Monday, July 29, 2013

Summer, A Time for Family

                                   June & July 2013 

Amy & Papa Phil, Montreal

Amy, wearing Phil's baby shoes!

Me & Joshua, Nun's Island, Montreal

Joshua in his jolly-jumper

Lara's 33rd birthday party thanking Fer

Lara & Joshua, Nun's Island, Montreal

Lara, Christina & Fernanda, 20 July, Nun's Island

Me and Muffy, swimming hole on the Domaine

My beautiful granddaughter Amy

Joshua & a happy mama

Me & my beautiful grandson Joshua

Amy & papa, Lara's condo, Montreal

Amy, sleeping on the floor at our house

Amy, visiting our new house

Zoe, Adam & Mario  visiting from Massachusetts

Me & Mario, La Patrie, Quebec

Zoe, the free spirit

Zoe & Aunt Marie

Christina with Isabelle, Sarah & Bella, chemin Maxime

Isabelle, Bella & Sarah, swimming hole on Domaine

Isabelle, Christina, Bella & Sarah, Domaine des Appalaches

Isabelle, Christina & Sarah visiting Muffy's grave

Me showing Isabelle & Sarah some old technology

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Our First Visit to Lac-Megantic since the Train Derailment

Last week Marie and I drove into Lac-Mégantic to visit the memorial set up in Sainte-Agnes church and to reconnect with the town. We had been reluctant to go back and thought it was time to accept the loss and destruction we would have to eventually face. It was a beautiful day and except for the unpleasant smell from the burned homes, vehicles and businesses picked up by the breeze coming in from the lake everything seemed normal. We parked at the top of Laval street and walked down the hill parallel to the tracks that carried that deadly load the night of July 6th and got a feel of the steepness of the hill. I could see how easy it had been for the line of runaway cars to pick up speed and crash into the town, and into the Musi-Cafe where so many died. What lay beyond the high fence that had been erected around the red zone was a scene I could not have imagined before this tragedy. Police patrolled everywhere and the sound of the machines still digging through the remains could be heard now and then. The church faced the centre of town and a constant flow of people were standing quietly gazing towards the scene of destruction, framed by the brown, charred and leafless trees and piles of unrecognizable rubble. From different vantage points you could see the twisted, blackened remains of the 72 missiles of death that had carried their horrendous load, spilled and tossed like toys. Inside the church we added our condolences, and a card my sister Lyn had sent, to the thousands of others and said a prayer for those lost. It was hard to look at the faces of those mostly young people whose lives had been snuffed out by one careless act, now smiling innocently from among flowers and colourful cards. We were interviewed outside on the lawn by a reporter from the Globe and Mail, one of dozens who had flocked to the town immediately afterwards. Yet now as I write, except for debates and decisions being discussed behind closed boardroom doors in Ottawa and elsewhere, the town is not the frenzy of cameras and media it was. Hopefully we won't be forgotten like yesterdays news and that real changes will be made in the railway industry soon in the memory of Lac-Mégantic. Many months of recovery still lie ahead for this town but people here are strong and getting on with life. It is a close knit community that will pull through and one day be a better place to live. No one here though will ever forget the night of July 6. gws

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Our Retirement Home Part Twenty-Six (Finishing the Deck)

39 treated that is a solid deck 

cutting and chiseling first piece to go against house

chiseling second piece

straightening each piece with scissors jack from truck

all down with 1000 3-inch screws

cutting off ends

starting on railing

one segment left

almost finished

view from below

Monday, July 15, 2013


Like a thief coming in the night our little town of Lac-Mégantic was robbed of its heart and soul last week when a runaway train exploded in centre town and took with it 50 innocent lives. This tragedy was avoidable, yet inevitable, and perhaps the catalyst that will change the way we move flammable materiel through our towns and cities. Now it is up to our provincial and federal governments to not let this horrific calamity be in vain and show the brave people of Lac-Mégantic and the surrounding communities that never again will this happen in our country. Millions have watched with sadness and horror at the destruction that took place here in our quiet and unassuming community, literally unknown to most before this tragedy. On July 6 we lost more than just our innocence - never again can we feel the satisfaction of being somewhere special, in that one place untouched by the cruelty, savageness and foolishness of the rest of the world. For that and for the 50, I grieve. Mes pensées, mes priéres, mon aide sont avec vous tous... gws

Wednesday, July 10, 2013


Today is the first anniversary of the passing of my mother and I still miss her very much. Words can never express the feelings I have when I think of her and my gratitude in how she shaped the person I am today. When I close my eyes I can see her smiling face, the twinkle in her eye and the joy she always showed when around her children. She was a very special Mother to myself, Lynette, Richard, Diane and Carolyn and will forever be in our hearts. gws