Thursday, October 29, 2015

My View #136 and 137 - Snow Storm in December

It started on a Saturday, a light dusting of snow, most folks went to bed not a-dreaming of the white world, in the morning, they would know. Most slept a peaceful sleep, in blankets woolly and warm, hoping by breakfast time next day the snow would be gone.

We had warnings from the weather man, unheeded by many, it is true, and so much snow, now the meter needs a lot more pennies too. Hours later, much, much more snow, heavy, wild, windy and pretty, our world dressed in magic style, and snowflakes dance to "Mother Nature's Music," keeps going all the while.

Some neighbours out early, shoveling, hoping to clear a path, waster their time. It's exercise, but they didn't do the math. We, thank God, do not control the weather. All this thick coat of white replenishes every seed, bone and feather, nature's rejuvenation of yer earth. Still it brings pleasure to the world, for man and best. All love to roll in it, play in it, and earn their living with it, so even to people who find it a disaster, others love it and live for and from it. To everything in life there is a good side and a bad side. There is something so good in every day. I am one of the lucky ones, on the inside, looking out at beauty.
Ann in 1996 after a massive snowstorm that shut down Vancouver Island for six days.

Love from Mom
December 13th, 2008

And a week later, another storm hits...

Sunday, December 21st. We had a warning of two days of snow, wind and clogged roads. A nice present for Christmas-time, it looks beautiful, but BC is not a very well equipped province for heavy snow.

Yesterday, all day long, dozens of birds, so anxious for food, crowded my back deck. They are so smart and can tell anyone who will notice, when a storm is coming. Do they go by smell, hearing, or do they feel it under the ground and their feet? An interesting idea, not practical. I love birds, and watch seagulls come inland for the same reason.

Late afternoon and it's still snowing. Bah! I am tired of it. All of Canada seems to be having a hard time with cold. This is typical of prairie winters, every different here. Roll on spring-time, I welcome you.

I just had to write this today. Hi dears.

Those of us familiar with snow enjoy its beauty, but tire of the inconvenience it causes. The storm from the photo shut down all of Vancouver Island while my father was dying in hospital. The first day Letty was able to get to the hospital to see him, he died within an hour of her arrival. I and my daughters had just succeeded in digging ourselves out, and Melinda had returned to Toronto when we got the call.

Many readers of this blog live in places where there is no snow. I hope you have a chance to experience it some day. My husband and I are avid skiers, but no-one I've ever met enjoys shoveling snow.

Monday, October 26, 2015

My View #135 - The Cutting Edge

When I was a child, after we had a bath, Dad lined us up on the kitchen table and we got our toenails cut.  When our two tykes were little, I did this job. So we made a game of it and we said, "Your toes are like cooks, with white hats, and on Sunday night we have to chop off their hats. Then they can go to bed and sleep."

Each time we lopped off a white hat we cheered, and the kids thought that was fun. When Linda lost a big toenail, we didn't do it anymore. One of life's moments we don't forget. Making a game of it, made the job easier on all of us.

Love from
Mom xxx
November 21, 2008

I remember losing that toenail. I tripped over a toy with a sharp piece of metal inside, and it ripped off my toenail in a flash. My parents had no car, so even though I was six years old, she put me in the old stroller and took me on the bus to the doctor's office. He removed what was left of the nail, me screaming the entire time. It took about three months for the toenail to grow back. That was the most painful accident I experienced in childhood.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

My View #134 - Water

You can't take it for granted. I love water, drink it, use it wisely and cherish it. In some countries there is not much water at all, other countries have plenty, while some countries waste it every day.

Every home should have a Water Meter. We did in Medicine Hat and Calgary, save water or pay more. Good idea.
Diagram of the movement of water on land, air and sea. US Government drawing.

November 2008

If only Letty could see the extent of the drought in California now! Her simple yet wise words ring so true.

Her comments about water meters arise from the time when we lived in Bowness. When we used our well for all our water, we were never short, unlike some less fortunate neighbours. Later, the City of Calgary annexed Bowness and brought in sewer and water, allowing most residents to abandon their wells and septic tanks. We were one of the first families to get hooked up to the city water, along with our new water meter, so Letty had to remind guests not to let the tap run unnecessarily.

Now, conserving water, while not yet an obsession outside California, is on everyone's mind.

Friday, October 23, 2015

My Views # 132 and 133 - Forgiveness and Sharing Pain


According to the dictionary: "To give up all claim or plan to punish or exact penalty for an offence."

I have, over my life, done this many, many times, and was the beneficiary. Strange but true. It is very hard sometimes, but well worth it. You can smile again, at everyone you meet. So nice.

November 20, 2008

Sharing Pain

Pain is a word we use to describe many things and situations, unrelated to the real meaning of the word, "discomfort," "agony," and "dying." We all have to deal with it, some more than others, but it hits everyone at times.

I have been helped many times by someone, over bouts of pain. Always full of gratitude, and have helped many myself, by being there to help a person, to share some of the burden of pain Just to talk, laugh, sing, pray and hold them. Life is beautiful until we experience this in life. When and what you share helps you in times of need. You have to give before you get.

Love from Mom xxx
November, 2008

Thursday, October 22, 2015

My View #131 - Silk Stockings

When my sister Mary was about 17 years old, and I about 15, real silk stockings came on the market, for women and girls to wear. This was in 1926 or 1927 and every girl who could get a pair was very happy. Panty-hose were not made till the 1960s. You had to hold the stockings up with a set of garters, attached to a corset, a girdle, or a garter belt, awful things. These silk stockings had a dark seam down the back, so you had to fasten them carefully or your legs looked crooked. Such smooth, silky stockings.
Woman wearing silk stockings. Photo by George Marks.

This was the result. Mary and I both wanted a pair of silk stockings for Christmas, but at $5.00 a pair, no way could Dad and Mom afford two pairs, so Mom bought one pair and we had to share and share alike. Wow, what fun! I didn't mind that decision, but Mary sure did. I gave in to her until Mom found out. Being poor is not fun but in those years everybody was poor and you had to share strange things at times: food, clothing, boots, sheets (if one was very ill,) even medicine. You never spent a dime when a nickel would do. If you couldn't pay for a thin you didn't buy it.

Many years later, Mary and I laughed hard over the "silk stocking affair," that poor Mom tried to solve. She was right though, and we learned how tough life can be. No such thing as credit cards in those lean years. We learned to be frugal. After about four times each of sharing, those silky stockings wore out. Such is life. That's it.

September 25, 2008

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

My View #130 - I Never Thought

(written as the Great Recession took hold)

I never thought I would ever live to see so much again, but I'm afraid I will, it was the "Great Depression" of the late 1920s to the late 1930s. I had high hopes that sequence of events would never occur again in my lifetime. I was wrong, it is shaping up the same way. Money, and greed of money, and lust for power, kills everything in its path. If you were born after 1935 you know nothing of what it was like. I am so sad for all and can't ever forget the pain, anxiety and fear we all lived with, time will tell and time is short. Good luck to you, I pray. Here is a short list of some of the troubles we lived through, those seven years of drought and world of bankruptcy. I remember it all so well. I was 16. It was awful in the "dirty thirties."
Famous photo by Dorothea Lange helped galvanize the government to provide relief for impoverished families.

Some food for thought:

A loaf of bread: 10 cents
Butter: 20 cents per pound, no margarine
Milk: 5 cents a pint, 10 cents a quart
A dozen eggs:     8 cents
A roast of beef:  25 cents per pound
Canadian stamps: 5 cents (if you had 5 cents to spare for a letter)
A 1-story cottage rent:  $10 a month
A 2-story cottage rent:  $25 a month
Men building roads earned 35 cents an hour

No medical care like today, you had to pay first before admission to hospital if you needed an operation - grim.
Canadian prairie farms swallowed by dust

Constant dust storms, no rain, no crops on the prairies.
Winters were very bad. World-wide starvation.

September 22, 2008

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

My View #127 - Oh! Help!

If you get help when you need it, wonderful. My family has come to the rescue, my Samaritans. I am so grateful for all of them.

When you are very old, having been a very active person, it is hard to swallow your pride and have them there, to look after you. But that is the rule of life, and if you live alone and they come to help, you be very grateful. My family and friends have given me their love. A big thank you to all of them.

With love,
Mom xoxoxo
August 19, 2008

I recall this episode well. I was at home in Seattle when Mom called and told me, "I don't think I'm going to make it to my birthday." Her birthday was two weeks away. She sounded weak and ill, so I telephoned my daughter, Michelle, in Vancouver Canada, and asked her if she could meet me on Vancouver Island, and within minutes, I was on my way. From Seattle to Vancouver Island is a five hour trip, depending on border traffic and ferry traffic, and then there's an hour+ ride to Mom's place from the ferry terminal at Swartz Bay. Michelle and I hooked up there and drove to Duncan together.

We found Mom lying down, her colour not good, voice frail, skin parchment dry. I checked her refrigerator which was nearly bare, so the first thing we did was get some liquids into her. Ironically, my brother who lived nearby, seemed unaware of the crisis.

Mom perked up with some water; I made her soup, and slowly we graduated to more substantial meals. She was starving. 

I noticed repeatedly when visiting her that her meals would not fatten a sparrow, but when I made meals, she ate larger quantities. She weighed about 90 pounds and was slowly losing weight each year. Mom refused the assistance of Meals on Wheels, and despite our entreaties, refused to consider moving to an assisted living facility where she would receive nutritious meals each day.

Michelle and I made some meals that we froze for her and stocked her frig with enough food for a few weeks.  Within two days she was a new woman. 

Mom mentions her pride. She could not make the mental adjustment from being a helper, to needing help. "I feel so damned useless!" was her frequent complaint. I suggested that she was not alive to help any longer, but to inspire others, with her writings and her long life. She liked that idea but was unable to internalize it.

I'm glad Michelle and I were there to help her. It was the beginning of a year of frequent emergency trips, the beginning of the end.


Saturday, October 17, 2015

My View #126 - Hat Pins

Many, many years ago women didn't cut their hair. It was considered their "crowning glory," (a quote from the Bible,) and who would dare to put scissors to it? So most women braided or twisted it, or piled it up on top and out of the way. In those years, also, it was the custom to always wear a hat, many of them perched on top of hair, "Oh dear, my hat just fell off..." So hat pins came on the scene, and hats stayed in place. Hat pins!!!

I remember the four pins my mother used. They were steel, all nine inches long, dark gray, sharp as any pin, but had beautiful knobs on the other end. One had a Scots thistle flower, one a silver walnut, one a tiny bird, the fourth one a ladybug. Along with a couple of old hats we played with, we played and learned a lot at the same time, how it used to be. I still have one white kid glove my father wore when married. Only wish I had one of those hat pins now.

Love to you all.
August 8, 2008

PS: Those hat pins went out of style in the 1920s, they were also a lady's only weapon sometimes. Wow!

Here's a great blog post on hat pins, the length of which was legally limited at one time.

Friday, October 16, 2015

My View #125 - What a Long Road

Letty on her 101st Birthday

Letty originally titled this view "MY LAST VIEW," but as you will see, it was far from her last.

What a long trip, on my road of life. I never thought I would live this many years. Sometimes life is very kind to you, and sometimes the opposite is true.

Books teach us history, we read about what life was like, in "ancient" time, but to live at a time, when we look back and see some of it, is very strange to me. Not that I am ancient, but I feel ancient sometimes. This is not the whole story. We are what we are, wanderers in a strange land. So stop and think a minute, as year 95 of my life approaches, some things of my early life, stay with me.

We were raised in a very British family with all the British traditions, viz. clothing and education, courtesy, food, music, and church and speech, rules of conduct at home and away. We children were happy in this and it stays with you, all your life, no matter how you try to change things. I have written elsewhere about some of these episodes I remember, I have a few more here.

Listen to old people, you could learn something that could help you in your life. Helping brush my Mom's long hair, when she had time to spare. When I was sick in bed, Mom gave me her scrapbook or photo album, to read (I wish I had it now) and look at. We had a close bond, I loved, and never forgot. Mom never used make-up, only lavender Water and always nice handkerchiefs (I still have one or two.) I don't ever remember Mom spanking or hitting any of us kids, at any time (what patience,) she wasn't the hitter kind. Lucky we were.

Courtesy for visitors was high on her list of gifts she handed on to all of us. My brother, one time, didn't feel so one night. Aunt Norma Coulter came after supper one evening, an irritating woman, seeking advice or other, staying till 11 p.m.
"I can't go home alone at this hour," she said. Mom offered her to stay all night (my Dad was at work) and Aunt Norma said, "Could Charles walk me home?" At his late hour, we kids were all in bed. Mom spoke to Charles and he was mad. "This will never happen again, I promise, do it for me, dear," said Mom. So Charles got dressed and took her home. He was 16 and so mad, he said he hated Aunt Norma. "Hate is an awful word, dear, it destroys confidence, and that won't do," said Mom.

Playing nurse was fun, but when Mary my sister got sick, fun was missing. A wisdom tooth, removed a few days earlier, proved this point. Mary was 17 and woke in pain with a fever. The doctor came and told her to stay in bed and Mom and I had to use hot fomentations on her right jaw and face. Up and down stairs all day and night, for four days and nights, and Mary in awful pain. She couldn't eat, just liquid with a straw, she couldn't even talk. The doctor came often and said he feared lock-jaw (tetanus.) After another long week she got better, very thin, able to eat a bit then. I learned a lot at that time, how to help someone, by having courage in the face of fear. My courage is still there, to face whatever comes up.

Clothing is an interesting part of living, what? Changes I have seen and remember. My Mother looked lovely in her best Sunday "duds," with her long dress, shawl, and big lovely hat. In summer it was light coloured, with flowers on it, in winter usually navy straw or black felt. Laced shoes or boots. Dresses long and pretty. This I have seen myself, when 4 or 5 years old, after the First World War. No TVs, phones, or radios in those days. Everything changed, mostly for the better, after this war. Light corsets, shorter clothes, and hats, that were so important to a woman, were much smaller.
British women in 1918. Photo BBC/UK

Education was very thorough and you had to behave yourself and respect others, or get a reprimand or leave. Before you were 7 years old you could read well.

Sunday was always a special day, you had clothes, shoes and gloves you only wore on Sunday. Always a roast beef dinner, maybe company, and music and lots of tea and talk, later in the day.

Now life is so different in every way. After the Second World War many more changes came, mostly in the scientific circle of living. It has been very educational, scary, wonderful, helpful and in many instances bad, and a pain in the neck.

The next 50 years should be interesting, and I won't be around to see it all. Hooray!! And we well might wonder what events come next. Good luck!

A Tribute: My last View to Mom and Dad, hard workers, poor, humble, strict, generous, happy, always tidy, and never turned down anyone who needed a helping hand. We sure were lucky kids.

Love from Letty
June 25, 2008

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

My View #124 - Loneliness

Today I'm feeling a bit lost and alone, a horrid feeling it is. Bob works nights and has to sleep most of the days, while working. Yesterday I was at the Ladies' Guild meeting, an old, old lady, feeling out of it. I don't belong anymore feeling... I've missed a couple of meetings and felt isolated. I guess time is taking its toll on me and a few other old members. I'm no help to them anymore, so I may just say "adieu" and not go anymore.
A more cheerful day in 2008: Letty's 95th birthday. Back row: David Mills, Granddaughter Michelle, Son-in-Law Art, Carol Mills. Front row: Bob Evans (son) , Letty, Ann Griffin (daughter)

Three weeks ago Philip and Colleen made final arrangements and have gone to live in PEI. (Prince Edward Island, off Canada's east coast.) They both were very good friends since 1991. I miss her chatter and help, and now they're so far away, and my cat Zoe with them. I wish them only good luck.

All my old chums are gone, only two I am in touch with, Jan McKenzie and Ann Sawatsky. Most of my friends now are much younger, and very important and I love to see them and hear from them. Alex McCubbin is 94 this year, a very dear friend of Ron and me, in White Rock. All my family are very, very good to me and keep in touch. They are my whole reason for living, Carol and David in my family too. At the moment those two are in Kelowna on holiday, and I miss them so much.

I've just written down my tired thoughts this morning. I t will probably bore anyone who reads this, but I had to write it to relieve my feeling of defeat. Don't worry, another day will bring laughter.

I love all of you.

June 18, 2008

How sad to read of Letty's loneliness and depression. I called her at least weekly and wrote her letters, too, but that's not the same as being there. (I lived about a seven hour drive from her.) She was so desperate for company, she began calling some friends multiple times each day, to the point where they had to tell her to stop. So many seniors living alone experience this. If you know of an old person living alone, won't you stop by and say hello today?

Monday, October 12, 2015

My View #123 - Why Portholes?

This is another of my "why" questions. I don't know an answer to this one. Why do nearly all boats and ships have round port-holes? What does the shape matter, round or square? Every ship I've been on, the round port-holes were used. I have a few questions:

1. Are they easier to install?

2. Are they a good escape window?

3. Can a grown man get through one?

4. Who designed the round style?

5. Captains' quarters and main Officers deck usually have square ones - why?

6. Some ships, like M.V. Georgic (the ship on which our family sailed from Britain to Canada in 1953) had 3 bars on and we very well could never escape, if needed. That bothered me a lot for the eight days we were on board.
An antique porthole. It has a hinge to open, and two screws to shut it tight.

So who do I turn to for answers? It would be good to find out. I never did like being on the water.

June 12, 2008

Later: I think I know. It might be safer and better to make a port-hole watertight, as a round window than a square window. Jam jar lids are round, not square, and are watertight. Voila!!! Bob laughed and said, "You can't cut threads on a square, only round objects." Old smart me!

A glance at Wikipedia adds that porthole frames are brass or bronze to resist corrosion and the strength of the waves. Anyone who has been on a cruise knows that modern cruise ships have portholes on the lower decks where the crew's quarters are; however, the passengers are treated to panoramic windows since they are high above the waves.

I wrote this after watching a shipwreck and rescue on TV.

Your very intelligent Mother.

Friday, October 9, 2015

My View #120 - I've Seen Everything

I just watched the landing on Mars. Now I think I've seen everything. What a feeling it is to live, to see this, on the tv. It makes me feel very privileged, to see the latest ventures human beings have reached in their effort to study what is "out there" in space. Congrats.
This color image was acquired by NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander's Surface Stereo Imager on June 13, 2008, after the May 25, 2008 landing. Credit: NASA/JPLCaltech/University of Arizona/Texas A&M University.  Http://
Letty Evans
May 25, 2008

According to the website, the white material could be ice. Hence all the excitement about Mars, especially with Curiosity's much enhanced flexibility.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

My View #119 - On Saving Our Country's Power: The Clothesline Dilemma

Years ago every house had a clothesline, a happy, useful part of the home. Then about thirty years ago someone decided a clothesline is so unsightly let's ban them in new suburbs, so high priced electric dryers took over and clotheslines disappeared. Now dryers are necessary in places like hotels and hospitals, but to save power and green earth, a house only needs a clothesline. It is great to see a line of fresh laundry flapping on the line and the dry clothes smell wonderful. I miss my clothesline very much.
This is a single clothesline. The S shaped hook is to prevent the wire from dropping down and dragging the clothes on the ground.  Most women wore an apron or had a basket for the clothes pins, which they used to secure each item of clothing.

Now, do we let the "money lenders" rule our lives, in trying to help "Mother Nature," or do we attempt to save, in any way we can, by wind and sun, the high rate of electric power we need to run dryers in our homes? Dryers use a great deal of electric power. Just think about this.

I read a book years ago called "White Banners Flying," about a woman's love of her babies, washing their diapers and hanging them on the clothesline to blow and dry in the sun. She called them "white banners."

I remember the smell and thrill of fresh dried clothes, off the windy line. I think clotheslines should be brought back. They save a lot of money and work better for all.

That's it for now.

May 7, 2008

I remember the scintillating fresh smell of clothes dried outdoors.  I loved to bury my face in the freshly dried laundry, just to smell it. I still have a portable dryer rack that I put outdoors for some clothes, but it's not big enough for everything and, alas, clotheslines are indeed banned in my community.

On the other hand, I remember Mom wrapped in her winter coat, bringing in laundry frozen stiff in wintertime, so stiff that bending the clothing could break it. Her second option in the winter was to hang clothes in our basement, which added cloying damp to the air for the two days they took to dry. Not everything about clothes dryers is bad.

Clotheslines are experiencing a resurgence, as people look for ways to protect our environment and save money. Contemporary clotheslines come in a variety of shapes and sizes.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

My View #118 - Packing it All In

Anyone who has ever packed a case or trunk, for a short or long journey, will know what I mean. What to pack for a short trip, a few days, or a week, or a long, long, trip? We always take too much and wonder, "Why did I bring all this?" It is a question very often asked and not answered.

Years ago one person, no matter where they went, usually took one or two suitcases, as they were called, and these were very heavy to carry. You got so tired before your trip, realizing how heavy a case got, you left things out and as you had a weight to carry, you stopped to think and some of the extras were taken out too and only the necessary items were to be "re-packed in" and taken.
Immigrants carrying suitcases of leather and wicker. Note how heavy the load seems of the young girl in the center .

There were not any suitcases made years ago that had wheels on the bottom, they were carried and had to be light. Now with wheels on them, so we can just pull them (much easier,) they carry much heavier loads and we take along as much as we can, "Packing it in." It must annoy the train, ship and plane people, who handle them and their wheels. I just bet there is a great deal of swearing going on over these very heavy loads. Mom wrote this before the airlines started charging for bags, which has drastically reduced the amount of luggage casual flyers take. As for ships, mostly cruises, one takes as much as one can, including formal wear.

Ladies often had hat boxes. I had one and took it to England when I was a War Bride. All women wore hats in those days, even to go grocery shopping, as well as to Church. The world today is so different in many ways. You can see how women had to change and adapt over the years. Some of the things were great, others not.

April 14, 2008

Now I'm a "Thoroughly Modern Millie." Now I, too, have wheels, nut not the energy to pull them. My oh my, change is an ongoing condition we all adapt to. Have a good day.

The phrase "packing it in" has other connotations: giving up or quitting.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

My View #117 - Did You Ever Faint?

Well, I did, several times in my life. It is a very horrible feeling that tells you, "Honey, you are going to fall," and before you say this in your mind, you are unconscious and down. Dazed for a few moments, you lie there, wondering "What has happened?" then try to get up, as you are rarely hurt in a faint, however on stairs it could be deadly. What causes most faints is a big drop in blood pressure. It is a scary business. Of course other things can cause it too.

The first time I fainted was when my dear Mother was in hospital, dying. I put my hand on her red, swollen leg, and fainted. The shock was too much. I didn't remember a thing. Mrs. Nicholson put me to bed at her house, in the 'Hat, and next day took me back home.

The second time was in Calgary, in church, in the choir. I ended up in ICU at Foothills Hospital, in 1960. They said I had a heart problem, it had been going on a while. When I went home I had to rest an hour every day, and I still do. The third time was a few days later, at home, so I had to rest more and quit working at dressmaking.

The fourth time was in Duncan, BC. I got up to pee at 3 a.m. and ended up in the bathtub, my legs hanging over the side of the tub. I told myself, "You got in here, now you have to get out." I did, and went back to bed. In the morning I thought it was a dream, but I went to see Dr. swan and he treated me and said I had a bruise on my arm, and my meds were reduced at once. He was concerned about my blood pressure he said.

Then one Sunday, Carol was to come, so I put the kettle on and went to unlock the front door, but I felt a bit strange so I shut the kettle off, went to the door, and passed out. My legs just melted away. I lay on the floor from 9:15 to 11:15. When Carol came I had crawled to the kitchen so I could answer the phone/open the gate for her. We soon got an ambulance and I was in Cowichan District Hospital. I forget what year this was.

Now I'll tell about my last faint, in Save-On-Foods, with Corrie, my friend. We used to go shopping together and when finished one of us sat and waited for the other. As I didn't feel too well, I sat and waited for Corrie. When she was ready she headed to her car. I tried to keep up, but as I nearly reached her car, I fainted dead away for a minute or two, so embarrassing. Anyhow, a clerk got an ambulance and for the last, the very last time I hope, I got help. It is hard to understand, but high blood pressure has been a problem most of my life. When I had my babies it was a problem. Now I hope I don't do these things again.

Just a bit of my life.

April 5, 2008

I don't recall the first two events Mom describes, but I recall the others quite well, although I was not with her any of these times. Mom was living alone, and when she lay on the floor for two hours, unable to get up, she had a Lifeline device around her neck that was supposed to be for just such a contingency; however it did not work. I was steaming, and insisted she get some free months from the company as a nod at compensation. Mom says people are seldom injured in faints, but that is not true. She could have been badly injured any of these times, and the fact that she couldn't get up again the last two faints, was one of the reasons I desperately wanted her moved to Assisted Living, where she would not be alone. Alas, that never happened.

Monday, October 5, 2015

My View #112 - Quiet

Isn't it nice to be quiet? So much of life is taken up with noise, accompanying every hour. Children are generally in the midst of lots of noise. When they are asleep they look like peaceful angels, but when they're awake it's a different matter.

Adults are very different, they start the day off with a quiet cup of tea or coffee, and relax for a few minutes. It is so quiet and peaceful, this is their best moment of the day, before 7 a.m. Then it is time to wake the children, shattered, and the quiet ensues no more.

Now I'm very old, all the young ones are gone. I could do with a bit of noise and racket, not too much, mind you, but some. Then at night when all is still, any visitors who came earlier are gone and peace reigns, I feel satisfied and can relax and rejuvenate.

Where I live, weekends are very quiet, it is nice up to a point. On Sundays one of my very favourite friends comes after church. We talk, exchange news an opinions, and do enjoy our ritual of a good cup of tea.

I write sometimes of years gone by, it fills in a quiet weekend and makes me realize how lucky I am, and look forward to another quiet weekend and Carol and our cup of tea.

February 12, 2008

Of course the tea is "Tetleys." Please smile!

Letty's life when she was raising her children (me) was so different from a modern mother's life! What mother today has time for a quiet cup of tea or coffee before waking the children? It's eat this, gulp that, be sure you have your homework, and out the door to school or daycare on Mom's way to work. 

Although Letty's post emphasizes the positives of quiet, a careful read suggests it was not always welcome, and she told me many times she was lonely or bored, but thankful for the friends who continued to visit her.

What is quiet? Who experiences it in this noise-addicted world? Blessed to live in a quiet neighborhood, my husband and I enjoy breakfast outdoors, listening only to bird chatter, and the gentle flutter of leaves in the breeze. More on this on my own blog.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

My View #111 - Sadness

Some Hard Thinking

I wander tonight, through the old memories that time has inflicted on me. They seem so long ago, but their clarity is superb, clear and distinct, one on top of another, year upon year, and now I am so alone. Yes, my family keep in close touch and love me, but something now is missing and I can't get it back. Sometimes the tears flow unbidden, for things that have gone, never to return. That's the way it is tonight, I feel so alone emotionally, but I'll be OK tomorrow, after a good night's sleep.

Bob came, we went out and had a pleasant supper, bought some groceries and posted a children's book to little Riel, my great-grandson. That was my evening. Bob left and Chuck phoned and we visited by phone, and now I"m off to bed.

Another one of our "Guild" ladies died today, Jean Dixon, a lovely little lady. Maybe this is why I feel so alone today. A few days ago she broke one of her hips, took pneumonia, and died today.

Tomorrow, I hope, is better.

February 8, 2008

From time to time, Letty shared with me her feelings of sadness and feeling "so damned useless." She outlived all of her contemporaries, both family and friends, and Jean Dixon was younger. In a category of her own there was no company. 

Friday, October 2, 2015

My View #110 - What is Integrity?

The dictionary says "of sound moral principles, honest and sincere." Now that covers a lot of ground and makes a person think about life in general. I told my friend Carol what my next "View" would be about, and last evening I saw the whole story about Enron; it was spell-binding. What a story of lying, cheating, stealing and utter total corruption in one company, hoping to rule the world. No integrity, they ruined hundreds of people's hopes and lives, and then they themselves went bankrupt.

Well it is said, "What you sow, you reap," that is so true. You cannot do wrong to another person, feel happy, and get away with it. Any adult will find conscience pricks deep within and if that doesn't halt a person, the law, friends or family will. The price paid is very high, as we see in the papers. So everybody alive needs to live with integrity.

All my love,
February 4, 2008

I am grateful and proud that both my parents lived with integrity, a quality I hope I can say they passed on to me.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

My View #109 - Friends and Letters

Friends come in all sizes and quality. I can relate to that statement. There are close, distant, or fair-weather friends. We connect with many hundreds of people in life and of all these people we may have one, two, three or more, close friends. My parents were my very best friends. I can list three people who were life-long friends, Dorothy Crane, my cousin Nellie (Ellen King), and Mrs. Nicholson. I wrote to these three all my life. I've sent letters to a few dozen more people I've met on my long journey. I like to get letters and if you don't write any, you don't receive any, so I guess I'll just keep on writing as long as I can. I always answer letters, I think it very rude not to. My Momma told me that and it sunk in. I have a friend or two who hate writing letters, I just don't understand this, it is so easy. Anyway, it doesn't stop you being friends.

Children can be wonderful friends, but you have to trust them, before they will trust you, so you never promise to do or give them something unless you are certain you can do it, otherwise the friendship is gone. Show a child how to write a letter and send it. When the reply comes, see the thrill in their eyes, and you have taught a child one of the nicest gifts on earth, a new letter writer has started on a precious duty she will love. And sometimes, when you get really old, like me, a letter is the only connection you have left, it is very important.

There are four parts to any letter: your own address, the salutation, the message or the body, and the signature (your own.) Teach a child these four rules and they won't forget them. This makes it all important to a child, and his or her friend. The envelope too is important and teaches a child the proper way to go about it.

Good friends are a Godsend.

February 1, 2008

Letty, unable to drive or use a computer, and very hard of hearing, was heavily dependent on letters from me, her last remaining friends (she outlived them all,) and her grandchildren. I tried to write to her regularly. Once I sent her an urgent message as an email to a friend, who printed it out and went to her house to read it. Letty was incensed; she thought I had asked the friend to write a letter to her, and despite my best efforts, she could not grasp the concept of email. It was a difficult day for both of us. I doubt many children today write letters.