Linda’s Nickel Opinions — Blasts From the Past — Part 9

Linda’s Nickel Opinions — Blasts From the Past — Part 9


January 9, 2018 7:33 PM

I used to watch America’s Funniest Home Videos every Sunday and roar with laughter when people fell. However, when I took a horrible tumble on Tuesday I will no longer laugh at anyone ever again– I promise. It takes great talent to fall, and to tell you the truth I have been one of the clumsiest people around since birth. Floors and stairs hate me, chairs and tables are bullies, and walls get into my way all the time.

I decided to go get the mail around lunch time which I do every single day. It’s not like I chose some sort of new path, but somehow this time the concrete flat floor of the garage pulled a number on me. The toe of my shoe hooked under a carpet runner and I went down like the Titanic.

Falling down is an accident, not getting up is a choice, but the air was knocked out of me, and even a team of paramedics could not have pulled me up. I glanced around and saw a small kitchen utility ladder and pulled it over to me. Finally managing to get myself up I noticed my knees were beginning to turn blue quickly, so I went upstairs and put some pain cream on them before it got worse. Within 7 minutes I had a hard time getting back downstairs, and in the space of 4 hours I must have birthed 32 children, because it sure felt that way.

I didn’t dare take an Advil because of my heart medications, so I waited until Steve came home from work and we went to the hospital. It feels that 2017 has been a record year for me going to our local hospital, and I apologized to the doctor for becoming “a frequent flyer”, but sometimes sh^&t happens as they say.

During the 3 hour wait it felt like I was sitting in the middle of ancient Medieval England filled with the bubonic plague. The flu season is at its height, and even though I tied my wool scarf around my mouth I felt like whatever germs were breeding under the many patient masks was going to infiltrate my ears and get me anyways. If I had my way the whole scenario playing out in the waiting room should have been featured on 1000 Ways to Die.

My number finally came up and by this time my knees were so swollen up  it looked like I was braless and things were sagging.  The Xray showed bleeding, bruising, and a host of other terrors, so I begged for pain medicine. When Steve picked up the Tramadol I was prescribed, Andrew at Shopper’s Drugmart insisted Steve made sure I didn’t get hooked on the drug. Hooked?

Ladies and Gentlemen I am taking what I call a ‘celebrity drug’ and it can be crushed, injected or snorted, and Tramadol knows no boundaries as stated in People Magazine. Did you know rapper Ol’ Dirty Bastard from the Wu-Tang Clan died November 13, 2004 just two days before his 36th birthday from an overdose of Tramadol?

Today after taking capsule number 3 I have no idea why anyone would want to become a junkie on this stuff. These are no ‘happy pills’  and are more like the “walking dead pills.” The fact sheet said I might have some hallucinations. That was bull, as I saw no dragons in my kitchen, and there were definitely no Unicorns in my bedroom. The major issue with these drugs was to make sure I never took a laxative and Tramadol on the same night.

I know it’s going to take awhile to heal the knees, as I remember the good times when I used to be able to move without making sound effects. Has it not become sad in our golden years that you can say when you get hurt again- “oh well, I’m used to it”. Pardon me while I go walk into a pole!


Linda 1957

February 15, 2007

Today I thought about my Grandmother and her insistence on wearing clean underwear on a daily basis. These days I can’t seem to find anything decent in my drawers. There’s just something about a pair of well worn granny panties that makes me feel safe, so I stick with what I know best.

My late mother constantly carried on about my underwear. In her case it wasn’t so much if they were clean or not, but whether they had more holes than swiss cheese. I always told her not to worry, that I would just pretend they got torn in whatever accident I had if need be. But she never stopped..

“What will they say if you get into an accident?” she frequently repeated mimicking my Grandmother.

Each time they mentioned the underwear situation I began to worry. If you are in an accident, do they refuse you at the hospital for having unattractive underpants? Do the gynecologists have coffee among themselves and talk about what underwear they have seen that day? Does medical staff prefer granny panties or thongs?

To encourage me I was given 7 day underwear for my birthday when I was 5. Did you actually wear Monday on a Monday? Did it really have some deep meaning that we did not know about? If you got in an accident did someone quietly mention to you on the ambulance gurney that you were wearing the wrong day of the week?

At age 6 I actually did get hit by a car and was carried into the house by neighbours. I woke up on the living room couch with Grampy Crittenden handing me an Illustrated Classics comic book about the story of Jesus. My Grandfather quietly asked my mother if I was okay. My mother said,


“I think so, but I am so worried she didn’t have good underwear on and we don’t want the town to talk. Her underwear was so stretched out and worn she could have fit the whole town of Cowansville in them!”

Yes, those enormous baggy briefs are regularly thought to be everything you wouldn’t want in an undergarment. To make it worse the younger generation lumps them into a category of being only for the Golden Girls set. I am proud to say that when I had my heart attacks a few years ago I am sure the medical profession was still not impressed by my underwear choice and talked for days about it. Anyways at my age thermal under is now considered really hot underwear and I am too busy thinking about the afterlife now. Question to self- Should I bring a change of clean underwear?


Photo- George Arthur Crittenden,  (West Brome and Montreal) father of my  Mother  Bernice Ethylene Crittenden 

May 2, 2006 10:45 am

“You’d better wipe that look off your face”, my Grandfather said.

I don’t know if I just had an angry resting face or something– but my facial expression was irking him. Grampy Crittenden had a slightly worried look on his face as I watched him try to master my hula hoop. It was 1958 and it had been reported on the news that Filene’s in Boston had sold 2,000 hula hoops in one day and Canada was going to sell 15 million by November. I only owned one and feared he might break it.

Some adults like my Grandfather could not seem able to keep their mitts off of stuff I liked, and wanted to see what the excitement was all about. There was no winning in that situation. I finally decided I just might as well amuse myself by refusing to show any emotion and watch him go ape over it. I was going to get yelled at anyway, so why not. He heard it was good for his waistline, but in reality, if he did a few rounds with the hoop and then had a shot of gin, it might just relax him for the cribbage game after.

After I watched him struggle with it, my Mother came out and told him he was going to hurt himself. She looked at me and said “You had better wipe that look off your face!” I knew she would begin to lecture me, so I just nodded as I usually did, and said,

“I didn’t know I had a look on my face!”

With that there was no more worrying if my Grandfather was going to break the hula hoop, or promote improprieties as Japan was telling everyone in the news who dared use one. I tried to block out the words that were now flowing from my Mother. Was my expression constantly offensive? God forbid I have emotions, but you never argued with your parents in those days. Especially to a woman had read Benjamin Spock’s “Baby and Child Care,”  back to back and worn it out. Children were meant to be “seen but not heard.”  But this inquisitive child would always remain a curious person with a look on her face and question why things were the way they were. I  continued when I became a Mother to tell my kids to remove the look they had on their faces also without fail. After all weren’t Mother’s just  motivational speakers for the selective listener? I guess that too is debatable.


Me and my friend Sheila Wallet Needham  who lives in Bolton Centre at Coney Island. 1950s

February 2007, 11:45 PM

Sheila Wallet Needham had always been the loyal friend that I waited for every morning, on Albert Street, to walk to school with. She had experienced most of my life first hand, and was one of the very few friends who turned up at my father’s funeral in Cowansville, Quebec. We have not seen each other in years, but deep down we both know that the other is still there, and we each still value and cherish our friendship.

There has not been a day that has gone by that I do not think of Sheila and her family. Her late father Murray Wallet taught me how to ride a bike, and her mother Doris always had nothing but kind words. Just because you lose contact from time to time does not mean that you forget. Years ago Sheila sent me a large envelope containing everything I had sent her since the 80s. Letters, photos, all memories you usually just don’t get back.
I read about my former dark side in the letters that I sent her through the years. It was like a slap in the face to read about the doctors, pills, depression and misery. I could feel the blackness creeping back into me that I had fought off for years. I shuddered and put the letters down. That was emotional reading, and I hated that period of my life.

There were some letters about the beginnings of my fashion stores in the early 70’s, and she still had sent the clippings from magazines and newspapers with my designs in it that she had saved. I wrote about wanting a child at the age of 25. In reality, my first born, Schuyleur, arrived in my life when I was 35, and because I don’t do things like anyone else,  son Perry arrived 11 months later after Sky.

The very last correspondence was a fax dated Sept 03, 1989. I had told Sheila that I was planning to close my store in 1994 which eventually I did not close until 1996. Sheila had told me it was a good idea, and that I should pursue a career in politics.
Years have flown by, yet it all still seemed like yesterday. Reading the letters felt like we were still in her childhood basement on Albert Street listening to her mother banging on the floor above us because she had endured enough of the song, “Satisfaction” by The Rolling Stones.

How did life go by so fast? Where did it go?  Sheila and I both tried to make a difference to people in our lives. Who knew when we first became friends at the age of 2, what our destiny would be like?  If I die tomorrow, I know that I have tried–just like Sheila.

I know that we are both grateful for everything, including each other. True friends are never apart, maybe in distance, but not in our hearts.

December 27, 2008 10:45

This is a true story-  Any resemblance to someone you know, living or dead, is purely coincidental. I wrote it hoping that someone I knew very well would clean out their fridge. She never got it– and as Joe Friday would say: ” It’s just the facts mam! Just the 

It was almost midnight as Glenda surveyed her freezer. She had been sick for days and worried she might fall into a permanent sleep by morning. According to most of the expiry dates on her food she should have been dead years ago. What really irked her were the the directions found on almost any chilled food: “once opened, eat within 3 days”. She never threw food out- her daughter kept saying at some point it crawled out on its own and over to the garbage can.

What kind of person would she be remembered as if she died over night and someone looked in her freezer? She took out a package of bacon from the freezer that was dated 2009. Glenda had also been freezing milk for years and never had a drop that was lumpy, or had to sit for a few days after being thawed.

Of course her food looked like it could be on an episode of “Hoarders”–and some of it could start its own penicillin farm. She looked at the wilted green lettuce that looked like a smoothie and noticed she could tie the carrots/celery in a knot.

Her daughter had told her a million times that when things turn green or black, or if the Tupperware cover popped off by itself, that’s the time to throw things out. Maybe she should just give up upon life before the New Year came in– after all she had noticed the box of Arm & Hammer was now waving a white flag.

Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read. Also check out The Tales of Carleton Place.

Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in The Townships Sun andScreamin’ Mamas (USA)


Linda’s Nickel Opinions — Blasts From the Past — Part 8

Linda’s Nickel Opinions — Blasts From the Past — Part 7

Linda’s Nickel Opinions — Blasts From the Past — Part 6

Linda’s Nickel Opinions — Blasts From the Past — Part 5

Linda’s Nickel Opinions — Blasts From the Past — Part 4

Linda’s Nickel Opinions — Blasts From the Past — Part 3

Linda’s Nickel Opinions — Blasts From the Past — Part 2

Linda’s Nickel Opinions — Blasts From the Past Part 1

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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