Monday, November 3, 2008

Three Crones

When my husband and I were first dating, he went out to dinner with his grandmother and two of her friends. I remember him coming over after and telling me about these amazing women. "You will love them," he said and I did.

It's hard to capture the Friday nights we spent with these powerful crones - the ribald tales, dirty limericks, and too many glasses of wine. These women had traveled the world, experienced life to the fullest, and broke down barriers for generations of women to come. Marj and Jan became doctors in an age before second wave feminism. Marj graduated third in her class, as a Doctor of Medicine, at U of T in 1955. Jan graduated from the same university a year later. They met Nita while she was working in the Pathology department at Princess Margaret Hospital. Nita, Joe's grandmother, is not what one would expect from a granny - she has tattoos on her hands from her days serving in the Navy during WWII. None of these women lead an ordinary life.

I am immensely grateful for our short time together.

Nita spends her days in a nursing home, feeling ever more isolated from the world as the ravages of hearing loss and dementia take their toll. Marj and Jan are both gone. All three are sorely missed. Blessed be.

This is the notice that ran in the Toronto Star:
PLATTS, Dr. Marjorie Eleanor
Suddenly at her home in Toronto on Saturday, October 25, 2008, in her 79th year. Beloved cousin of Thomas Platts (Gladys) of Jordan Station, ON, James (Betty) Platts of Chicago, IL Dick (Betsy) Platts of Vineland Station, ON, Ronald (Irene) Moyer of Toronto and Olive Reinhardt of Grimsby, ON. Predeceased by her parents Lena and Thomas Platts of Grimsby and brother Kenneth of Marathon. Marjorie was born in Timmins, ON, on May 27, 1930. She attended the University of Toronto, a brilliant student, she graduated 3rd in her class with a Doctorate of Medicine in 1955. She pursued postgraduate studies in England and Stanford University in California obtaining a postgraduate degree in Pathology and Neuropathology. Marjorie was on staff at the Wellesley and Princess Margaret Hospitals for many years. An avid world traveller, Marjorie also loved to play golf. Family and friends will sadly miss her. Cremation has taken place. Urn burial to take place on Tuesday, November 4, 2008 at 2 p.m. at Queen's Lawn Cemetery, Grimsby. If desired, expressions of sympathy to the S.P.C.A. or World Wildlife Fund Canada would be sincerely appreciated by the family. Arrangements entrusted to STONEHOUSE-WHITCOMB Funeral Home, Grimsby (

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Dim Sums

I took the Boy and a friend of his downtown for a concert on the weekend. The Boy loves being downtown. As we're making our way there, he starts the negotiations for our post-concert meal. It goes something like this...

"C. do you like sushi?"

C. responds with a quizzical look.

"How about Dim Sums? Have you every tried Dim Sums?"

C. cheers, "Why don't we eat at Chuck E Cheese?"


At this point I'm cursing because Dim Sum sounded so good. There are many things to be said for having an only child, but one of them has got be that on nights out, we eat at places with tasty food, not Chuck E Cheese.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

In case you forgot what green looks like.

We're buried in the fluffy white stuff (again!) and I really needed to look at something green. I love green. I've been spending a little time each day with my seedlings. They are coming along nicely. I've learned that competition brings out the best and have started seeds of the same kind in one pot and will transplant to individual pots when the seedlings start begging for space.

When/if spring arrives I hope to use my garden pictures instead of National Geographic's photos. This one is of a giant lobelia (Lobelia giberroa, I think). The photo was taken on Mount Kilimanjaro's Shira Plateau by George F. Mobley. I found it at the National Geographic site. They post a new photograph every day. It is well worth a visit.

Monday, March 3, 2008

My Boy tells me that he's getting married. I figured that he would, I just didn't think it would be so soon, given that he's six years old. The girl in questions is beautiful, funny and very bright. She's polite, adventurous, and likes all of the important things - Spiderman, snakes and Scooby-Doo. Oh, they have so much in common.

How did it all begin? Where did he get the idea that you need to set these things up now? The other day we were looking through a photo album of his baby pictures and he asked if I knew Daddy when I was in grade one.

"No, I met Daddy when I was an adult."

"So you didn't know when you were little that you would marry him?"

"No, but I wish I had known, it would have made some lonely high school years easier to bear."

He's decided to get his life together early. I wish I'd had that kind of wherewithal. I didn't start making "to do" lists until my twenties - the Boy already has his first item checked off! Good for you, kid. I hope that you and C. enjoy many playdates together.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


Tonight I walked the dog at 6PM and the sun hadn't yet set! I felt joyous to be walking in the last minutes of daylight. The days are getting longer and I'm extraordinarily grateful. Bring on the Vernal Equinox!

On March 20th dance with pagan joy to welcome Spring. (There is some disagreement about the exact date of the equinox - I like this explanation the best, especially the chart.)

(The moon, almost full, made an appearance on our walk. Gorgeous.)

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Finally getting to the love part of the blog

Every time I pick up my knitting needles I give thanks to my Grandmother for teaching me to knit. In those few seconds I feel closer to her than I have in well over a decade. She suffered from Alzheimer's disease for so long that I cannot remember the last time she called me by my name. The gulf between us grew wider just as I was coming into adulthood. and looking for answers that she was no longer capable of giving. How could such a fiercely independent woman find solace in the Church that I viewed as misogynist? She died without ever giving me the answer. But the gifts she left me are cherished - my smile, my own fierce independence, and the joy I find in picking up a pair of needles.

I cannot imagine a better inheritance.

Blessed be.