2017—Remember the fuss about the new century ,well, here we are , 17years later .with the world just about the same.
As I look back on 2016 its hard for me to remember things in sequence so this is a hodge podge of my year.
In February I had the pleasure of a visit from Susie and Scotty–my bathroom was renovated and many little jobs done, thanks to them. As I turned 85 in Feb. we had a party and it was a grand evening with family and friends. Susie made lasagna which was a hit with everyone. I remember I wanted a chocolate cake with white icing, but don’t remember if that is what I had or not. ( I must have pressed a wrong button to get this italics and don’t know how to fix it ).
I went to Kapuskasing with Susie, staying with Dinah and Richard for a night first. Along with Sybil they are excellent hosts and always enjoy seeing them. In Kap I spent lots of time with Maureen and my great grand daughter, Abbey who is beautiful and sweet. She doesn’t talk but could say NO WAY quite plainly. Lois & Gary met me in North Bay to take me home, while there I got to spend a few hours with a Florida friend.
As I had planned to move I spent some time looking for an apartment. first in Kitchener and then in Burlington. Gregory phoned to say that if he sold his house he may want to come and stay with me as I had mentioned it after Tom died. When he had a sale I started to clean out to make room for them as they were to move while I was in Gaspe for the summer. Well, unfortunately, the sale did not go through, I am still alone and still looking for things I had “put away”.
ON June 3rd Lois, Gary & I headed out for Gaspe. Gary drove my OLD car and Lois and I went in the van. It was different arriving to a place that had not been “opened” . Eric had very nicely got the water running so that was okay and we soon had things put where they belonged and Gary & Lois started their gardening. They planted seeds and got the tomatoes placed (these had a good start in Kitchener) and also a bag of soil with potatoes planted in it. Glad to say that the garden grew into a jungle, tomatoes produced much fruit and I got 62 potatoes from the bag. We had several good meals from the produce we produced ourselves.
Elsie and son Rick were with us for a week, then I was alone for two. This was very different as had never been alone in Gaspe before . But I locked the doors and braced them with a chair !! The first night I heard a crash and wood splintering and was sure some one had broken in, or tried to. Bravely I jumped (well not exactly jumped!) out of bed and went out in the living room saying, “What is going on here?”. I did not have a plan beyond the words I was brave enough to utter, but thankfully there was no answer and no one around either in or outside the house. It took some time but finally discovered what had made the noise. A large and heavy Bar Light, that Freddie had brought from Germany, had pulled out screws holding it (hence the splintering sound) and fallen .It had landed on the shelf so I just left it there until Freddie came to put it back on the wall, this time using longer screws.
Freddie and Judy came the end of June for a week and we had a very pleasant visit. My brother, Francis came also and was with us for awhile. Gregory and Mariette came earlier than expected as her sister was very sick. So once again our cottage (I still call it the store) began to fill up. Because Greg and Mariette came earlier they were put in Susie’s room first, then Susie and Scotty arrived so Fred’s bedroom was utilized by Greg and Mariette. But not for long, as Fred and Judy arrived. By that time Francis had evacuated the Guest bedroom, so once again Greg and Mariette were no the move ! Gerry and Shoko had been promised the guest bedroom so only one other place remained for my poor soon and his non-complaining wife—–the storeage area !! One advantage it has,its near the bathroom ! So , one more move, a single bed and a mattress on the floor and there they stayed until they went home. It turned out to be quite cosy after Greg hung a rod and put two shower curtains up. With Mariette visiting I knew I would have the pleasure of many card games , Francis was still there so he enjoyed them too and we had several fun evenings of cards.
For one week in August I had all my children (and spouses) together. Although Lois and Gary did not stay with us they came often to visit. We had Christmas in August and even my two scrooges enjoyed it! or so they said !
Susie had to return to Timmins for more tests on her thyroid ( the reason she was so late coming to Gaspe in the first place). but they came back for the family gettogether as did Fred & Judy.
Being in Gaspe is always a pleasure.We had lots of drop in visitors, happy hours and dinners for family and friends.As I was the first one there I nominated myself chief cook ,there were not too many objecters and I had a ball as love to cook for a crowd.Of course I had lots of help most of the time which was nice. I made bread several times as everyone enjoys home made bread. I tried to give some away but Susie was afraid there was not going to be enough for us, but I made enough to go around and all were happy.It was as if we had gone back to the 1970’s when I was “home” doing what I enjoyed the most with all my kids around.
As my good friends, Berton & Doda were celebrating their 65th wedding anniversary I invited them for a dinner. Just before we were ready to sit down to eat, we heard an explosion and the casserole , in the oven , had exploded. I had put a cold dish into a hot oven , never dreaming it would explode, but explode it did, and I was left with nothing to feed 10 people. Dixie Lee Chicken to the rescue. I remembered later that I had bologna in the fridge which any good Gaspesian would have gladly eaten but all was well with the bought meal and it was a pleasant evening with old friends.
Johnny & Aggie Mullin visited with us for a week as Johnny had come to drive me back to Burlington.On the way back we stopped at Lynn & Sue’s for a night. Such charming hosts I always enjoy seeing them. Ryan and Vero brought little Sierra to see her greatgrand mother . I was so pleased to see her and she is a sweetheart.
Alas ! My sojourn in Paradise had to come to an end so on Sept 11th I arrived back to my house. Lois & Gary had been kind enough to open it up for me which was a pleasant surprise and much nicer than an empty house. Weather had played havoc with my lawn, a fence had to be removed because it was rotting and there was a side walk on my property, so some changes to the landscape.
Am beginning to get used to my life alone, but an apartment is beckoning so who knows what 2017 has in store. As long as I can live alone without too much assistance life will be good.
Susie had good news about her thyroid; Lois’ condition remains stable; Greg seems fine after his heart attack; Fred & Gerry don’t complain and for a mother when her children are okay, then so is she !
Happy New Year everyone, Good Health to all. May the wind be always at your back.
One year has passed since Tom died, what a topsy-turvy year it has been.
Tom and I lived a very structured life with a routine we stuck to day after day. Until I met Tom my life was not well organized but after 24 years I got very used to routine. All that flew out the window the minute Tom left me, and I am having a hard time adjusting.
In this year I have travelled from Burlington to The Pas; Winnipeg; home through the US; Dartmouth; Gaspe, back to Burlington; Kitchener; Sarnia and Kapuskasing, then home to Burlington.
Living alone is something very unfamiliar to me. Our home in Gaspe was always full (or so it seemed to me), then for a while there was just Gerry & I. After Gerry left I married Tom so life alone is quite a shock to my system. Still not liking it but am getting more used to it. To look on the bright side, being able to do whatever, however and whenever I want is a bonus.
Many good things have happened or going to happen——-
Greg & Mariette may come and spend sometime with me which is something to look forward to; Scotty & Susie have made two visits,, painting and papering and doing general repairs; Lois & Gary decorated my house with many lights for the Christmas season and are near by if I need them; Fred & Judy are going to be with me in Gaspe for a week to keep my company; Gerry calls at least once every week and always nice to hear his voice. Having all those children is paying off in dividends !! My step-sons are great too which is a bonus. Spending three months in Gaspe was fantastic and hope to continue doing it in the future. Neighbours are friendly and helpful also great to have my brother and his family in the same city.
I feel Tom’s spirit is still here—-no, I am NOT crazy , its not scary, so he can stay as long as he wants! Life goes on and with help I will survive , eventually settling into a routine I can live with.
Thanks to everyone who has been so kind in this past year.
After travelling for 5 months I am finally back in Burlington, time to settle down to sort out my life. In that time I have travelled to Kapuskasing, The Pas, Winnipeg, Dartmouth and Gaspe.
The time spent in Gaspe was fantastic. I can’t begin to name the people who helped make my stay a good one,but they know who they are and that I am very grateful.
I have to thank Susie & Scottie for putting up with me for 3 months. Although I am sure I am easy to live with,I would imagine there are other opinions on that subject.
It was great to get up each morning and look at the river running past. The stars are so huge in the Gaspe sky, and the Big Dipper is still over our barn ! The moon, in all its glory, was a sight to see. I KNOW there are stars and moon where I live but not near as vivid as in Gaspe—-in my opinion. I am not a beach person but it is still a nice place to go for a walk. The Seniors trip to Perce and the Picnic at Peninsula were pleasant. Scottie took us for several drives to places I had forgotten about and actually one place I had never been.One evening ,on our way for water we saw a moose, real close up, a magnificent animal.
Took a day trip to Cap des Rosiers, then on to Cap Bon Ami where I actually mastered the stairs to the beach.
Dinners and lunches and visits with old friends were pleasant interludes.
We enjoyed the company of many people who dropped in for a chat or a drink, also visitors who stayed for awhile.It was a great surprise when Maureen and wee Abbey arrived with Ryan. Abbey kept us all amused and busy. The annual fish dinner ended with music—Ryan on guitar (and singing), Maureen & Fred on drums, the rest of us dancing up a storm, lots of fun and we have videos to prove it .
An afternoon of singing OLD songs , with Karen Briand on the guitar, was a trip back in time. She was entertaining David and Margaret and I was invited.
To end my stay I attended a card game to play 500 with the Seniors. A nice evening with nice people, a nice memory to send me on my way back to Ontario.
Now its all work and no play to start my new life, but I am sure, with support and help from family and friends I will find a my way—–After all tomorrow is another day !!
Although I remember the name The Pas (formerly known as Le or La Pas) from school, it was probably not one of the places on my list when I started travelling. Just another name of the map of Canada, but circumstances change and to The Pas I did travel. I flew to Timmins and from there it was two days, by car. I was anxious to make the trip as I had heard so much about the route through Northern Ontario. People said it was all rock and tundra. Rocks I recognized but just what does tundra look like. It was a long two days and we saw rocks and tundra??? and many straggly trees along the way. I was also anxious to see the house that Greg was building in The Pas.
At last , when we were beginning to think that we would never reach The Pas, around a corner was the little town. Actually it was a nice little town with small houses that I prefer to larger ones.The town is serviced very well by most every kind of business and across the river there is a Casino !! Greg’s house is a bit out of town, near a nice river, but no way isolated as there are several houses within sight. The worst complaint he has is that it blows ALL the time. The weather was reasonably nice most of the time we were there but did get cold for a few days so every one got out their winter clothing for work out side. I think I could quite easily settle there as I am a small town person.
The reason for our trip was to give Greg a hand with his house that he started to build and then suffered a heart attack before it was near completion.
Johnny, Lynn Mullin, Sue Sams, Susie and Scottie and I went up loaded for bear (or beer?????). The two Sues, Johnny, Lyn and Scottie are all great workers. They brought Greg a hat with “4 man” on it and he wore it well. Between them all—Mariette too when she took a week off—put up kitchen cupboards, hung doors, wrapped and sided a large part of the house, insulated the attic, finished two bedroom cupboards and installed racks, mudded walls. connected sinks, toilets and showers, washer and dryer and laid two floors (tiled). Me? well I made bread 6 times, more than I have for years, made cinnamon buns and johnny cake, swept the floors, washed some dishes and cooked some meals. Not a great deal but kept the hungry workers fed. A good two weeks, lots of laughs and stories.
We met a couple from Miramachi, N.B.—-down homers like us and a lovely couple. Had a couple of meals together which was very enjoyable.
A few of us made a trip or two to the Casino but none of us came away any richer.
Lois and Gary came to Winnipeg to see family and to pick me up, so I got to see another city and also had the pleasure of visiting with Gary’s family again.Came home through Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan crossing at Sarnia. In all my life I have never seen so much “nothingness”. It was a good feeling when Hamilton came in sight. It was a great week with super people.
Finally home again since visiting most all the time since Feb 25.
Susie and Scottie picked me up on their way home from spending some time with Lon and Coreen and seeing a good show in Niagara. We spent the evening and night in Ajax with Scottie’s family.A delightful time chatting with Scottie’s mother, Sybil, Dinah, Richard and their son Rick, Also got to see their two grand children, all grown up. When we arrived in Ajax I realized that I had forgotten my purse (my medications were in it) and Scottie drove back to Burlington to pick it up. They could have so easily put me on the Go train and said Goodbye! Now that’s a good son-in-law ! We drove to Kap the next day, no snow and roads were clear but Kap has more snow than I have seen since I left Gaspe. But it is beautiful, but I am sure the residents see it differently than visitors.
My great grand daughter, Abbey and her mother,Maureen came every day to see me. Abbey is a real doll,she loves a bath and really gets going after she has one, Very amusing for all us older people! A very bright little girl, just know she will be brilliant !!
Spent an evening with Mike and Joanne, at their house and enjoyed a delicious roast beef dinner, cooked by chef Mike.Nice to see them again as it has been some time.
Shirley (Patterson) was in Kap to visit her daughter and she needed a bit of help with some knitting so she came to see me a few times. Of course we did more talking than knitting but do hope I helped a bit.
Bimbo and Stephen came from Manitouwadge to see me and we had a good time talking about their geneaology hobby. They are a great source of information and I was able to add a few pieces to it. Great to see them again.They were there for a brunch that Susie had for family and friends.
As Maureen had brought Abbey over every day to see me, I really missed her when I left. I wish I could be nearer as she changes so quickly. John did a photo shoot of the four generations and got some nice pictures. Sorry I can not put any in this blog, as my talents do not run to this sort of activity.
Gary and Lois came to North Bay to pick me up and Scottie and Susie drove me, in less than ideal conditions to meet them. Gary made me repeat. three times. I will not go to Kapusaking in the winter!
While in North Bay I spent a few hours with a friend I met in Florida. She had all her pictures from those years and we had lots of fun remembering our good times in sunny Florida.
As it was Garys birthday we went out to The Loose Moose (or some such name) for wings. Looked and smelled very good but I chose fish.
A very pleasant visit , am so lucky to have family that will drive me around. Thanks Guys.
I have to be one of the luckiest OLD women in the world. At the ripe old age of 84 I can’t believe there are still so many people who took the time to wish me a Happy Birthday.
This year I spent my birthday at Lois’. Gary and Lois picked me up Feb 25, the next day I spent a delightful few hours with Ivers & Glenda Mullin, enjoying a delicious lunch. When Gaspesians get together there is never enough time to get it all said !!
On my birthday I made bread, a chocolate cake and tomatoes and macaroni, all my favourite foods—–well, Gary and Lois did provide the ingredients ! The house had decorations , balloons and even a message on the bathroom mirror. Grand children dropped in to see me and have supper, which was pizza but I noticed that most of my tomatoes and macaroni disappeared too.
Feb 28 was another good day as we attended the anniversary party for Rowena & Howard Gallichan and had a chance to see and talk with so many people. Was greatly surprised and pleased to see Edwidge Annett, a friend from Gaspe.
Really enjoyed my visit with Gary & Lois and thanks Gary for the hot water bottle In my bed each night, also for all the work on my computer and printer and for setting it all up for me when you took me home.
My children and grand children were in touch with me , either by phone or e-mail. When I got home Susie and Scottie arrived for a couple of days , another pleasant visit.
Tomorrow I am on my way to see my grand daughter, Maureen and my darling great granddaughter, Abbey who, I am sure, will keep my amused. I had the pleasure of seeing Breanna, Kyleigh and Leland (great-grand children) in Kitchener.
So, turning 84 was not traumatic, atall, just another number with so many wonderful people.
Feb 27th was also Tom’s and my 24th anniversary , another event in my life to celebrate.
Life is good !!!
Thought I would round up my year, as I remember it, some good and some bad times.
Will start with the things that were not so good to get them out of the way for happier news.
The past year has taken 4 cousins and some good friends from my life . Annie, Dot, Julia and Wesley all left us and saddened many. My mother loved to visit her sisters so my cousins & I became very close. Those were the days when people just dropped in to a warm welcome.
For several years I have had a breathing problem which I finally decided I would have investigated. It has a name which I can not either spell or pronounce but its the larynx causing a spasm and cutting off my breath.There is no cure and no warning so can happen at any time. The specialist assured me that no one had died from it. Lasts about 50 to 60 seconds and I am to relax ! Ever try relaxing while gasping for breath and wondering if it will be your last !! So now I have decided that staying on the ground would be the best for me, no more flying as when these episodes hit me I feel the need to get out side. Of course I have been known to change my mind.
Tom lost his driver license which was (and is) very hard—for both of us actually. I can no longer ask him to run to the store for eggs, milk or what ever I need for baking, and he can not stop advising me on how to drive !! Then to add to his misery he had a slight stroke in May, luckily recovering very well. Shortly after his stroke he fell off his bike and gave his leg a horrible gash which took two trips to the doctor before it healed
Greg & Mariette decided to move to Manitoba, leaving me very sad as was used to seeing them frequently. When Greg had a heart attack so far away I felt very helpless. But he was in good hands and is recovering.
Having cataracts removed and replaced with new lens was not a really bad experience, but did lots of worrying before it was over. My world is much brighter, only problem is I see more WRINKLES, DUST & DIRT. The dust and dirt I can handle but the wrinkles are another thing.
Now the good part of 2014——-
Still look forward to the mail delivery as love to get letters from my friends and pen pals I have had for many years.
In April, Lois & I drove to Kapuskasing to meet my newest great-grand daughter, Abbey. She is a real sweetheart and enjoyed seeing and holding her. Nice to see Susie, Scott, Maureen & John also.
Travelled to New Orleans with Greg, Mariette & Susie to be with other family & friends. There were 14 of us at the same motel—lots of laughter, gabbing, drinks and eating. Did a river cruise, town tour and a couple of trips to the casino.
Attended a birthday party to celebrate Willie Palmers 95th . Such a fine gentleman, always a pleasure to talk to him. It was nice to see so many helping him celebrate .
Lois & I drove to Niagara-0n-the-Lake to see a play. A beautiful day and a very funny play, enjoyed an ice cream afterwards and did a bit of shopping at a Scottish shop where we got some sweeties from Scotland.
Lois & Gary treated me to the musical Wicked in Toronto. Out for Chinese food after the show. A delightful afternoon.
Tom & I enjoyed an afternoon at a Big Band Swing Era show. The players were all very young but talented and the sound was as good as with the old masters we grew up with. My toes were itching to dance.
Elsie was 90 in July and entertained family & friends at a restaurant in Barrie. Lois & Gary took Beth & I. Tom was not feeling well enough to go. Very nice to see all the family and others I had not seen for many years.
Spent two wonderful weeks in Paradise (Gaspe as most every one knows!) with Susie and Scottie, Fred, Judy, Lois, Gary and Gerry——missing Greg very much.Had a great time—-celebrated Susies 60th birthday with a party in York Hall—–14 friends sat down to enjoy the fish Scottie had caught in Northern Ontario, an annual event we all look forward to—— dinner at Maloneys at Corner-0f-the Beach—-a day in Perce, plus all the people who called in to see us. Nothing to equal this annual trip , no matter how far I travel.
Made my Christmas visit to see Lois and her family.I had done a lot of baking for the grand children which I hope they enjoy eating it as much as I did baking . I made 24 fruit cakes as there are still some who enjoy them.. Always a fun time to visit with Lois , Gary and all the children.
Christmas Eve we had dinner at my brothers house with his family and a few other friends. An annual event for many years. Of course, we all miss our dear Elaine.
Toms son, Rob, and his wife Debbie were in Burlington for Christmas and New Year. So very nice to see them, especially at this time of year.
Now on to 2015. No plans, just hope for a healthy Year and enjoy each day as it comes. No resolutions as I have already broken far too many.
Often, when a person gets to be a certain age, the usual question is, “What is your secret for a long life?”
The usual answer is, ” I have never smoked, do not drink to excess, eat well and have been active all
all my life”.
Not saying that is not true BUT——look at most old people’s calendars and what do you see? Dance dates,
concerts, day trips, movies ???? You have to be kidding——its filled with appointments with people
who help you stay alive !!
Lets start from the top of our body.
Dermatologists keep keratosis (mostly men) in check, removing them every six months so it will not
develop into cancer
Audiologists test your ears and suggest a good hearing aid so that you can connect with the rest of
the world again. Sometimes they help, but they work better if they are in the ears !
The “ologist `who cleans out wax from your eats so those $5000.00 hearing aids will work.
Optometrists who keep you reading and driving the car. Then if you have cataracts, as nearly every
person over 50 has, you have to be passed on to a higher up for an operation.
Dentists have a go at helping you keep all those teeth you`ve had for so many years. with fillings
crowns, root canals and of course cleanings. I feel very lucky to be able to put mine in a glass as
I prepare for bed each night (one less appointment on my calendar ).
Respirologists prescribe nasal sprays if you have problems with post nasal drip or breathing. Not
that they do much good but you keep tying.
That is just you head !
Therapists have a hey day with old people as there are always joints not working or hurting.
Surgeons do their best with new hips, knees, and God knows what else if you wanted it. Of course
if you live long enough all these wonderful new parts will need replacing.
Before the surgeons do their work there are many people deciding just what comes out or stays put.
Your regular doctor first has a go at you, probing and punching , suggests blood testing, and seeing
specialists.——–Gastroenterologists, gynecologists and all the other ologists plus technicians that do
X-rays, ultra sounds, cat scans , mammograms and MRIs.
So when your time comes to be asked the secret of a long life, give credit where credit is due. Along
with all those above mentioned people, you could be the recipient of some very good genes that
has helped more than all those vegetables you remember eating.
That is MY opinion and I am sticking to it !!
The other day I was reading an article on Happiness. There is probably not another subject that can be quite as controversy as this one. It has many meanings and I am going to write about mine. I am not sure of what even makes me happy, but one thing I am sure of and that is what makes most people unhappy—–its the wanting of something we can’t have.
Fortunately. I have never been materialistic, can’t ever remember of envying others their possessions. I did envy my sister’s and my cousins lovely thick, long hair (when I was a teenager), but it did not make me unhappy.
Its really all about one’s outlook on life. I am a glass half-full sort of person for that I am forever grateful as I live with a glass half-empty sort of person.
Teen years were great, up and downs, of course, love found and lost, but never for long ,my heart never broke, just cracked a little. School years were care free as studies were easy so a happy time.
I know I sound like a paragon of virtue, I am anything but, just trying to define what happiness is and was to me.
I never had any big ambitions so no disappointments on that score as never did amount to much, but I wasn’t unhappy about it. Although attitudes were changing quickly at that time, it was still mostly expected that a woman would prefer to be married and have children than a career, certainly not both! So I glady went along with that and really all I ever wanted was to be married and have children and , in that , I was successful. We all know that marriage and raising children is not all sunshine. I had my share of difficulties, but never unhappiness as there was always good times too, everyday was some thing different.
Losing my husband was certainly not a happy time. After some time had passed, happiness again returned to my life as I was fortunate enough to be able to go to school and take up the profession of nursing. Although leaving my home and friends was worrisome I was determined to make a new life for myself and Gerry and not to worry . I still had my family, friends and now had grandchildren to add to the things to make me happy.
Maybe because I never wanted to change any stage of my life is one reason I was happy. I never remember of wanting to “grow up” or be old enough to do some thing I couldn’t, nor did I wish to be younger as I grew older. I have accepted OLD age even with all its aches and pains. Happiness does not make me jump with joy ( I couldn’t if I tried! ) any more, but I am content and at 83 what more can one want.
Every one must find their own way to be happy.
I spent a wonderful few days with family in Kapuskasing last week. A long trip, but well worth it. Lois was the driver, did a good job (except for tailgating a few times), but as she said, it wasn’t her fault as she had it on cruise control and the other vehicles just weren’t going fast enough! Kelly came from London to journey with us which was an unexpected pleasure.
We left Burlington at 7 on Wed, June 18, nine and one half hours later we were at Susies in Kap. Lunched at North Bay at Auntie Janes, a place recommended to us by Sue and Scott, but not recommended by us to any one ! May be the staff was just having a bad day and we arrived at a bad time.
Susie and Scott had been in Sudbury for a doctor appointment but arrived home around 8 p.m. Maureen had brought my darling little great granddaughter, Abigail Sidney over to meet us all. What a doll, at an age where she can amuse the old folk ! She never touched the floor all the time we were there.
Susie fed us so well its a wonder we could waddle out to the car at the end of our visit. Blueberry cobbler, blueberry pie, lemon pie. lasagna. pork and to top it all off—–fresh pickerel deep fried and served with French fries. I took a Zantac just in case!
One evening we played Farkal, but mostly just sat around and chatted and played with the baby. Lois took a lot of photos of all of us. Four generation photos are always nice to have for posterity. Abbey wont remember but she can look at then later in life.
Left for home after lunch on Sunday and stayed in North Bay that night. From Kap to North Bay we played old CW tapes. Lois and I had fun singing along with all the old songs. Poor Kelly just put on her head phones and ignored us! Never knew what she was missing. Kelly got to see one of her friends she had gone to school with also took her to a restaurant where they served really good Wings which she thoroughly enjoyed.
Such a great way to spend a few days, with family—–and I still have Gaspe to look forward to. Life is beautiful.