Saturday, February 28, 2015

Feburary 2015 Scavenger Hunt ~ Transitions!

This has been a big month in our household!
My husband retired on the 20th,
I applied for Medicare,
and we have abandoned winter
for a vacation in the tropical sun.
So the pictures for this post
have been picked up 
all over the place.

February's List


King Soopers Gears up for Valentine's Day!

Hibiscus, Honolulu

2.  Love
A Valentine's Day Tradition

We always exchange valentines and maybe a bit of chocolate!
We're not big on valentine splurges.
We'd rather spend the money on other things.

3.  Number
32   Thirty-Two   XXXII

A little over thirty-two years ago,
I sat on this bench and was slammed 
with such a premonition that I fled to my car,
making a choice that changed my life forever.

I suddenly knew that if I rented
an apartment here, I would take
the WRONG fork in my road
and miss out on something critical.

Some days later I rented a place
in a different part of the city
and met my future husband.
Our paths would never have crossed,
if I hadn't listened to that premonition.

4.  Something Beautiful
Waikiki, Late Afternoon

On our arrival day in Honolulu,
we raced to Waikiki to walk in the sand.

5.  Your Favorite Color
Red:  Fremont Street, Las Vegas

6.  Bird
Macaws Waiting at the Crosswalk

You never know what you'll see along Waikiki!

7.  On the Road
Tiny Vehicles on the Road

Liftoff from Denver International Airport
took us over this cloverleaf exchange
filled with late afternoon traffic.

8.  Tap
The Snowpack Along the Front Range

Many millions of people, 
east and west,
depend on Colorado's snowpack
for water to flow from
their taps.  

9.  Price
The Price of Flying

Such a small price 
to fly SlotZilla,
the world's largest
slot machine:

Shoot out the bottom 
below the logo for $20
to zip halfway
down Fremont Street.

Or shoot out the top
above the white reels
over 10 stories high for $40
to zip all the way
under the canopy.

Now if I could just work up the courage!

I rode the precursor to SlotZilla,
but this is a whole different animal! 

10:  Heart
Heart, Street Art
East Fremont Street, Las Vegas

11.  A Corner of Your Home
Favorites of Mine

In one corner of my home 
are three of my most favorite things:

A basket beautifully woven
by an Iban woman in Sarawak, Borneo
(whom my husband and I met when we
stayed at her tribe's jungle longhouse).

and two Indonesian puppets
that my brother and his wife gave us.
The puppets are about 20 inches 
or 51 centimeters high.

12.  Whatever You Want
Rescuing a Stalled Flyer 

Sometimes high flyers get stalled near the end
of the zip lines under the Fremont Street canopy.
Here the front flyer is zipping along,
but the second one is being rescued 
by the man in green.
He quickly hauls the flyer back 
using some kind of equipment
that pulls them along the line.

March's List:
Circle,  Card,  Window,  Art,  Skyline,  a Favorite Word,
Movement,  Bathroom,  Car,  Plate
Something You Made, Whatever you want 

Thanks to Jill (Greenthumb) 
and her Made with Love blog 
for setting up the scavenger hunt.

Friday, February 27, 2015

The Lansdowne Letters: Hints of a Troubled Future

Anne Flaherty.
Her name surfaced for the first time
in this letter of my father's.

Anne's husband, Mike Flaherty,
took over the nursing station in Lansdowne House,
after Margaret Kelly left for a nursing position 
in the hospital in Sioux Lookout 
in late September, 1960.

None of us had any idea how important
Anne's family would become 
to our family in the future,
and all because of a massive forest fire.

But that's a tale for future posts.

I'm not trying to tease or frustrate readers.
It's just strange for me to see 
an innocuous first reference to someone 
whose family has haunted me all my life.

You cross the paths of countless people
as you go through life, 
and most are anonymous people 
you never meet again.

And some, well, some are much, much more.

I wish I had a picture of Anne, 
but I don't.

Sunday, October 9, 1960 
My father wrote:
Ready, or not, here we go again:
Today was very quiet, 
and there is not much to tell you.  

We slept quite late and missed breakfast.  
In fact, Uno missed Mass in the morning.  
I got up about ten o’clock, 
and I wrote up the letter for Saturday.

This afternoon, Uno went for a canoe ride 
out on the lake, and I read some more 
out of the Charlottetown Guardian and the Post 
and played some chess with Duncan 
who dropped over for a short visit about three o’clock.

  Chess Pieces

Opening Position from the Black Side

This evening I wrote a letter to Grammie, 
one to Sara, and a couple to the Indian Agent in Nakina.  
That pretty much ties up Sunday.

I don’t feel too well tonight. 
I am afraid that I may be 
coming down with something.
Thank goodness that 
I have had chicken pox, 
because it is rampant among 
the Island Indians right now.

Oh, by the way, 
I am getting a new pupil soon.  
Mrs. Flaherty, the nurse’s wife, 
wants to do some studying to improve her English 
and increase her general knowledge.  
She is Indian and never went past grade four or five. 

Mike was wondering if she could come 
to school like the other Indians 
and do regular grade five or six work.  

I think it would be better if 
I dropped into the nursing station every day 
for an hour or two after school 
and tutored her and corrected her exercises 
and just supervised her studies 
and helped her with her difficulties.  
We are going to decide before Anne starts her studies.

  My Father's Classroom
Lansdowne House

Uno and the Father are quite miffed 
that Mike asked me to do it, instead of Uno, 
since they are Catholic 
and Uno is Catholic 
and I am Protestant.  
None of them came right out and said anything, 
but I can feel the displeasure.  

In fact, when Mike asked me if I would, 
I felt that there might be hard feelings 
and suggested that perhaps, since he was Catholic, 
the Father might prefer that he had Uno teach her.  

He said that he didn’t care what the Father thought 
and he wanted me because I had a better education, 
spoke better English, had more experience, 
had a more disciplined classroom, and happier children.  

This is only Uno’s second year teaching 
and he still hasn’t finished his grade eleven.  
Besides he is several years younger than Anne, 
and she thought she would be uncomfortable 
taking lessons from someone younger than herself.  

I hope Mike never sees my spelling; 
he might change his opinion about my ability to teach.  

Oh well, I have had good success so far 
without being able to spell, 
and I don’t think I should have any trouble with Anne.

Well, that wraps it up for tonight.  
Will be seeing you all tomorrow.

Bye for now,
love, Don

This letter also hints at 
some of the conflict and violence that  
racked Lansdowne House in the future;
although, I am quite certain that
no one recognized what was to come
at the time Dad wrote this letter.

An earlier clue appeared in
a letter that Dad wrote on September 20, 1960:
"The chief is Protestant, and he is quite disturbed 
that I am living across at the Mission with the Father.
I explained that it was the only place 
that I could find to stay."

I didn't realize the significance of these lines
when I published my 10/10/14 post
On Canoes and Procreation.

But then I hadn't yet stumbled across 
the research book
When Freedom Is Lost:
The Dark Side of the Relationship 
between Government
and the Fort Hope Band
by Paul Driben and Robert S. Trudeau.

I saw things much more clearly after 
reading this stunning and disturbing book.

Till next time ~
Fundy Blue

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Heads Up ~ A Little Break!

Just to let everyone know ~
I'll be without the Internet for a bit!  

Wouldn't want Ms Sophie Doodle
trying to hunt me down 
because I had disappeared!

I'm leaving on a jet plane!

Friday, February 20, 2015

The Lansdowne Letters: A Housewarming, Northern Style

I think it is hard to imagine today
what living in isolation is like,
unless, of course, you've done so.

The stillness of the remote Northern Ontario winter
Northern Ontario Bush
License:  CC

My father was one among fourteen
white people living in Lansdowne House
in the fall of 1960 ~
and two of those fourteen were infants.

Their only communication with the Outside
was by short wave radio
and by the mail that came and went
in the belly of a bush plane.

Winter in Northern Ontario
Northern Ontario Bush
License:  CC

No phone.
No TV.
Erratic transistor radio reception.

Nowhere to go,
other than to your neighbors.

Nowhere to shop,
other than the Hudson Bay post.

Hudson Bay Trading Post
with clerk, Brian Booth and two Oji-Cree Men
Lansdowne House
Photo by Don MacBeath,  October 1960
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved

No cars, no streets.
Just hoofing it,
or canoeing in the summer
and snowshoeing in the winter.
Father Ouimet had a skidoo,
but he was the only one.

If you weren't self-reliant,
you didn't make it.

But you also had to be able
to fit into the small circle
of white people in the community.
You counted on them,
and they counted on you.

Fun was what you made it. 

Saturday, October 8, 1960 
My father wrote:
How’s Everyone Tonight?
Though I dated this as if 
it was written on Saturday,
I am actually typing it Sunday morning.  

The reason for this is that 
Uno and I had sort of a 
small home-warming last night.  
We didn’t actually consider it a home 
before we got some furniture 
and fixed up the front room, 
and got rid of the trunks.

  Front Room Before
Photo by Don MacBeath,  October 1960
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved

Duncan, Maureen, little Duncan, 
and Brian Booth 
were over for some 45s 
and a real old-time gabfest.  

About ten o’clock the 
Father and the Brother dropped in, 
and about eleven Mike, the nurse, 
was over to the Island 
on a sick call and joined the party.  

It was all very informal.  
Everyone just came and went as they felt like it.

 Front Room After
Photo by Don MacBeath,  Fall 1960
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved

Duncan and the Father even went out on the lake 
with the speedboat about midnight 
to get some pictures of the northern lights.  

They were magnificent last night.  
They had mauve and red and 
yellow and green and white, 
and they were so low 
that you would think that 
you could almost reach up and touch them.

Northern Lights

It was the first time that I had ever 
seen them colored like these were colored.

  Northern Lights

And you could hear them!!  
They were crackling and buzzing 
like a bunch of angry bees and crickets.  
I never saw or listened to anything like it 
before in my life.

Everyone contributed to the party.  
Maureen baked a large honey-spice cake, 
Brian brought over some candy, 
Uno and I bought cookies, etc., at the Bay, 
and the Father brought over 
a large bowl of fruit: bananas, grapes and apples.  
We had two coffee pots 
and a teapot going all the time.
    fruit  bing                                                           honey spice cake  wikimedia                             coffee  ebay

All in all, we had a very nice party.  
The Brother was the first to play out and go home.  
He left about twelve thirty.  
Brian played out and went home about one, 
and the Father left about one thirty.  
Mike and the MacRaes left about two thirty.
I went down to the shore with them 
to help push their boat off the beach.  
I still can’t get used to this commuting by boat.  
Instead of a bunch of cars in our front yard, 
there were two canoes and a speedboat 
dragged up on our beach.  

This was in addition to the one 
belonging to the Father and several 
belonging to some of the Indians on the island.  

Actually, at times we have 
a parking problem at Lansdowne House also.  
There are only two wharves, 
and there are very few stretches 
of beach suitable for beaching a canoe.
If everyone decides to go 
to the same place at the same time, 
we really have parking problems.  
You should see the shore below the Bay 
if they are having a busy day.

Canoeing at Night

The party was sort of a spontaneous effort.  
Dunc came over in the afternoon, 
and Uno and I suggested that 
he and Maureen come over in the evening.  

After all, we have been over there so much.  
Dunc told Brian about it, 
and the Father and the Brother, and Mike 
just saw our lights and dropped in.

Nothing like doing something ass-backwards 
I always say, so now I will tell you 
about the first part of the day.

We got up about seven thirty 
and went over and had breakfast.  
We read the papers for a couple of hours, 
and then we answered some 
official correspondence and personal mail.  

Then Uno did a washing over at the Father’s, 
and I cleaned up the house.  
Next time we need to do a washing, 
it will be my turn.  

In the afternoon Uno went out painting 
and I settled down to listen to the World Series.  
But the reception wasn’t too good, 
and I very soon lost track of the game 
and fell asleep and slept till about five o’clock.  
I guess that is why I was able 
to keep going so late at the party.

I can just see Aunt Maude shaking her head 
in disapproval at these irregular hours, 
so I hasten to assure her 
that we don’t keep these hours all the time.  
We are usually in bed before eleven.

Well, I think that just about 
winds things up for Saturday, 
so I will sign off till Sunday.  
ACTUALLY it is Sunday now, 
Sunday morning that is, 
so I will just be signing off till tonight.

Bye for now,
love, Don

When I went north, I heard the northern lights
buzzing and cracking a number of times.
For decades our stories of the noisy northern nights
were dismissed, like those of others in the wilderness.
Scientists said they didn't make noise.
Well, now science is catching up!

Take a listen or read about the mysterious sounds:

Daily Mail: July 10, 2012
Scientists discover where the mysterious sounds of the Northern Lights are generated.

Till next time ~
Fundy Blue

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Peggys Cove ~ Quintessential Nova Scotia

Last summer my sister Barb and I 
hit the road together in Nova Scotia.

One of our stops was the perfect spot
for we two geologists to scramble
over the Great Nova Scotia Batholith!

Okay.  Okay.
I admit it!
Most people go there to see
what is perhaps the most photographed
lighthouse in the world.

Peggys Point Lighthouse
aka Peggys Cove Lighthouse
Nova Scotia, Canada

Tourists from all over the world
head southwest out of Halifax 
and travel 26 miles or 43 kilometers
to reach the fishing village of Peggys Cove
where the lighthouse was established in 1868.

Van Taxi tours of Nova Scotia Canada
Taxi van tours of Peggys Cove and to the Bay of Fundy and Halifax Nova Scotia

Peggys Cove is a tiny community 
located on the eastern shore of St. Margarets Bay.

Barb and I have been there a number of times,
because we love climbing all over 
the gorgeous, coarse-grained, 
greyish-white granite exposed
along the southern coast of the province. 

Barb on Granite

We're not the only ones who love to do this!

Great Nova Scotia Batholith
Peggy's Cove

A word of caution though.
Running around on the rocks is hazardous,
especially if they are wet and slippery.

It's never a good idea to turn your back on the ocean, 
because unexpected and large waves
can wash you right off those enticing rocks.

Perhaps this tourist didn't read the sign.

Peggys Cove is most likely named 
after St. Margarets Bay 
which the famous French explorer
Samuel de Champlain 
named after his mother Marguerite
(Peggy is a common nickname for Margaret).

But popular legend attributes the name of the village
to the sole survivor of a shipwreck 
at nearby Halibut Rock in the late 1700s.
She married a resident of the cove in 1800
and became known locally as Peggy of the Cove.
Eventually the village became known
as Peggys Cove.

Scrambling over hot rocks
can work up an appetite and a thirst,
so many tourists stop at a popular restaurant
for a welcome break ~
Lots of tourists,
including tourists on tour buses.

Sou-Wester Gift & Restaurant
Peggys Cove

Today tourism is the economic mainstay of the community,
but some residents still fish for lobster
as others did during the past two centuries.

Lobster Traps

Fishing Sheds


The granite that Barb and I love to explore
formed during the Devonian some 370 million years ago.
Massive crustal plates collided 
and generated enough heat to melt rocks 
at the base of the Earth's crust.
This molten material forced its way upward
until it slowly cooled and solidified into 
a coarse mixture of quartz, 
feldspar, muscovite and biotite:  
the granite underlying the Peggys Cove area.

Fundy Blue on Granite

It's fun to wander around Peggys Cove
and see the boats, wharves, sheds,
and equipment used by the fishermen.

Weathered Lobster Traps

The most recent geological event 
that shaped the landscape in the area
occurred between 10,000 and 70,000 years ago.
An ice sheet several kilometers thick
covered most of Nova Scotia.
Rocks at the bottom of the moving ice
scraped and gouged the granite bedrock
and plucked out huge boulders and rocks.
When the glaciers retreated,
they left these boulders and rocks,
known as erratics, behind.

An Erratic Against an Erratic

The rugged and beautiful rocky coastline
in the vicinity of Peggys Cove
contains bogs, inland ponds, and barrens.

In 1962, the Province of Nova Scotia passed
the Peggys Cove Commission Act,
establishing a preservation area and 
prohibiting development in and around the village.

I can't wait to go back again!

Maybe one day 
you will be able to visit 
this special place too!

Nova Scotia Webcams has a webcam
located overlooking the lighthouse.