Tag Archives: love

Mother’s Day Emotional Glue by Linda Knight Seccaspina

Mother’s Day Emotional Glue by Linda Knight Seccaspina

I am the one in red.. My sister Robin and mother are both passed.

Mother’s Day Glue by Linda Knight Seccaspina– Sherbrooke Record Column

At one time our grandmothers would wear a rose, either white or red, on Mother’s Day. The white was for those who had passed and the colour red was for the living. My mother passed away decades ago but I will not be wearing a white rose because the memory of my mother lives with me every hour. As the shadows lengthen and the days pass more swiftly; I am older and I grow to miss her more and realize just what she meant to me.

I am not writing this to be personal, but to tell the story of a mother I knew better in years after she passed. I often wonder if the world would not have been better had there been more mothers like my own. She told me she had never kissed any man except my father in the Cowansville Post Office. At night she would read wonderful stories I was too small to read but I learned the greater things of life through all of the books in which she was interested in. By the time I began to read for myself she had cultivated in me a taste for better literature.  We sometimes wandered through the woods of Calls Mills together gathering flowers. There seemed to be so much to learn and I could not follow her then, or I did not try perhaps. In those days I was interested in less important things. Now I regret it. 

I was too young to realize that her sickness was taking her away from us. Then before I could comprehend what was going on my mother had passed. I shall never forget coming back to the empty house into an empty room where I had gone to seek her for everything.

Friends have told me that I am rather brave, but my bravery wasn’t with me the day she died. I went out and lay down upon the ground where we had planted Lilies of the Valley. When my mother passed my father gave me her suitcase that she had taken to the hospital. When I opened up the blue Samsonite suitcase a few days later a bottle of her perfume Coty’s Lily of the Valley had broken inside it. For years after that suitcase still smelled of Lily of the Valley and her memories.It’s not fun to be motherless any day of the year, but sometimes you have no choice in the matter. Is one ever ready to lose a mother? Some days I feel I missed out on so much, but because of a kind neighbour

named Agnes Rychard in Cowansville, Quebec–a little of my mother was returned to me.

We all have issues to deal with. I think this is part of life’s journey back to our true pure selves, but without a real feeling of love early on, it’s challenging. How do motherless children get through Mother’s Day? I personally would like to think that some of us have had people like Agnes in our lives. Adoptive mothers, or those that chose to be by our side, were born with the ability to change someone’s life. They gave us places to feel safe, loved, and shed a few tears.

Agnes remembered each and every birthday with a greeting card, and we still sometimes swap photos, stories and treasured mementos through the mail. She allowed me to know my mother in a new way. Thanks to her, when I look at these mementos I discover new pieces of my mother all the time.

This woman took the time to rescue snippets of my mother’s plants while a construction crew tore my childhood home down. With my horticultural talents, I successfully ended up killing every plant she gave me, but I still got to enjoy them for a short time. I always knew in my heart she had a dream, but there was never an ounce of anger shown when my late sister and I chose others over her sons for partners.

To all these women who took the time to befriend a young girl or boy in their time of need I am sending you my heart. If your doors had not been open we would have never become part of your “kitchen table family”. Mine was a table that was filled with comfort food, conversation, accompanied by the songs of Hank Snow and Jim Reeves playing in the background.

I used to hate Mother’s Day, but thanks to Agnes, my mother still lives somewhere within me in a very real way. Each of those moments and days she spent with me worked to create a world in which my sons will carry me within themselves as they move forward in their lives, no matter what lies ahead. These women were always busy with their own families and their hands were always full, but so were their hearts.

In memory of Agnes Perrott Rychard who passed away in August 2021..

A Timbit of a Mother’s Day Tale

A Timbit of a Mother’s Day Tale

I originally wrote this story for a newspaper in California and had to use McDonalds as the location. The story actually happened right here at the original Tim Horton’s at the four corners in downtown Carleton Place. 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?”

Generally Tim Horton’s is not the most inspirational place to gather stories. Each Wednesday, all I see in there is a lot of personal misery and supposedly non existent trans fat for my body. 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 dishevelled 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

Family Connections to Tim Horton’s LOLOL

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

Romi is two months old today..So the Tim Horton’s Glazed Donut Challenge is on again as it was when she was one month old. Feb 2023

Tenley and Elia say ” Get those Smile cookies!!”

Sophia handing out the love

Mayor Toby Randell, Owner Scot Moore and Me handing out the love

Husband Steve with a SMILE cookie

Documenting a Sweet Story of Jim and Gertie Vaughn 1981

Documenting a Sweet Story of Jim and Gertie Vaughn 1981

A Huntley township couple who raised 11 children in the little log house they still reside in, celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary. Mr James (Jim) Vaughan and Miss Gertrude (Gertie) Curtin were married sixty years ago in St. Michael’s Roman Catholic church al Corkery. As part of the happy celebrations surrounding such a remarkable milestone. Mr and Mrs Vaughan at tended a special mass in the church they were married in, on Januray 31.

As well, on Monday, February 2, a long time friend of the families Father Morris Fagan gave mass m the Vaughan’s home. Also over the weekend, main friends, relatives and neighbours dropped by to offer their congratulations to the Vaughans. Like other couples who have been married for a good many years, the Vaughan’s can take credit for their teamwork and tenacity through the hard times and good times of the past sixty years.

What makes the Vaughan’s story an unusual one is the way their two lives have been intertwined for almost ninety years. Jim who is 87, and Gertie, who is 86, were born in Huntley township within 1 1 /2 miles of each other — Gertie on the 12th concession and Jim on the 10th. They attended the same school together, SS No 8, which still stands almost a stones throw from the Vaughan’s prescent residence from that small schooihouse. Gertie ( went on to two years of high school in Almonte).

Jim’s education, however, came to an abrupt hall when he was old enough to farm full-time — like main other farm children of that era. He was young when he left school. For almost thirty years as well, the modest log house on the 10th Concession where the Vaughan’s still live, has been the most important focal point in their lives. Jim was born in that same house which he brought his bride to, and so has lived there all his long life.

The house was built about many years before that possibly by Irish immigrants. It

It’s originaf site was about a mile away from where it now stands. About the same time Jim Vaughan was born, the little house was painstakingly moved. This was accomplished by jacking it up on huge logs which acted as rollers. A team of horses provided ihe power needed to transport it to its present site. Somehow, over the years, 11 children and two adults co-existed peacefully in the four bedroom house.

Modern conveniences were added, but only fairly recently. Electricity was brought in in the early fifties, and the telephone just before the sixties. A bathroom was finally installed about fifteen years ago. The farmland surrounding the old house is still very much a part of the Vaughan saga and is farmed today by one of their sons, Gerald.

The eleven children, 31 grandchildren and 14 great grandchildren (the youngest just a few weeks old) of Jim and Gertie Vaughan have now scattered from Vancouver to Labrador City. Jim and Gertie, however, can still be found in their log house on the 10th Concession, any time friends and family care to drop in for a chat or a game of Euchre.


Documenting Carleton Place History — From Bridge Street Benches—JamesMcNeill

Documenting Mabel Hanneman’s Nursing Home/ Bartlett’s

Documenting the Thundertones….

Documenting Mr.and Mrs. William Fest Transportation Building or—I Want Candy

Documenting Frank Lancaster — Painter — Carleton Place

June 1957 –Documenting the Happy Wanderers CFRA

E. Pauline Johnson (Tekahionwake) Poetess Town Hall Lanark November 4th 1904 — Documenting Aboriginal History

What Do Women Really Want? After Valentine’s Day Thoughts…. Linda Knight Seccaspina

What Do Women Really Want? After Valentine’s Day Thoughts…. Linda Knight Seccaspina


What Do Women Really Want? After Valentine’s Thoughts….

Linda Knight Seccaspina

I’m not anti-love, in fact I watch an average of 5 Hallmark movies a week. I thought Valentine’s Day was romantic when I was in Grade 1, but by the time I got to Grade 3  it seemed that it was nothing but business transactions between the card and chocolate companies. In fact for a couple of decades I decided I didn’t need some popular opinion to tell me what my wants or needs would be for a man. In fact, I had a list. Yes, I had a list and I remember it well.

In the grooming department I wanted no dirty combs growing bacteria in some back jeans pocket. Of course that would be the rule only if the fella had hair. Lessons on “wipe-downs and aim” would be needed, and green things growing in a toilet bowl were not usually the mark of a real man in my mind.

A  generous supply of toilet paper must be available, and stocking the bathroom with paper towels from the gym, gas station, and other such places was a no-no. Pants should not be considered portable hand towels. Having many empty spools of toilet paper scattered as kick-toys is not a big turn-on for many women. Reminders should be mentioned frequently that if there is no toilet paper in the house your sheets aren’t really clean. Also, I would prefer no mockery at all about the 18 bottles of hair products I have in my bathroom.

In his home, decorating floors is not really an efficient shelf. Retro is not cheap furniture, and using a mattress or a futon on the floor?  Listen, if you’re old enough to bend over to change the sheets, you’re old enough for a big-boy bed. In the retro theme of home decorating, Lava lamps are not making a comeback. Black light went out in the 60s and 70s and that spooky velvet paint-by-number on the wall does not make the entire room come together. Even if he passed the test there was a bottom line. If he has a collection of action figures, he better have a law or medical degree, or better yet- a substantial trust fund.

Real dishes in the kitchen are important to me as I don’t care to eat out of containers and use plastic cutlery. (Please note that these rules changed once I was older and had a  big crowd over)  Obviously, a restraining order and messages from your ex-wife on the answering machine are particularly unappealing to me either. If you disagree with some of these maybe you don’t really want me as a girlfriend or wife, and just be thankful you have that internet connection!

Love should not be complicated– but it is. I’ve had my share of doozies and I’m sure I was a real piece of work to some of my dates. The world is a mess but I’m glad my Steve is in it even though we did have to have a chat about his use of plastic cutlery and paper plates in his kitchen. Since there was no taxidermy anywhere on the walls, I gave it a pass.

A few years ago at the local Heritage dinner a beautiful diamond ring from Burns Jewellers was the big ticket. I joked with Steve that if he won, he was going to have to get down on his knees and ask me to marry him for a second time. He might have passed the list, but he had never gotten down on one knee and popped the question. That was still a stickler on my imaginary list that one might blame the Hallmark Channel for.

Sadly we did not win– but a good friend did. I was thrilled for her– but what did she do? She put the ring down on the table and told Steve it was his. We were flabbergasted, just flabbergasted, and I think I was in shock. In front of a capacity crowd at the Town Hall Steve got down on one knee and asked me to marry him again. I could not stand up, I was completely frozen.There in the middle of Carleton Place on a cold winter’s night in February I got my Hallmark moment.

In my confusion I did not realize Father David was there and we could have done the marriage roundup a second time right then and there. When I mentioned it to the good padre after the fact he said,

“Well, we’ve still got the parking lot!!”

My lists are gone forever and I laugh when I think about it today. The thing is: you should love your special guy or gal all year long, not on one

day, and get rid of the lists. But, you can still  buy me discounted chocolates the day after Valentine’s. You have to admit that nothing is hotter than a bargain!

See you next week!

Trying to Put Humour Into Being Sick –Linda Knight Seccaspina

A Town Founded by Women and Gossip

There was No Shortage of Wives in Carleton Place

It Wasn’t Raining Men in Carleton Place!

Valintinus, Hallmark and a Crazy Little Thing Called Love

Valintinus, Hallmark and a Crazy Little Thing Called Love

It’s a funny thing: I haven’t received a valentine in years. It used to be that every time Feb 14 rolled around I’d get at least one or two valentines, but for some time now they’ve stopped. I wonder why? In any case the approach of Feb 14 besides setting me to wondering where my valentines went also set me to pondering the origin of Valentine’s Day. We all know that it’s really St Valentine’s Day and so presumably it’s named after a saint named Valentine but who was Valentine and how did he get his name connected with flaming romance?

I’m indebted to Hallmark Cards for supplying me with the answers and the movies I cry through each week.The first valentine it seems was sent many many years age away back in the third century as a matter of fact. The sender was a young Roman named Valentinus.The story doean’t say that Valentinus was a Christian, but it does say that he made friends of Christians and aided them in those days that was a mighty dangerous thing to do.

And so first thing yon know poor Valentinus ran afoul of the Emperor Claudius II and ended np behind bars. While he was in prison Valentinus met and made friends with the blind daughter of his jailer. Their friendship blossomed and — so the story goes — Valentinus restored the girl’s sight. Even this miracle wasn’t enough to turn the heart of the emperor however and Valentinus was sentenced to die for his assistance to the persecuted Christians. On Feb 14 he was put to death and his body was buried in what today is the Church of Praxedes in Rome.

However on the night before he died Valentinus wrote a farewell message to the jailer’s daughter which he signed: “From your Valentine.” And so it all began and flowered until today the name of Valentinus has come to be synonymous with affection among friends and love among aweethearts. Well it could be that love and affection are the dominant feature of Valentine’s Day.

Yes, that was a Hallmark card!

But do you remember the days of the “funny” valentines? When I was in school the humorous valentine was all the rage. And truth to tell some of them weren’t really funny at all SOME WERE CRUEL. I can still remember the outrage that some cards aroused in their recipients Even worse were the ones which didn’t outrage but deeply hurt the person who got them.

“Roses are red violets are blue all skunks stink and so do you” was a particularly obnoxious valentine verse which I recall. Then there were the ones featuring a grotesque character wearing a dunce’s hat or a big fat lady trying to squeeze sideways through a door. The main thing about these “funny” valentines was trying to guess who had sent them to you, And then — if they weren’t too big — beating the living ‘be jabbers out of them. They tell me that “funny” valentines are pretty well passe now,and I am glad to hear it. Today it seems that sentiment is back in style although not to the extent of earlier days when some of the verses were enough to turn your stomach.

Whether valentines are sentimental funny ridiculous, or even cruel, they all have one purpose in mind and that is to deliver a message And, the message practically always gets through in spite of all difficulties There is the story of a painfully shy soldier who wrote a valentine letter to a French girl. The letter was in English and the girl spoke nothing but French, but it hardly seemed to matter since the boy was too shy to write anything but comments on the weather. Imagine his surprise when on their next meeting the girl rushed into his arms and smothered him with kisses They got along fine after that and in due course were married. After they’d been married awhile the soldier got up enough courage one day to ask his beloved what it was in his letter that had aroused her.

“Why it was the kisses you put on the envelope” she replied happily producing the envelope for him to see. Sure enough there were the kisses — a whole row of x’s made by the post office cancelling machine.

Unforgettable — Waterside Retirement Community –Valentine’s Day

Only Got My Love to Send On Valentine’s Day—Readers Comments

Let Them Be Little— Then and Now

What I Learned From Rhoda Morgenstern

And They Called it Puppy Love

Would You Duel Anything For Love?

Alternate Ending to The Last Duel?

The Tale of the Valentine Love Spud

My Love of Sweet Valley High Books … a Few Thoughts

My Love of Sweet Valley High Books … a Few Thoughts

Yesterday my daughter-in -law sent me a photo of my granddaughter Sophia reading her first Sweet Valley High book. It meant a lot to me as I remember how much I loved Sweet Valley High books……

When I was young and trying to endure a bad childhood books were my best friends. In those days our High School did not have a library, and we looked forward to the quarterly visits from the travelling Bookmobile.

We used to climb up the stairs to the interior of the truck in anticipation of what we might find. What character of what book would I live through when times became unbearable? Maybe Nancy Drew would take me along on one of her missions while I would sit for hours on end by myself while my father tended to my mother in the hospital.

As I got older and went out on my own I would always have a book and a library card in my tote bag. One could just walk into any library and smell the books that would take you anywhere you wanted to go. I used to love to see the smiles of children as they handed their books to the librarian, knowing that their parents would read stories and expose them to the world of fascinating words and ideas.

Years ago my brother-in-law called to tell me that my sister Robin was sick, so the next day I drove down to see her. The minute I walked in the door and looked at her I saw my late mother’s eyes looking at me. I knew she was terminally ill although everyone around her had such hope. Within three weeks her bowels ruptured and she was diagnosed with the family disease called Lymphoma.

And so began the 3 hour return journey every second day to see her at the Kingston Cancer Hospital. Most times she was unconscious and did not know I was there. One day I sat in the waiting room and saw a copy of the teen book series “Sweet Valley High” and started reading it. Suddenly the book’s characters Jessica and Elizabeth Wakefield became people I could rely on to get me through the day.

If you asked me today what the stories were about I could not tell you. But every second day I was at the library checking out “Sweet Valley High” books as I was living their normal lives in my mind.

Why was I not reading something a little deeper you ask? The truth be told is I could not handle anything more than that and the librarian never questioned me. My life was full of canyons of chaos so I had to live in a fictional world to have some sort of emotional comfort.

Each time one of the nurses in the ICU unit would see me they would ask me what was going on in Sweet Valley High. While I sat beside my dying sister I read to her about the twin’s daily antics that did not include a cell phone or texting.

 My sister died that August after they pulled the plug, deeming that she had no quality of life left. A few months later they found a lump – this time on me. What should I do?  The only thing that got me though everything was continuing to read books.

I think I read every Sweet Valley High Book in the Carleton Place library and not once did they question why. All they ever did was stamp my books and keep me going with their words and love.

Cancer and Family 1903- Almonte Gazette

My Pink Frying Pan that Cooks Nothing but Hope For Breast Cancer

The Good Bad and Ugly of Kissing— Linda Knight Seccaspina

The Good Bad and Ugly of Kissing— Linda Knight Seccaspina

The Good Bad and Ugly of Kissing— Linda Knight Seccaspina

An old local tale I was told many times flashed through my mind today: about a wife and a boarder that went missing. Fred Smith and his wife made a somewhat small income by keeping boarders. One of the boarders, as reported by the husband, had become very attentive to his wife.  So much so that the husband  decided to leave for a few weeks until the boarder was gone.

Once Smith left the house he refused to go back until household matters were adjusted. The renter stayed on just the same. The boarder was unemployed, and as Smith said, had paid them no money. He was literally just a fixture in the house.

Mr. Smith also supported the house of his sister-in-law’s children, besides the rest of  his clan. He obtained work in Farnham and went away to work a few weeks later. However, he became suspicious and returned to his home in Cowansville. He found nothing, as the wife and the boarder had cleared out, and there was no trace of them to be found. Smith laid a complaint before the police and said he would prosecute the parties if he found them. But, why had she left him?

Physicians had started an anti-kissing crusade from time to time telling some fearful stories of transfer of bacteria from lip to lip. But, whatever truth or danger there was in the warnings of the medical men, few cared. Kissing lost none of its fascinations, and everybody, including the bacteria, continued to be happy.

It seems Mr. Smith’s dentist had told him some fearsome tales. He told him that no matter how fine a set of teeth he may have– if you kiss a person — you will soon need the dentist’s services. That information did not sit well with Mrs. Greene, and hence she took up with a man not interested in bacteria.

I had heard this tale of fear from my grandparents many times and ignored all warnings when it came to kissing. Here is a tale of my first kiss:

We met one day in the sunshine while we were both picking raspberries from bushes so tall they seemed to touch the sky.  I had just turned seven and he was barely eight. His body was hidden on the other side of the shrubberies but his voice hit me like a ton of rocks.  The high volume of his vocals insisted I was not to pick from ‘his’ raspberry bush.  He kept insisting that he needed a lot of berries so his mother could make him some jam. She had told him emphatically that he had better not come home unless that big silver pail was full.

I pushed my blonde bangs out of my face and told him in a loud voice that he did not own the raspberries. His round face full of freckles had a look of defiance as I saw him walk around from the other side of the bushes.

He stopped dead in his tracks, put his pail down and wiped the sweat off his face with his blue chequered shirt. He smiled, and said he was sorry, and that he didn’t usually yell at pretty girls.

I looked down at my white sandals and socks that were now covered in dirt and berry juice and smiled. No one had ever called me pretty before so we began to talk and pick raspberries together. I had seen him in the school yard at recess and one day he had waved at me from his verandah as I walked home from school.

When our pails were full and our lips bright red from eating fresh raspberries he held my hand as we walked home. We reached his house first and before I could say a word he kissed me hard on the lips. It tasted like a river of sweat combined with tributaries of fresh warm raspberry jam. He suddenly ran across the street and flew up the rickety stairs hugging his mother who was hanging clothes.

Buzzy Lickfold never did kiss me again, but I will forever remember that heartfelt affection as my first kiss. Sixty five years later I wonder if he still picks raspberries and kisses his wife tasting warm fresh jam. Maybe some days he thinks back to the day he kissed the little blonde haired girl with her stained red lips; because she still remembers that kiss to this day. It wasn’t my lips he kissed – it was my soul.

After that for a good many good years my kisses were more of only the Hershey Variety. The only kiss with no strings attached– okay maybe one– and maybe a dentist warning too.

Anyone Want Breakfast ? The Story of St. James Weekly Breakfast with Photos — Holly Carol Parkinson

Anyone Want Breakfast ? The Story of St. James Weekly Breakfast with Photos — Holly Carol Parkinson

Peter and Chris

Every Wednesday morning 830-1030 a wonderful FREE breakfast at St. James Anglican Church- see you there! For all ages — Children, Families, ALL welcome. Donations greatfully accepted.

225 Edmund St., Carleton Place, ON, Canada

Every Tuesday at Zion Memorial- Come join us for a free hot lunch Zion-Memorial United Church. Lunch is served from noon- 12:30. Takeout is available. LOVE fellowship and lunch is free,(donations accepted)

37 Franklin Street Carleton Place, ON K7C 1R6

St James in Carleton Place to the Rescue! Carleton Place in the News… Crosstalk 2022 #communityproud

St James and St Mary’s Christmas Bazaar 1998 -Who Do You Know?

They Call Me James — James Warren of Carleton Place

Hallelujah and a Haircut —Faces of St. James 1976

What did Rector Elliot from St. James Bring Back from Cacouna?

The Emotional Crowded Houses– St. James

Me, Orm Giles and Walmart — In Loving Memory

Me, Orm Giles and Walmart — In Loving Memory

Photo Sylvia Giles

This is the speech I gave at Orm’s Funeral this week at St. James

I have to be honest here– most of my best conversations with Orm Giles were in Walmart. I never went to Walmart without bumping into Orm Giles. We used to have  our fireside chats on the bench beside the front door where Orm and I would plot to glue coins to the floor and see how many people would try and pick them up. Orm was everything to me. Each time I would bump into him he would haul his flyers out when Walmart used to price match and he would be telling me what I should be buying whether it be in aisle 4 or 5 or maybe even 6. Orm was an iconic retired politician, but he was a master of the grocery flyers–yes he most certainly was.

Orm not only had savings information– he would also give me council advice on that same Walmart bench next to the front door. It was my two for one Roll back special. When I got elected I told Orm I had so many great ideas– so many— and what was the easiest way to get them done. He looked at me and said ,” Well first you have to have 3 other people vote with you”, and I looked at him just like they had slashed everything on aisle 7 and said NOOOOOO. Are you kidding me?

Now when I hear people that are going to enter the world of politics and do this and that and the other– I laugh and say, “No, not unless you have 3 other people vote  with you!” and I know that for a fact because Orm Giles told me so.

I had great respect for Orm as he represented his community in municipal politics for over 30 years. I know how hard it is to represent your community, but we do it because we  love where we live and boy Orm loved Lanark County. He made many many important decisions for our town and one day he jokingly made a decision for Walmart,

 “Hey Linda, what say we tell Walmart to buy 30 new cashes and only open 2 of those cashes?”

Orm had a wicked sense of humour and he once told a story to his son Stephen about the house I was documenting across the street where they lived. They were an odd lot that lived  there — no doubt about it. Apparently they used to come out late at night and dig for worms to go fishing. Orm looked out the window one night and said,

“Would you look at that we have a couple of miners across the street digging for gold!”

Only in Carleton Place.

As far as I can remember Orm was a Councillor, Deputy Reeve and Deputy Mayor of the Town of Carleton Place and Warden of Lanark County. He had a park named after him  and he lobbied the government of Ontario for years for the expansion of Highway 7.

When I posted about the passing of Orm on Facebook I got a great many comments and Id like to read a few :

Orm was a great citizen who lead by example RIP SIR!

Very sorry for your loss – your Dad served the community with honesty and integrity.

He was the Royalty of CP! I was sharing stories about him tonight. So many! Sylvia Giles you Dad (& Mom) was a true gem!!

He sat with my Dad on his last day on earth along with Don Stanley. I will never forget that.

I‘m truly sorry to hear this news, Sylvia. Even when you know it’s inevitable, it still comes as shock. I wish you and Stephen the best as you celebrate this good and decent man. My sincere condolences. My thoughts are with you.

I am so sorry to hear of your father’s passing Sylvia. Your Dad was such a sweet nice man. He was always there to greet us all at church. My condolences to you and your family.

Duncan and I are so very sorry to hear this sad news. Orm was a gentleman who served Carleton Place for many years with grace and style. He will be truly missed. Our condolences to the family. Sending our deepest condolences to Sylvia, Chris and Stephen. Orme will be greatly missed!

So today we mourn the passing of Orm Giles and I am so grateful that he raised two wonderful children named Sylvia and Stephen, who will carry on his legacy and keep me informed of what I should watch out for in town affairs. I am so grateful for that, but I have one thing that I am heartbroken that I never knew.,. I never knew that Orm’s first name was Clarence. To me that was information that should have been spoken about on our Walmart visits. Because Walmart is a place that you can never be ashamed of who you are.

I am going to truly miss the man that was named Clarence Orm Giles. He was one in a million! Love you Orm and Ill keep that bench in Walmart warm for you.


Love in a Photograph–Linda Knight Seccaspina

Love in a Photograph–Linda Knight Seccaspina
My son Perry and his daughter Romi

Love in a Photograph–Linda Knight Seccaspina

Today I received this photo of my youngest son and his brand new baby daughter. I can feel the love between the two oozing out of the photograph. It seems like yesterday he was a small boy himself and I remember the falls, the accidents and the worries that he will have to endure with his two daughters.  But, he will also have the memories, the laughter and the stories to remember just as I have now……

Aug. 6th, 2006 at 10:38 AM

Around 2:30 am this morning a large shadow lurks inside the doorway of my bedroom and wakes me up.

“Mom, Mom, have you got any tweezers?”

Mothers have to be prepared, but somehow I think I can be excused if I am not carrying tweezers in my PJ pocket at that time of the morning. The son shows me his hand that has swollen up very badly. Seems he got mixed up with some brambles and thorns on his ATV, and it is definitely causing some sort of infection.

I look for Benadryl, and within seconds he can’t move his hand and the swelling is worse. I said, 

“Let’s go to the hospital”. 

Now, it’s not a long journey mind you, about two blocks down the street, but the “production” must begin. I have to get dressed, haul the car out without waking up the dogs and everyone else in the house, and worry every second hoping he will be okay.

Emergency is like a ghost town, no one there, except for one lone lady at the desk. She eyes us with irritation as we disturb her reading and asks us what’s wrong. I show her my son’s hand and she asks if he has taken Benadryl. With his hand now swollen up like The Incredible Hulk I want to scream that we are beyond that at this point. 

When asked to produce his health card the son has of course lost his health card and yet another hospital card. She asks if he has ever been here before. At that point I want to laugh and say,

“Yes, actually, he has been here so much as a child the doctors said they were going to name a wing after him”.

The nurse tells him to come into the emergency section and I hear Larry King interviewing Kathy Griffin on the waiting room TV.  I tell him to go by himself, as if he is old enough to drink and vote he’s good! I figure if I have to be up at 3am I might as well enjoy myself, and I am actually considering it “a Saturday night out” at this point. 

I don’t want to seem callous, but I have been through every disease and injury of the week with this son, so I know I can watch television in peace here. He will definitely pull through with a huge Hallelujah and some sort of prescription.

Thirty minutes later a doctor in scrubs walks by me half asleep hardly able to open his eyes. They had to call someone to come in, as someone went home sick. He looks at me with one eye open and bangs into the door frame–yes, my son will get good care here.

Ten minutes later the son comes out with a prescription for the infection. He is told the thorn is in deep and not to take it out just yet. The Larry King interview is over, we leave and drive the two blocks home.  By the time we pull into the garage he is almost asleep and I am wide awake with tears coming down my face relieved that he is okay. 

Being a parent can be a frustration sometimes— it’s like using a blender with no top on it, but you make do. Then you remember that years ago– both your sons’s first breaths took yours away–and it still does. You never know the love of a parent until we become parents ourselves–just like this photograph.