August 19 1969

More apologies for the gap in posting: Covid before Christmas, very minimal Xmas celebrations as a result, related health issues after, and a reluctance to attack the chronological problems caused by finding more material! However, this must be addressed, so a brief review of the events in the Costain family from August 1969 to December 1969. In August, the Ottawa family of Cec, Cyn, Linda and Charlie (17 & 16) went holidaying west to visit other Costains in Calgary and Penticton, then toured Vancouver and popped over to Vancouver Island before waving goodbye to Cec. He travelled to Australia and Japan for physicist meetings, catching up with friends and doing tourist things as well, and sending letters (already published) home too.

Cyn and the teens returned to Ottawa on the train- 3 days- painful for kids, relaxing for mother. Then Linda had her 18th birthday and focused on Going Away to University while Cyn and Charlie resumed their normal activities- September meaning Grade 13 for Charlie and the resumption of the church-run Nursery School for Cyn who was now in charge of finances, as well as teaching when needed. They took Linda and luggage to Peterborough, helped her settle, drove home, and very kindly wrote letters (already published) to keep her from feeling homesick! But both her grandmothers also had written to Linda, so back to August and September to include these, plus football details.

Grannie, (Carol Ewing, Cyn’s mother) had been staying a few months in Ottawa earlier in the spring and summer and had gone to her nieces, Milly, Marguerite, and Mona, in various parts of New York for August and September. She sent Linda a birthday airmail.

“Happy Birthday to You”
Aug. 19th 69

Lindy Dear,

It is time I was winging my good wishes to you- Darling Lindy I hope you will have a happy day & many many more – I have been looking at books (paper backs) & would like to send you one- (as an extra b.p.) but you seem to have read so many I’m afraid of hitting on one you have – so please send me a list, & when I go to Long Beach I’ll hunt for one for you – I am now busy reading ‘Island in the Sun’ & in some ways I am enjoying it, but I do think he is inclined to glamorise and exaggerate circumstances in the islands. It’s from the library here, so I must hurry & finish it, as I go to Long Beach on 25th when Mona & Owen are coming for a weekend, & and I’ll return with them. I am having a very enjoyable time with the Pems (Millie and Ford Pemberton). We went to the Barn Theatre last week & saw a musical ‘Guys & Dolls’ very amusing and the acting was first rate – some of the leading artists are from the big N/Y theatres – & although it’s a ‘Barn’ the seats are in tiers & it’s always full, although in the heart of the country.

Now tell me how did you enjoy your trip? I want to know all about the Rockies & the Glaciers & what about Penticton, is it a small place? I’m sorry I hadn’t your address there. How about Vancouver? I’ve heard that it is a fine city with lovely parks etc. I’m sure you must have enjoyed it, do tell me all about it when you have time! You must all have felt a bit lost when your dad flew off & left you on your own. Your train journey must have been quite an experience, I have no idea how long it would take you to get across Canada by Train – but I should imagine 2 days & 2 nights? Even Ford isn’t sure of that!

I’ve been out to 2 lovely restaurants, one called the ‘Fin and Claw’ & another which you & Charlie would have enjoyed called Helheah Turkey Farm Rest. where they gave us lashings of Turkey etc., I was real stuffed!! but it was a v. pretty place & most enjoyable. I spent most of Sunday with Monaliz & family – you would have loved her & her kids- they’re so sweet & friendly but not fresh!! The twins are like fish in the water & can dive well. How is your weather? It’s v. changeable here, but today is fine & hotter. I’d hoped for a card from Vancouver, I long to hear all your news; Love to you all I know how busy you must be getting ready for College. Best of luck- Grannie.

4 courses for under $3! No wonder she was full!
I love the internet!


The New Year of 1960 started with the children back to school with no effects from their German Measles bout. Besides school and Sunday School, we were involved in other activities: Charlie was a Cub and Linda a Brownie, and Linda took beginner ballet lessons. As for Cyn and Cec, when entertainers such as Tom Lehrer or Joyce Grenfell toured through Ottawa, they went with enthusiasm but Ottawa had no theatre before the National Arts Centre was built, so shows were held in the auditorium of one of the older high schools.

Easter came along, and Cyn’s birthday, as well as the news that our second cousin, Little Monie who had married the year before and was now Mona Beatty, had had twin girls, Stephanie and Suzanne. As a trip to the States was being contemplated for the summer, I’m sure this was an added inducement.

In May, there was Mother’s Day to celebrate, and both children involved in music- Charlie’s class performing a small operetta “Peter Rabbit” and Linda in the Music Festival choir competition for Grade 4 Chorus. But the great excitement was the arrival of Carol Ewing from St. Vincent- Grannie came to stay! By this time, Cec had ‘finished’ the basement, dividing the cavernous concrete-floored space that we had once driven our tricycles and wagons around in circles into two, creating a recreation room that could double as a spare bedroom now the children had a room each.

Grannie was always interested in the children’s activities and fitted happily into family life. Cec had work travel- the usual Spectroscopy Conference in Columbus, and then a longer trip that started with a conference where his brother Carman Costain’s work, the Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory, was opened and continued on to Seattle and San Fransisco, where work mingled with tourism!

As the school year ended, plans were made for the summer. Because we were spending most of the summer in Ottawa but had Grannie as a tourist, Cyn made a Chore Chart, where she and the children could check off duties when completed, and each week as a reward, do a tourist activity in the nation’s capital- a cruise on the Rideau Canal, a visit to the Royal Mint, or see the film of ‘Pollyanna’ with Hayley Mills. (Linda had the book of course.)

And as Carol was always involved with the Church, it must have been a satisfaction to witness the service with the Bishop ‘Breaking the Ground’ to start the building of a Church Hall and Chapel on a lot north of the school playground.

We got a new car in July 1960, which was So Modern compared to the 1946 Chrysler that it remained in my mind that way, and it was quite a shock to see the pictures of it now!

This meant that when Grannie’s visit was over in August, we could take our summer trip, and all drive her to New York to visit her nieces, and admire the next generation. Milly and Ford, the Pembletons, who had visited us in Ottawa a few years earlier, had a summer ‘camp’ that the family was used to visiting so we took Grannie there and met the other sisters and their grown-up children, our second cousins- and maybe even the 2nd cousins once removed, the twins. We went to New York City and were tourists! Then we said goodbye to Grannie and the New York families and drove north.

Back in Canada, we headed for Brantford, where the Moors had gone to teach that school year. We arrived just as they moved from a furnished rental into their house on Lorne Crescent, and had a lovely time with our favourite cousins. Linda had her birthday there and Merle got us tickets for the new Festival Theatre in Stratford, Ontario, for Shakespeare’s ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’, which was fabulous. Bruno Gerussi was Oberon, we all enjoyed it, and returned to Stratford often as a summer treat. (Linda got to teach Shakespeare in Nigeria, the Northwest Territories, andBritish Columbia over 30 years, and took her own next generation to Stratford in the summer when possible.)

And when they got home in Ottawa, Cyn had a belated birthday party to organize and a letter to write to Carol in New York- which she kept! All the details to follow…

The Rest of 1958

Physics Division, N.R.C. 1958. Cec back far L., Hin Lu, Boris Stoicheff and Dr Herzberg front R.

A quick overview of the rest of 1958.
School, in spite of an amazing 40 absences in March and April because of our West Indian trip, apparently went well for both of us, and come the summer, both of us successfully advanced to the next year.
However, Charlie, with his birthday in December, was the youngest in his Kindergarten class and so the school decided, at the end of his Kindergarten year, that he should go into the non-accelerated class of Grade 1. Our parents spent the summer brain-washing him into accepting the fact that he would not have Linda’s admired teacher, Mrs Rueter, but would have the teacher our babysitter’s boy, Johnny Lockwood, had had. So we went happily off to school in September 1958, and at the end of the first week, Charlie came home in tears- they were going to move him into the accelerated class! The brain-washing had to be reversed, Charlie was integrated into Mrs Rueter’s Grade 1 and everyone was fine with it- except Mrs Lockwood who was miffed!

The church had grown both in adult congregation and Sunday School. Although still housed in the school, there were dreams of building a Hall or a Church, and various organizations had been formed. The Ladies Guild would meet in the fall, and hear a talk on Fancy Cooking by Mrs. Cecil Costain!

On the relatives front, there was news on both sides of the family. Little Mona, of the unsuitable (and unknown) job, was married in May, with her brother’s bride of the year before as one of her attendants, and no doubt wedding presents from Cyn and Carol.

On the Costain side, Carman and Leona Costain in Cambridge not only had a son, David, but also Carman succeeded in bettering his performance in hockey! I’m sure his work, too, was going well.

In the summer, the Moors- Dix, Cec’s eldest sister Merle, and their family- came through Ottawa, and the cousins finally met. John and Lorne were teenagers and Bruce was 8, a year older than Linda. The adults enjoyed their visit, met up with the Atchisons- the other sister Lea and family- and at some point (perhaps this summer, maybe in the next couple of years) the Moors moved from Port Arthur to Brantford in southern Ontario, which was much more possible to visit! We adored the Big Boys and got on beautifully with Bruce (not always true of interactions with Darryl Atchison, also 8, whom we saw 4 or 5 times a year.) The older boys were very kind to the younger cousins and we all enjoyed being a big family.

6 Cousins! Patty Lu sitting on John, Linda, Darryl, Charlie, and Bruce.

Cec went to the Spectroscopy Conference in Columbus in the summer and in August Linda had her 7th birthday with a slide as the big shared present in the summer. Charlie turned 6 just before Christmas. Both continued to do well in school, in spite of Charlie being in hospital in the fall- since neither of us know why, it can’t have been that serious.

In England, there was more serious news among Cyn’s friends. Amy Stainthorpe, who was wont to make acid comments to Cyn and Carol if letters were delayed, died in Newcastle, and Dr. Stainthorpe- Charlie’s godfather who had given Cyn away at her wedding, with Ruth as her bridesmaid- and his daughter Ruth Haynes would have received sad letters from both Cyn and Carol.
Another death in Newcastle left no one to write to: little Stephen Mitchell was left without family when his grandmother Mrs. Scott died. His mother Irene – a dear friend of Cyn and Carol’s- and a year or two later his father, had died when he was a toddler- and his grandmother had been bringing him up, but their friends were horrified to hear that after her death the little boy of 6 had been sent to Australia as an orphan. Cyn, Dottie, and Nan had all moved away from Newcastle by this time, and no doubt heard of this after the event, but all worried about the fate of the boy. I am assuming this happened sometime in 1958 because Cyn’s Christmas parcel list, which had mentioned sending Stephen a ‘Frontier Set’ in December 1957, did not list him for 1958.

Nan’s move from Newcastle to Cheshire was recorded in Cyn’s scrapbook with a change-of-address card, and a picture of Sandy, whom I assume had successfully advanced to Grammar School in their new location.

The year ended with a happy Christmas for the Costains, with Dr. & Mrs. Herzberg and their adult children Agnes and Paul, coming for Christmas dinner.

May 5 1957

Box 330

Sunday 5th May.

Dearest Mummy,
It is a lovely day after a week of cold windy weather. We had a beautiful warm spell over Easter & for a while afterwards & things were just looking lovely & then it suddenly got so cold & even froze some nights & people who had put out plants etc. got them all frosted. However we weren’t so venturesome & indeed Cec is being very correct about his gardening this year – all the seed catalogues etc. tell you to begin seeds indoors & as we haven’t had too much luck putting them straight into the garden & the season is so late beginning here anyway that we thought we would try it. So last weekend Cec made some flats & sifted soil etc. & planted them & already we have some funny looking little things! I giggled at Cec as he worked so hard over getting them all done nicely & then he said “Well, I hope they won’t be a success!” & when I said “Why?” in horror he said “Well, I couldn’t bear the thought of having to do all this every year!” However he is already talking about what he’ll do next year so he can’t be too serious! We planted Cosmos, Clarkia, Brackycomb, Petunias, Lavendar, Zinnias, Nemesia, Portulaca, Stocks & Perennial Iceland Poppies. Also Tiny Tim Tomatoes & some Baby Muskmelons for down the hill! We have ordered 6 more rosebushes & 3 new chrysanthemum plants & Cec divided up all the orange lilies in the Fall so we have quite a few perennials now – also some delphiniums & a peony we got last year & sweet williams. My Bleeding Hearts from Mrs. Carleton are all doing nicely but Cec is having grave doubts about the chicken manure he dug in so laboriously in the Fall. You know it was on Ken’s advice he did it, but our things seem to be so late compared to other peoples & our bulbs are so slow. Of course the latter may be caused by the transplanting as in the places where they weren’t disturbed they are way ahead, but poor Cec is going to be so disgusted if they don’t do well after all his hard work.
The children have been playing out all day with Jimmy except for going to S. School, & I gave them a picnic lunch on the grass & they had a lovely time. They are both looking so well & rosy cheeks now & seem to get so much dirtier than they ever did before! The bathroom wash basin always seems to be filthy & Charlie’s towel is just like the pictures you see of little boys’ towels! Charlie is quite lonesome on school days with no one to play with now, as he had such fun at Easter with Lindy & Jimmy, so he will be delighted when summer holidays come. He is very pleased at the thought of going to school & in S. School this morning I heard him holding forth to the teacher in front of all the children so he isn’t shy! I meant to begin a letter to you last night, but I began to make a book for my S. School – a Touch & Feel Book. They give you outlines of a sheep, bunny, dog, bird etc. and you cover them with cotton wool, velvet, feathers etc. to get the right feel – it was fun but it took me hours! Cec was at a Men’s Do at Boris’ & I spent the whole evening stuck up to the eyebrows! My class is still going strong & I have pretty regular help from a lady Mrs. Kuhn whose little girls come so it is all right, but I find I spend at least one evening a week making things for it & getting things ready. Do you remember Flora Wansborough a thin dark girl further down the hill towards Ben Rothwell’s? They adopted a baby boy just over a year ago & we coffee together occasionally – anyway she is an Anglican & I got her interested & she may come & help teach. She came & watched last week. Yesterday afternoon the Anglican Ladies had a big Maytime Tea & Sale of Work down at the School. It wasn’t anything to do with the Sunday School really but all the mothers etc. got together & organized it & the idea was to make money for a Fund as the beginning for a church some day. They sold tickets at 25¢ for the Tea & then had an Apron Stall, Children’s Wear Stall, Baked Goods, Plants, Candy Stall & a Recipe Stall which I thought was such a good idea. I’ll tell you about it because it might be a new idea for your May Fair or Bazaar sometime. They had 13 very luscious foods set out looking very attractive, then in front of each one little samples of the cake, cookie etc. stuck on toothpicks for people to taste & they were selling the 13 recipes typed on a sheet for $1. 00. They had some foreign recipes, some pickles etc. & I thought it was very good – Pat & I got one between us – 50¢ apiece! Pat has it at the moment & is going to type me a copy – they have the recipes from various people you know, which always adds interest too. I thought I had done quite well as I sold 10 tickets; made chocolate truffles for the Candy Stall; made coconut cakes for the tea; made choc. layer cake for the Bake Stall & sent 2 jars of pickles. Then I heard of a lady who had sold over 70 tickets, made 2 aprons, 2 children’s play suits, made bread, cakes & sent jam to the Bake Stall & was in charge of the Candy Stall & made dozens of lots of candy. Whee! Anyway it turned out to be a big success, & had lots of people there & I hear today that it made over $500 which seems wonderful for such a small group with no real church organization behind them. I was going to take Linda & Charlie, but then Linda got an invitation to Diane Kuhn’s birthday party (in her class at school) so Charlie decided he would rather stay at home & play with Jimmy. Lindy was to go as a storybook character, so I spent the Friday morning making her a little red cloak with a hood. Do you remember some red lounging pyjamas I swapped with Jessie long long ago? Then at my Halloween party in Cambridge I made them into a red petticoat? WELL – now I made Lindy into a cute Little Red Riding Hood! Lu gave her a pretty red moire skirt of Leslie’s a little while ago & they exactly matched & with a white blouse & a little basket she really looked like the storybook! I took her to the party & then took Pat & Mrs. Tomlinson & Joanne & Susan to the Tea – lots of people were there – even Mrs. Rothwell making funny remarks about Anglicans! I got some cookies & small cakes, some candy, a kettle holder & a pair of darling little “baby doll” pyjamas! The top is flowered cotton with little white panties, but unfortunately it is too small for Linda (they had no bigger sizes) so I will send it to Barbara Heslop for her birthday.

I was so pleased with myself yesterday morning as I went to town & had such a successful shopping spree. I had thought I might get a suit this spring but I looked around earlier & they all had these straight tight skirts which are so bad for my poor seat! Then I decided I would get a coat as the only non-winter one I have is my grey raincoat from trousseau days which is very sad now, & I saw a nice black bengaline in Simpson Sears catalogue (water repellent too) which was just what I wanted so I sent off for it. I was so disappointed when I got a card saying it was out of stock so on Sat. I went downtown & found just the same thing at Freimans’ & in my size too. I got it there & then & then hopped upstairs & got a little pink lacy hat & a pink scarf (I already have a new high-heeled black suede shoes). I also got Nan a pair of red corduroy “scuffies” (slippers with no backs) reduced to $1.00, so felt very successful! I dashed home & got Cec to mark the hem of my coat & shortened it then & there & wore it to the May Tea with my new hat & felt so pleased as everyone was dressed up to the eyes & I felt quite chic too. I have my white straw that from last summer I’ll also wear with the coat & I got some pretty white material with a black flower spray on it to make into a dress, so it will all go nicely. Do you remember a pretty navy coat Lila had on that day we drove out to Kingsmere? Well, mine is very like that.
I feel quite free to concentrate on our summer wardrobe now as I have at last finished the slipcover for the sofa & feel very pleased with it. Cec & I had such a busy time last week after Easter. I told you how he began painting & finished the bathroom & it looks so nice & fresh.

Then I got some pretty yellow nylon & made a new curtain & we got 20 yellow tiles (plastic) & tiled around the wash basin. It looks most elegant & it is such an improvement as the wall got so splashed behind the basin & it spoilt the paint. We are very pleased with it. Then Cec began on the kitchen & painted that (I helped but I was mostly sewing the slipcover. ) It is a very pretty pale blue, walls & woodwork, with the brown cupboard doors. We have also moved things around & now it is like this-

It is such an improvement having the stove near my workplace in the corner near the sink & the fridge is just as convenient on the other side & not so much in the way. It takes the stove away from the door too & when we sit at the table we are not as close to it. Cec has hung the bread box below the window & under it we have a new white garbage can! I have some blue and white spotted material to make frills for the tops of the windows but haven’t done so yet. I think it looks very nice though & I’m delighted with it.
All last week then, Cec was painting hard in the evening & I was sewing away & in the day time the children & I were busy gadding! Lindy was on holiday of course, & on the Wed. we went to tea with Susi Dressler & saw the little twins – so sweet – just a month old, then on the Thurs. we drove over & had lunch with Lee & Barry & Dougie; on the Friday we went & had coffee with Flora & then on the Sunday the Atchisons [Cec’s sister & family] came to dinner! Cec planted all the seeds last weekend too, so it really was a busy time. The A’s were all well after a bad winter of colds, chickenpox etc. but little Patty Lou is growing fast & beginning to walk & Lea is still enchanted with her baby. Cec & I we’re saying that she really missed so much of Darryl’s baby hood with working that this is really new & fun for her & she just thinks Patty is wonderful. I was handing on some of Lindy’s little things I still had – but not the prettiest ones! Aren’t I mean – but some of them are too sweet to give away!
This week we had a party on Tuesday – a surprise birthday party for Lila! You know she is so good about sending the children birthday, Valentine, Easter presents etc. etc. & one day Cec & I were talking & I said I didn’t really like surprise parties but that I thought one for Lila might be fun, so we had one! We invited mostly those with children whom Lila treated as she treats ours you know – Phyl & Alex, Nan & Don Ramsey, Joan & Boris, Ray & Doreen Moore (the N.Z. couple but they couldn’t come – Doreen is sick – preggy again – R.C.’s poor girl ) then Dr. & Mrs. Herzberg, but Mrs. H. couldn’t come as she was away, & Dr. H’s secretary Mary & Santiago & Dr. Velasco. I phoned Lila a little while ago & said I wanted her & Mary to come out & arranged a day in a very casual way, & then Alex & Phyl picked them up & got here about 8:50 & all the rest at 8:30 having put their cars around the side. Then when Lila came up everyone sang Happy Birthday & we gave her a pretty pink corsage & a card signed by all the children! She was quite pink & confused, but very pleased I think & we all had a nice evening. We chatted & then played quite a good card game that everyone can join in, & we had Punch to drink. Then I had coffee & tea & a big pretty tray of open faced sandwiches like I used to have in Cambridge & then a big birthday cake. I made it white with a wreath of pink rosebuds around & Happy Birthday Lila in the middle. It was all over & everyone leaving by midnight but we felt we’d had a good time & enjoyed it anyway so we hoped everyone else did! We had a nice card from Lila full of raptures afterwards!
On the Wed. the children & I had another kind of party – Charlie & I picked up Lindy from school in the car & went downtown for lunch & then we went to see Walt Disney’s “Cinderella”! I was very keen to take them as they have a Cinderella book with pictures from the movie & they were both thrilled at the idea. Lindy just loved the whole thing & enjoyed every minute, but poor old Charlie got a bit tired & kept saying “Is this the end?”!! However I really think it was quite a success as it was their first full length film in a theatre – I loved seeing it again too! Then we went out to tea to Mrs. Kuhn’s on Thurs. & Lindy & I got our haircut on Fri., so those are all our activities! Cec was back at work every night except the party night last week, so he was really tired this weekend but he got some good results, so he was quite content. Next week I hope we all are going to have a quiet week – I feel we have been living hectically for quite a while!
Thank you so much for your last letter (29th) which I got yesterday – I am so sorry that none of our things reached you for your birthday though. Somehow your letters come so nice & quickly now though, that I assume mine do to you too, but I hope that by now the parcel as well as my long letter will have arrived. It was my fault about the A.M. not getting posted though- so don’t blame poor Cec! I had a bunch of letters to mail – paying bills etc. & your A.M. & some library books & my purse & so on & Charlie & I got in the car & I put them all on the seat between us. Well, what with Charlie & me & all the other things your letter & one of the others slid down the back of the seat & I didn’t notice they were missing when I mailed the rest. Then a few days later I saw a little white thing sticking up & pulled it & lo and behold – letters! I’m sorry! I’m so glad you had a nice birthday – yes we did think of you – and had such a lovely picnic – how nice of Auntie Muriel. You told me the girls had sent you a pretty dress but you didn’t tell me what it was like, but your new hat sounds very pretty too. What a pity Noel Coward didn’t come to Church on Easter Sunday & see you in it! But I really can’t imagine him dashing to Church at the crack of dawn as you & A. Muriel do! What a pity you didn’t see him though although I feel he must be too too conceited for words! Your telling me of him reminds me that I nearly forgot to tell you of someone I met unexpectedly at the May Tea yesterday – Mr. & Mrs. Hughes from Acacia Avenue – remember? They have built a house out here at Rothwell Heights- not way down by the river, but in some woods that we rather liked – moved in just about a month or so ago. They were very cordial & most pressing that we should come & see them, so we must do so & see their house – Mrs. H. tells me it has “What my Mother would call a Charles Dickens window”!! What do you think she means?! I guess a bow window or one with leaded panes!
The Church Procession you saw sounds a most exhausting affair – I’m glad you didn’t try to join in. The new man at Hazell’s sounds as if he will take some of the work off Uncle Fred’s shoulders which will be a relief for him, but as you say Alan Gunn doesn’t sound as if his return will be very permanent. I wonder if you got any bargains at the Sale? They have been having big sales in all the stores here but somehow nothing I needed!
You were asking about Charlie – he’s not nearly such a tender little plant as he used to be & doesn’t cry so much, but still that lower lip can quiver in a very pathetic way! He doesn’t cry at the Barber’s or having his hair washed now & is quite independent – Lindy at last will have her hair cut at the hairdresser’s but has to hold my hand! I am going to make her pink & white sun dress soon – we both think it is very pretty – when I get a nice pattern.
You were asking about our finances – well we are doing quite well & have it last paid off the money we borrowed on our insurance when Charlie was born!! Also we have joined a Civil Service Co-op Savings Society which takes the money out of our pay cheque before we get it so perhaps now we will amass a huge fortune!!
I don’t seem to have been reading much lately – too busy sewing! But I ploughed through a long but interesting biography of Richard III! We don’t belong to a book club at all now – the English one was nice but we got a bit tired of it & the U.S. ones we never seem to get books we like!
I think the table mats for Ginny & Hugh are a very good idea – I’m sure they’ll like them. [Cyn’s cousin Milly Pembleton’s son was getting married in the summer, and so Carol and Cyn were considering wedding presents.] I must get them something & send it off – I thought of something in the china line, but I’ll go & have a look around. Mill very kindly asked us down this summer but I think we’ll postpone it till another year – we thought we would just stay home & save our money this year! But having just begun the savings plan we want to get a good start, & even at the cottage you seem to spend a lot of money & we were counting up & on our trip last year we spent $500 about. That includes things we bought & everything, but still! Talking of table mats I really like yours much more than Amy’s – they look cleaner (!) & the colours are so pretty & cheerful. She keeps impressing on me that she only sends to children now, so obviously I’ll not get the big ones!
By the way, I got the photo album from Una at last – so silly- all these pictures & only a few with you in & I haven’t a clue as to who any of the other people are! If she said sent it to you, you might have been amused at it, but really there are so few with you in that it seems quite pointless to send it to me.


Monday. I am just finishing this off this evening & have just had a birth announcement of Dottie’s baby – a son! Ken writes a note on the bottom that the baby & Dottie are both doing well. Born 16th April & weighing 7 lbs. 2 oz. but no name. Cec says that anyway he won’t be so spoiled as a baby girl would have been! [Ken & Dottie’s blended family now has 4 boys!]
I must stop as I am yawning me head off! Must send Nan her birthday card & will send her Scuffies tomorrow – my love to Auntie Muriel – big hugs & kisses from Lindy & Charlie & lots of love from us all –

August 18 1952

10:45 a.m. Monday 18th Aug.

Dearest Mummy,

Mil & Ford & Monie & Judy left just over an hour ago, & having washed Lindy’s pants etc. I am having a cuppa & writing to you! The funny thing is, that about 15 mins. after they set off with all their bag & baggage & canoe on top of the car, I took Linda to her pram in the garage & behold! here is a whole lot of stuff that looks like a tent & icebox etc. etc.! They are going to camp at another place for a week so I knew they would need it- I rang Cec & we had a confab. & then I rang the Ontario Provincial Police & they were very nice & after hearing the story said they would stop the car & get them to phone me. So far I’ve heard nothing, but I bet the Pems. will have a fit when the police come tearing after them & stop them!!

We have really had a lovely weekend & we all seemed to enjoy it, but golly!- Cec & I seem to have been on the go since I don’t know when! His week’s holiday turned out to be really hard work all the time. He finished the bedroom on Mon. quite quickly & then began on the sitting room straight away – the same cream colour. We finally decided to leave the paler green – it just about halved the job, & as it is not our own house etc. it seem to be silly to go to too much trouble. It needed 3 coats & what with having to do the edges with a brush & finish off around doors & windows it was a lot to do & Cec was painting till 11 o’clock one night & he finished on Thurs. evening. I didn’t do a thing to help, but was busy all the time – I had the previous week’s ironing to do, then more washing & ironing & Cec had less time for Linda than usual really, so I was busy too. On Thurs. evening Cec got the vacuum up & we did the sitting room thoroughly & put the navy covers on the sofa etc. & it looks very nice. So sunny & light & clean & each time I look along the passage to the sitting room I think someone has left the light on! It looks more curtain-less than it did before but I hope we soon remedy that.

On Friday I got Monie’s bed ready & all the things for Mill & Ford & tried to clean up the bedroom – I got the paintwork cleaned & the floor swept but hadn’t time to scrub it! Cec put up the curtains & we are very pleased with it. Ford phoned at noon & said they would arrive for dinner & had had a lovely trip. He phoned from Ottawa about 5 & Cec picked them up at Dow’s Lake – remember that pretty lake on the way to the Island Café? I thought Mill & Ford looked just the same as in 1947 & Monie’s little face was the same altho’ she is so big now. They are all so nice & they & Cec got on wonderfully & of course Lindy was their darling! She was a little shy on Friday, but on Sat. she was all over Monie & having a glorious time. They brought her two rubber dollies & she just enjoyed every minute & was so good. She loved the doggy & said her second word after “car”-  “baff” for bath! Ford went to Kingston & got the car on Sat. & Mill & Monie went to the shops & got soaked!

Yesterday Ford took Cec & I a ride in the canoe & afterwards we all went to the Island Café for dinner – Lindy too! She sat in a high chair & was the entertainment of the entire room with her antics – squeals & playing peek a boo with the people at the next table & one thing & another! They gave her a balloon which she bit this morning! Looked a bit surprised at the pop but didn’t mind! Must stop- singing from the garage! Thank you for your letter & Lindy’s card – will answer soon. XXX from Lindy – lots of love from us all- Cyn.

Bread and Butter Postcard!

We arrived safely at Fish Creek but late. Had two beautiful days then the rains came. Will break camp & head for home Saturday. I am getting anxious to see Hugh [their son]. We had such a lovely weekend with you. Thanks again loads for everything. Hope Linda had a happy birthday. Say “hi” to her from us.

Love – Ford, Mona & Mill

July 26 1939

Wednesday 26th July.

Slept late, then up feeling lousy. Girls away – Aunt Trix out. Had lunch & then lay down & read- hotter than ever. Ice cream at teatime – then nothing much. Marg’s not coming in- out with Frenchman – Henri. Mona home.

Out drive in the car in the evening. Round & saw the Fair lit up & watched the fireworks. Home & Aunt Trix in. Gave out presents. To bed.

Pembleton Welcome

After adjusting to the weather, and seeing a bit of the city, the plan was for the family to move into New York State a bit north, to Central Valley where Uncle Artie lived, for the reunion on the weekend, and then for the English visitors to be taken on a road trip! The Pembletons, Millie, Ford and Hugh, lived close by in Highland Mills. Hugh was about 2 1/2 in the summer of 1939, as his baptismal photo suggests.

On the back of the photo is the date 2/28/37, and Auntie Moo has written “Hugh Pembleton in family christening robe, he was 23rd baby to wear it; George Hazell 1873 being the first.”