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My wife Cynthia and I had bought a stackable record player, dual cassette player, and CD player complete with speakers and a remote .We were quite excited to play some of our old vinyl and show the children , Isabella and Lily , this old great technology. We put on a record for the kids and used the remote to increase the volume. We thought it was great but the kids were less enthused. Finally a song came on that Isabella enjoyed. When the song ended she grabbed the remote and kept pushing a button. Confused, my wife and I asked her what she was doing , to which she replied , she was pushing the rewind button. After some badly repressed laughter we explained that she needed to lift the needle and move it back one song and put it into the groove. Her shocked face said it all, we were old now.
Happy but Sad
My husband Nick and I have once again returned from another vacation (six weeks this time) in Newfoundland, and I'm happy but sad. I cannot count the ways Newfoundland and its people and places have touched my heart. In 2012 and 2015, we drove our RV down from Ontario for two months, staying in RV campgrounds. This year we flew to Deer Lake, rented a car and stayed at either cabins or B&Bs. All of our stays were so charming and clean - and, of course, everyone was so helpful and kind. We visited people from our 2015 stay, such as Gerald French from the Crow Hill RV Park in Brigus. Gerald arranged a cod fishing trip for us with his nephew and family, which was so much fun. They made us feel so welcome. We stopped in Green Island Cove and visited Nita Hughes and her husband Kirby on our way to St. Anthony. Nita had not only made us jam and mailed it to us in Ontario (after just meeting us in 2015 when we topped for gas), but ordered us a subscription to your great Downhome magazine. This year, Nita and Kirby invited us for lunch. This is what I mean about the kindness of people in Newfoundland. There are so many outstanding places to stay while visiting. To name just a few: Cupid's Haven B&B in Cupids; Inn at the Cape in Cape St. George; Celtic Rendezvous in Bauline East; Mom's Place in La Scie; Captain Cook B&B in York Harbour. Anyone who loves whales, icebergs, puffins, hiking, great food and super nice people should add Newfoundland to their bucket list. Meanwhile, Nick and I will once again dream about maybe, just maybe, making one more trip to our favourite place. - Sharron and Nick Beddard, Chelmsford, ON
VOLUNTEERS: (The lifeblood of Hospitals)
The first Monday of June 2018 I was awaken by nature's call at thirty seven minutes after five A.M., according to the clock-radio beside our bed, but before I could seek relief I had to wait for Mary, my wife, who had unusually awaken earlier than I to vacate the bathroom. I would not normally stress the time of day I arise but the night before I had set our alarm to wake me with its' clamorous chimes at 5:45 AM. An ungodly hour for a retired couple, on the back side of seventy, with no where to go and nothing to do except visit the Oncology department at the Oshawa General Hospital.
On that cold foggy day, a rarity in Southern Ontario for this time of year, we had to be in Oshawa before 8:00 AM for another of my wife's Nivolumab (NIVO) therapy treatments which have now been ongoing for longer than I care to remember. But I keep hoping, every time that I sit patiently by my wife's side that this radical immune therapy will work its' magic and help ease the constant pain that I see daily on her face and in her beautiful blue eyes.
But I digress. To help pass the time during our therapy visits we take a portable scrabble game, Yahtzee dice/score sheets and a novel or two plus other reading material. On this day Mary took our June 2018 edition of Life Is Better Downhome and was reading it while reclining in the Oncology Chair with NIVO oozing into her blood stream at 130ml per hour.
The Oshawa General Hospital, actually Lakeridge Health Center, like a majority of hospitals in Ontario has an untold number of volunteers who work tirelessly helping the professional staff in seeing to the needs of the unfortunates who have been stricken with cancer. It takes a special kind of person to serve as a volunteer on the Cancer Wards of our hospitals and seeing on a constant basis people with resignation and despair etched in their eyes and then having to put on a happy face, smile and say, âï¿½ï¿½can I get you a drink or something to eat?âï¿½ï¿½ Sometimes, but I would venture that these times are far and few between, they see hope in the patient's eyes and this gives some reason to why they volunteer. I have met a lot of volunteers in my travels across Canada and in healthier times I was one. In organizations such as the Lions Club and St. John Ambulance but never on the Cancer Ward of a hospital as I was unable to summon the fortitude so necessary to deal with despair at its' zenith. Over the past two years, while accompanying Mary to the many different hospitals she has been directed to in her endless battle against cancer, I have met a countless number of these special people called VOLUNTEER.
On that first Monday of June 2018 while Mary was perusing the Downhomer a volunteer happened to walk by her chair. "Is that the Downhomer you're reading?" she said while doing a quick about-turn and looking directly at Mary, who stopped reading and with a quizzically look on her face, looked at the cover of the Downhomer and asked the volunteer "are you from down home" "Yes, I am!" was the reply and therein started a three way conversation between the volunteer, my wife and I which lasted well over a quarter of an hour. Life histories summarized, possible relatives, memories of home, missing Newfoundland and anxious to go home again and many other things talked about. If the duty nurse hadn't interrupted us to remove the needle from my wife's arm we may well still be there chatting. This is just one example of how a volunteer can change a dreary therapy session into a memorable 15 minutes. And all because of the "Life is better Downhome"magazine.
I know this is a little late but, we were away all winter. Just got my Downhomer last week. Wish politicians would focus on their job, and do it properly, and leave NFLD traditions be. There is nothing degrading about getting "screeched in". It is tradition. Most people that visit NFLD look forward to the ceremony. What I find degrading is, seeing our Politicians on TV, acting like a bunch of pre kindergarten kids. when I was in the military, we had a ceremony we would preform when we cross the International Date Line. We put our late PM Trudeau and Margret thru that ceremony, and I was King Neptune, on that flight. They went thru with it, knelt in front of the king (me)) drank a potion of cold veggie soup, spiked with gin, and laughed at it. It was just fun, and the PM was not degraded at all. We presented him and Margret with a certificate, signed by the Aircraft Captain, in this case, the Commander of 437 squadron, in Trenton. I am a Newfie, and proud of it. My next trip down, I will get screeched in. Ray Martin Prescott On.
The story in your April issue brought back a memory from the 80's of a penguin I saw and not in a zoo.
We were at Sydney NS delivering a cargo of petroleum products.When we arrived there was a Japanese Trawler moored ahead of us so after my watch was over I took a walk up to have a look at her. Japanese trawlers are very different from our own trawlers with a very low profile.While I was looking down at it a large penguin waddled out from under the bow of the trawler.He just walked around the deck for awhile and then returned to bow again.
The Japanese trawlers travel all over the world fishing so they must of picked it up down in the Antarctic area.
A Visit to Corner Brook papermill
The following is a rewrite of a submission I thought I made Mar 24 but cannot find acknowledged - - -
By associating a picture of a locomotive with a Bowaters building, Karl Janes' letter in the December 2017 issue triggered in me a long dormant memory of seeing other locomotives by a Bowater building. It happened during my first visit to the Corner Brook paper mill. I was then age 14; same age as the mill. Britain had not yet declared war but it was inevitable and expected soon (it came on September 3rd ) German U-Boats were already roaming the Atlantic in anticipation, adding hazard to sea travel. I had to go from St. John's to Halifax for a July 31st appointment with my orthodontist. While on previous trips I had sailed directly from St. John's to Halifax, this time my Dad booked for me a shorter voyage from Corner Brook. (The short voyage didn't prevent the Caribou's sinking by U-Boat 3 years later) Arriving at Corner Brook by train (not yet called The Bullet) there was a long wait to board the ship so we passengers were treated to a tour of the mill. The huge pile of pulp logs outside, the pulp entering the roaring paper machine, the humidity and heat and the great roll of paper coming out the end was awesome. But what intrigued me most were the two small steam locomotives used to shunt rail cars in and out for loading paper for shipment. Strangely, these steam engines had no smoke-stacks "because they had no fire heating a boiler. Instead, to provide energy for their day's work their steam-chests were filled with high-pressure steam from the mill's steam generators.
They had names painted in large letters: "Leaping Lena"and "Sizzling Sal". How could I forget that?
While they are clear in my memory, I'd love to see pictures of them and I wonder if any of your readers could oblige.