A few months back, Frances Graff was cleaning out a closet in her home in Washington, D.C., when she stumbled upon a 2003 clipping from the Globe and Mail – a Lives Lived column I wrote after the death of my cousin, Charlotte Grover. The Globe story delivered a flood of memories. When Frances was … Continue reading Surely we were destined to meet
Action! The camera zooms in on a reasonably pleasant, reasonably capable, reasonably skilled adult – that would be me – leaning comfortably on a podium at the front of the Norwood Town Hall. Smiling even. Eager to launch her presentation. Cue black-and-white flashback, set in the high school just a couple of blocks away: Said … Continue reading Back to the Future Redux
Our kittens officially turn into cats today (May 16) – a whole year old! With festivities in full swing, I’ve decided it’s an appropriate time to reveal a secret my husband and I have kept to ourselves for a month or so. We've discovered Butterfield has a superpower. More than one even. Butterfield: "Could you … Continue reading Happy birthday, girls!
I now have proof of what I’ve long suspected: my memory bank is as porous as a kitchen sponge. I can recount – in detail – youthful incidents where I behaved stupidly or where circumstances piled up against me. But moments of youthful glory? Not so much. One day while I was rummaging around in … Continue reading Diaries capture life’s forgotten moments￼
It's easy to be virtuous when the thing you are railing about is out of reach. And so it is, in my pandemic soul-searching, I have decided we will not rent full houses or self-contained apartments when we (ever) get back to travelling. Well, unless we have no choice. Or unless the temptation is just … Continue reading The traveller’s conundrum
Here’s a philosophical question for our times: If a tree falls on the coffee table and no visitors are around to see it, does it matter? Ok, so we don’t have trees in the living room, unless newspapers count. But we also don’t have visitors. And COVID’s never-ending emotional drain has made me wrestle with … Continue reading So, is this joy or junk?
My book Life & Legacy may be a done deal, but the research rabbit holes still taunt me. Just the other day, Ancestry.ca delivered an interesting tidbit – a 1908 newspaper obit for Annetta Elmhirst, whose gravestone identifies her as Nettie Annetta Elmhirst. A couple of weeks later Ancestry.ca added an "In Memorial" for Annetta, … Continue reading Severe cold indeed!
During the pandemic lockdowns in 2020 and early 2021, I didn’t dream about hiking the Inca Trail, camping under the Northern Lights or skydiving (as if). Sure, I missed vacations, but most days my so-called bucket list was much simpler than that. Bliss would have been “dinner and a movie” at our local rep theatre, … Continue reading ‘Bucket list’ is full of holes
That question flashed through my brain on a regular basis – usually in full caps – while I was researching Life & Legacy, my book about my grandmother, Ruth (Birdsall) Elmhurst. Sure, I was fully engrossed in the research. After all, my endless forays down family-history rabbit holes were unravelling my own Peterborough County roots … Continue reading Will it never end?
Letters flowed from Ruth (Birdsall) Elmhurst’s pen like a fast-moving creek, her quirky penmanship barely keeping pace with her speeding thoughts and earnest observations about the world around her. Ruth, my paternal grandmother, closed several of the missives in my stash of letters by listing the other people she had to write to that evening. … Continue reading Messages from my grandmother