 – Madeline and I went to Elgin to meet Dr. Ackland and on to Jones Falls. I broke new buggy but got it fixed all right. Good visit with Kenny’s.
May 25 – Emily, Madeline and I to Mass. Dinner at Mrs Patience. Albert Tye’s wife dies.
May 26 – 27 – went to Mrs Tye’s funeral. Wet.
May 28 – big rain
May 29 – Meet Fergus at Dump Bridge with Madeline who goes home with him as she has to go to Kingston to see Dr. O’Connor as her eyes are “doubling”
May 30 – Tried to plough. Too wet.

May 11, 2016 – More One Room School House Stories

I will get to the one room school house in a minute. What a day! I was working my butt off trying to finish reviewing these eight grants for the Feds when I got an email – due date has been extended… deep breath of relief. So that give me more time to read the book I am working on etc.

Then I got another email that I have been accepted to review another group of grants starting this friday until the end of the month. Oh well so much for the break. Will have to go home so I can print things out so I can read them and especially the instructions since this grant is new to me.

And then the good news that my sweetie has been asked to introduce the student speaker at graduation. What a lovely honor. I am so pleased for him. He will get to meet the Governor of the state next door and have a meal with all the various honorees and speakers. Very nice honor for him. He deserves it since he is really a nice guy.

Memory Turns the Dial by Madeline O’Connor –

Dear Grand Aunt Madeline was my grandfathers sister and grew up out here at Long Point. She never married and became quite the writer and correspondent with people she met along the way. Thanks to her we have so many pieces of family history. All you younger folks probably don’t see the value in that now but some day you will.

This little piece is called “Changes in 50 Years”

Such memories caused one to realize the change in 50 years and one wonders if the next 50 will equal the past and if our present remedies, which we consider so wonderful, will be considered as ridiculous as the “fetty bags” of those long ago days.

If any child got sick or hurt, the teacher sent the pupil over to my Mother. During many wintry and blizzardy storms, Mother would make up beds on the second floor for five to nine children, who would not be able to get home through the drifts (no snow plows in those days).

In early summer, when our four beds of Peonies were in bloom, each child would be given one large bloom to take home, as few flowers were grown in their yards.

The school yard had many rocks; some large, some small, some rough and some very smooth–thus it was an ideal yard for playing hide and seek, while the low slanting roof made an ideal place for the ball game of “ante over.”
Other games were “London Bridge is Falling Down”, Blind Man’s Bluff etc. How dull the present day pupils would find them compared to the “sport” games of today. Also we had a bear cave for gymnastics. Behind the school yard across a flat strip of ground, there was quite a hill edged by a thick piece of wooded land and years before, bears had a comfortable home on the hillside.

Such fun they must have had playing in the woods. My mom always told us about the bear cave and took me once to show it to me. I plan to clear out that part of the yard this summer to make it more accessible for play. Right now it is filled with old garbage from the former renters. That is another story..
More tomorrow.