A lost ritual In the 1950s, when I was growing up, we didn’t have such a thing as a clothes dryer. Our washing machine was a wringer washer and our clothes were hung to dry on the clothesline in any weather except rain. Then we had a wooden clothes horse, and our items were carefully … Continue reading A lost ritual!
When I was a young girl, we got all dressed up in our best clothes to go to Sunday mass. We wore dresses and gloves and our best shoes reserved for Sunday’s only. And my mother styled our hair. On Saturday nights, my sisters and I would have a bath and my mother would wash … Continue reading Hair….not the musical!
On Sundays, we always have a dinner that was more formal and elaborate than the casual suppers eaten at the kitchen table during the week. We would eat in the dining room, sometimes with the fancy place settings saved for the best occasions. This was particularly true if we had company for dinner, like my … Continue reading Sunday dinner!
Edmonton: mid-1930s In 1996, while my sister Elaine Crummy was researching our family tree, my mother's sister Ethelann Olsen, Auntie Ann, told this story of her Grandpa John Wrench, my great grandfather. ETS Leyland trolley #107 on McDougall Hill, circa 1939. City of Edmonton Archives, EA-75-877. My great grandparents lived on the south side … Continue reading Family Roots (continued)
1880s Manchester England Typical housing for the working poor in Manchester England, end of the 19th century My great grandparents on my mother’s side, John Wrench and Esther Entwhistle, worked in the cotton mills in Manchester England. Esther came from a family of mill workers. There are no records of the year they were born, … Continue reading Family Roots
My Aunt Isabel was my mother’s youngest sister and married to my Uncle Albert. They lived on a farm just outside Athabasca and my fondest childhood memories are of times on that farm. Uncle Alberta was a lovely, warm and funny man, big and strong and handsome, and was always kidding us or playing practical … Continue reading When we ran wild!
Are we really wiser as we get older? I am now the big seven oh but I'm not sure I feel wise. I feel much the same as I did at 50 or 60. I'm sure the vagaries of age will creep up but I hope not for a while yet. Oh yes, there … Continue reading Is there really wisdom with age?
I usually have a calendar hanging somewhere in my kitchen. I make notes on it, jot down birthdays and appointments. Even with all kinds of devices - iPad, phone, laptop - I have always taken comfort in writing things on the wall calendar, flipping over the page at the end of each month and enjoying … Continue reading Some reflections on 2020
I have always dreamed of going to Ireland. It is where my ancestors came from in 1852 fleeing the potato famine. I grew up hearing various versions of our origins, depending on my father's mood for romanticizing what little he knew. The name James figured strongly in each generation of men born McKennirey and indeed … Continue reading Ardagh!
We arrived at the lovely guest house hotel in Killarney on our second day of a driving tour through Ireland. It was a gorgeous little hotel surrounded by a lovely garden and overlooking a beautiful lake. We had been on the road for a few weeks by that time and were looking forward to the … Continue reading Our stay at Fawlty Towers