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Monday, January 26, 2015

Humble wisdom

Posted by Dawn-Ann on August 19, 2010

David Trumble lived to be well over 100 years old and was at one time one of Canada’s oldest living pioneers. His story is told in a sweet little book called When I Was a Boy, edited by Glen Ellis and published in 1976 by J.M. Dent & Sons (Canada) Limited.

Born in 1867, he was still alive and 111 years old when his story was published. He fathered nineteen children (he kept outliving his wives) and his great physical strength was legendary. The last reference I could find on the Internet about Mr. Trumble stated that he was at that time 113 years old. I can find no record of his death or later age.

Following are a couple of quotes from When I Was a Boy.


I smoked and chewed and smoked and chewed
and drank and everything
until I was a hundred and one — a hundred and two –
and then I quit
and I haven’t hardly smoked ever since.
I said, “I’m going to be boss;
if I can’t be boss of myself once in awhile
then there’s no point in me living,”
so I just said, “no sir, no more.”

. . . but I’ll have one now.


I go out to my flowers and put my hands on them. You feel the power in my hands. I talk to my flowers. The flowers understand. And if anybody wants a slip of flowers they come to me. I'll show you a little flower in here, a beautiful thing. I put this in this summer. That's this summer's flower. Geranium. Isn't that wonderful? I talk to it just the same as I talk to you.

There’s a dark face to the moon and a bright one, and as the light reflects back to the earth, so does the shade. You’ve got to plant in the bright side, and the brighter the better it is. A dark moon is the worst time. I see people planting, and they don’t pay any attention to the moon. Half the time they end up with a crop of nothing. But I plant in the moon and I have as pretty flowers as you ever laid eyes on. In my garden this year I growed ‘taters, tomatoes, onions, cabbages, lettuce, radishes. I give it away. Give it to my neighbors. ‘Tain’t mine to keep. The Lord gave it to me and I give it to my own.


Sometimes we’d go to a corn-husking bee,
husk corn for about two or three hours
then get the fiddle out and start dancing,
danced till daylight.


Oh, we used to have quite a time,
but those days are all gone.


Read more of David’s stories here.

Message in a bottle

Posted by Dawn-Ann on August 11, 2010

What is the modern day equivalent of the message in a bottle?

When I was on a ferry heading to the Sunshine Coast last week, a daddy came to the back of the boat where I was standing. He had a young girl and a young boy with him. “This looks like a good place,” he said. “Throw it really hard.”

The young girl had a bottle clutched in her hand and I saw it had a scrap of paper in it. She pulled back and threw as hard as she could (an admirable toss for such a young girl) and we watched it bob in the wake of the boat, sun glinting off of it, until we couldn’t see it any more.

“I wonder who will find the message,” one of them said as they moved away from the railing.

I stood there dreaming, wondering myself who would find the bottle. I wished I’d asked what the message said. We weren’t terribly far from land so it probably won’t be long, as far as message-bottles go, for someone to find it. Some have taken years. According to, the bottle that took the longest to find bobbed around on ocean currents for almost 93 years! It was released in 1914 and discovered in 2006.

It got me thinking; if I ever sent a message off in a bottle, what would it say? Ideas?

Funny Kirkpatrick article

Posted by Dawn-Ann on August 9, 2010

While I was on vacation last week I stopped in at the Ashcroft museum to have a look at some of the old Kirkpatrick archives held there. (Thanks so much for all your help, Kathy!)

One interesting item I found was quite amusing. Read on:

RCMP News (June 27, 1968 P)
- I think the source of this was the Ashcroft Journal

Clifford Kirkpatrick was moving back to this area from Burnaby yesterday, to Cache Creek with a car and rental trailer. A four-year-old boy, Darcy Harris, was reported missing to Burnaby RCMP by his parents, and enquiries and search around the parents home revealed that the boy had been playing near where Mr. Kirkpatrick was loading furniture and somehow got into the trailer. The boy was found in the trailer at Cache Creek, safe and sound, wearing summer clothes.

I just love the last phrase. Like what he was wearing was any concern? Hee hee…

Let the children run free

Posted by Dawn-Ann on August 8, 2010

When I was a girl I was often up and out the door after a quick breakfast. I played and explored outside all day and only came home to eat and use the washroom. I was called in at dinnertime and then was out again until the street lights came on (and woe betide me if I was late!). I played and ran and had fantastic adventures with my friends.

Depending on where I lived, I also tramped around in the bush by myself and learned how to tell time by the sun and find my way home after becoming lost. I ate wild berries that I’d learned were safe and drank stream water.

I think it was good for me to grow up semi-wild and independent. I was always extremely healthy and became a bit of a free-thinker. I learned from nature and observation. Although I was a dreamer, I also became very observant of what was going on around me.

Things are different nowadays. Although our children are statistically safer than they were back in my day, they are coddled and protected more now. This false perception of danger, according to one journalist, has led to unhealthy, socially stunted kids.

Another article warns that “the mental health of 21st-century children is at risk because they are missing out on the exposure to the natural world enjoyed by past generations.”

I’m afraid I would have to agree.

But there is a movement afoot to set the children free. Lenore Skenazy, the journalist who was labeled “America’s Worst Mom” for allowing her nine-year-old son to journey home on the subway alone, has started Free Range Kids and has even written a book on the subject (see Resources, below).

Lenore says on her website, “We are not daredevils. We believe in life jackets and bike helmets and air bags. But we also believe in independence. Children, like chickens, deserve a life outside the cage. The overprotected life is stunting and stifling, not to mention boring for all concerned.”

Hear, hear! Let’s temper our fear with a little more common sense, shall we?



Nature Girl

Posted by Dawn-Ann on July 21, 2010

I was riding home on the train today and I realized, “I’m a Nature Girl still.” You can take the girl out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the girl.

I noticed that my eyes still automatically drift to the clouds. The trees. The birds.

That is all.

Montana sunrise (click to see larger image)

New genealogy site unveiled

Posted by Dawn-Ann on July 11, 2010

Well, not exactly new, but it’s a new template designed by moi.

It’s the refreshed Alberta Family Histories Society website and it’s been a long time coming. I’ve been working on it in my “spare time,” tweaking and refining until it was good enough to go live.

I can already see some things I’d do differently but what the hey? It was a learning experience! :)

A day in the life of Dawn-Ann

Posted by Dawn-Ann on July 7, 2010

Okay, this is the last video that I’ll bore you with for awhile. It’s just that I’ve been having so much fun with my FLIP camera and my editing software (CyberLink PowerDirector).

I was hanging out with my niece and her fella and my son, Rob. We went to Eau Claire and Princes Island and had dinner at Joey Tomato’s at Eau Claire. Later, my daughter and son-in-law came over with the babies. It was a good day.


Video of my new grandchildren

Posted by Dawn-Ann on July 6, 2010

While my blog is mostly about genealogy and Kirkpatrick family research, it seems I’ve been digressing a lot lately. Anyhoo, I just had to share this priceless little video about my grandbabies.

Now, I realize I’m probably just being a typical grandmother and most folks out there are bored with video of babies, but indulge me, please? I proud and I’m happy – that’s reason enough for posting. :)

So now, without further ado, my twin grandbabies (who, by the way, are Kirkpatrick descendants)!

Changes in the Canada census impact genealogical research

Posted by Dawn-Ann on July 1, 2010

Time to start keeping our own records for future generations of family researchers

The genealogical community is abuzz with news that the long form of the Canada census has been tossed. As of next year’s census, 2011, everyone will receive just the short form to fill out. A voluntary “survey” will be sent out to about a third of households.

Folks who are not involved in genealogy are celebrating.  Many found the long form, which only one in five households were asked to fill out in any given year, were onerous and intrusive.  As a matter of fact, one Saskatchewan woman is doing battle in court over her refusal to fill out the long form.

But genealogists are less than pleased. For years, census data has offered important clues in family history research. An Edmonton Journal article says, “A door to Canada’s past has slammed shut, leaving future Canadians with little information about their own families and the country’s history, in a move the government says was prompted by privacy concerns.” This is exactly the kind of discussion I’m hearing in the genealogical circle.

Canadian census records are released to the public after 92 years for privacy reasons. The results of the voluntary “survey” will never be released to the public.

I have found some very valuable family information in census records. They brought my ancestors to life – I could see all the brothers and sisters, their ages, their neighbors, their father’s occupation. It’s sad that future researchers will come up against a brick wall on similar research.

I suppose that’s all the more reason for us to be writing out our own histories and gathering information together for future generations. Thank goodness for those of us who are the family “archivists” and story gatherers!

Maybe you were right all along

Posted by Dawn-Ann on June 27, 2010

We all dream big dreams when we’re young, don’t we? Things are black and white and man, we’re going to change the world.

Let your light shine

But life often jades us. We get caught up in the day-to-day and lose our dreams along the way. We start to second-guess ourselves and wonder how we were foolish enough to think we could change anything.

That’s the premise of Pamela Slim’s moving blog entry, Note to younger self: you were right. In it, she reflects upon the big dreams of her college days. Surely, she says, “with compassionate hearts and some really good slide shows, we could fix everything.” After struggling with discouragement, years later Pamela discovers you can change the world – if not in grandiose ways, then one tiny corner at a time.

Her article gives me hope. Read the rest of it here.