Tag Archives: memoirs

My Old Orange Hat –From the Pen of Noreen Tyers of Perth

My Old Orange Hat –From the Pen of Noreen Tyers of Perth


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My old Orange Hat was a very special Hat, it was one I crocheted many, many years ago while living at the old Farm, on County Road 16, at R. R. # 4, Lanark Township.   We had moved to the farm in 1977 from Ottawa.

The property we bought consisted of 150 Acres, with a Century Farm on it, and there was a very sweet Maple Bush and an old Sugar Shack.  One has to remember that our little family had moved from a home that was about five years old. We lived in Beacon Hill, North in Gloucester, suburb of Ottawa.

My husband worked as the head electrician at the Pollution Control Centre (Sewage Treatment Plant) which was operated by the City of Ottawa.  After finding this property it was decided that we would sell the new house and all, and move to the Country. Oh man Culture Shock, for sure.  This would mean that hubby would be driving about 55 miles as the crow flies. Well this was on the bucket list, so we went with it.

Now the previous owner had operated a Market Organic Garden and he also processed Maple Syrup during the season.  Here we were, two kids 9 and 5, a dog and a cat, and Nan came along with us. We were young and thought piece of cake, throw the seeds in and all of a sudden the veggies would come up and grow. I had 20 rows of asparagus, 200 feet long.  It was ready to be harvested in Black Fly season. OH HELL! Now as if this was not enough before long we had 50 Chickens, 25 Turkeys, 2 pigs, 2 Geese, Muff and Duff and a few other barnyard creatures. We had a cute little Banty Rooster, and a few free range chickens and a Muscovy Duck, who was a frisky young fellow.  Now the Muscovy did not stay with us to long. He would chase the kids and bite, he did leave a nice little pinch mark and it was not nice, so he went to reside with someone else.

When one takes on a new adventure, I do believe they sometimes think they are more ambitious than the ambition they have.  Little did we think out our plans. Then nothing ventured, nothing gained so with the help of great neighbours and family, we soon learned some of the tricks of the trade.  I never thought out what we were thinking of doing, Gerry was working in Ottawa and here was I doing the overseeing of our venture.

During the winter sometimes hubby did not make it home and stayed with family in Ottawa.  I had lots of time on my hands in the evenings and decided I would fill in time doing crochet work.  I had planned to put in vegetables again in the spring and thought maybe, you could make a garden hat.  I could crochet and just how hard would it be to create my own designed, very special hat. I had bought some rattan craft thread, a nice orange, which I thought would be bright and cheery.

I have discovered that one does not necessarily need a pattern all you had to do is try it on every few rows for size and go from there.  One has to remember that Nan had come up to the country and lived with us. She was an expert crochet guru and if I should run into trouble the expert was right there.

Well I tell you I had one of the best designed garden hat there was to be had and it sure was a bright orange.   You were able to spot the hat from a good distant and I was extremely proud of my achievement. Now we went to the craft shop and I bought some miniature garden tools and attached to the hat for decoration.  It was the talk of the town I am sure and when people stopped by to buy some of our asparagus in the Spring or the Corn in late Summer the hat was on my head and I sometimes wondered what they thought. When I think of it, it won a 1st prize in the Middleville Fair, imagine that.   I have to say I did enjoy my old hat and it was with me all the time on the farm, eleven years.

Now when we moved to Perth the hat did come with us.  It was a little tattered somewhat out of shape and had lost some of it’s zip.  I managed to keep it going and wore it in my garden at 10 Victoria. I am sure the kids at the high school across the street thought, what the dickens has that women got on her head.  I had noticed a few odd looks from time to time but it did protect me from the sun. During the winter one year I had left it hanging on the hook in the summer kitchen, well mother mouse had been looking for nest stuffing and chewed a wee hole in my crochet hat.  Everyone knows that in crochet work if you don’t pick up and stitch the hole could grow, well it did until I discovered it in the Spring when I went to put it on my head. I did feel sad about my antique old orange garden hat, but then it had served its purpose.

For some reason I could not throw out the hat and just continued to wear it, I was attached to it and we had memories the old hat and I.  Daughter dear would just groan if she happened to drop in and see me with it on.

Here we are October the ninth, in the year 1999, Daughter Dear’s wedding day.  Now we were just about to leave for the wedding and I thought the Orange Hat. Daughter dear loved orange and I thought it might just do the trick.  On went the hat, I borrowed the bridal bouquet and then called her to come and take a picture before we left. She did take a picture but assured me that it was not coming with us to the wedding, so back in the summer kitchen it went.

Now when we moved to our home on Bathurst in 2017, hubby and I came over the day before the move.  Daughter dear was in charge of the move, the Orange Hat never made it in the move. I shudder to think it was deposited in the dumpster, that was the end of my hat that had been around since the Winter of 1977, POOR THING.  Yes, I do miss my creation, my beautiful bright orange garden hat. I could have exposed it to my new neighbours in Perthshire, it was a Senior, sorry it was only 40 years old but I am over 65, a Senior so they tell


From the Pen

of, Noreen

July 7, 2018


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

  1. relatedreading


Out of the Old Photo Album — From the Pen of Noreen Tyers


Snow Road Ramblings from Richards Castle — From the Pen Of Noreen Tyers

Summer Holidays at Snow Road Cleaning Fish — From the Pen of Noreen Tyers of Perth

Snow Road Adventures- Hikes in the Old Cave — From the Pen of Noreen Tyers of Perth

Putting Brian on the Bus– Stories from my Childhood Noreen Tyers

My Childhood Memory of Richard’s Castle –From the Pen of Noreen Tyers of Perth

Grandpa’s Dandelion Wine — From the Pen of Noreen Tyers of Perth

My Wedding Tiara — From the Pen of Noreen Tyers of Perth

The Art of Learning How to Butter Your Toast the Right Way — From the Pen of Noreen Tyers of Perth

Smocked Dresses–From the Pen of Noreen Tyers of Perth

The Kitchen Stool — From the Pen of Noreen Tyers of Perth

The Flying Teeth in Church — From the Pen of Noreen Tyers of Perth

The Writings of Noreen Tyers of Perth

Memories of Grandpa’s Workshop — Noreen Tyers

Cleaning out Grandmas’ Fridge — Noreen Tyers Summer Vacation at Richard’s Castle

My Flower Seeds — From the Pen of Noreen Tyers of Perth

Out of the Old Photo Album — From the Pen of Noreen Tyers

Out of the Old Photo Album — From the Pen of Noreen Tyers


For the past little while I have been concentrating on Summers at the Stone House in Snow Road.   I have done a couple of stories about memories of events, and there are some pictures to go along with it.  Well here we are with a Winning Photo, not a Snow Road picture but I thought I should share.

As a child I was somewhat of a Tom Boy and definitely had an attitude of who cares, as long as we had fun, did it matter what we looked like.  From the look of this picture I would say not. Now my Grandfather did not care if I looked a wee bit tumbled or shoes on the wrong feet, he always had a greeting and I did enjoy his attention and comments.

If there was a tree to climb or some kind of an insect to check out, this would fill my time outside.  I did not require a companion I could amuse myself with no difficulty. I have to say I did enjoy myself, be it climbing a tree, hanging upside down, now that was a very interesting way to look at things.

Dolls and toys did not attract my attention for very long, maybe at Christmas when I received a new doll and my Mother and Grandmother had taken the time to make clothes and dress. The Doll was soon put aside to sit on the bed and look pretty, I did have adventures to seek.

We lived not too far from the Railway Track and it was fun watching the train go by. I could have been sitting on a limb of a tree or just sitting on the grass on the side of the track.  It was nice to see the Train Engineer wave as he went by, and he did blow the whistle. All of my younger years I thought, was that not nice he tooted the whistle to greet me. Little did I know that he was blowing the whistle to warn he was approaching a intersection.  Oh well it was nice to think I was important to him as a child, nice man.

You can tell my clothes were not important, just to many other things to discover and I didn’t need a mirror to look in I was just fine, to me.  Now there were times when my Mother did not have patience with me. She would go to great pains, washing clothes, bathing us, washing hair and brushing it til it shone, this was important.  I can remember at night before bed she would brush the hair and tell me to count. If I lost my place start over, how boring START AGAIN. There were times when I thought is the part of homework to make me smart in arithmetic ?  Who knows, I didn’t really care.

Now my sister used to call me “Miss Goodie Two Shoes”, as she had a tendency to talk back, I did not, but I did what I wanted.  Oh life was good no stress, no troubles, just no worries. I never felt that it was my place to argue, but when the talk was over, I just would do as I like, no pressure there.  (Prissy)

Looking at the picture,  I now know why my mother would look at me the way she did, I often received this little quote “can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear”.  I can’t say I understood what she meant but that was fine. I do have to admit she would be nice to have here now, as my attitude is still somewhat the same.

Before leaving to go to school, once again she would brush my hair, tell me if my shoes were on the wrong feet and straighten what had to be straightened. “Oh for goodness sake, pull up those stockings”.  The last question was did you brush your teeth. I would give her the answer she wanted and rub my teeth of with my finger, going out the door.

School I enjoyed and the walk to and from, with friends was delightful.  My marks were fine in all subjects but S P E L L I N G I do have to admit spell I could not, and still can’t.  This is fine, I have spell check on the Computer and sometimes my sister get’s the honour of reading the lines first.

I do hope you enjoy these words of wisdom and the picture is just so me!

From the Pen
of Noreen

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

  1. relatedreading

Snow Road Ramblings from Richards Castle — From the Pen Of Noreen Tyers

Summer Holidays at Snow Road Cleaning Fish — From the Pen of Noreen Tyers of Perth

Snow Road Adventures- Hikes in the Old Cave — From the Pen of Noreen Tyers of Perth

Putting Brian on the Bus– Stories from my Childhood Noreen Tyers

My Childhood Memory of Richard’s Castle –From the Pen of Noreen Tyers of Perth

Grandpa’s Dandelion Wine — From the Pen of Noreen Tyers of Perth

My Wedding Tiara — From the Pen of Noreen Tyers of Perth

The Art of Learning How to Butter Your Toast the Right Way — From the Pen of Noreen Tyers of Perth

Smocked Dresses–From the Pen of Noreen Tyers of Perth

The Kitchen Stool — From the Pen of Noreen Tyers of Perth

The Flying Teeth in Church — From the Pen of Noreen Tyers of Perth

The Writings of Noreen Tyers of Perth

Memories of Grandpa’s Workshop — Noreen Tyers

Cleaning out Grandmas’ Fridge — Noreen Tyers Summer Vacation at Richard’s Castle

My Flower Seeds — From the Pen of Noreen Tyers of Perth

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

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


January 9, 2018 7:33 PM

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Linda 1957

February 15, 2007

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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

May 2, 2006 10:45 am

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

February 2007, 11:45 PM

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

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

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

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

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

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

December 27, 2008 10:45

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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April 2nd, 2006 3:31 am

In 1965 I became a stalker– full fledged. I had been stalking my crushes for years, but I perfected it in Grade 9 at Cowansville High School. Stalking is such an intense word– let’s call it ‘intense research of an individual’.

In high school I was in love with a French Canadian boy from Cowansville named Alain Jacques. The male student body of St. Leon’s School would loiter outside Le Patio restaurant in front of Cowansville High School every noon hour. Of course all of us gals would hang out of the open front school windows gazing at the boys even in the dead of winter. What is it about High School– where all your self esteem, innocence and dreams just get to die?

Alain was so fine with his Beatle boots, blonde hair and there wasn’t a notebook of mine that didn’t have his name written all over it. Being limited in French I remember writing a song about him to the Beatles tune of Nowhere Man and he probably wished I was  fluent in silence.

I used to believe in writing songs to say things, and in reality sometimes they sound better in your head. I thought I was going to die with this song kept secret inside of me. Instead, one of my friends thought it would be funny to hand it to the crowd of young St. Leon men who had nothing better to do on a lunch hour. I was mortified, and I can still remember the first ludicrous line to this day.

“He’s a real nowhere man sitting on his garbage can”

Rabbits jump and live for 8 years. Dogs run and they live for 15 years. Turtles do nothing and they live for 150 years. I should have followed the turtles and subbed my song writing to holding the refrigerator door open instead looking for answers to love and life. To be old and wise you first have to be young and stupid, and I am sure there was many a person in my youth who wanted to ask me:

“Who ties your shoelaces for you?”

Author’s Note–Even Duct Tape can’t fix stupid- but it can sure muffle the sound. I used to tote around 7 different colours–I wonder why..



Is life really like an episode of Seinfeld? Today’s “Linda’s Nickel Opinions — Blasts From the Past”
Jul. 5th, 2006 at 5:31 PM
Summer in Carleton Place and major road work going on Franktown Road. Instead of backing up on a side street, I assumed I could just make a tiny turn and go.  I drove forward and the car went up in the air over a tall curb with the worst scraping noise you ever heard. It was just gut wrenching, and I thought I had damaged the car. I  also knew I had to get it off the curb, so I put it in reverse. Same awful scraping noise as I backed off of it and I thought for sure the front fender was gone.

This is a spanking brand new car, and I swear they makes these new cars way too low. among other things. Backing out of the front driveway three weeks ago I didn’t know my late husband had shut half of the heavy black wrought iron gate five minutes prior. I backed up quickly and ran smack dab into the gate.There is a tiny tiny black mark where I hit it, but my oldest son keeps looking at me every day and says,

“Mom whats this?” as he pretends to drive a car backwards and makes screeching and banging sounds.

So here I am, car finally off the tall curb and my heart is pounding.

I fear the worst.

I get out and don’t see a darn mark.

I look under the car and don’t see shreds of metal or leaks and I almost pass out with happiness. I just do not want to go through another incident with this family as you just can’t win. So I think to myself, how can I cover my derriere–what would Jerry Seinfeld do?

I think back to a Seinfeld episode where George and Elaine damaged Jerry’s car. I can’t say a wild pack of teenagers wrecked the car, but I have an idea.

Sky and my late husband come home for dinner and I say,

“Boy, you would think these yahoos would put a construction sign at the top of Rochester Street. I got up to the top of that street and the whole street is ripped apart. I couldn’t turn around as there were cars behind me so I was forced to go over those large exposed curbs. I hope I didn’t do any damage to the car”.

My late husband said,

“Yeah its a big mess and they should have a sign there!”, they said.

I smile, and again, it’s not a lie if you believe it– or it’s a carefully edited truth. Of course there are two sides to every story– right? Right? Well that’s my story and I am sticking to it 🙂

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.

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 the 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 his hospital card. She asks if he has ever been here before. 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 in the waiting room TV. “Oh MY GOD”, this is the episode I missed tonight!  I tell him to go by himself, as if he is old enough to drink and vote we are 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 and he will definitely pull through.

Thirty minutes later a doctors 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. Larry King interview 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. Sometimes you fight being frustrated with your child– for being just like yourself, and remember that years ago– his first breath took yours away–and it still does.




Sept. 4th, 2006 at 1:38 AM

Let it be known I can’t sing. I used to sing in the Trinity church choir in Cowansville- but I was drowned out by really good singers, so no one really heard me. They did however allow me to perform once and that was the end of my dreams of becoming a rock star.

Reverend Peacock would choose one person to sing the weekly solo called  Lead me Lord. I was bypassed all the time until the good reverend decided to give me a try. That week I spent hours in front of the bathroom mirror trying to sing, but my voice in reality made dogs lie down and not move for days.

Sunday comes and I hope someone in those church pews will stand up and say ‘Bravo’ at the end of my solo. But, by verse three people began to cough and covered their mouths with their handkerchiefs. By the end of the song half the congregation had excused themselves to go out in the church hall accompanied with a  lot of laughter. By the end of the song I am hearing sighs of relief like people have been suppressing themselves.

End of song, no clapping, no bravos, and I go back to my pew and see Reverend Peacock look down at me through his bifocals in bewilderment. Miss Watson, age 69, (spinster for life ) the church organist, also gazes at me through her bifocals the same way, stamps on the organ pedals, and rolls into the next hymn at depth defying volume. Actually, the volume was so high you could no longer hear me sing. As Lillie Langtry once said, “I was so bad I swear I could hear the angels singing”- yup, every path has a puddle.






Sept. 9th, 2006 at 11:36 AM

I never owned any generic clothing or a pair of jeans until 1998. Years ago I used to have two rooms of clothes, 43 pairs of shoes, and 67 Victoria’s Secret bras. Today I scratch my head wondering why I needed so many options in life. Because I have always dressed “not like the average bear” people quickly formed opinions about me. Was I from some Gothic cult, or in the local sex trade?

I once visited the lovely tourist town of Gatlinburg, Tenn. and had on black dress pants, a red blazer, and a black mini bra top under a fishnet top. Walking into a local drugstore four women took one look at me and got down on their knees and prayed for me. I got a little miffed with them –after all, this was fashion to me, so I decided to bother them a bit.

I asked the counter lady very loudly if I could have some “sex gum” that was displayed behind the counter. She knew it was a joke, but those ladies didn’t, and the praying got louder and louder. I turned around very quickly and said,
“Ladies, one can buy a gun at the age of 16 in Tennessee and purchase fireworks 24/7 —but you can’t wear fishnet in Tennessee?” 

The whole place just roared, and the ladies kept on praying for my “fishnet covered soul”.

It’s 20 years later now, and at 66 my wardrobe has changed–drastically. Today a cashier began singing hymns while she checked my groceries out and stopped when I left. I thought about it for awhile and wondered if I was really that strange, or am I just some sort of a ‘limited edition’? 🙂



Apr. 21st, 2007 at 4:27 PM

I used to read Seventeen magazine all the time, and in 1966 the popular teen magazine had a contest to win a possible part in the movie The Heart is a Lonely Hunter. At that moment in time I had long blonde hair, and was in one of my anorexic stages, and weighed about 100 pounds.  


As I read the article over and over; I thought I would be perfect for the movie so I filled out the contest form very carefully and sent a photo. I was so excited that I bought the Carson McCullers book and practised  Mick Kelly’s  lines over and over. This was my part, my mind insisted, and every night I would take the carefully folded article out of my drawer and hope that no other gal in the Eastern Townships had entered. One day I got a letter from Seventeen magazine and to my chagrin it said that yes, I could have been a contender but sadly, I was Canadian, and the contest was open to only US citizens.


What? To be denied my chance because I lived on the wrong side of the border? At that time and space I thought my whole world had ended, but today I am relieved I didn’t win. Sondra Locke, who won the Mick Kelly part, began a romantic relationship with Clint Eastwood during the filming of Josey Wales. Okay, so would my fate have been the same?  Would I too have lived with Clint Eastwood?


Clint and Sondra lived together for 12 years and her autobiography The Good, the Bad, and the Very Ugly includes a harrowing account of her years with Eastwood. When their relationship ended in 1988, Locke brought a suit against Eastwood and Warner Bros, Inc. In 1999, she settled out of court with Warner Bros. and Eastwood for a reportedly large, undisclosed amount and left Hollywood.


In retrospect I’m glad I never won that contest. The thing is: you can’t control fate, and I guess things happen for a reason. I didn’t get the part, I never dated Clint, and thankfully never experienced any of Sondra’s relationship glitches. Of course Clint is probably relieved too, if he has ever read about my youth. You know the saying: “if you didn’t do wild things when you were young, you will have little to smile about when you are old”– and thankfully I am still smiling.



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

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



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



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