Tag Archives: covid

Trying to Put Humour Into Being Sick –Linda Knight Seccaspina

Trying to Put Humour Into Being Sick –Linda Knight Seccaspina


Today is Saturday, August 6th as I write this and I am back to what one could call normal?

Day 4–a Recap

I am not hiding the fact that I have “the plague” as they call it– as it is nothing to be ashamed about. This is a new reality we have to live with and I know now that I also had it in January of 2020. My doctor could not  put his finger on it because there were no antibody tests then. But, having it now just reaffirms what I had in 2020 before the surge. Instead of a few days, it was two horrid months long. We have come a long way, but these are the facts now. We have to live with it. It is the new flu– and it’s awful–hands down. 

Looking in the mirror this morning I look like Bette Davis on a bad day with a semi swollen face and bags hanging under my irritated eyes. I decided to write a blog called “I Look Like Shrek” and then chose not to share it with anyone. Do I really want people to have that impression of me? If I really was Bette Davis I would have ‘my people’ helping me get through this awful day. But I am not her, so instead I daydream about how I longed to be a movie star when I was very young.

Most of my friends know that my favourite actress is Bette Davis. There is absolutely no one that can get her point across in three seconds or less like she could. As a child I used to buy Popeye candy cigarettes and flash them back and forth yelling in my mother’s high heels,

“It’s going to be a bumpy ride!”– or something to that effect.

But, Bette Davis is not wetting her pants today and doing a laundry load of underwear. The sheer force of nature is running through my body with each sneeze. Only I am feeling the true warmth of being sick and trying to sit in various positions tobe comfortable. I am suddenly longing for the time I can stop crossing my legs when I sneeze. As Bette once said:  “Old age is no place for sissies!” and maybe I would be dry as the desert now if I was 31 and not 71.

But, once upon a time I was young and every part of me worked. My mother Bernice Ethylene named me Linda Susan after her two favourite actresses: Linda Darnell and Susan Hayward. From her hospital bed to her wheelchair at home she commanded my father to enroll me in every dance class known to man. Mother Bernice wanted me to become another Joan Crawford as she was her favourite actress and lived, ate and breathed Crawford.

My mother, who was also tone deaf, thought I was born to sing like Deanna Durbin. Every week Reverend Peacock would choose one person to perform a solo at Trinity Anglican Church in Cowansville, Quebec, and my mother called him and suggested that I participate.

Sunday came way too fast and barely standing next to the choir I began to sing. At the end, I hear no bravos in the congregation, but by verse three people are covering their mouths with their handkerchiefs. At the end of my song Dickie Miner in the front pew breaks out into a fit of laughter and ends up on the floor.

I go back to my seat and see Reverend Peacock look down at me through his bifocals in bewilderment. Miss Watson, age 69, the spinster church organist, stamps on the organ pedals and rolls into the next hymn at death defying volume. My musical career ended that day, but Bernice kept insisting that it was okay because they always had stand-in singers for Joan.

Daydreaming over, I come to the conclusion that I’m going to use up a box of Kleenex every hour and it’s going to be a bumpy ride for the next few days. There is no one that is going to stand in for me like Joan Crawford and Bette Davis, but I am lucky it’s only for days and not months or maybe even worse. For the first time in history we can stay inside and watch as much Family Feud (Canadian or American) as we want while chasing it down with a cup of Chicken Noodle Soup. Being sick has made us realize the things we take for granted in life are never to be ignored again, not to mention life itself.

Be well everyone!

Being Old is No Place for Sissies! Part 2

Being Old is No Place for Sissies

This Old House….. Linda Knight Seccaspina

Respecting Each Other in Canada – Skyler Seccaspina

Respecting Each Other in Canada – Skyler Seccaspina

Photo Taryn Card

My son wrote this from his heart – whether you agree with it or not is up to you – well written Sky we are all suffering in one way or another – We should all be working together as one.

Written by Skyler Seccaspina

I stood along the 417 in Ottawa with my family and waved my Canadian flag for four & a half hours today. I hadn’t seen that much highway action since Ryan Hawkins and I played ‘follow the Good Housekeeping’ on highway 29 back in grade 6 (his grandmother, Isabelle, put an end to that pretty quickly🤣).

It is incredible to think of how divided we’ve become as a country, a country that was once a benchmark for unity. Yes, I agree, it starts at the top. It’s hard to think of a leader in the history of this country who has divided so many Canadians. Blame it on whoever you want, though. At the end of the day we all control ourselves. We control our thoughts and how we express them.

I’m always reminded of the days when my Nonna would tell me to SHHHHH!! Or, even my dad’s advice that he would instill in me as a kid: “Keep your mouth shut!”They were right. If I didn’t have something nice to say, I shouldn’t say it at all.

It’s hard to hold back though, and for everyone that is true, especially in the situation we find ourselves in. We’ve all had our fair share of COVID discussions with one another. We’ve been heated. We’ve been keyboard warriors. Even if we disagree though, for the most part, we listen. It’s been frustrating, lonely, and hopeless. We’re struggling, especially our kids. In what was supposed to be “2 weeks to flatten the curve” almost two years ago, we seem to have arrived at a crossroads.

Everyone has an opinion on how and when we should move on from this pandemic. Some folks are already done with it, while some are still isolating themselves from the rest of the world. Opinions are so far entrenched in some that they are determined to stay in their narrative, regardless of the facts.

We have politicians, national/independent news outlets and social media all telling us different things.We aren’t all going to agree on the right time to move on, but we should respect each other. We should respect everyone’s choices, regardless of how they makes us feel. After all, we are all going to get out of this at once, together.

The Epidemic —- Lanark County October 1918

The Epidemic —- Lanark County October 1918

from Perth Remembered

Perth Courier, Friday October 18, 1918


Perth and District having its share of general epidemicAn epidemic of Spanish influenza is running its course in Perth this week. Friday it commenced in earnest and at present there are people in all parts of the town ill with the malady. While a number have been remaining in bed with heavy colds and are taking due precautions, the majority of people and they number upwards of three hundred, either have a severe attack of old-fashioned grippe or the influenza. The danger with the influenza is the development of pneumonia, but there are few, if any, pneumonia developments so far, but two deaths occurred this week from those who contracted pneumonia following influenza. Local doctors have but few minutes rest. It means practically going day and night.The Board of Health met Friday evening. The four members were present – Dr. Dwyre, Medial Officers of Health, Mayor Hands, and Messrs. C. F. Stone and J. A. Kerr. A report on the prevalence of influenza was given by Dr. Dwyre and the Board ordered that the schools and places of amusement in town be closed until further notice, and the churches be requested to close.

Saturday morning the Board issued the following communication: At a meeting of the Local Board of Health for the Town of Perth, held Oct. 11th, it was decided upon hearing the Report of the Medical Health Officer for the Municipality regarding the prevalence of influenza in the Town, that until further notice:

1. ALL the Schools should be closed.

2. ALL Theatres and Places of Public Amusement should be closed.

3. THE Churches should be requested to discontinue the holding of religious services in the town.

4. ALL public entertainments should be prohibited.

5.AND the Secretary should notify the responsible parties in connection with the above institutions and Places of Entertainment in order that they may govern themselves accordingly.

I have the honor to be Sir, Your obedient servant, JOHN A. KERR, Secretary Local Board of Health.Knox, St. Andrew’s, Asbury and the Baptist church complied with the request and no services were held Sunday, nor Sunday School. And mid-week meetings have not been held and will not be until after the epidemic subsides. St. James Church held 8 o’clock celebration of Holy Communion and the regular morning. St. Johns church just a short service was held in the morning.

Haggart House Perth

The schools have all remained closed this week and the Balderson theatre closed Friday evening and will remain closed until new orders are issued. On Tuesday the Board of Health decided to prepare the Haggart home to accommodate a number of cases and the local branch of the St. John Ambulance Brigade is attending to the nursing requirements of several patients who have been taken there. Miss Elsie Walker of town is in charge. An appeal is made for supplies for the home.

And Perth is not alone seized with the influenza. Throughout the townships there is much sickness and a number of schools have been closed while those open have few pupils in attendance. Lanark, Carleton Place, Almonte and Smiths Falls are all in the throes of the epidemic.

At Lanark in each house where a case has developed the others of the family have been asked to remain at the house and not mingle with other people. Food and all requirements are supplied them by the policeman. This is an effective means of quelling the spread of the epidemic and might be adopted with profit by other places.In Perth three business places are closed this week on account of employers and emplyees being ill and the factories are all running short handed.

Linda KingI remember my mother just had her 6th child and I looked after my other siblings when she came home from hospital and then I came down with the flu and was very sick but I survived!!

October 18 1918 Almonte Gazette
October 18 1918 Almonte Gazette
October 18 1918 Almonte Gazette
October 18 1918 Almonte Gazette

Tragedy in Carleton Place 1919 — Spanish Flu — Trotman Family

Dr. Wood’s Norway Pine Syrup — QUACK MEDICINE Spanish Flu

Myths of History — Germs From a German U Boat Began Spanish Flu 1918

Spanish Flu 1918– Swine May Have to Wear Masks

Stanley Cup Called Off by the Spanish Flu 1919

Spanish Influenza in Lanark County from the Perth Courier — Names Names

Hey Even Journalists Can be Sick! Influenza 1918

More Family Names– Death by Influenza

Death by Influenza 1918- Any Names you Recognize?

They Lived and Died in Lanark County

What was Puking Fever? Child Bed Fever?

Think the Smallpox issue on Outlander was far fetched?

Smallpox in Carleton Place — Did You Know?

The Great White Plague

A Day in Life — November 28, 2020

A Day in Life — November 28, 2020
December 25, 2019 — Tenley, Sophia and Elia and me Gammy, that’s Grammy without an ‘R’– There is only one Grammy- Mary Louise Deller Knight my Grandmother.

November 28, 2020

The year 2020 has been difficult for us all– there is no doubt about it– but last night I was reminded once again that none of our memories are ever being lost. Some feel that important life moments are being taken away from them, when in reality, now is an opportunity to slow down and reflect on what matters to most of us.

Last night I babysat my oldest grandchild Sophia who is 6 going on 32. This morning I woke up and remembered the things that we did last night which were in fact not much different than the ones I enjoyed in my childhood.

Every Friday night when my Grandparents electrical store closed my Grandmother would make Cheese and Crackers while we watched Tommy Hunter around the television. Each time I babysit Sophia she asks me for cheese and crackers while we watch television– and I hope she continues this tradition with her children. 

February 1, 2014  · 

Helping to keep everyone warm…
— with Steph Andd Perry Seccaspina.

We have deep discussions about friends and life and we try to create memories. Last night we made up a fictitious family ancestry line for Bella the dog. So far she has 6 brothers and two sisters, and next time we will take the imaginary geneology line even further. We also talked about the iconic FAO Schwartz Toy Store in New York City where her teddy bear was from. I used to buy my sons a  treat there when on my buying trips there for my store. I can’t wait until she is old enough ( or should I say interested enough) to watch the film BIG which reminded me and others– that it’s okay to savour childhood  while being an adult. As George Bernard Shaw said: “We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing” 

Sure, we laugh and play less and wear uncomfortable disguises like adults, but beneath all the fabric is the child we always will be. As we watched The Gingerbread Man and laughed at his antics she does not read my mind that whoever created this animated little film must have been pretty sadistic and created many nightmares for small minds.

I understand her fascination with the film JAWS but I try to steer her into watching the Lego version– or the Jaws ride at Universal Studios where it cost her Grandmother 25 bucks to ride it.  Mimicking Elaine on Seinfeld I tell her it was ‘fake fake fake’ with many hand gestures. She repeats my ‘Elaine line’ two hours later.

But, is she any different than I was?  I still remember the day somehow a preview of Edgar Allan Poe’s film The Pit and the Pendulum was slipped in before The Sound of Music at the Princess Theatre in Cowansville, Quebec. It remained in a corner of my mind for a whole lifetime. I can still see that pendulum going back and forth to this day.

Sophia understands Gammy can’t get down on the floor to play because of her bad knees just like I knew my Grandmother’s tight Eaton’s corset didn’t allow her to do much. You just accept it as Gammy sits on a giant teddy bear and then realizes she can’t get up so she scoots on her butt over the hardwood floor to the stairs and then flips over like a beached fish and pulls herself up to the stairs. It’s all in a day of making those memories and I am sure Sophia will remember that incident for the rest of her life. I know I will and have reminded myself not to wear socks on hardwood floors if such an emergency happens again– absolutely no grip.

I have so many things I want to share with my Grandchildren, and most of them are shared events that I had with my Grandmother Mary Louise Deller Knight. Although some of us would like to forget what has happened this past year, many like myself feel that communication is key.  I am never going to forget how many people have been sick and died. I lost one of my best friends this year to COVID, but at the same time she would not want me to forget that people are still living. My Grandmother used to remind me that she would never have yesterday, and tomorrow I would be bigger than I was today– so we needed to remember that  today was a gift– and for the love of God– stiff upper lip and pay attention. I did, and I will never forget a moment I shared with her just as I hope my grandchildren will remember too.

Dedicated to Sophia, Tenley and Elia in hopes you might read this one day. I love you so much.

Pyjamas in Public- Should We Put Sweatpants on and Meet Society Halfway?

Pyjamas in Public- Should We Put Sweatpants on and Meet Society Halfway?

It was your second day of working from home at the beginning of the COVID 19 quarantine and things began to deteriorate quickly.  Instead of the prepared mental schedule, you spent many hours snacking and watching Netflix. Pyjama bottoms became your best friend as they go with everything. All that time you saved not having to change between sleeping and work was amazing.

COVID change came to the workforce and your home looked like a call centre when you had Zoom meetings. The dress code quickly turned into comfort first, pants optional. Did you ever think you could get away with wearing PJs on Zoom, having a dog on your lap, or maybe a glass of wine at 2:30 p.m.? 

So then we pushed the dress code a little farther. We began to wear PJs at Walmart before the 10 p.m. and 8 a.m. decency cutoff and drive-thrus became a good idea. No longer did you have to have a small child with you to have a green light to wear lounge pants. 

Some folks got miffed and began commenting that wearing PJS in public meant you were too lazy to get dressed,  or just not a classy thing to do. We begin to wonder why we had to look good for the neighbours. Can’t we just wear what is comfortable without comments from the peanut gallery?

The answer is: do not go there. There is no question in a lot of folks’ minds that it is not an okay look, even if everyone else is doing it. Really in the discussion of public loungewear there are only two teams: those who do not have to be told twice to wear PJs outside, and those horrified by people even considering it. I say to the last group: we see you hesitating, but fear you might be missing out. Trust me it’s been wonderful!

Actually during this COVID 19 shutdown it’s been way too easy to overeat and wear comfy clothing. Stress snacking, lack of a gym, and being cooped up at home is making everyone pile on some weight. Gaining the COVID ’19’ is real– and resisting the urge to eat every 15 minutes is hard under quarantine. The problem is the overeating  has kept us wearing stretchy knit clothes. You’ve gained the weight and keep wearing the big comfy pants with an adjustable elastic or drawstring waist. A lot of us got caught in this spiral, and it’s an upward one.

Still, the whole dressing up thing should not be taken to extremes, where people are judged only by what they wear. I really don’t think that the majority of people shopping in pyjamas are sufferers from extreme tactile over sensitivity linked to sensory integration disorder. It’s just being comfortable in a challenging time. I know this is crazy but—we could just mind our own business and let the style pass. Like socks and sandals or the mullet. Now those are dangerous words to utter twice and we won’t even go there.