Category Archives: Family

Falling Off the Map

My Octobers and Thanksgiving have little change from year to year. And that is something to be grateful for.

And special thanks given to those original commentators of six years ago who today are even more a part of my life, now sisters and comrades in life: Judith of New Zealand, Snipewife,  Eliz at Mirth and Motivation, and of course Colleen the Chatter Master,  and Joss who was a Crowing Crone back then and now author, and Winsome Bella, and dear dear Celi of Kitchensgardens and the Farmy,

bridgesburning

Falling Off the Map

It’s amazing how one day of not blogging turns into two or three.  I started a number of times each day just to wander off either physically or mentally.  The notes below I did on Sunday basking in the warmth of a true summer like day.

‘Canadian Thanksgiving

This is my favorite holiday of the year, unsullied by commercialism, and stress, a true time of thanksgiving.  Most years it is cold, many times snowy and the odd time like this year it is warm and sunny.  When I say warm I mean like 70ish which is warm for the frozen north.  I am outside, reclining under a cloudless sky, so blue it could be it could be a vast warm ocean, wearing summer togs and listening to leaves rustling from a gentle breeze.  Somewhere distant there is the drone of a lawn mower.

This is the…

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Hidden Messages in the Midst of Demented Ramblings

The strangest thing happened yesterday and the thought of it stays with me today.  I visit frequently and regularly with a dear relative who suffers from dementia.  The kind of dementia doesn’t matter, it all translates to the same thing.  Inability to communicate, to understand, to know.

I read once that someone asked an old man why he went to see his wife in the nursing home every day when she suffered from such severe dementia that she did not know him.  He replied that yes she did not know who he was, but he knew who she was.  I think of that so often.

Anyway, I am pretty much the only person who visits this dear soul and I do it because she is family, we have a long history and because I love her greatly.  Her degree of dementia varies from day to day.  Sometimes she knows who I am, most times she just knows I am a nice lady who visits her often.  Sometimes she knows, and announces to everyone that I am her great great great…but cannot remember what.

I used to visit her in the mornings until it was time for her lunch but then the Home would call me in the evenings because that is when her agitation grew worse (It’s called Sundowners) and they would ask me to calm her if I could.  So now I visit from about 3 pm to 5 pm and this seems to keep her grounded and most times content.

Our routine each visit is pretty much the same.  Big hello and hugs and then I take her to a common area, make her a cup of tea exactly the way she likes it (the water must come to a rolling boil) and we look through magazines.  Sometimes there are groupings of words that make sense and sometimes for a short while she is pretty accurate to somethings.  Once she looked through a magazine and saw an article on MS and commented on it.  I always put a few magazines out and when she finishes one she picks up another.  She ended up picking up the same magazine she had just put down.  I did not say anything and continued to peruse my own book, always keeping an eye on her.

As she flipped through the pages she said, ‘There must be a lot of MS about because here is another article about it.’  I only said, ‘Really?’

But that is not what I wanted to tell you.  I always listen to every word she says even when they seem to make no sense.  It seems the respectful thing to do.

After tea I take her to her room and help her to lie down to stretch out her back (other wise she is in her wheelchair all day) and then I read her Bible to her until it is time for her evening meal.  She has read her Bible every day  since she was a child but can no longer hold the book or read the print.

I always sit at the foot of her bed as I read.  I stopped for a moment and she started to talk.  Trying to tell me something but things like, ‘ I am a a a a  airplane,’ would come out instead.  And still I listened and suddenly, quietly, the strangest words were coming out of her mouth,  ‘We have talked about it you know, the kindness.  You coming here to be with me so much.  Your kindness to me.  Your kindness does not go unnoticed you know.’

She raised her hand and placed in over her heart, ‘I feel your kindness.’

She looked at me, very aware in the moment, and all I could say was, ‘I come because I love you.’

She raised her hand pointing up and said, ‘Do not love me, Love Him ‘In the time it takes to breathe out it was over and she began rambling on about a myriad of things none of which made any  sense.

And I was touched.

Mixed Blessings

You know how your day can start out as one thing and end up as something else?  How things can change on a dime?  Or is the phrase, turn on a dime?  What does a dime have to do with change, blessings, or mixed anything?

Before I tell you about today I have to talk about yesterday. I mean they are connected although today’s events can stand alone.  But, yesterday morning I attended my nephew’s wedding.  It was held in an old heritage church and followed by a catered picnic luncheon for about a hundred people.  Perfect size for the church and the celebration. Perfect combination of tradition and casual. It has to be the most delightful wedding I have ever attended (or hosted).  The weather cooperated and those two hardworking  deserving people, now man and wife, who have earned every moment of happiness are off on a wonderful honeymoon.

Doon Village Heritage church

The word ‘quaint’ comes to mind and reminds me of comfort, simplicity and hard work.  The entire village is a working village as things were in 1914 with a fire hall, blacksmith, and shops.  The grounds, green and lush, made me think of weddings of long ago, before the invention of glitter and glam.  A Piper piped the guests into the church and out again.  The groom and his best man wore kilts.  There was absolutely everything. Minus the modern attire it very well could have been a wedding from a hundred years ago.

Then that same evening, following the festivities I traveled to a nearby town where I attended yet another feast to celebrate our 48th nursing anniversary. We graduated in 1969 but went into residence in 1966.  In those days nursing students lived at the hospitals.  It was an incredibly intense education and applied labor.  And of course the system no longer exists having gone the way of the dinosaur.  Education by immersion.

Oh yeah, the dinner –napagrilleandwineden2

Now how can you go wrong dining at a Wine Den.  We had a separate section that gave us plenty of time to circulate and chat for a lovely few hours.

Now-a-days we all live within a few hours of each other, but over the years there were travels to the states, Calcutta, and New Zealand and heaven only knows were else.

Well all  this chatter is about my blessings in the last 24. Nothing ‘mixed’ about them yet.

This morning I awoke thinking I would spend the whole day writing.  In a serious fashion, you understand.  That means closing the door, taking the computer off the internet to avoid temptation, putting my phone in another room, and hunkering down for the duration.  I imagined my great joy and well earned weariness by the end of the day.  I quickly rose excited about the day ahead.

Darn.  Then I remembered I had to go to the pharmacy and pick up a prescription. Perfect.  Do it early before crowds start crowding.  Off I went. Wonderful expedient success and the most cheerful pharmacist I have ever met.  Here she is on a Sunday morning away from her husband and young family, at work.  And happy!  She cheered everyone up and told me, ‘I love my job and people’.  And it showed.

So very cheerily and medication in hand I thought, well before I go home I should just pop into the grocery store next door.  I have to tell you, I LOVE CHILI or chili con carne as they used to call it.  I put lots of vegetables for nutrition with a pork/beef combination and make it very spicy.  (You can imagine not everyone loves my chili but what counts is that I do.)  And I make enough for about 12 meals which I freeze.  I could eat it every day.  Okay I do eat it every day.  That’s just how I am.

So I shop, because this is Autumn (chili season), even though the temp today is going to be 27C or 80.6 degrees F.  I choose to ignore that.

Beef, pork, onion, green pepper, celery, kidney beans, tomato paste and sauce and lots of spice.  Well when I get home I can’t start to write yet. I find myself chopping, cooking, mixing.

Even though my plans changed I still counted the day as one big blessing.

Then: my stirring spoon slipped in the pot and my good yellow top was covered in sauce. ( Don’t even ask why I would not have changed.  The fact is the weekend had gone so well I thought I could cook all dressed up.) I ran to the bathroom sink to immediately rinse out my top, threw on one I should have been wearing, and returned to the kitchen. my stir spoon with a plastic handle had fallen to the stove top and I snapped it up only to discover it was on a hot part of the burner and I ended up holding a hot spoon with melted hot plastic in my palm.  Which I dropped immediately making even more of a mess.

I cleaned up my hand, applied some Flamazine which helped, but I still have blisters on my palm (no I will not show a photo.)

So a top I hope can be saved, as yellow is my favorite color, and multiple burns, but the chili is done, in containers with some in the fridge and some in the freezer, and no I have not started writing yet.

Mixed Blessings but all in all an excellent weekend.

 

OA: The continuing saga of British Home Child Orphan Annie

Research is a wonderful thing and there is always a story within a story, within a story. The very word ‘research’ tickles something deep in my cerebral cortex.  I have discovered that nothing comes to fruition on one’s own.  Links are found and must be followed and where they lead may not be anywhere close to where you thought you wanted to go. And sometimes in a very round about fashion they take you right back to exactly where you wanted to go in the first place,

Do you believe in serendipity; chance occurrences that result in a happy outcome?  There are many who claim there is no such thing as coincidence.  Either way wonderful things can and do happen.

I have a very dear friend who lives half a world away from me in New Zealand named Judith.  We started blogging on WordPress about the same time and an immediate link was established.  So we began emailing, then messaging and now we Skype each week, she with a morning tea, and me often with an evening glass of red.  This had been going on for some time, not the drinking but the Skyping and one day she asked, ‘What are you working on?’

I told her about my great-grandmother, about British Home Children, and about my research which had been going on for year at this point.  At first I just gave general information, and Judith told me about a movie called Oranges and Sunshine, a movie based on a book, Empty Cradles, by Margaret Humphreys and I told her about, Orphan at My Door, written by Jean Little.

On this particular Skype session I expressed my frustration at not knowing how to proceed with the information I had.  “I even have her address her family lived at from her birth certificate we got from Somerset House in 1963.  She was born February 14th, 1884 and her family lived at 4 Poole Rd. South Hackney.”

There was a long pause and I thought perhaps the computer screen had frozen as it does from time to time.  “Where was she born?” Judith asked.

I repeated the information.  Judith calmly said, “That’s about a mile from where I grew up.”  *Please note this was in a different century.

We marveled at the coincidence of it all.  Judith then said that her sister Marianne still lived in England and at times would go into London. Well next thing I knew this arrived,

4 Poole Rd area today (2)

Obviously the original structures are no longer there but I felt overwhelmed by the very thought of the location, the historical link between two friends and the loving action of a sister thousands of miles from each of us.  It sort of completes a circle, or in this case a triangle on the globe.

Now:

THE REST OF THE STORY

We knew the when and the where but not the why or the who until now.

In 1859 there was a former Cholera Hospital at 60 Commercial St. and Flowers and Dean St. which Annie MacPherson first used as The Home. In the late 1880’s it moved to the corner of Club Row and Bethnal Green Rd. which was on the edge of old Nicholas Slum.  This is where Annie was taken.  Thanks to Google Maps this is what that area looks like now:

club row etc

London, especially East End London was full of designated slum neighbourhoods.

Annie was shipped to Canada as part of the BHC program in 1888.  She left Liverpool with 86 other children on July 12, 1888 on board the ship The Parisian.  She arrived in Quebec on July 21, 1888 and then proceeded to Stratford, Ontario.

Not much is known about her life her until 1899 when at the age of 15 she married James Henry White.

But what of her family in England?  What happened to her folks?  Did she have brothers and sisters?  What happened in a four year period from birth on Poole Rd. to entry as an orphan at Bethnal Green?  Lots of questions and now some answers.

Francis Frampton, Annie’s father, was born about 1843, and lived at Mile End, Islington, London.

He was a widower when he married Edith Davies, having been previously married to Sarah Louisa Langlois who lived from 1847 to 1871 and with whom he had a son, William F. Frampton who was born in 1871.  Presumably she died in childbirth but that is not a confirmed fact.  I currently have no knowledge of what happened to William.

Francis married Edith Davies on April 22, 1873 and they lived at 74 Hill St.

Following family lines gets a little confusing for me, so I will start with Annie’s grandparents.

Francis father was also named Francis Frampton (there were 3 generations I know of named Francis Frampton so I shall refer to them as 1, 2, and 3. Annie’s father was the 2nd).

Francis Frampton 1 was born in 1812 (no date of death known yet), and he married Elizabeth Yorkton Slo (1813-1837). He was a banker’s clerk.

Now Annie’s mother and father were: Joshua Davies, born 1817 and married to Eliza Stevens, also born 1817.  I do not know at this point of Edith Davies had siblings.

Francis Frampton 2nd (Annie’s father) did have known siblings, Ann Frampton born 1847, William Frampton, born 1849, George Frampton 1845, and Elizabeth Frampton 1840.  So he was one of five known children.

Francis 2nd and Edith Davies Frampton had 3 known children in addition to their half brother William.  They were:

*Alice Maude Frampton (1876-1958).  This very interesting first known child of Francis and Edith was Baptized November 19, 1876, in the Parish, All Hallows, Tottenham, in the Borough  Harringly.  She died June 27th, 1958. Maude never married.

*Francis Frampton 3rd (1878) who wed Grace Violet Thomas (born 1889). Francis George Frampton was baptized July 28th, 1878 and the baptism record shows their address at 54 Arlington Rd. and his father’s (Francis 2nd) occupation as Grocer’s Assistant.

And then of course *Annie Frampton 1884 – who was Baptized April 24, 1884.

Our family, and Annie Frampton White, wondered for many years what happened that this wee girl ended up homeless and thousands of miles away.  Speculation had been that her father had died and her mother simply could not look after this child.

The truth is much sadder.  Annie’s mother was born in 1853 and died in 1887.  There is another death listed that same day in the same place as Albert Frampton age 0, so I can only assume Edith Davies Frampton died in childbirth, as did Francis 2nd, first wife Sarah.

It would seem that he just could not look after this youngest child.  Her brother and older sister could contribute to the household, even at their young ages but not a child of 3.  There was a record of Francis Frampton, spouse Edith Davies Frampton who died in Pennsylvania.  As soon as I have that specific info I will add it here in an edit.

So folks that is the story as promised.  Many  many questions answered.  Many more to ask.  But for Annie Frampton White this is THE story.happy annie

The Continuing Saga of Our Own Orphan Annie, Who Turned Out Not to Be Exactly That

Perhaps there are those who are able to go about their lives unfettered

by such concerns. 

But for those like us, our fate is to face the world as orphans,

chasing through long years the shadows of vanished parents. 

There is nothing for it but to try and see through our missions to the end,

as best we can, for until we do so, we will be permitted no calm.”

Kazuo Ishiguro, When We Were Orphans

It seems quite strange that the one descendant that could be classified as an orphan, and who grew up in an Orphanage at 51 Avon St. in Stratford, Ontario, arriving in 1888 at the tender age of four years old, was not strictly an orphan, AND that this information was not known until she was seventy-nine years old in 1963.  So really, in her mind and the minds of her family she was an orphan all those years. 

She had randomly given herself a birthday of May 1883 just so she could say she had a birthday. Annie Dorothy (called Dolly then) Frampton suddenly, in 1963 knew her mother and father’s name, where she was born and what her address was in Hackney.  On February 14, 1964 the family held her official eightieth birthday party. She died a year later.

annie's 80th birthday

At the tender age of fifteen she married her one love, James Henry White, who was nineteen at the time, on December 20, 1899.  The marriage was held at the orphanage, the Annie MacPherson Home at 51 Avon St. in Stratford Ontario.  Annie went on to have fourteen pregnancies, eight of which lived to adulthood.

I knew nothing else and had no idea how to find out more about her parents, and the “why’ of her apparent abandonment.  I mean how does a child be born into a family and four years later be one of the British Home Children living in Canada?

Of course there was much speculation, especially by Annie herself as she grew.  As human beings we try to make sense of who we are and where we are and how come we are.  Annie had told my sister more than forty years ago that she thought she remembered her father’s body lying in the parlour.  I was pretty sure that might have been something her young mind wanted to remember.

Having no idea how to go about finding out information I reached out to the Divine Ms M I mentioned the other day. Not THE Divine Miss M of course.  So a half world away, a cousin who is experienced in genealogy came to my rescue and what a wonderful job she did.

So as Paul Harvey used to say, “Here is the rest of the story.”

It turns out that Annie had not just a mother and father but a sister, a brother, and a half-brother.  Her father had been married and widowed before he wed Edith Davies Frampton, and had produced a son named William Francis Frampton who was born in 1871, thirteen years before Annie’s birth.

Tomorrow I shall go into detail on the who, and a bit of the what, and why of it all.   It is exciting, sad, heartwarming, and reassuring.  Annie died in 165 not knowing any of this and all of her children are now gone, but our generation and those that follow will finally know.

 

 

A Moment in Time Part 2

Chapter 5                                              Annie Dorothy Frampton

By the time Robert and Leah were settled in Ontario, and their son James was four years old, across the cold Atlantic Ocean, in South Hackney, in the County of Middlesex, a wee baby girl was born on February 14, 1884 at home.
cropped birth certificate Annie1

cropped birth certificate Annie2
Hackney, was a very poor area of east London in those days. Her father, Francis Frampton, and his wife Edith Davies Frampton, lived at 4 Poole Rd. South Hackney.

Her father registered her birth two months later on April 18, 1884. So far it is unknown whether Annie had any siblings.

What is evident is that she had a mother and father in 1884, and somehow, a mere four years later was living in Stratford, Ontario, Canada, in an orphanage known as The Annie MacPherson Home.

It would be seven decades before she knew her birth date, her parents’ names, and where she lived.

On December 14, 1944, when Annie was 60 yrs. old, her family obtained certification that Annie arrived at the Stratford Home in July 1888, and was reported to be 4 yrs. old at the time. * Please note that when Annie MacPherson died her Homes and records became the possession of Dr. Barnardo’s Homes Company.
cropped dr bernardo
At the age of 60 Annie still had to wait 19 years to know who she was, and where she came from.

There was much speculation about who she was. As a four year old it was not possible to remember what short past she had.

One story was that she was found wandering the streets of London holding a Ladies white glove. Many years ago Annie related what she hoped was an accurate memory to one of her great-granddaughters: She said she thought she could remember her father’s body lying in the parlour. She thought she had brothers and that her mother Edith could keep the boys because they could work, but she could not look after a young girl.

*This may be pretty close to the truth. Many of the orphans at the time were given to orphanages because the remaining parent simply could not look after them. There were more than 100,000 orphans in London at that time.

Stratford Home MacPherson (2)
Above is the Annie MacPherson Home at 51 Avon St. Stratford, Ontario, as it was when Annie arrived in 1888 and as it is today in 2016.

Other than the Census indication that Annie may have lived with a family named Willows, nothing is known of the 11 yr. period from the age of four to fifteen.

Life changed dramatically for the orphan and a boy who grew up without siblings on December 20, 1899, when the marriage took place between Annie Dorothy Frampton and James Henry White.

The service was conducted by Rev. J. McKay at the Annie MacPherson House, and was witnessed by Priscilla Pointer and Lottie Butcher. It is unknown if they were residents or employees of the Home.

Annie was 15 years old and James 19 years old. It was a Wednesday.

Annie had 14 births, 8 of whom lived to adulthood: William, Elsie, Eric, Gladys, S. Earl, John, Robert, Margaret.

Image (5)

I remember well the excitement of 1963 when Elsie White Gingerich, one of James’ and Annie’s daughters told me that finally they had been able to receive a notarized copy of Annie’s Birth Certificate. *as shown above

Annie was 79 yrs. old. Elsie went on and on about the marvel of spending your whole life not knowing the where, the who, the when of it all and then finally, finally, finding out.

On February 14, 1964 Annie Frampton White turned 80 years old. Over the years previously she had given herself a birthday of May 1883, and finally at the age of 80 years a proper family party was held, and the celebration was a mighty one.
In 1965 Annie died, 25 years after her husband, leaving a large and wide spread family.

When things get hard, and life is dark, and hope seems gone forever, I just have to think about Annie, who had less than nothing, and lived to laugh and love, and be loved. And therein lays the hope for us.

James and Annie sometime before his death in 1940

Image (49)

Annie and Babyhappy annie

And with life there is also death.death notice Babies Donald and Kenneth

Death notice Babies Charlie and Roy Edison

and life goes on… a travel document for James to travel to the United States on business in 1918

james travel request usa

Not an end, but a beginning

Annie gravestone

A Moment in Time

**Note this may only be of interest to family

This is the story of a young girl, born in Hackney England in 1884.  Four years later in July 1888 she was an orphan situated at ‘The Annie MacPherson Home”, in Stratford, Ontario, Canada. She was sixty years old before she knew for sure when she arrived at the Home.  She was seventy-nine before she knew the date of her birth, the names of her mother and father, and her address in Hackney.  She had assigned herself a birthday just to have something to celebrate. Her eightieth birthday was the only accurate birthday date, and that party was mighty.  She died a year later. But there was great joy in her life as the following photos will show.

This is a peek at a wee book I have put together as a gift to my godmother for her 90th birthday this month. The booklet is about her grandmother, my great-grandmother. I will post it just a few chapters at a time.

I must say it was a surprisingly huge task considering its size, but research took months and I certainly have enough information to write ten books.  But for now that information has been filed.  I have had a few books printed and will present Elaine’s to her at her party.

_________________________________________________________

Chapter One                                                              Beginnings

                                                                    Annie at 60

This is the story of an incredible woman, without whose participation, none of us would exist today.  She had a sad and hard beginning, one that might make us wonder how she could ever have had any degree of happiness.

But the good thing about life is that, regardless of hardship, pain, and loss, there is still joy to be had.  Perhaps the loss makes the happiness sweeter.

Annie Dorothy Frampton had a beautiful, joyous smile.  This will be evidenced in some photos you will see later.  Her joy was her family.

The very thing she lived her early years without, became her greatest treasure, by her own making.

___________________________________________________________

 

Chapter 2                                           Robert White 1832-1916

Before we tell Annie’s story we must start in Glasgow, Scotland in 1832, when Annie’s future father-in-law, Robert White was born.  Little is known about his early years, though we know that on Saturday, the 17th day of April, 1858, in the town of Stratford England, 26 year old Robert enlisted in the 100 Regiment of Foot, Horse Guard.  Less than a year later he mustered out of the Guard for a fee of twenty pounds at Shorncliffe England with a Good Conduct rating.

Robert White wearing his dress uniform

   robert dress uniform                                                                                                                                                              

 robert discharge document

What happened to Robert between 1859 and 1871?   By this time he had immigrated to Ontario, Canada, and a year later, at the age of 40, married 17 year old Leah Strickler in 1872.

Scots had been immigrating to Canada since the 17th century, and around the years that Robert White came to Ontario, 80,000 Scots entered Canada.  From the time of his discharge from the Horse Guard, it was 21 years until the birth of his one and only child James.

Below is Robert’s death notice.  At that time he lived in Paris and died on August 4th, 1916 at 11 pm in his 85th year.  His funeral left the home of his son James White, West River St., Paris, Ontario, on Monday August 7th at 9:30 am for the GTR Depot following a service in the home of James.  Interment was in the Mennonite Cemetery at Bright.

death notice Robert White

_________________________________________________________________

Chapter 3                                      The Stricklers of Preston, Ontario

Let’s for a moment jump back even further in time and place to York Pennsylvania, USA in the year 1822.  Specifically November 22, 1822.

Part of the Pennsylvania Dutch immigration, Reuben arrived in Ontario where he met and married Leah Witmer, who was the first of three wives.  Leah and Reuben had nine children, one of whom, named after her mother, would grow up to marry Robert White many years later.  Women died, often in childbirth and men remarried to have someone care for their children.

reuben memorial page (3)    reuben memorial page (4)

 

__________________________________________________________________

Chapter 4                                               Robert and Leah

 

Leah and Robert married in 1872.  She was 17 yrs. and he was 40 yrs. old.  They had no living children until James Henry White was born in 1880.

In reviewing the Canadian Census Records of the time, it appears that the age difference did bother Robert.

In 1871, Robert properly listed himself as 39 yrs. old.  This was a year before he married his very young bride.

In 1881, ten years later Robert is listed as Presbyterian, Leah as Mennonite, James, the baby, as 6 months old.  Robert’s age is recorded as 44 years old – short by 5 years.

In 1891, Robert lists his age as 49 years.  He was really 59 at the time.  So our many times ‘great’ grandfather only aged 10 years over 20 years.

Interestingly, Annie Frampton, in the same census (1891) is listed under the family of J. Willows, a 34 yr. old farmer from England, who had a number of children listed. (Is it possible this family took her in from the orphanage?)  She is stated as 7 yrs. old.

****Next post is the story of the young Annie and then Annie, her husband James, and their life and legacy

 

The Wall

img_20170205_114255267

I look at a board on a wall in front of my writing desk.   It is a point of inspiration and love.

Photos, notes, reminders.

The earliest photo is from the 1930’s.  My great-grandmother (Orphan Annie) and my great-grandfather James who died in 1940.

A newspaper clipping and photo of my paternal grandparents 50th wedding anniversary in 1973.  Photo of a dear cousin and her husband, both gone now much much too early.  And my parents gone in 1980’s.  A photocopy of my father’s army application filled out on a Friday the 13th in 1942 at the age of 17.

So many dead and gone. BUT interspersed throughout the board, the Living. Sons, grandsons, siblings, in-laws, and another dear cousin who is my mini me.

Life and lives.  Memories made and being made.  A wedding invitation for September 2017 of a dear nephew and his bride to be.

I love my wall.  I love the reminders of all whose paths transverse mine.

My Gratitude Wall.

This is just the starting point.  There are not enough walls to hold the photos of those who have gone, and those who live who warm my heart and spirit.

I am Blessed.

WHAT IF THE SOURCE OF ….

WHAT IF THE SOURCE OF WESTERN problems all stemmed from one evil? Societal restlessness, increased suicides and attempts, especially among the young, increased violent crimes, an increasingly hopelessness infused into each moment.

I wonder if we have let ourselves be duped, not unlike those of times long past who fell victim to purveyors of handy dandy things to make your life better, happier, bring you joy, ease.

You see I wonder if all our problems exist because of a collision of expectation and reality. Just like the anorexic young girl who cannot resolve her body image with that of skinny air brushed models we have been sold a load of nonsense about happiness.

That’s right. What if our expectation of happiness is not real, but an idea invented by small time scammers who made delusion a big time business.

Just like the simple country folk in the frontier days, shelling out hard earned dollars or cents (cents were so much more valuable then) to a shyster convincing them that the purchase of a bottle of mysterious happy juice would make your life, heart, or soul better, we began, decades ago buying up and into nonsense that life was all about being happy.

By the way the purveyors of this nonsense, who kept saying, look at me, how happy I am, You can be happy just like me, were indeed happy as society shelled out billions of dollars in books, on courses, in classes, advertising. At least they appeared that way externally, though I suspect their inner souls were just as bleak as any.

In the sixties the cry was, I am trying to find myself. Who am I?

Then along came the big roll out. Meditation, examination, imagination, any ATION, and all you had to do were pay. Happiness became a product. Buy this, be happy. Happiness in a bottle, a pill, a house, a car, a dress,……Or the most dangerous, Buy This Book, Idea Psychobabble told us imagine, visualize, believe, and it will manifest. The use of the word Manifest in itself should be a crime. And for those who tried to MANIFEST and did not succeed? Well they just did not do it right. We were, and continue to this day, we are being sold a Bill of Goods. It only fills the pockets of the sellers who are scamming you me and future generations. Sure they are happy, laughing at our gullibility all the way to the bank.

Then we came to believe that we had to convince our children they are happy or rather they should be happy. That life is all about being happy. They are not allowed to fail, to feel the pain of loss and know that it is okay, a part of life that makes us stronger. And they buy our Bill of Goods and become confused, depressed, and fearful when they cannot quite grasp this feeling they should have. What is wrong with me, they say. I must be deficient.

The pursuit of the illusive HAPPINESS has gone off to a realm of ridiculousness and people, especially our young are falling apart.

What if it all could be fixed?

What if we made a society (and we can by the way) where key words became, DIGNITY, HARD WORK, DETERMINATION, PERSERVERENCE, KINDNESS, NON-JUDGEMENT, VALUE PERSISTENCE.

What if we retaught ourselves that it is okay to fail, that there is a dignity in failing and falling? That failing does not mean unworthy? What if there was honor in the struggle?

What if we let our children know that it is okay not to feel happy in any given moment?

What if the new word became Satisfaction? Not in the result but in the attempt to live a good hard working honorable life. (with heavy emphasis on the hard working) and at the end of each day to feel a satisfaction?

Life is messy, and hard, and at time so sad and lonely, and painful but there is a worth to life, a Satisfaction that must be earned.

Let’s take a huge load of our children’s minds. It’s okay to be sad, mad, even glad. Let them know LIFE IS HARD, but can be rewarding instead of setting up an illusion called Happiness. And rewards must be earned.

What if Happiness exists as a by-product of this thing called LIFE?

Friday Toppers 12/366

Above is a photo of my last two hats and one pair of mittens.  I made them for my grandsons, both of whom love them. (I wasn’t sure but yes they loved them.)

Before I start my next project I thought I would use the rest of my blue yarn and make a few more hats.  Generally I do these kind of things in the summer to have them ready to donate to charity in the fall.  For some reason I feel the need to make more so will continue on.  Following my feelings always pays off.

I saw Auntie this morning and we talked about what it was like sailing across the ocean on a liner.  I am not much for boats so am in awe of those folk who traverse the water to reach a destination.    Her mind comes and goes, wandering off now and then, so conversation is patient and interesting.  She did talk about the joys of having a wonderful partner for over thirty years but the pain of the big goodbye.

It is hard to believe it is finally the middle of the month.  The first week seemed to drag on endlessly until the second week found it’s roller skates and sped up.

I finished a few books; Clive Cussler’s Ghost Ship, Sue Grafton’s Undertow ( a reread), an Agatha Christie Hercule Poirot short story.  Books and stories are my comfort blanket.  Lost a dear friend of the family this past week, my age, so have a funeral to attend Monday morning.

It is important I think to find joy and humor is each day.  It is there.

OH almost forgot! Judith at growingyoungereachday and Donna at Scatter Kindness and I are starting a fiction writing course on Monday.  The course is from Future Learn at https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/start-writing-fiction/

The course is  FREE! Check it out and hopefully join us!

Have a good weekend all!