A bit of explanation about life just outside Ottawa 65 years ago: There were two sub-divisions- not really big enough to be called suburbs- Rothwell Heights, with houses on three levels going down to the Ottawa River, and, on the opposite side of the highway, (the Montreal Road) Cardinal Heights. Two new schools had been built in Cardinal Heights- Fairfield School, a public school, and St Gabriel’s, a private Catholic school next to the new Catholic Church, both of which would have Kindergarten to Grade 8 students, ages 5-13. Linda and Charlie’s next door neighbours, the Hansen children and their cousin Jimmy (who, being older, knew all about school) went to St. Gabriel’s, so they only saw Jimmy at home. Kindergarten was a half day, and Cyn wanted the children to keep having afternoon rests, so she enrolled each in morning Kindergarten. The walk to school was not very long- the problem was the highway! At first Cyn walked them, but as they got used to it, they walked on their own, after she had taken them out to the road and made sure they crossed it safely. Coming home, they had to wait on the far side of the road until she came out and saw them across.
Living on the highway did have its advantages- from this letter, it seems that the Blachuts, returning from their summer in Switzerland, had the bus from Montreal stop at the top of the hill and let them all and their luggage off, so they could walk down into Rothwell Heights to their house, instead of being taken into the city and having to get out again. However, a detour to the Costain’s right on the corner was necessary…
Thurs. 13th Sept. 1956
I just heard from A. Muriel last night that they are setting out today and will be with us on Sat. so as you can imagine I am in a tizzy! I’ve been washing the kitchen floor! Cec & I had been out to see “The King and I” (which was lovely) & didn’t get the mail till we got came home, so of course I lay awake planning my menus! We have Keith Innis (Keith & Ruth) coming to dinner tonight – he is here for 2 weeks to finish some work – they now have a baby boy. Also in the mail was a letter & snaps from Dottie – will send the latter on for you to see & Dottie says one is for you – they are an elegant couple.
I have been meaning to write all week to tell you about Lindy & school. She started a week ago & I took Joanne too & the 2 of them just walked in & settled down as if they’d been doing it all their lives! Lindy was quite matter-of-fact about it all & just said “Bye-bye” when I walked out – such a wonderful change from her clinging to me last year at this time! Charlie & I went & got them at 11:45 & they came out full of fun. Lindy was tired of course but told me all about it & likes her teacher (Mrs Albrand) who is v. nice, but older, 45-ish – Lindy thought she was going to have someone young. All went well then till Mon. when Charlie & I walked down to meet the girls & here was Lindy like a little ghost – white & drooping! She said she felt tired so went straight to bed with no lunch & woke up about 4 with quite a temp. She slept & ate nothing but had no other symptoms, Tues. the same, but by the evening her temp. was down. Yesterday she had soup & a little bread & milk & got up in the afternoon & today seems fine & eating fairly well, so I think I’ll send her back to school tomorrow. Cec had some bug last week which made him feel lousy so I don’t know if Lindy caught it or if it was just the excitement of school. Anyway, thank goodness it was no more.
The Blachuts arrived back on Tues. so Janek is in Lindy’s class too. They docked in Montreal & got the bus here as the train was later & all went fine till they got up to get out of the bus & the baby sicked up all over! They arrived at my door for help!
Mrs. R had one of her “evenings” last Thurs. – (I must take A. Moo to meet her!) & of course I had to go! She had 4 females & left us to play bridge while she puttered around! We had the Dalbys, the Dresslers (the bride) & the Haydings (fellow Cec knew in Sask. now at Montreal Rd N.R.C.) in last Friday- all people we had to have but were not enthusiastic about! It was o.k. but not too, too gay!!
Thank you for your letter of September 3 – you certainly seem to have had a hold up with my letters – you haven’t mentioned getting snaps yet & from what I can gather you haven’t got the last 3 letters I’ve written – hope they’ve come by now. Must tell you – the blue dye arrived – Lindy asked what it was & I told her and & she said “Do you really want it?” & I said no & explained about making a new cover etc., so she said “But you’ll still write & thank Granny won’t you?” so I said yes & she said Then Granny’ll say, Thank goodness they like it!” Wasn’t that sweet? Actually I used it right this morning – the old cover looked so dreary & I haven’t been able to get binding yet so I haven’t begun the new.
So thank you. xxx Love Cyn.