Tag Archives: love

Me, Orm Giles and Walmart — In Loving Memory

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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.

Linda

Love in a Photograph–Linda Knight Seccaspina

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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.

Love at Flora Lake in Hull — Disappearing Lakes- Simpson Book Collection

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Love at Flora Lake in Hull — Disappearing Lakes- Simpson Book Collection
Unknown Hull Couple from the Simpson Book Collection.. Hull 1800-1975

Where Flora Park was in Hull there was once in the 1880s a good sized lake, lined on all sides by a thick growth of weeds and cattails. In connection with this lake of by-gone days, Mr. Fabien Raymond of 127 Besserer street, relates a rather amusing story.

About the year 1881 a young man who resided in Hull and who was one of the few letter carriers of that period, decided to enter into the holy bonds of matrimony. His means, however, would not permit of an extended honeymoon, so he decided to take his bride on a row-boat picnic on Flora Lake.

They started out early in the morning with a well-filled lunch basket, and all went well until near the noon hour when one of the boys in that vicinity spotted them and rounded up a gang of fifteen young chaps who quickly collected all the noise producing instruments they could lay their hands on.There were dishpans, tin palls, tin cans, etc., and they started a grand parade around the lake, setting up an awful noise on their improvised musical instruments.

The young groom had provided himself with an accordion, but all his attempts to fill the air with its inspiring notes were of no avail, The tin-pan band drowned out every note. The gang stayed on the job until dusk and then took their departure, leaving the lovers to themselves at long last.

 

 

https://blogues.banq.qc.ca/instantanes/2020/07/15/le-lac-flora-un-attrait-naturel-disparu/
Barbara Ann Scott performed an exhibition skate here in 1948

Before the lake was drained it was a dangerous place. In the winter children frequently fell through the ice and had to be rescued.

CLIPPED FROMThe Ottawa JournalOttawa, Ontario, Canada01 Dec 1897, Wed  •  Page 3

CLIPPED FROM
The Ottawa Journal
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
12 Mar 1898, Sat  •  Page 3
CLIPPED FROM
The Hamilton Spectator
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
06 Aug 1898, Sat  •  Page 4

CLIPPED FROM
The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
09 Apr 1908, Thu  •  Page 1
CLIPPED FROM
The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
14 Apr 1908, Tue  •  Page 1

CLIPPED FROM
The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
05 May 1925, Tue  •  Page 3
CLIPPED FROM
The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
13 Jan 1928, Fri  •  Page 1

The playground created out of Lake Flora was later renamed for J-E Lafontaine, the Mayor of Hull and subsequently Liberal M.P. for the area. Read More Here- CLICK

Before and After- Archives Canada-Le Droit

Before and After-Le parc Fontaine aujourd’hui
PATRICK WOODBURY, LE DROIT

1900 Hull map from from the Simpson Book Collection.. Hull 1800-1975 Lac Flora is there
1925 Hull map- Lake Flora is not there.. it is called Ile de Hull Parc — from the Simpson Book Collection.. Hull 1800-1975

What happened?

With the City Council, the Mayor, and prominent citizens in attendance the Federal District Commission Chairman Thomas Ahearn opened Lake Flora park on September 19, 1929. Read More Here- CLICK

Bears at Lansdowne Park- From a Bear Feeding Ground to Terrible Ted

Money, Dance Marathons, and Living in Lion Cages—The Ups and Downs of Luna Park

“Hey You Guys!” A Goonie Adventure on Brewery Creek

The Disappearance of Lake Tamo

Simpson Book Collection

Ed and Shirley’s Simpson –Historic Books — the List

Simpson Book Collection – History of Westboro– 1927 reprint – 1927 Advertisements –Where was PALM BEACH?

Remember Lover’s Lane? Lover’s Walk? Les Chats Sauvage? Simpson Books

You Have to Open Up a Business Here!!! 1912 Ottawa Marketing — Simpson Books

Down on Main Street– 1911-Photos- For the Discriminating and the Particular — Simpson Books

The General Hospital 1867-1929 Photos — Simpson Books

Renfrew Fair 1953-1953-Ed and Shirley (Catherine) Simpson

Did You Know? Union School #9 and Goulburn #16

When One Boat Filled the Rideau Lock–Rideau King

Women’s Institute Burritts Rapids 1902-1988

Looking for Photos of ‘The Castle’ in Ashton

A Romantic Story of the Founding Of Burritt’s Rapids

The First Half Century of Ottawa Pictorial McLeod Stewart – Simpson Book Collection

1906 INDUSTRIAL AND PICTURESQUE OTTAWA CANADA – PHOTOS— Simpson Book Collection

Ottawa, The Capital of the Dominion of Canada 1923 Simpson Book Collection

Views Of Ottawa (Aylmer) Basil Reid 1890-1900 Simpson Book Collection – Photos Photos Photos

The Ottawa City Directory 1897-98 —Simpson Book Collection

“Ottawa Flashbacks” Photo Collection- Simpson Book Collection

Norman Levine– Selected Photos– Lower Town- Simpson Book Collection

Sussex Street— Photo Collection — National Capital Commission – Simpson Book Collection

All We Need is a Little Bit of Love — Christmas 2021

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All We Need is a Little Bit of Love — Christmas 2021

I can’t remember how old I was when I began to watch Charlie Brown Christmas programs. All I know is at the age of 70 I can still quote a lot of the text from the TV shows with tears in my eyes, and now my grandkids watch them.

Charlie Brown reminds me of a lot of friends I walked through life with. They were never sure which road to take, and then when they did, they still questioned it.

However, Pig-Pen didn’t care if anyone brought him down because of his constant lingering smell and trailing dust. Each Christmas Pig-Pen reaffirmed that:

It is OK if you just don’t smell right some days.

It is OK to sit around with dirty hair and pyjamas, too.

It is OK to be silent and OK to be not.

It is OK to not join a crowd.

It is OK to treat your home like a dust magnet sometimes.

It is OK to drag some of your perpetually messy past life around as long as it just becomes a pile of dust behind you.

What if today we didn’t get our tinsel in a tangle and we were just grateful for everything this Christmas?

Stop looking up at the sky and eating those December snowflakes. Remember how great life can be during the holidays, and maybe just save them for January.

LINDA SECCASPINA
CARLETON PLACE
(Thankfulness is always a virtue.)

Published in the Ottawa Sun in 2017

and with that I end this Linda Style– let’s dance

Aggie Yuill Remembers Christmas and the Yuill French Loaf

Christmas Toys of the 50s– Saddle Up! Saddle Up ! Kenner’s Daddy Saddle –Fits Any Daddy!

Christmas Rations and Food — Christmas 1942

Almonte’s Methodist Christmas 1893

Somehow Christmas Always Finds Me

The Story of Trenches –Fred Knight Legion Branch #99 Cowansville

Linda’s Christmas Letter 2020

Almonte Christmas Concert 1900 DuGald Campbell

When Santa Came to the O’Brien Theatre 1948

Pakenham Santa Claus “Chicken Pox” Parade — Wall Street Journal

I Saw Santa…..

Lanark County Santa Letters 1918

A Day to Remember – September 19, 1958 –Don White

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A Day to Remember – September 19, 1958 –Don White

On September 19, 1958 my family and I were invited to a wedding reception in the Perth Town Hall for Dick Warr and Shirley Code. My parents were unable to attend so it looked like another quiet Friday night unless I hopped on shank’s mare and walked the 5 kilometres to Innisville, the nearest village.*Enter fate, stage left*. Our landlord and his wife, Art and Lena McCall, were also invited to the reception and asked if I’d like to go with them. So at 9 PM that evening I was on the loose in Perth at the dance.The first person I ran into that I knew was Ivan Malloch, an acquaintance from Drummond Centre.

He was a couple years older than I and had a car. We stood around an listened to the music for a while and then the band announced that they were going to play a square dance.Now being a Lanark County boy, fiddle tunes and square dancing were second nature to me so I started looking around for someone to dance with. That’s when Ivan pointed out a lovely young lady, Helen Ireton, sitting along the wall. He said she was a neighbour of his and she liked to dance. She was wearing a red sweate, plaid pleated skirt and slingback shoes and from where I was standing she looked fantastic. So, young buck that I was, I sauntered over and asked this vision of loveliness to dance. And she accepted! We ended up dancing together for most of the night.

Helen says the thing she remembers most about the way I was dressed was: how shiny my shoes were. That was the beginning of a friendship that has lasted 60 years. That 60 years has included being married 6 years later, moving to Ottawa, raising a son, and for the most part just enjoying life together. We’ve had many interesting experiences and I imagine we likely wouldn’t change any of it. And through it all I can safely say, we’ve stayed friends.

So I’d like to raise a glass of wine to Helen, my friend and lover for 60 years. 😍😘😈 ***News Flash***: I had to make a slight adjustment to the remembrance. After reading the posting, Helen pointed out to me that she wasn’t wearing a red sweater that night because she didn’t have one. She wore a brown plaid A-line skirt with a matching fitted vest and a white blouse. So I guess it just goes to show, I’m not infallible. But then, what husband is? Hmmmm… I wonder who it was I knew that wore a red sweater? 😜😀

Don White

Grateful We’re Not Dead performing, “Over Sixty Blues” at Orchard View Living Centre on February 24, 2015. From left to right: Bruce Penniston, Don White, Gord Breedyk, and hidden in and angelic glow, Al Owler.

Lorraine Reynolds Patoine
March 24, 2020  · 
White brothers. Grampa Walter White far left no date

Here is the info I have on all the children of Robert White (1835 – 1904) and Ann Jane Dafoe (1849 – 1924)White, Cinderella ElizabethBorn: 1867-07-16 – South Fredericksburgh Twp., L&A County, Ontario, Canada,Died: 1899-07-23 – Bathurst Twp., Lanark County, Ontario, CanadaWhite, Frederick DanielBorn: 1868-09-09 – South Fredericksburgh Twp., L&A County, Ontario, Canada,Died: 1957-11-10 – Plevna, Clarendon Twp., Frontenac County, Ontario, CanadaWhite, Charles AllenBorn: 1870-05-27 – South Fredericksburgh Twp., L&A County, Ontario, Canada,Died: 1926-11-17 – Lanark County, Ontario, CanadaWhite, Robert BenjaminBorn: 1872-01-06 – South Fredericksburgh Twp., L&A County, Ontario, Canada,Died: 1941-07-21 – Ottawa, Ontario, CanadaWhite, John Nelson Born: 1874-02-19White, James IraBorn: 1876-03-26 – Venacher, Denbigh Twp., L&A County, Ontario, Canada,Died: 1935-04-24 – Brantford, Ontario, CanadaWhite, Isaac Hedley Born: 1878-09-08White, Walter AnsonBorn: 1881-02-10 – Miller Twp., Frontenac County, Ontario, Canada,Died: 1960-06-13 – Carleton Place, Lanark County, Ontario, CanadaWhite, Mary HesterBorn: 1883-04-02 – Miller Twp., Frontenac County, Ontario, Canada,Died: 1971-11-02 – Newmarket, York County, Ontario, CanadaWhite, George BruceBorn: 1885-08-08 – Wensley Settlement, Miller Twp., Frontenac County, Ontario, Canada,Died: 1963-08-20 – Perth, Lanark, County, Ontario, CanadaWhite, Lydia Emily JaneBorn: 1887-11-11,Died: before 1901White, Dorothy JaneBorn: 1890-05-27 – Miller Twp., Frontenac County, Ontario, Canada,Died: 1965-12-15White, Lillie AnnBorn: 1892-11-18 – Sudbury, Ontario, Canada,Died: 1953-11-15 – Watsontown, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.

Don White is on the far ride with the cap on…Eleanor White Jackson playing the piano.Maryellen Marino
With my maternal grandfather, Tom Jackson, and my cousin, Marjorie Craig
Don White
January 27, 2011  · 




The Dons were runners-up in the 1959 Eastern Ontario Talent Contest with their rendition of Ferlin Husky’s “On The Wings Of A Snow White Dove”.
Don White
October 4, 2010  · 




Digging through old photos and found this one of the Mississippi River Boys from about 1963 taken in the hall in Maberly. From left to right: Doug White, Ed White, Don White, Walter Cameron, Burns McDonnell, Eleanor White.
— with Douglas White.
Don White
August 23, 2009  · 




Grateful We’re Not Dead with the instruments we play the best. Bruce, Gord, Don and Al. Photo by Laurie Latham.
— with Bruce Penniston and 2 others.

The Canadian Beatles aka The Beavers- Mike Duffy was their Road Manager –Bands of the 60s

Vintage Music stories

Ian Tyson in Carleton Place 1974 — Five Bucks a Seat!

Musical Notes About the Rosetta Violin

The Heirlooms- Ferguson Violin

Dueling Shoes and Fiddles and Step Dancing Contest July 15 1974

Notes of Lanark County Dances and Fiddlers

Good Old Lanark County Music–From the 70s to now

Fiddling in Lanark County by David Ennis

Lanark County Dance Halls 1950s, 60s & 70s

Fiddler’s Hill— Where the Green Grass Doesn’t Grow in Lanark

A Musical Thief– Hector G. Dallimore and Isobel Brown

Musical Notes About the Rosetta Violin

Does Carleton Place Have the Number 1 Small Town Song?

“It Can’t be Done” Has Changed to “Who says it Can’t” A Triology

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“It Can’t be Done” Has Changed to “Who says it Can’t” A Triology

December 1950 Almonte Gazette

The will in the heart of man to do and dare is not dead nor does life get tedious, not around Appleton anyway, ’tis said. Mr. Howard Fumerton of the 11th line of Beckwith, bought a building from Mr. Elmsley of the 11th line of Ramsay and expressed a desire to move the buiding intact. So with men arid tractors, the procession started. Old Timer ‘Bete’ was noticed standing by sadly shaking his head and murmuring “It can’t be done.”

But through fields, highways and byways the moving proceeded slowly until one afternoon something happened one of the skids and the building settled down in a creek for the night. Mr. Art Fumerton came to the rescue and eventually the building was in Mr. Fumerton’s yard and he firmly believes in the Spirit of Christmas and the old saying “It can’t be done” has changed to “who says it can’t.”

December 1918 Ottawa Citizen

This letter to Santa was written by Ruby Butler from Perth, Ontario in 1918.

1918 December

Although we are facing a pandemic like they were during that year, we are not facing a war.

The armistice of November 11, 1918, brought relief to the whole world and hope to 10-year-old Ruby Butler in Perth. The Spanish flu, however, was a devastating and previously unknown form of influenza, and struck Canada hard between 1918 and 1920. This international pandemic killed approximately 55,000 people in Canada, most of whom were young adults between the ages of 20 and 40. No matter what we are going through, we have all worked together this year, and while we can’t smooth out the surf, we are all learning to ride the waves safely and carefully. As old Mr. Fumerton said in Almonte,” “It can’t be done” has changed to “who says it can’t.”

Tenley, Elia and Avery, Carleton Place 2020

What has not changed is that the children of the world are still writing to Santa amid a world that a lot of them do not understand. Yesterday my daughter in law sent me a photo of my grandchildren and their cousin sitting in front of a window where they could hang out with Santa safely. I looked at Tenley’s eyes and saw the love and belief in her eyes. Santa still exists, and while I am old enough to understand that a man cannot fly around the globe led by reindeer, I still believe in the magic. I love spreading magic because it relives our childhood memories and encourages everyone to have kindness, empathy and generosity in their hearts, especially when we need them most like now.

Like the writer of the 1918 Santa letter who did not want Santa to die I am sure the children of today have had lots of fears that they do not talk about. They probably also silently worry someone they know will contract the disease, but they remain silent. This year I chose not to remain silent. From my kitchen island I decided to spread virtually what I thought would take people’s minds off of things, and the pandemic, and make them smile. The child we once were stays with us, and I for one refuse to let it go.

This year especially; I feel there is a lot we can learn from the children we used to be. That little person still exists; you just need to listen to what he or she has to say. It’s important to learn from experience, to change and become a better person. But, what most people seem to think is in order to do so, we must leave our old selves behind– and that is wrong. The easiest thing in the world was having fun as a child because even the littlest things made us happy. They still can.

If there is one thing you ought to try and hold on to for this year and next year– it’s this: Be happy, have fun with the simplest of things, enjoy life, and find hope in even the most dire circumstances — you’ll find the strength to accomplish things others wouldn’t believe possible.

For a day take a step back and revert to olden days when crazy cartoons and bowls of sugary cereal felt like living the dream. Laugh every day, love yourself like children do, be kind, considerate, and compassionate. Each New Year gives us the perfect chance to start something new and fresh. Just make the world a better place for yourself and others. Make someone happy….

As old Mr. Fumerton said in Almonte,” “It can’t be done” has changed to “who says it can’t.”

Temley age 6, Linda me, Elia age 3, Sophia age 7 and Baby R (another girl) coming any day now!!

Samantha Mitchell –Warrior

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Samantha Mitchell –Warrior
Samantha Mitchell
October 13, 2020  · 

The number of women expected to get breast cancer in her lifetime: 1 in 8

The number of women expected to be diagnosed with Metastatic Breast Cancer (MBC) in her lifetime:Unknown

There is no data and statistics recorded for those of us living with stage IV. When we progress from early to late stage it isn’t recorded. We want more research, but we don’t even have the basis to found it on.

I’m fighting tirelessly to create stage 4 awareness. We need you to be an MBC ally – it shows you understand, will advocate and support #MBC.

Last night I shared Jeff Mitchell’s Facebook post about his wife Samantha’s passing. I had put up a post of my own, but later took it down— it is not what Samantha would have wanted. Not being able to sleep I was up until 3 am reading what she had written in her blog and on her Facebook page. Sammy would not have wanted us to call her an angel like I did last night– even though she was. She would have wanted me to keep spreading the word about breast cancer, I know that. I know she would not want us to cry, but insist we all carry on and continue her cause. But, my eyes are still red and puffy missing someone I didn’t know that well, but yes, I knew her heart well.

The first time I met her was in a line at the IDA Post Office. She came up to me and said, “Hi Linda!” I laughed and asked her how she knew me. She said, “People have told me, you will know her when you see her!” I guess she was right, but I was so impressed with our initial meeting that it reminded me to tell her a story I wrote about a pink frypan I had bought years ago to support Breast Cancer Awareness Month. 

Anytime that I glanced at it I thought of all those that have been ravaged by this horrible disease. No matter how hard I tried, I could not bring myself to use the pan. I did not want to scorch the sides, mimicking cancer invading the body–nor did I want to get the pan dirty. But then I asked myself if cancer was clean. If the pink colour faded from washing, would the hope of a cure fade too?

I looked at it day after day, and thought that if I didn’t use it, I was giving up hope for the pan, and for the people that suffer from breast cancer. Finally I took it down and laid it on the stove. I watched the butter melt with tears in my eyes. I cooked slowly with it, and thought about how silly I had been. I use it everyday now in celebration for those I do not know, and for those I do. Sammy smiled when I told her the story and I told her I would keep sharing her story, which I did, and will continue. After all, if you don’t have faith, then what do you have? Absolutely nothing. No cures, no hope, and and in my case–an unused pink frying pan.

Samantha Mitchell is in Carleton Place, Ontario.

For seven years Samantha Mitchell had metastatic breast cancer and it never stopped her once. Even though she went through hundreds of rounds of radiation and chemotherapy, multiple craniotomies and dozens of hospital stays she carried on her advocacy for the breast cancer community. She wasn’t afraid of anything anymore and cancer didn’t bring her to her knees; it brought her to her feet. Whether you’re a mother or father, or a husband or a son, or a niece or nephew or uncle, breast cancer doesn’t discriminate and today Jeff and Joyce Mitchell’s family mourn the loss of a daughter-in-law and Sammy’s husband Jeff mourns the loss of his wife.

Sammy, you were braver than you believed, stronger than you seemed, smarter than you thought, and twice as beautiful as you’d ever imagined. I knew that the first time I met you. I know you would want the world to see what breast cancer does so I am putting up all kinds of pictures. If Sammy was here she would say,

”Never give up–life is worth living”, and as Sammy and I both know–scars are actually tattoos with better stories.

Linda Seccaspina, July 5, 2021

The family asks in lieu of flowers donations can be made to Rethink Breast Cancer , which was an MBC charity close to Samanthas heart.

Samantha Mitchell is in Carleton Place, Ontario.
June 9 at 4:05 PM  · 

Cancer has allowed me to appreciate how much love and support I have around me. It has given me a sense of worth and accomplishment with the success of @turningthepageoncancer. This year, it has also allowed me to have some stability so I am able to enjoy “me” time. I’m thankful for all of this. I still don’t ever want you to tell me “everything happens for a reason” though 😬

Samantha Mitchell

February 4

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Samantha Mitchell
October 25, 2020  · 

Why I Fundraise For MBC click

A Word About Birthdays

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A Word About Birthdays
1966 Albert Street Cowansville Quebec

July 24, 2020

Today another year has gone by and next year I will enter into another decade that begins with the lucky number seven. Frankly, due to my family’s health history I never thought I would live this long, but I have, and have always vowed to make each year count.

This is the only birthday photo I have, and I have to thank this wonderful woman from Cowansville, Quebec, Agnes Rhycard, and my grandparents for getting me to the year 1966. There is Linda with her “Parent Trap” hair and some suit she made out of broadcloth teaming it up with bare legs and sneakers. Next to me is my late sister Robin, and you can tell by my face how much I hated birthdays even then.

I have always believed a day dedicated to your age shouldn’t matter and you need to celebrate every single day. We all know time never returns. Sometimes I wonder if I feel like this because I never really had a childhood, and was raised with the upbringing of keeping a ‘stiff upper lip’. The only childhood birthday I remember is when I was 6 and I can still see a swan cake and many friends under the old apple tree in the Albert Street backyard. That memory will last in my mind forever.

My family is planning a celebration tonight and that is what means the most to me. Being together– and being my regular Beverly Goldberg self. I have changed this year in some aspects and I don’t know if it’s the COVID-19 isolation or what. I don’t mean to be a Beverly Goldberg twin, but I guess it’s always been my way of caring. This week my daughter-in-law had some wise words for me:

“Maybe it’s just better you don’t know what goes on.” and she is right. 

So that’s my new mantra, and when one of my car enthusiast sons has this big smile on his face because I have the OPP’s  “You are going this fast” machine on my front lawn, I am not going to even question what he has in mind. It’s better that I don’t know.

I get up each morning thankful to be alive and am thankful for my community and the history I research and write about each day. I am thrilled to represent my town as a councillor and listen to people and try and help. Granted I quickly learned that I can’t change the world, but sometimes being like Beverly Goldberg does come in handy. I am so honoured to know so many people, and there is no reason to wait a full year to say thank you for being in my life. We should be grateful that most of us are fortunate to celebrate our birthdays once a year knowing that back in time they celebrated their birthdays because the average age of death was 35-40 years.

When I was 16 I wanted to be 18. When I was 18 I wanted to be 21 and after that it stopped. Today I am reminded that as a young hippie in the 60s, or was it the 70’s, I can’t remember anymore– I had chosen words for my father on his birthdays. I would constantly remind him of my belief that people over the age of 30 should be sent to farms. Well Arthur Knight never forgot those words and on my 30th celebration he handed me my birthday card and asked me when I was leaving for the farm. Touche! I now live and celebrate one day at a time.

So, I only have one wish for my birthday– and that wish is YOU. To my friends and to all the people that read me every day, once a week, or once a month. I just want to celebrate this day with all of you in my life. I’m getting older, I’m getting wiser, (that could be out for debate) and I am getting stronger, but most of all I sail my daily boat with your love. I am so glad all of you were born and we get to celebrate life together. Thank you for being in my life.

Tears– Memories of Hank Williams — Alan Clouthier

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Tears– Memories of Hank Williams — Alan Clouthier

The other day I asked readers what song brought tears– Today I received this from Alan Clouthier

In response to your question about a song that brings tears. As I mentioned on your post “The First Fall of Snow” the song is heartbreaking. If your not familiar with it here aware the lyrics. My father would play this song on his felt topped 78 rpm record player. He noticed one time it made me cry so he would not play it if I was around. Vividly recall the yellow and black MGM on the record label.

Author’s Note-

I have to agree with Alan. It is 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? Mine died of cancer when I was barely 12. 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 returned to me. 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– and that I will never forget.

The First Fall of Snow Hank Williams

I talked with a stranger, so sad and forlorn

His garments were sackcloth, all tattered and torn

He told me a story, of sorrow and woe

His heart went to heaven, at the first fall of snow

He spoke of his angel, a dear baby girl He loved ev’ry footstep, he loved ev’ry curl But she went to heaven, just one year ago

The angels came for her, at the first fall of snow

He still had the dolly that she used to love

He held and caressed it and gazed up above He whispered,

My baby, you’re waiting, I know I’ll bring you, your dolly at the first fall of snow

And there as I listened, my eyes filled with tears

I knew she was part of his happier years

His frail body trembled, he spoke soft and low

I’ll be with my baby at the first fall of snow

I patted his shoulder, my feelings to hide

He couldn’t know I was crying inside

He smiled as we parted, ’cause he didn’t know

That we lost our baby at the first fall of snow.

He Said-and– He Said! Oh Let the Song of Words Play!

Come all my dear companions and listen to my song–Songs of Clayton

Does Carleton Place Have the Number 1 Small Town Song?

Linda’s Dreadful Dark Tales – The Sad Song of Billy and Clementine Valentine

Sending You Love Light and Laughter for the Season

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Sending You Love Light and Laughter for the Season

Memories of 2013 Lake Ave East– “music was added this year and there are 10 songs and about 10,000 flashing lights and over 60 extension cords. Thanks Perry– you did a great job!”

 

I have always thought to myself that if your home has the most Christmas decorations, you better be giving out full-size chocolate bars on Halloween. It’s not that I don’t like Christmas lights, but I can’t seem to find any reference in any holy books about a house covered with millions of lights like Christmas Vacation. But, maybe there is just something that I am missing.

 

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2013

Years ago when my late husband Angelo decorated our home on Lake Ave East for Christmas I learned to live with it. Why does one have to learn to live with it? Well in the Seccaspina household we take Christmas lighting seriously, and when you put up  Christmas decorations in our family it came in stages. Each stage was as important as the next.

 

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Perry 2016– and so it began and like his Father things seemed to multiply.

 

There was the stage where I sat in the car with the motor running in October while we loaded up the trunk like there was a heck of a sale at IKEA.  Then there was the Pre Christmas Light sales and After Christmas Light sales, and believe you me, our family never missed a one.

They say that the prettier the Christmas lights on the outside, the more dysfunctional the family on the inside. I hereby apologize to anyone that was looking for an extension chord in our area weeks before Christmas. I apologize again that you had to buy the love of your children with one inflatable Christmas lawn decoration at a time because of the lack of extension chords.

 

 

Christmas Light season 2013 at the Seccaspina house on Lake Ave

 

When it was about midway November I began to think that the neighbours who left their Christmas lights up all year were geniuses. The Christmas lights had begun the tradition of being strung out in the foyer like snakes. All these light strings in Rubbermaid containers were detangled with love and then detangled again and then finally plugged in.

I would just shake my head as I watched Angelo get upset when a strand of Christmas lights didn’t work. Sometimes I’d see him accidentally ball a string back up and toss it in the same container so it could get him mad again the next year. I never questioned him during Christmas light season, and I always thought a box of Christmas lights should come complete with coupons for couple counselling.

It was amazing to me that a computer the size of a city block could fit in your pocket yet a whole strand of Christmas lights still goes dark when one lonely bulb burns out. What’s up with that?

 

 

15 Dec 2012 Seccaspina House on Lake Ave

I am also here to dispel the myth that Christmas lights use up a lot of power. I was told by Ange years ago that your toaster used more power in a single use than Christmas lights would running all night long. This is the beautiful thing about modern LED technology, or so they say.

The main difference between men and women is that women can remember the backstory for every Christmas decoration, and I will remember Christmas Light decorating season on Lake Ave for the rest of my life.  Maybe one year it might happen again.

 

 

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Which brings us to 2019.

Since Angelo passed away in February of 2014 youngest son Perry has taken over the challenge. Actually he did the last year 2013 that we had lights on our Lake Ave home as Angelo was very sick. I am proud to say that Perry carries on his Dad’s love for Christmas–just not in this yard anymore, but at his own home. This year his Christmas Legacy of Lights has almost 40,000 LED lights and his creativity on this Christmas light masterpiece will boggle your mind. I marvel as a mother would how he has not fallen off the roof, but he has told me he has that mastered. I still worry.

So please come see Sophia’s Light Show once again this year because every moment is brought to you by love. Love for a father that is greatly missed but the tradition is carried on. Thank you Perry!

Thanks go to Brian Turner from Hometown News for writing about Perry in this latest issue.

 

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The tradition begins once again this year- Sophia’s Animated Christmas Light Show Sunday December 16th at 6. The light show of over 33,000 lights will be on EVERY night from 6-9. Don’t forget to tune into 88.3 Griswold FM.

Please feel free to share and spread the word!!

267 Stonewood drive, just off 9th line in Carleton Place.

 

Merry Christmas ❤️

 

historicalnotes

 

Perrys 2015

 

Perrys 2016

The Story Behind the Christmas Lights on Stonewood Drive

In Memory of The Man Who Loved Christmas