Lost and Found

The ground was blanketed in white when I threw open the kitchen curtains this morning. Attila said the roads were slippery on his way home from work. The sun has been peeping out from behind the clouds, off and on all day, and most of the snow has melted under its scrutiny. The roads were already dry when I ventured out for my daily walk around noon.

Attila sleeps during the day, and I find that I am very conscious of how much noise I am making. I avoid using noisy appliances like the vacuum cleaner. I even turn the sound down on my computer when I am using it during the day. The house is small, and it would be very easy to disturb Attila’s rest.

I began the process of contacting my GP near the country house, to inquire about the Chronic Kidney Disease diagnosis. I really don’t know what to expect. A message was left with the receptionist, as the doctor and his nurse were with a patient when I called. I requested that the nurse call me back; she is very good about things like that. Now all I have to do is to be patient, and see how things unfold.

I have to admit to feeling a little better after eliminating all the recommended foods from my diet. Not a huge change, but the pressure in my head is definitely not so intense now.

I spent the morning looking for a birth registration that I have somehow misplaced. I know I saw it years ago. Because I usually save all of these files, I have been looking for it in my backups, no luck so far. There is probably something odd about it, like a misspelled name, so I will have to keep on plugging away with the search.

The book is coming together very, very slowly. Because I am now working on more recent generations there is a lot more documentation to cover, and a lot more detail about people’s lives.

For instance, there is the instance of my Great Grand Aunt Mary Ann. She was born in 1846 in Lanark County, Ontario, a first born child. She was deaf and blind from birth. In 1884, at the age of 38, Mary Ann gave birth to a baby girl, Mary Ann. No father was listed and the baby Mary Ann was registered with her mother’s surname. Later baby Mary Ann would adopt an alternative given name, keeping her original surname. This is the birth registration I have lost track of, and am searching for, I know I have it somewhere in my files. I will include a copy of the registration in the book, as it is an important to link the baby Mary Ann as a member of our family.

After the birth of the baby my Great Grand Aunt lived with her family until the death of her mother in 1897. When her mother died she moved in with one of her younger brothers (my Great Grandfather) and his family. There is no record at all of the baby Mary Ann in the census, until after she marries. I believe that the baby Mary Ann was brought up as my Great Grandfather’s child, as her descendants believe him to be the baby’s father. Since he was only 11 years old when the baby was born, it seems unlikely that he is the baby’s father, even though it is technically possible.

In 1914 my Great Grand Aunt Mary Ann moved in with her daughter and his husband, who were to care for her for the rest of her life, according to a legal agreement between my Great Grandfather and Great Grand Aunt Mary Ann’s daughter. For some reason, it did not work out, and in 1921 Great Grand Aunt Mary Ann is found incarcerated in a Home of Refuge, where she lives until the time of her death in 1922 at the age of 75. Unfortunately her death registration declares that her family is unknown. How very sad.

My Great Grandfather arranged for and paid for her burial, far from home.

I knew nothing of Great Grand Aunt Mary Ann when I was growing up, and was shocked when her Grandson’s wife contacted me in 2002 to inquire about a family connection. Thinking I knew all of my Great Aunts and Uncles, I told her that there was no family connection. But the claim niggled away at me, and I began to research the possibility, only to find that indeed Mary Ann’s Grandson is a member of the family, and little Mary Ann the baby was probably raised as one of my Great Grandfather’s children. I have written to and apologized to the Grandson’s wife, for such a glaring error. It just goes to show you that there are a lot of hidden details in silence, and census records are not necessarily accurate historical records. As one of my relatives told me during an interview, “people just hid them in the basement when the census people came around.”

Worldly Distractions


Date: 5:00 PM EDT Monday 4 April 2016
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.9 kPa
Tendency: rising
Visibility: 24 km
Temperature: -1.3°C
Dewpoint: -16.0°C
Humidity: 32%
Wind: N 21 km/h
Wind Chill: -7


“Do something every day that you don’t want to do; this is the golden rule for acquiring the habit of doing your duty without pain.”
Mark Twain
1835 – 1910

With me it is always the dishes!


Attila and I had a busy day. This time, it wasn’t about unpacking boxes, it was about filling in forms and applications, exploring possibilities, trying to peek over walls of bureaucracy.

We applied for prescription drug coverage, which we no longer have. We applied for a local family doctor, and are now on a very long waiting list. I sought assistance in getting a flu shot this year, things don’t look hopeful on that score. This kind of stuff has to be done, and we are always glad when it is done. I always feel out of sorts after wrestling with the machine of modern bureaucracy.

The weather was beautiful today. We were out and about together this morning, dropping more items off at the women’s shelter, buying milk, mailing forms. The sun shone, the breeze was warm and gentle, and the morning passed pleasantly. Attila left for work right after lunch, so I spent the rest of the day working on administrative things related to health care.

I just realized tonight that when Attila is working the afternoon shift, the feelings I had about living here alone last winter are affecting how I feel now. The evenings were the hardest, when we were living apart, and now the evenings without Attila are triggering some unwelcome feelings. Right now, when this dampened feeling comes over me, I think about Attila coming home in a few short hours, and the sun comes out from behind the clouds. Eventually my unconscious mind will figure out that Attila is coming home every night.

My book needed more edits than I had anticipated, so the second draft will be my copy of the book, as it is not suitable for Archives Canada, or for sale. There were a few things that I did not catch when I edited the book, things that were actual errors. However, some of the errors were the work of the autofill devil, like the word hand instead of and, things that the spell checker would not catch. And then, after reading the actual paper copy, I decided to add a section, a transcription of my GGG Grandfather’s letter home to Scotland, after the families first year in the wilderness.

There is something about a real paper book that is so much easier to interact with than a digital screen. Perhaps that is because I grew up with paper books, and so prefer them.

Worldly Distractions


Date: 8:00 PM EDT Monday 19 October 2015
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.7 kPa
Tendency: falling
Visibility: 24 km
Temperature: 11.6°C
Dewpoint: 4.6°C
Humidity: 62%
Wind: SSW 36 gust 54 km/h


“I think we dream so we don’t have to be apart for so long. If we’re in each other’s dreams, we can be together all the time.”
A.A. Milne