Dear Mrs. Roache

My grandparents, my Dad and my two older brothers attended the one-room West Head School. When I started schooI in 1962, the school was no longer in operation. I rode the bus to the brand new K-6 elementary school just a few miles away in Osborne.

I loved school so much that I wanted to attend seven days a week. When I reached Mrs. Garnet Williams’ Grade four class, I realized I could not see well as other students. Unfortunately, the teacher did not notice. Each day, the teacher would choose a student to stay in at lunch recess to copy afternoon lessons on the chalkboard. When my turn came, I printed letters and numbers that were about a foot tall, and nobody questioned why. The truth was, I desperately needed glasses.

9
Read More

Bread Dough, Vaseline and Minard’s Liniment

Myths, legends, stories, yarns, lies. Every family has them. Some of them make us cry while others tickle our funny bones. Every now and then, you will hear one that makes you laugh so hard that you fall on the floor, holding your sides with tears running down your cheeks. When our extended family gets together, we love to tell the same yarns over and over and over. The funnier the better. It is quite possible, that the yarns get longer each time they are told until after a while, they don’t even resemble the original story. I swear that the stories I am going to tell you are the honest truth, the gospel truth.

8
Read More

Adena Violet Townsend

When we speak of famous and accomplished women, names like Florence Nightingale, Mother Teresa, Indira Ghandi, Eleanor Roosevelt, Rosa Parks and others come up. I would like to introduce you to someone whose name is not on any list, but I believe she is a giant among women — Adena Violet Townsend. I knew her affectionately as “Gagie” pronounced, /Gaahhh-Gee/. In 1906 she was born in West Head, Nova Scotia  to Coleman and Lavinia (Bangay) Townsend. Her father, Coleman, was fatally…

13
Read More

Just Mom and Me…

I think about Mom every day and I’ve been thinking about her more than usual with Mother’s Day only a couple of days away. Mom passed away in the twinkling of an eye on September 1, 1998. We had no warning; nobody had a chance to say good-bye. That was probably best because Mom didn’t like goodbyes anyway. We were all too soft-hearted. The good news is, that we will always have a little piece of Mom with us in the…

5
Read More

Kinship Among Klutzes…

There are klutzes and then there are serious klutzes. I am a KLUTZ extraordinaire. I can’t walk through a doorway without hitting one side or the other. I can’t take a pan out of the oven without burning myself. Every time I take the lid off a pill bottle, I drop the lid on the floor. I fell out of the pantry one day (one step) and sprained my ankle. Basically, if there’s anything to bump, walk or crash into – I will. Bruises, scars and scabs are some of my best friends. I take them everywhere I go

7
Read More

We’ll be Seeing You…

We’ll Be Seeing You…
While we were in Nova Scotia this year we received the phone call that all adult children dread. It was Glenn’s Mom, Annie, calling to tell us that his Dad, had been taken to the hospital with some serious health issues. For a while it looked like he would recover to the point that he could leave the hospital, but that was not to be.

9
Read More

A Little Piece of Paradise…

Located on Nova Scotia’s southwestern shore, the sleepy little community of West Head sits on a spit of land that juts out into the cold Atlantic Ocean. It is surrounded by water on three sides. It is possible to count on one hand the number of days each year when the wind does not blow. Late spring, summer and early fall can be gorgeous, while winter can be downright vicious…

12
Read More

I Sure do Miss That White-Haired Daddy of Mine…

  April 1st marked the 4th anniversary of Dad’s death. He was and always will be a unique, talented, multi-faceted character in my mind. Others may choose words such as inventor,  genius, enigma, weirdo or oddball. We are quick to admit that he marched to the beat of a very different drummer. It was impossible to predict what he would say or do.

8
Read More

Stupid, Stupider, Stupidest…

STUPID NUMBER ONE Early one morning, well before daylight, Glenn and I left the funeral home to meet with a family who lived about two ho urs away. We arrived early, found out exactly where the family lived and then went to McDonalds for breakfast. As I was walking towards the restaurant, I looked down, only to discover I was wearing different shoes, one black and one blue. Even worse, the heels were different heights giving me a noticeable limp that…

4
Read More

Murphy’s Law On Steroids

Some stories are just too entertaining to keep to one’s self. I thought this one might give you a chuckle on a wintry day. (Should I admit we are in balmy Varadero, Cuba?) Back in 2010, Glenn and I experienced our own “Comedy of Errors” or what I like to call “Murphy’s Law Gone Haywire.” It was February and we had just returned from two weeks of visiting my Dad and brothers in Nova Scotia. As in years previous, we…

2
Read More