I have known Noreen Tyers for a long time. Her daughter Teri White used to come visit her mother in law Joyce White across from my home quite a bit and they all became like family to me. Noreen has always written her stories and illustrations and I began sharing them in 2018. Good storytellers are hard to find and Noreen is one of them.
This year she put together this marvellous book of her writings etc. and I was lucky enough to get a copy which I treasure. My favourite stories of hers are the ones from Richard’s Castle, as I have always loved this home. I have put the links to her stories at the bottom of the page that she has allowed me to document for her.
Memory is like a key; it opens a door to spending some time in the past.
Not too long ago, someone said to me you seem to dwell in the past. I have found out since doing my family history, there is so much I do not know about family matters. At my senior age maybe I will dwell on it, as it can be so interesting. In both my family history and my husband’s history I have gone back to the 1700’s, in my process, it goes back to discovering his great-grandfather was a Huguenot from the Guernsey Islands who settled on the Plains of Abrahams, in Quebec, in the late 1700’s.
In our home sits a Desk made on the Plains of Abrahams which was created in the Late 1700’s, during that time, by my husband’s Great Grandfather. The family also changed their name from LeLacheur to Lusher. When one has the use of a Laptop there is just so much information to be found to fill in some gaps to ones heritage. Connections were made and we found some new kissin cousins we did not know we had.
Huguenots were French Protestants in the 16th and 17th centuries who followed the teachings of theologian John Calvin. Persecuted by the French Catholic government during a violent period, Huguenots fled the country in the 17th century, creating Huguenot settlements all over Europe, in the United States and Africa. Mar 16, 2018
In my Dad’s Family, history was a sad upbringing and beginning of life he had. His Mother and Dad left him and a sister in England, and came to Canada, his Grandparents brought him up. His father died in the first world war when my Dad was four. He went to work at the age of eight at a Mill in Rochdale, Lancashire. He worked in the same Mill as the War Time Singer, Gracie Fields. More than once when she would come on the Radio, he would say “Many a lunch time I spent singing with Her.” My Dad had a beautiful Irish Tenor Voice, needless to say we had some old 78″ records, with Gracie Fields songs. My Dad did live a lonely life until he met and married my Mom and he finally found out what Family was all about. He sailed to Canada when he was seventeen, to find his Mom. The outcome was not positive for him, his mom had remarried.
There is one thing about looking into your heritage: it is very difficult to wrap your head around some of the knowledge you gain. I have to say that you take on a very different attitude on what is important. I do find that when you learn more about the early years of your parents life it does make some dates far more important. As a Child I do remember going to Remembrance Day, and finding out about my Dad’s Family. The Service at the War Memorial in Ottawa was much more meaningful. It did answer the question of the tear in my Dad’s eye, I have to say I noticed it and would look for it on the following services held at the War Memorial that I attended.
I do remember being told about the flags around the National War Memorial. My Mom was a winner at her school, Lisgar Collegiate, for an essay, on how to improve the appearance of the area of the War Memorial. Her idea was flags around the outside area, and for many years as a child, I would come home from the service and say to my Mom, your Flags are still flying Mom. In the 40’s it was the Union Jack Flag. I do have a newspaper clipping showing that My Mom’s Idea was a winner. I do have to admit it became a bragging right as a child, and I did brag to my Classmates every November 11th. I am quite sure they grew tired of hearing it from me.
You know with Covid hanging around the world, one tries to come up with idea’s to keep busy, but out of the worry of covid invading the being, you keep busy. Years ago I started to mark down some lines and put together a series of stories of a Holiday at Richards Castle in Snow Road. These stories were generated by Childhood Memories of Summer Holidays at the Old Stone House. This was a holiday with the whole extended family. It started out in 1936 when Grandpa arranged for a holiday for two weeks, each year for over fifteen years. They would travel to Snow Road and Richard’s Castle. I did have such a good time as a young girl,, along with Prince Freddie the Frog, He sat on a lily pad in the Mississippi River.
The holiday trip in the back on an old Charles Ogilvy Department Store truck driven by an uncle or taking the old K & P Railway – Kingston – Pembroke or as it was dubbed by the locals the Kick and Push. As children, it was a horrible trip up as we would all get motion sick on both the trains in the back of the old delivery truck. It was a castle and we were a family of meagre means and if you could fantasize many stories could be generated, and with me they did and have lasted a good long time.
I then started to mark down stories from my childhood from living on Gardner Street. The houses on this street could have used a paint job and some repairs, but being war time and very few men around, and a Landlord who did not like to spend money or just may have been, she did not have it. So repairs seldom ever made it to be done, and the list of repairs just kept getting bigger and never addressed.
During the Covid shut-in time it was used to work on the Family history book, I did a write up of Family Treasures and where they came from, and who they belonged to. When one starts a project like this you also learn by it. In both sides of our family there were talented individuals and in most cases a lot of thought, love and technique went into the item. Some might think they were nothing more than trinkets yet there was a story and memories with each item. To me they are priceless and have priceless value. I still have my doll house, with a little circular table and two chairs, and a fireplace with a mantle clock that my grandparents created and gave me at the age of around nine. Grandpa made it and it has been special ever since. It has gone through family, and children have used it, with the specification it came back to me. It did and sometimes it might come out at Christmas, when one gets the desire for a Hallmark type Christmas.
My latest little pleasure is doing a family story book for kids, from the stories of Snow Road. I do not think of myself as a writer, but I do believe I am a storyteller, who just can recall memories from a picture or an item.
If you want to think of me as living in the past, maybe I do, but over the years I have built up a lot of memories. I do find pleasure, and my time in the past was very pleasant. To tell you the truth, with all the spare time I have and lack of seeing too many people and being alone so much, it does fill in a void, and childhood returns, if only for a while.
No I do not spend all my time in the past, but in my pleasant thoughts and yes they were, I travel back to some happy times. It does keep the mind active and the fingers nimble, marking them down.. One just never knows, what you might find out, something you never knew of, and maybe someone needs this information for a project they are working on. Family Tales, it’s a treasure and priceless, to find something and check it out. I am no Princess only at Richard’s Castle the name was Princess Pigtails, yes that’s what my Grandpa called me, and he was a wise man.
Just some thoughts and a few lines, on a quiet Sunday
From childhood I have been fascinated with all different fungi. Being a child who climbed trees and would sit for a time and take in her surroundings, I was conscious of Nature and growing things.
I came from an Irish background and a grandfather that did instill the magic of the imagination. I travelled on many adventures with him, touring his workshop and watching him create his many talents and thoughts. Grandpa always found a lesson in everything he did and always shared his knowledge.
He was a man of many talents and one thing he did was make Dandelion Wine. He had his recipe which had been in his family for years. Come Dandelion season, he would be getting ready to pick his blossoms, he would ask if I would like to help. Out to the woodshed he went and picked up an old apple basket and away we would go,
It seems to me the best place for the blossoms was the green space by the railway track. We did have to walk the path at the end of the field across on the other side of Gardner Street. The field/bush had many things to be discovered and one thing I had noticed was the fungi growing on the side of the tree. Because my Grandpa was always so smart and had the answers, I asked him about it. As we were walking, we passed an old tree and there it was a charming growth on the trunk of the tree. When I asked about it, he said well you see that is where your leprechaun lives.
Now I did believe that this is where my interest came from. He explained that every little person had a leprechaun to watch over them, but they were hard to find, as they sometimes became invisible. They did not like to be found as they were always watching out for your well being. He told me if you approached the fungi and looked under it you might just find your little leprechaun sitting there. I do have to admit as we were on a mission for those yellow blooms from the dandelion, I did not get the chance to look.
I have to admit I never did find my Noisey O’Really in all my time of looking, although there were times I felt someone on my shoulder.
You know things do come back into your life again and teachings you received as a child do come back to be. When my nephew was about six years old he would come to visit for a week during the summer and stay at our home. He was a delightful child.
At the time we had a dog I would walk and Kevin would come with me on a tour of our walk around the block. One day on a tree by the spot between the sidewalk and the street there was a fungus on the trunk of the tree. It was much too close to the ground for me to bend and look for the leprechaun.
Like any Irish descendant, Aunt would pass the story on, and she told him that If he was quiet and did not make too much noise, he might find a leprechaun. It seems to me whenever he visited he would come on my dog walk. The only thing was the leprechaun also eluded Kevin.
I guess we were not quiet enough and I am still waiting to find my Leprechaun.
This was called Hair Attention if you were going to something special.
When we were young girls, a special occasion came up attention was given to your hair. Usually Saturdays were bath and hair washing day, and when you lived with no hot water, it was a challenge to my Mom to get us “cleaned up and presentable” as she would say. She would boil the kettle on the old coal stove and then wash our hair in the kitchen sink, yes the water was cooled. I can tell you complaining was not permitted.
Now hair brushing was done every evening before bed, one hundred strokes and for goodness sake, do not forget where you were at or you started over at one again. There were times when I did wonder if I had any hair left on my head. My Mom had two other sayings and there was no sense complaining as they when they were repeated time to time, you just knew to keep your mouth buttoned up. Her two favourite sayings were, “You Know Cleanliness is next to Godliness” the other one was, “You can’t make a Silk Purse out of a Sow’s Ear.” In other words, just grin and bear it, and accept the Words of Wisdom.
If it was a particular, special occasion, she would decide to put ringlets in your hair, oh dear I did not like ringlets, I was no prissy, princess, and that was for sure. This was a chore, she would patiently divide your hair, it had to be even, the right amounts of ringlets. I do think there were times in order to save time the ringlets would be larger, you know you would get fewer ringlets but they would be fatter. In some ways that was better as it took less time and suffering, it was a chore.Do not think that is the end of the hair treatment, Oh No, there was another step to this mission. First of all my Mom would have cut some strips of material maybe a House Dress that was worn thin in spots, and into lengths it would be cut. We would then wrap some hair around her finger and make a ringlet, a bobby pin was inserted to hold. Then we would wrap the ringlet with the strip of material. This would happen with every ringlet.
Now for a young child the whole deal was an evening job, and if both Grace and I had to be done, by the end of the second child the nerves could be frayed, the feet tired and the finger was exhausted of being in that ringlet position. Oh I hope I am first tonight, as it pulls a bit if Mom was tired. For some reason after each ringlet was made, it was patted and pressed up against your head. You know there you go, ringlets made, rags in and patted it up against the head. Your head was exhausted, and then another statement would come out “PRIDE PINCHES’‘. You have to know it was not my pride it was my mother’s pride, and she waited for the compliments on how the daughter’s hairs, looked, just look at the shine. If you only knew what it took, the curls, the brushing. Personally speaking, I did not care. Have you ever tried to rest your head on the pillow with a bunch of lumpy rags attached? UNCOMFORTABLE! Just to let you know with the rags in your hair, it was lumpy sleeping and a good night’s rest you did not get.
To set a beautiful table you need a beautiful Tablecloth—Like A Handmade Lace Tablecloth — Noreen Tyers
Shortly after meeting Gerry, and dating him, I was invited to a family celebration, a 25th Wedding Anniversary for his parents Ernest Alexander and Gwendolyn Tyers, at home, at 133 Grove Avenue, Ottawa. Their Anniversary Date was May 14th. 1957
It was organized by Aunt Eleanor (Lusher)(Brouse) Donohue and daughter, Eva May.(Tyers) (Drummond) Hamilton. The table was set and the whole affair was beautiful, I have to admit, I was impressed. The cake had been made by Gwen and Ernie, and had been sent out to a little bake shop on Bank street, the Glebe Bakery, run by Jose Laflambrois. I do believe around Third Avenue, at one time John Drummond worked there, as a delivery boy, while attending school. It was the first time I remember seeing this handmade Crochet Tablecloth. It was made by Gerry’s Mother, Gwen Tyers and Nanny Lusher, (May) helped her with putting it together.
Now when I first spotted the tablecloth, I could not take my eyes off it, it was so beautiful, with all the delicate stitches and work in it. It had to have many hours of work in it, so much love and dedication to a work of art. Over the years this tablecloth was used at many events including a 50th Anniversary in August 1957 for Gerry Grandparents, Ernest Arthur and May (Stark)Tyers. I was fascinated with the hand work in this tablecloth, and thought I should learn how.
It seemed to me the tablecloth was used for all special occasions, it would be washed and put away in a bag that would protect until the next use and special occasion. It was sometimes loaned out, but the lenders had to be of the utmost care and that they would take care of it with the same passion as it’s owner. It seems to me that Nanny Lusher fussed over it and always did the cleaning, and pressing of this handmade treasure, and it would be tucked away, for the next special occasion.
I do know it was with Gwen (Nanny Tyers) when she came to live with Gerry and I at the House of Old, and was kept in the cedar chest in her bedroom. Our first Christmas at the Farm in the Summer Kitchen the tablecloth came out for this special occasion. After some discussion we did decide we would use it, as this what I considered a special item, and a family heirloom I said we would use it, but only if we put a clear plastic cover on it. It was my feeling that with children coming, and although they would be sitting at a smaller table, I sure did not want any cranberry or gravy stains on the cloth. It did take away from the beauty of the tablecloth but I did not worry as much, wine was served with dinner and you know what can happen with red wine.
When Nan left the Farm she did give me the Hand Made Tablecloth, and said it was now my responsibility. It seems to me when we moved to Victoria Street in Perth, our home was the place where important gatherings and celebrations seemed to always take place. Once again the cloth was used and It always dressed the table and the compliments always came forth. I thought the ambient of the house lent to the beauty of the table, and when the wood was exposed through the delicate pattern, it was gorgeous and to me so beautiful.
I have to say a piece of work like this tablecloth was a work of love and in each stitch and tucked also, was a whole lot of love. No matter where the cloth goes or ends up it will always enhance your table. The tablecloth has been used on the table for showers, birthdays, Christmas, and was on the table for the celebration of daughter Teri’s (Tyers) White’s wedding. Enjoy and treat with love and honour the placement on your table.
Just know it was created by Gwendolyn Alexandria Tyers, who made it to celebrate her twenty fifth Wedding Anniversary in May 1957. Enjoy it, and thank you Gwen for your hard work and expertise in crocheting. Also thanks to both you and Nanny Lusher, I did learn how to crochet. Just want you to know the knowledge was well used and many a bridal Garter was crochet for a wedding, in fact we made two, one to throw and the other to keep in your memory book.
One can never buy or replace the memories woven into this old crochet tablecloth that has always been with the family, since its creation, for the Anniversary.
Just remember to do a line to keep the memories lasting and up to date.
From the ✒
Used for Myriam Shower at my home on Victoria Street, in Perth before her wedding to Kevin Regan in 2014
Cutting a Christmas Tree at the House of Old at R. R. # 4
You know when you are a city folk and you decide to move to the county, and it’s your first Christmas at the House of Old. You know all it takes is a dusting of snow that glistens in the dark when the moon shines. One can not imagine what thoughts goes through your mind, it’s the Christmas Season
It does not matter that the house is not new and fancy, maybe you don’t have the latest in household items. What matters is the beauty and the serenity of the place. If you take the time to look at your surroundings you are in awe of what the night brings. I found I could see stars I never did in the city before. The old Owl was sitting on the corner of the Barn that had seen better days, but this was a distant project to protect. The Hoot from the Owl just completed the setting and life was good, he was just acknowledging our presence, he approved.
You know, I might want to call myself a bit of a romantic, but life was good, my family was with me, everyone enjoying a walk after dinner. A discussion was happening with some very excited voices of the kids, what their first Christmas in the Country what was going to be like. They were all excited about venturing to the Sugar Bush to cut down a fresh tree from the land where they lived.
They were happy with the first snowfall, and our dog had been taken off his lead to walk with us at his leisure, he had to be tied as he did love to chase the neighbour’s cattle and that was a, No, No. You never think of the retraining of your pet, to country ways but there is, after all sort of beasts, he was not used to like porcupines, who demonstrates displeasure should he get to close. While being tied, he was so used to the deer coming to the apple trees he did not seem to bother with them. I do have to admit the kids, maybe thought some of the deer were Santa’s Reindeer. Every once and awhile they would speak to our dog Bow and say, don’t hurt the babies, and he never did chase them or did he harm them in any way. He would watch as they cleaned up the falls on the ground and enjoy every morsel. Was it magic maybe they were some of Santa’s reindeer.
From the first snowfall, the idea of Christmas was sure to generate conversation on Christmas and what it was going to be like in the countryside. To keep our two children on track and focussed, we decided that the tree that would be cut, would have nothing but handmade decorations. There will be a couple of exceptions and that was the old antique ornaments of my grandparents and parents tree, and they just always went on, you know one of those traditions. In order to keep the children busy we decided that we would get them started making the Christmas Ornaments for our tree.
Well the decoration workshop got busy, and we planned what would go on the tree. Some coloured construction paper was bought, adults cut with the scissors and the kids made the chains and glued. An old bushel basket was placed in the Summer Kitchen to put the ornaments as they finished. We strung popcorn and cranberries for garlands. The bits and pieces of skeins of wool was gathered to make some hanging little dolls, both boys and girls.
We had decided that we would invite the extended family for Christmas Dinner, Oh dear our Dream of an Old Fashioned Country Christmas had got slightly out of hand. The last head count was about fourteen adults and OMG kids, about eleven of them, yes we had a place to hold that many bodies as we would be eating in the Summer Kitchen which was a big room.
The heating for the Summer Kitchen was a big old Findlay Wood Stove, six plates and a warming closet with Lion Heads adorning the corners and a water reservoir attached to the stove. As we heated with wood in the house we did have a good supply and it was just outside in the wood shed. No Worry, my husband always called me the wood sorcerer, as the wood furnace was my chore to keep it burning, it went out when he tried to tend it.
The food was good, everybody was bringing something, an old fashioned Pot Luck, and I did not have to do the desert–someone else had volunteered, I had Christmas Cake we made for a treat. We had enough Potatoes, Carrots and other things from the Garden, including summer savoury and parsley. I had made some Meat Pies (Tourtieres) and Sausage Rolls, using my Mom’s recipe, we had enough to feed an army.
As we were having a fresh tree it would be put up a week before Christmas, the Summer Kitchen was cool and that was good for the tree. Come Saturday, the kids were out of bed at the Crack of Dawn, and were ready to go, breakfast was needed so that did slow down the pressing duty. To watch the expressions on their face it was worth a thousand pictures. We found a tree and it was a beauty, the only thing was it was big. Father cut another piece off the bottom when we brought it in, and soon it was in the old pail with some water to keep it fresh, with the cut off branches used for some greenery to decorate. The only problem was keeping the kids from decorating, right away, they just could not understand the tree needing to find its place and the branches fall into place. They did not need a lesson in a tree being frozen being outside, too much information for the situation.
It was a good thing school was still in session for a couple of days, as this put off the decorating process for another few days. When the anticipation was at its highest peak and holding off decorating could not be extended any longer, so the tree trimming started. Now being as they had never decorated a tree from the start, it was hard to restrain them while Dad was placing the lights on the tree. One could tell that this process was definitely holding them back and they were all ready to start.
“Is it time yet Dad, can we put some decorations on yet, please Dad”.
It was a parent decision to let them go ahead and we would rearrange later. Homemade star for the top, crochet decorations over Candy Canes, Some Pine Cone Elves, and the chains and the garlands are a few of the Creations that adorned our tree, and the treat the fresh smell of evergreens. It was a good idea to not bring out the tinsel, as the placement would have been clumpy and not one string at a time. Restraint is great in some situations and I have to admit that the tree cutting, homemade decorations, and all the elements, just did fulfill the dream of a Country Christmas in a country setting, and what a delight that we made the decision to come.
By the way the meal was delicious and the family did enjoy their experience of a Christmas in the Country. A trip to the Sugar Bush for some, while dishes were being done was also a highlight. The next Christmas we had our own home raised Turkeys, the taste superb, after all they were fed fresh corn and apples from the farm, along with their meal. Each family received a turkey as part of their Christmas Gift. Have not tasted a good wholesome turkey since leaving the House of Old.
When you were raised in the 1940’s and it war wartime, there were things you learned that you could not change as it was the just the way it was
I lived on a street in Eastview Ontario (now part of Ottawa) on a quiet little street. Across the street was a field and the railway tracks were on the other side of that. There were eight families on this street. As kids we all played together and you soon learned who was in charge and sort of in charge of street games like Red Rover and Hide and Seek. We also played baseball in the Summer and Hockey in the winter on the street. You would see little traffic on the street as some of the men were away fighting in the war or you just did not have a car.
For your baseball game you picked out various articles as your bases, for example the old fire hydrant was third base, a stone on the street was 2nd base, a tree on the side of the road was first. This worked well as there was little to worry about, for they were just there. Grandpa did offer to make us bases but no one wanted the responsibility of picking up the bases when the game was over. For Hockey in Winter time your puck was mostly the droppings from the bread man or the milk man’s horse. One soon learned you wanted colder weather as the pucks stayed frozen in the cold, and that was important, after all no one wanted to be sprayed with horse droppings.
Out of eight families, three Dad’s were in the Army and away at war in Europe, my Dad was not accepted to the armed forces and my Grandpa was to old to join the army, although some of his sons, my Uncles, did go to war. Thank Goodness for Grandpas as he repaired all broken things and did give advice or correct if needed. He was kind of the one you went to if you needed some advice.
On our street money was not always to plentiful and we soon learned that our families did rely on each other for items and Mom might just run out when making a meal. You were never embarrassed to go to your friend’s mother for an item your Mom might need for a recipe. In fact there were times when my Mom would make a desert for all, and the next door neighbour would have the makings of a lunch, so the name of the game was sharing your goods. By the end of the war they were expert at pooling their resources, and no one ever went hungry and there were leftovers that could be the starter for the next meal.
During the war time there were Ration Books which dictated what was available to you and your allotment. Now living on a street where one family kind of overlooked looking after one another, and sharing was most prevalent. We had no car so the gasoline coupons were up grab, and trading was the name of the game, part of the bartering system.
It seems to me the war effort was in force and knitting needles were always handy to make something to send to a loved one overseas. I was taught knitting at a young age and soon was making scarves to send to the Red Cross., to go overseas.
School time was a good time and one did not think of things like war, or whose Dad was away. We participated in school activities and our learning. I cannot say that I ever hesitated going to school as I did enjoy the teachers the social time with friends. We lived close enough that we walked to school with our friends who lived on the same street and it was always enjoyable to be able to wave to our neighbours who lived on adjoining streets on the way to school. In so many ways I do think the older folk did enjoy the children and their laughter, not really a care in the world. The funniest thing was you might be eating an apple on you way back to school from lunch and it was nothing for one of your neighbours to say, now don’t throw that core on the street, make sure you put it in the garbage. As children we did not take exception to this friendly reminder.
Things seemed to be more friendly and people did help and look after each other. It was close to Halloween and there was going to be a get together and a party. As a child I was used to my Mom making fudge for special occasions at school. Well when we all arrived home from school, the Mothers were talking at the front door. I have to admit adults were so smart and in tune to the season and what was happening. Well noisy children coming home announcing was not new to these Moms, Mom we need some fudge for the party. With the ration books and the allotment of sugar, this I can remember being told “I don’t know if we have enough coupons for sugar”, we had the attention of all three Mom’s and there was Grandma and my Mom’s Aunt, and friend Joan, had a grandmother who lived on the street as well. In order for the kids to get their treat for the party, they had to round up coupons from who we could. We pooled our resources and we were just a tad bit short to make enough for three families. My older friend and neighbour up the street, Mrs. Pauquette, I could ask her. I sometimes dusted for her if I was saving for something I wanted. Up the street I went and sure enough she had some extra coupons as they were older and had no children and did not use the same amount as a family with children.
I have to say the next day when we came home for lunch, the fudge had been made, cut into squares and divided into three boxes. We all had our contribution to the party, thanks to the co-operation of family, friends and neighbours. We were all set until Christmas now, that is when the next school celebration would take place.
For some this was not good memories, but the comradeship with your neighbours and family certainly did help. As we take time out to remember on November the 11th, just remember those who did not return.
From the ✒
This recipe makes about 5 pounds of decadent fudge.
1 tall can (11 oz) Carnation Evaporated Milk
4 1/2 cup white sugar
18 oz Nestles or Ghiradelli semisweet chocolate chips (three small bags)
1/2 pound butter
3 tablespoons vanilla
Nuts, if desired (we’ve added crushed up candy canes on top of the fudge, stuff like that is tasty too!).
Put chocolate chips, butter and vanilla in large mixing bowl, set aside.
Bring milk and sugar to a rolling boil on medium heat in a large pan, stirring occasionally. When it reaches a rolling boil, time it for 6 1/2 minutes, stirring constantly.
Note: Amy suggested a temperature of 248F/120C on a candy thermometer but I needed to cook the fudge for double the time to get it there. Instead, I stopped cooking when flecks of caramelization started showing in the milk–about ten minutes, 225F. I wonder if the difference in altitude between her place and mine is a factor?
Pour the milk and sugar syrup mixture over the contents of the mixing bowl. Stir constantly until butter is completely melted, and the fudge is smooth and isn’t shiny. Add nuts if desired.
A 9×12 baking dish will hold the whole batch (either butter the dish or line with parchment paper first). Or, pour into smaller containers to share.
I was with my sister and brother and the in laws yesterday visiting my brother, and you know a topic just SEEMED to come up. You know friendly, family happenings in childhood, that today just might be causing pains or the occasional ache.
When you get to be on the senior side of things a lot of body parts just do not do what they were designed to do, or did when were a child. The topic of knees came up, both my siblings sometimes have problems with this body part, mine seem to be fine right now, who knows what tomorrow might bring. My thought about the health of my knees could be as a result of hanging from my knees on a branch of a tree might have strengthened them as a child and helps in the old age. You do not want to ask about other body parts as they could be sometimes dysfunctional. Some may say the brain functions some times are a tad bit slow, but we do eventually tune in.
After this discussion, I thought it is the KNEES they are discussing and not the shoulder and collar bone area. You see when we lived on Gardner Street there was a teeter-totter or some called it a seesaw. It was in Mrs. Gardner’s backyard, and if her granddaughter Joan or if you asked permission you were permitted to play on it. You must abide by Mrs. Gardner’s rules and be on your best behaviour, and no stepping on the flowers please.
Well it was a bright sunny day, and the Sewell kids and the Ing children were not home. We did ask my Mom could we go down the street to play on the teeter totter and our instructions were to make sure you ask Mrs. Gardner. Wouldn’t you know Mrs. Gardner was not home so we just decided it was fine; we would not walk on the garden, we would have a couple of turns and then go home.
Well brother Jack and I headed down the street and our younger pesky sister Grace said she wanted to come. We said no, but she started to cry and said, “I will tell MOM, if you don’t let me come”. She was cute, but she was a pest, and she did have a big mouth if she wished get you in trouble. She was known to scream if she did not get her way, so we let her come along.
We were having such a good time Jack and I, until the pest wanted a turn, so we let her get on one end. We went up and down a couple of times, and I have to say Grace was enjoying her ride, but as sometimes children do get bored, brother got off and said, “You take a turn with you and Grace”.
Now he was coaching from the ground, mind you I need little coaching, and he said put Grace in the air, I DID. He yelled jump off, I DID. Oh my, Grace came crashing to the ground and it was almost instant a CRY of pain. I stayed with Grace as she was crying and Jack went two doors down to Grandma.
Well Grandma was not impressed, and realized that there was something wrong. She asked me to run and get your Mom. I did, and the next thing I knew she was taken to the Doctor. She did look strange as one arm hung down a little further than the other. We had to stay with Grandma, now she was a women of few words, but I could tell she was mad.
What seemed to be a long time, Grace came home with her arm in a sling, telling my Grandmother she had a broken collar bone. In somewhat of a quiet voice my Mother said, “Home and to your bedroom!” Funny thing she never sent us for the punishment stick, it was just TO YOUR BEDROOM!
Can you believe my sister got some gumdrops from Grandpa?
Now she was a spoiled child as well, and maybe she should have stayed at home and not be a pest, It was her own fault. SO THERE. 🙂
My childhood was always imagination and I did kind of live in Never, Never, Land –it wasn’t confusing, just a very enjoyable time. I do believe that is why I can write some lines of things in my memory and they are happy thoughts. These little stories are not fictional they actually did take place. My childhood was great. I could go to places that didn’t cost money and would enjoy every minute of the time I spent there.
Simply climbing a tree, swinging upside down, singing away, or watching the train go by, and imagining where it was going. I could sweep the front yard saying busy me, busy me, as there was very little lawn as the big poplar tree did not permit grass to grow. Mind you Sewelley (Mrs. Sewell) used to come out and say,
“Put that broom down Noreen, I just hung my wash out”.
There was also a giant stone in the front yard that was the vocal sitting place, and all the heavy discussions of young children, took place there as well as your dreams of life. I did enjoy my own company and I do believe I should start remembering this now.
This story shows how the family contributed to this business. One of those places was Movie Nights at Reliance Motor Court ( the Butler Hotel/Motel) on the Montreal Road. These movie nights I believe were held on Wednesday evenings in the Garden. The movies shown were either, travel logs, or it could be a National Film Board Feature, and of course there were cartoons. (By the way the best part of the evening) We attended and so enjoyed our evening out at no cost.
We would sit in the garden in the Adirondack Chairs, that were spread throughout the garden or just sit on a blanket on the lawn if there were a lot of visitors. If it was a damp evening the chairs with a blanket were much more snuggly. These chairs were made, painted and maintained by my Grandfather, John A Lahey.
As a child I did think my grandfather was very special, as he always created and looked after his creations, so they always looked good. I was proud of my Grandfather and thought he was just so smart and he truly was, always a friendly face with a big smile, yes he was my shining star. When I think of it he also looked after the tables in our Sunday School at St. Margaret’s Anglican Church, he did make them look like new.
There were always tourists at the Reliance Motel and sometimes there would be families from the Armed Forces that would be transferred to Rockcliffe Airport. These families would be waiting to go into their new abode in the PMQ.’s. (Permanent Married Quarters) in Rockcliffe Air Station. There were usually children around our ages so it was new children to play with. Have to admit in my early teenage life I did babysit for Reliance and their patrons. I met so many nice families and always was asked to babysit again.
They were always very busy at the motel and our family was quite involved, my grandfather and his handy work was always doing something, either painting, repairing or creating. My dear Uncle Earl looked after the grass and the gardens, and he did have a green thumb. He would spend a great deal of time planning the flower beds and when he was finished they were pictures to be seen and always well groomed. Yes he did deadhead the plants, something I learned from him at a young age, and he always said in order to have a garden— Two Rules: first you weed, second you deadhead and just make sure you clean up after.
It was no wonder the gardens at Reliance were something I would always admire as it was a good feeling place. Many a picture was taken of the garden with all the pretty flowers. Uncle Earl also cut the grass throughout the Motor Court, there was many little cabins, housekeeping cabins and a motel. There was a great deal of grass to be cut and picked up after. In so many ways I did think our family did help to create the success of this business. For in my family there was pride and if you wanted to have a nice looking spot, it did take work.
After my siblings were all in school, my mother thought maybe she could earn some extra money. She went to work at Reliance Motel as their short order cook for breakfast and lunch. After the rush was over she would go into her baking mode, would you believe 17 to 24 pies a day. She would make Apple, Cherry, Butterscotch Cream, Coconut Cream, Lemon and Strawberry Rhubarb when in season. This was a busy occupation and many a day she would do over one hundred breakfasts meals, and of course there were sandwiches, soup and hamburgs for lunch.
I can remember being called to come in and give a hand, scraping of dishes and loading the dishwasher on many occasion. It happened once or twice a week that Mom would get a call at home asking if she could bake a few more pies as they ran out. Over one of the Butler Boys would come to pick them up, and they knew that would get a piece of warm apple pie and a glass of milk while waiting for the pies to come out of the oven. As a young girl I can remember that each year in the few weeks when the Tennis Matches were going on at the Rideau Tennis Club, on Riverside Drive, my mother would leave very early for work and come home late as they just loved those pies.
Other family members that worked at Reliance was my Dad who would clean the office twice a week. A cousin, Edie worked on the Front Desk for quite a few years and was a secretary for the three Mr. Butlers, Fred Sr. Fred Jr and Norman. They all held the title of president to the Ontario Tourist Association.
As you see the family was very involved in the Reliance Motor Court. Mr. Butler Senior put a gate in the back fence between Gardner Street and Reliance as it was very handy to get to work instead of walking down the Railway Track. The girls of Gardner Street also used the gate to get to Church activities and Girl Guides. I do have to say that it did kind of frightened me to walk the tracks at night. I always thought how kind he was for looking after the girls of Gardner Street.
Mind you in turn, you always had to be on your best behaviour and at all times polite and remember your manners. I also enjoyed the fact that in our neighbourhood including our street we all grew up together, and relied on one another, and neighbourhood watch was practised, long before it became the in thing to do. In our neighbourhood we were all very close, went to school together, did homework together, and always shared secrets and went to Sunday School together. It was a good childhood. with lots of love, some tears, and big gumdrops from Grandpa on your birthday.
Your picture of the hat with the Swan just made me think of this story.
I noticed this picture on my Face Book page, it was put there by my dear friend Linda Seccaspina
Oh my goodness, it did bring back some fond memories, of my gawky teenage years. You know, long legs, skinny hair down, if it was not in French Braids. Anyone who knows me believes me to be somewhat shy, and does not look forward to being the person front and centre. I have been known to walk around the walls rather than just walk right in front and centre. I did not start up conversations but did answer when asked a question. My manners were good, let’s face it I was taught right from wrong by, my parents.
This reminds me of my teenage days, but I was somewhat a gawky teenage kid. Clothes were clean, body and hair sparkled, in fact I did not care if my nose was shiny, as I did not wear make up. What you saw was what you got.
In my early childhood days I was a bit of a tomboy, dressed last to go out anywhere. I usually climbed a tree and tore my good Sunday dress or got it dirty. My mother’s favourite saying to me “WELL YOU CAN’T MAKE A SILK PURSE OUT OF A SOW’S EAR”, it was true.
Well as all teenagers do, I would go shopping my school pals, I would get a lecture before we took the bus to go to downtown Ottawa and the Department Stores, you know: Ogilvy’s, Friemans, and Astor Chapeaus, it all depended on how much money you had as I was used to going to Woolworth’s and Beamish.
This one day my girlfriends and I were on a tour to find those beautiful blue bloomer gym suits to wear in School. This suited me just fine as it covered up the undies and that is all you needed, and we all looked the same, like an orphan from the streets with this outfit on.
We had managed to find our gym suit and were about to look around. Well. it started in the Charles Ogilvy Store in the Millinery Department. Now one has to just stop and think of a skinny kid about five foot four, at the age of fifteen and weight of about one hundred pounds. Oh dear the legs were skinny, the knees big, just not a fashion Queen.
Plunking hats on long hair with little style, sure did not do anything for the pretty hats, of the latest style, I should have known better as some family members had worked at Ogilvy’s and I was known by some of the sales clerks. Well the pretty bonnets were just too big a temptation and me, as the class clown, thought I should plunk one of these veiled beautiful creations and then go into the act of modelling. Let’s face it teenage girls do not need much to get giggling and laughing, mind you we were entertaining the sales clerks. We were not rough but we sure did not do the hat justice and it was more of a comedy show.
The dear ladies from the Millinery Department, came over and said,” I know you are enjoying your shopping ladies, but this does not look very professional, so I think it would be best be on your way”. I have to say I did not have to be told twice as I did not want stories coming home.
Well after wearing out our welcome at Charles Ogilvy Department Store, we left and spotting the Astor Chapeaus Shop, on Rideau Street we went to try our luck there. The store clerks were not of the same character as Ogilvy’s had been and we were asked to leave immediately.
I do have to say trying on hats continues to entertain me when the mood hits and I have just never outgrown the thoughts of fun– but I still do not give a hat a good showing.
Linda, this hat would definitely, be to my liking. Thank you for the memory but I will not come and borrow it from you as me and hats do not suit and I would ruin your hat image.
I do think my head is too small or maybe the hats were too big.
That’s the hat story, and it was a fun time and I did entertain my friends, and the good souls in the millinery Department at Ogilvy’s and no my parents did not find out.