Sunday, July 24, 2016

Family Connections

One afternoon this week I picked up Scott's cousin Bev and we went to Margo to visit some of the places where her relatives (on her dad's side, not her mom's, which is the side related to Scott) and mine were neighbours and where the kids went to the Olivet School out in the country.

Bev's great-grandparents and their kids spent their first winter as homesteaders in the Margo area in the home of my great-grandparents, who lived about a mile from their newly acquired quarter-section and were away for the winter, visiting their own relatives in Ontario. 

My aunt Reta was named after Bev's great-aunt Areta, who was my grandmother's best friend until she died suddenly at age 21 just shortly after her marriage. There is a long history of friendship between our two families, and I remember Bev's grandparents well from my childhood, when they lived across the street from my grandparents on my dad's side. 

We also stopped at the Margo Cemetery, where Bev's great-grandparents and other relatives are buried back in the same overgrown corner near my great-grandparents and great-great grandparents and several of my great-uncles and my great-aunt. (Mom and her dad, Grandpa Benson, are buried in a different location in the same cemetery, as are my grandparents on the Johnson side.) 

We walked around, reading headstones, on a windy warm day with few-to-no mosquitoes, which was a change as usually you are running out of there to get away from them. 

When we arrived there was a man walking around back in the area we were headed towards, and as he was leaving I called out to him and we started to chat, as people do out here. There is no such thing as being shy with strangers. We introduced ourselves, for of course we might know people in common. It turned out that he is a cousin of mine! He lives at Invermay, which is the next village down the highway from Margo, and we are cousins some-distance-removed, but cousins nonetheless. I have yet to trace his family in my Jones history book, as that is the family connection (my great-grandmother was a Jones, and perhaps it was his grandmother who was also a Jones) but I will. 

Cousin Don Graham and me. Yes I got a very short haircut. Scott says I look like the professor on The Simpsons; my women friends (Bev, Aunt Reta, sister Karen) say it is cute. Another example of the kindheartedness of women?

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Lorna has left a new comment on your post "When 'Poor' Women Hire Housekeepers": 
I think that is a brilliant analysis and a worthwhile answer to your issue. I haven't ever had a housecleaner, although my kids complained, all through their live-at-home teen years, that Housecleaners R Us. Now both a lack of interest and a failing of my eyesight make it seem a good idea, but here in Ottawa it is very expensive. I'm going to do it anyway. 

You'll be glad you did, Lorna. I could afford it twice as often a few years ago when I was earning higher wages, but I think this is going to work out fine too. Anything is better than nothing! and in my case, it's often "nothing" when it comes to housework. As we all know, I struggle with dishes and keeping the floor swept as it is. Dusting is infrequent, vacuuming is non-existent now that the Roomba isn't working and I don't know what to do about it, and floor-washing is a non-starter. Don't ask me about windows. I say if they're dirty, maybe the birds won't smash into them as often.

Jan Morrison has left a new comment on your post "When 'Poor' Women Hire Housekeepers": 
I'm with you! I've just been considering this option myself. I work all day and love to cook but I like my evenings for creative work - my writing, drawing, etc... I also like a clean house. I cannot do floors because I have quite bad arthritis these days. The fella does them. I don't mind the day to day chores but man oh man I'd like someone to come in and do deep cleaning once a month. I'd even like to fo it along with, just so it is what I'd like done. My pals back home and I used to do this thing we called Bumsteading. (We called ourselves the Bumstead Wives as we felt our mates were Dagwood like). We'd go to the house that needed Bumsteading and the host would tell us what she needed done. Then the four or five of us would fly atter( including host pal). Host would make a good lunch then we'd go back at it. After we might go out to a movie or stay in for one (days of renting a video cassette player and a film). We got lots done plus plenty of laughing and talking. 

This is a really good idea because it's far more pleasant to drudge away with others than alone. You managed to make a communal event out of it, followed by a reward that celebrated a job done. Around here, another person pitching in inspires me to get other housework done at the same time.  

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