Sunday, August 26, 2012


   My posts are getting behind as life sends me into many new directions that are both fun as well as trying. For the next 10 days I'm leaving Buddy and hubby while I fly with my sister to see our auntie in Europe. I'm hoping it will be a nice change for both of us. 
   Buddy knows when I come back the two of us will do a little trip together too. I've learned that he and I can manage quite well together when traveling. He's looking forward to his turn. It will make my absence less sad. He has been assigned some important tasks. He is happy that he's in charge of Ellie who is now his pet.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Help (Part 2)

   In spring of 1964 I no longer had the job of caring for my grandpa who passed away March 12 after a four months period with stroke related issues that caused him to need much special care. My mother appeared to want some time alone with my brother and little sister away from me. It seems I was running her/our home too much to my liking and influence! 
   To solve this she quietly arranged that I should have a job as an au pair girl in Quebec City. By using one of the accounting contacts through her work place, Parker Pen in Don Mills Ontario, from her company stationary letterheads she found some names and wrote to them directly. She had noticed I was keen on learning French at high school so she figured it might do me some good to be in a place where the language is actively being used. She made these plans without my knowledge until she got an offer.
   Once it came she handed a letter addressed to her from a Mr. Price who said his close friend Mr. Amyot was interested and she was to have her daughter write directly to Mr. Amyot outlining her skills with children, hobbies, ability to swim and prepare simple meals. 
   What and adventure that could be! My mom had actually tried to do something very nice. I was excited. So I did answer as requested to Mr. Amyot and I wrote it in French! I felt so proud of this new abitiy.
   Within a short time I received a reply from Mme. Amyot in English. She wanted some further information about my skills with kids around the age of 8! Ha ha that was easy! My sister was that age. I had done lots of baby sitting of younger kids and earned my badges in Girl Guides. Also I had a St. John's First Aid Certificate, swimming badges at high levels and a music certificate. I had hobbies like reading, sewing, bike riding, badminton and I even had a driving permit and had been driving for over a year taking my sister to various lessons. I wrote that in English. 
  A reply came that I was hired from mid June to late August. My duties would include helping her three children with their morning routine, preparing their breakfast and later their lunch, sitting with them to help encourage them to speak English in my presence. There would be daily times at their back yard swimming pool and some fun game times. Of course I would get some pay, $18 per week if I recall correctly plus my room and board and some time off. I was very pleased to accept.
   My time with daughter Dominique age 8, son Fran├žois age 7 and son Eric age 5 would change the direction of my life but I did not realize it till much later.

to be continued 

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Sticky Stormy yet Safe

 On the last day of July we loaded our packed bags into the car to head to Buffalo, New York. There we would take a JetBlue flight to JFK. We wanted to have plenty of time to cross at the USA boarder in order to arrive at the airport with lots of time to clear security which can be a challenge with Buddy since he takes his time when he has to remove shoes and belt.

The drive from Richmond Hill to Fort Erie didn't take hubby very long. He appeared to have a heavy foot on his gas pedal so we arrived at Buffalo International Airport with time to spare. And we used that time for a late lunch. Boarding time was to be 4:55pm. 

  At the gate we learned that our plane was slightly delayed. No big deal. We just sat and watched other planes. And then ours pulled into the sleeve. As those arriving slipped past the checkin counter, we figured we'd be aboard shortly. Buddy sat patiently for his turn. He loves to travel so waiting is just fine with him.

   The PA came on informing us it would be a while longer before we could get to our seats. By 5:30pm we were finally climbing into our spots. It was a larger jet with rows of ten seats across. It filled up. We had boarded. The captain announced that the cabin doors would be closed shortly and we would be in queue for take off shortly. Ha!
  His next announcements came moments after the doors were sealed. We were no longer cleared to leave because of severe storms on route. Now we there sat in our seats passing the time listening to our music and playing games. We waited and waited inside the cabin. After a while water was offered. It was hot, sticky and smelly inside this vessel.
    Around at 7:35pm the captain informed us that he had been given a new flight path and that we'd be off as soon as some more fuel was added. Finally at 7:55pm we rolled onto the runway for take off. It was smooth, swift and soon we were cruising towards New York City. It would only take 55 minutes.
   By 8:20pm our captain was telling us that he was preparing to descend, adding that he was happy to have given us such fast and safer approach to one of the countries busier airports. We touch down at 8:55. 
    By 9:15pm, our bags in tow, we headed out to the passenger pick up area. Exiting through the huge revolving door, we found ourselves pushed back by the smack of heavy, hot humid air.
   Greeted by our niece there were the usual HUGS and then off we drove to the Bayside area to our hotel. Once checked in, our family visit was just beginning. From there we had to head into Queens for dinner with everyone who had waited so patiently for our safe arrival! 

PS. We could have driven to New York City in that amount of time. We had chosen to fly because we had hoped it would be quicker!