A Timbit of a Carleton Place Tale

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I originally wrote this story for a newspaper in California and had to use McDonalds as the location. The story actually happened right here in Carleton Place at the original Tim Horton’s at the four corners. As my son posted on the picture….

Remember wheeling up to the counter at 2:30am and grabbing a BLT and a honey cruller? … Where’d those days go?

The building sadly sits waiting for someone to rent it, and all it is now is a shell of memories. We need new memories in this building! We need to encourage our local business people– and if you don’t believe that look at the video I posted in the comments.

Generally Tim Horton’s is not the most inspirational place to gather stories. Each Wednesday, all I see in there is a lot of misery and supposedly non existent trans fat. Being a chronic voyeur, I have watched people all my life. Not to be interested in your fellow man is a felony to me. Good, evil, old, or young, everyone has a story that needs to be told. As I take a bite out of my cruller I realize my notebook is not with me. So, to make this an honest to goodness fast food tale, I write everything down on my napkin.Two people have caught my eye and I can just feel a story is going to enfold.

An older couple stands near me chatting with a woman eating some Chili. The disheveled man remains nameless, but I soon find out that his partner’s name is Polly. Polly stands close to him and pulls her pink crochet hat down over her head. Her long black hair is shiny, and she strokes it as she talks. The man seems uncomfortable, and shuffles his well worn construction boots and adjusts his stained white hoodie that is covered with a tweed suit jacket. He looks like he has lived a thousand years on hard time, yet the words he utters are nothing short than eloquent. Stocked with an envied vocabulary, he tells the seated woman that Mother’s Day is the anniversary of the death of Polly’s son. One can only imagine that the enormous grief she has carried around has led her to a world of sadness. Tears now flow from Polly’s eyes, but she talks calmly, and hugs the man that loves her.

He looks at her and says,

“If I had money I would buy you flowers for Mother’s Day”

She hugs him harder, and I just want to jump up and buy these two some chocolate chip cookies. Yes, I am a true believer that sugar fixes everything.

A man sitting in front of me motions for the man to come talk to him. Polly, engrossed in telling the tale of her deceased son does not seem to notice he has left her side. The man is given some money by another very kind gentleman and he runs out the door with a huge smile on his face. Two minutes later he comes back and hands Polly a small bouquet of carnations bought from the corner store.  She hugs him and starts to cry once again.Tears run down my face, and I look at them as if I am gazing through a rainbow.

It was a Mother’s Day Gift of generosity from a stranger, and once again I have faith in man kind.

After all what does a mother really want? I can safely say that most mothers do not need a fancy meal, or a day at the spa. Just generous comforting love from their children.That’s all. Just an order of Timbits, and a hug, and nothing else is needed.

Linda Seccaspina


Tilting the Kilt, Vintage Whispers from Carleton Place by Linda Seccaspina is available at Wisteria at 62 Bridge Street, the Carleton Place Beckwith Museum in Carleton Place, Ontario and The Mississippi Valley Textile Mill in Almonte.  available on all Amazon sites (Canada, US, Europe) and Barnes and Noble

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About lindaseccaspina

Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda was a fashion designer, and then owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa on Rideau Street from 1976-1996. She also did clothing for various media and worked on “You Can’t do that on Television”. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off on American media she finally found her calling. She is a weekly columnist for the Sherbrooke Record and documents history every single day and has over 6500 blogs about Lanark County and Ottawa and an enormous weekly readership. Linda has published six books and is in her 4th year as a town councillor for Carleton Place. She believes in community and promoting business owners because she believes she can, so she does.

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