Graduation Day

Garden Bouquet

Last night I attended high school graduation …….. for the last time.  Well at least until my grandchildren begin to graduate in another 9 years!  My son didn’t want to go to his own graduation at first – he said it was no big deal.  But I insisted – for me – I’d waited a very long time to graduate my youngest child from high school!  He was somewhat reluctant to attend since the ceremony was moved out of their beloved home school to an air- conditioned school in the city.  He said that it just wasn’t the same…….. and I agree, but he was still going.

He took a bouquet of our garden flowers for his girlfriend, but the heat wasn’t too kind to them.  It turns out that on the way into the city, in the 30+C degrees heat (no A/C in car) he said he was glad that he was going, even though he was anxious about it.  The kids had to be there an hour before the graduation began, to get their cap and gowns.  The line-up for the parents to be admitted to the gym, had already snaked around the hallways but began moving about a half an hour later.  Once seated, around 6:30, near the gym’s entrance, the wait was on….. and the more people who made their way into the gym, the hotter it got.

Melvin & Kelsey

The evening began of course with the Graduates’ Processional, bagpiped in by a graduating student.  There were almost 300 students in the graduating class of 2012 from that small country school!    The band then played the National Anthem and God Save The Queen.  Once the students were seated on the floor,  the Principal introduced the stage participants and gave her address, followed by the School Board’s Trustee.   All the special award winners were called up first and after sitting for 2 hours, the graduating students began to alphabetically make their way to the stage to receive their ‘diplomas’ (actually just a rolled up piece of paper tied with some curly ribbon).  Melvin also received the Technological Studies Certificate for obtaining 8 credits in the computer technology field. The Valedictorian’s speech was excellent and humorous – beginning with a story about the similarities between graduates and the Duck Billed Platypus……!?!?   By 10 p.m. – and increasing temperatures – the grads were marching out of the gym to the reception.  Cupcakes and punch were provided in the considerably cooler foyer where about 1,200 or more  of us crammed ourselves, congratulating the graduates and taking pictures.  Melvin’s favourite teacher managed to find him in the crowd and congratulated him as well as inviting  him back to visit the classroom anytime.   Once Melvin returned the rented graduation ‘gown’, he received his official High School diploma.  More pictures, then about 10:45 p.m. we left the city for home.  It was a much cooler drive …..

Baby Melvin “Grad”

Graduate Melvin

 

Tonight is Prom night, so let the journey begin……………..

Congratulations to my son Melvin for all the effort and graduating High School!

 

“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams!  Live the life you’ve imagined.” – Thoreau

 

Ottawa

Ottawa, Canada’s capital city, is a wonderful place to visit.  I’m not being biased because I live in the country nearby.  There are SO many things to see and do in Ottawa.  I’m kinda glad that I live so close by.

Changing of the Guard

First and foremost, there are the Parliament Buildings where the business of the nation is conducted (for 100-150 days a year).  The ‘Parliament Buildings’ consist of the Center Block (where Members of Parliament debate and vote and Senators ‘work’), the West Block, and the East Block (both of these are MPs offices and meeting rooms).  It’s a great place to visit for locals and tourists alike – the Center Block with its Peace Tower, looks like Big Ben clock in London and chimes quarterly.  When I was 8 years old, my Parents brought us to the Parliament Buildings and I’ll never forget it.  The honourary “Guards” in red wool coats and bearskin tall hats march every day at 10 a.m. from the War Memorial to Parliament hill for the “Changing of the Guard”.   It’s a free event with musical ‘pomp and ceremony’ worth attending for young and old alike.

Mountie

A walk around the Center Block building is a lovely stroll.  You might be lucky enough to meet a Mountie and see the RCMP’s horse grazing on the west lawn ;  you will certainly walk past the Cat Sanctuary (housing feral cats) ;  a gazebo with a spectacular view of the Ottawa River and beyond ;  statues of former Prime Ministers as you round the east side ;  and a grouping of statues of influential women of the past.  Visitors can also go up the Peace Tower to the look-out (which is the clock tower where the flag flies) or tour the Center Block Library (the only structure not destroyed by fire in 1916).  Every night during the summer, the MosAika Sound and Light show is played on the walls of the Parliament Buildings Center Block – just bring a lawn chair or a blanket and enjoy the free laser show.   After 49 years, I returned to Parliament Hill for another visit and was even more impressed!

Beavertails!

Within walking distance to the Parliament Buildings is the Byward Market (where you can buy a famous Beavertail pastry or an “Obama” cookie as well as local produce and souveniers) ;  The National Gallery (Art) ;  The Mint ;  the Sparks Street Mall (closed-to-cars street with shops) ; The National Arts Center ; the Rideau Canal and Locks ;   the magnificent Chateau Laurier Hotel ;  and many teens’ favourite, the Rideau Center Mall.  A nearby cruise down Sussex Drive will lead you to beautiful Rideau Falls, where the Rideau River falls into the Ottawa River ; past the Governor General’s Residence with its gorgeous gardens and tours ;  past the Prime Ministers’ Residence (guarded and closed to the public) ;  a number of foreign Embassies ; and past a breathtaking look-out along the Ottawa River.  You can also go on a Boat Cruise on the Rideau Canal or the Ottawa River.

 

A visit to Ottawa would not be complete without spending time at one of the national Museums.  Our favourite by far, is the newly renovated Museum of Nature (affectionately known by my family as the ‘dinosaur’ museum).  It’s fantastic for young and old – give yourself 3-4 hours to tour this huge castle-like place!  We used to always go every March Break when my Sisters and their children came up.  Our second favourite is the Museum of Science and Technology (a.k.a. the ‘Crazy Kitchen’ museum) – a dream come true for train lovers and active children.  There’s also the Museum of Civilization across the Ottawa River in Gatineau, the impressive Canadian War Museum, the Aviation Museum, The Mint, and a bunch of other smaller museums on specific themes.

Still fun at the Museum of Nature

Of course, if you visit Ottawa in the wintertime, you can skate on the famous Rideau Canal, Canada’s largest ‘skating rink’.  Ottawa has many parks, bike paths, and tourist attractions but the outlying areas are full of interesting places to visit, too,  like the Champlain Look-out or the MacKenzie King Estate (and their $24 cucumber sandwiches!) in Gatineau Park or Kiwi Gardens west of Perth.

Is there any reason why I wouldn’t love Ottawa?

Useful Links:

http://www.canadascapital.gc.ca/celebrate/mosaika

http://www.parl.gc.ca/Visitors/index-e.asp

http://www.ottawamuseums.com/

http://www.kiwigardens.ca/welcome.htm

 

The Last Day

Writing this post today is bittersweet.  Today the dog and I walked my youngest child Melvin, who’s  17 years old,  up to the schoolbus stop at 6:50 a.m. for the last time……….he’s finished high school today.  I’ve been putting my 7 children on the school bus for 32 consecutive years now (except for the home schooling years).   WOW have the years flown by!  I could never have fathomed on that very first day in 1980 that I would EVER get to this very last day.  That first day began abit rocky :  when the big yellow schoolbus arrived, my 5 year old decided that there was no way was he going on that thing with all those strange kids.  So he clung to the nearest chain link fence as if his life depended on it and no amount of coaxing, bribing, or cajoling was going to convince him to let go.  I couldn’t pry  those little fingers off so I just told the bus driver to go ahead and we drove him.  He came to like the little world in the school bus.  Year one was only a five minute bus ride to school.

1986 Boys First Day of School

In 1981, we moved to our present location in the country.  There’s actually an old school house, now a converted home, about a few kilometers (a mile) away that children in the area walked to, about 70 years ago.    At our new home, the schoolbus took an hour to finally arrive at the childrens’ school – a 6 minute drive by car straight up the road to the village.  The bus picked up our kids first, in the morning,  and always dropped them off last, at the end of the day, making it a very long ride.  They picked up children going to 3 different schools and dropped off the kids at the other two schools first.  After school, they began at my childrens’ school.  Over the years, I developed a great rapport with the staff at that small elementary school – when my youngest graduated from it in grade 5, I was the parent with the most ‘seniority’ (25 years)!  Two years later, my granddaughter started school there and soon after,  I was going on school trips and attending concerts there again.

Many bus drivers are farmers who supplement their incomes by driving the schoolbus.  .  They know the area and all the backroads and often have some time in between milking a herd of cows or haying, to drive the bus (don’t ask me how!).  Some are Moms who take their little ones to work with them as they drive the schoolbus while other drivers are ‘semi-retired’, like Glen, Joy, and Bronwin (who also owns the local Christmas tree farm).  I remember once in the mid-80s when the schoolbus got stuck in some snow on a back road, after a big storm.  The driver, Mr. Graham (an elderly farmer up the road), told all the bigger boys, in grades 7 and 8, to get out and push!  They got the bus rolling.  But that would NEVER happen these days.  Bus drivers have to maneuver a big long bus, watch the road, watch for other drivers who may decide to pass illegally, ‘mother’ little ones nervously just starting school, keep an eye on the back of the bus where the senior kids sit, break up fights, and most importantly, get the kids to school safely on time.  A couple of years ago, there was a bully on the bus, picking on a smaller kid in my son’s high school.  So being a peaceful person – and 5’11” tall –  my son Melvin just moved up beside his bullied friend and ‘negotiated’ a truce with a firm hand on the bully’s shoulder and told him to SIT DOWN and behave!  These days, school bus drivers are instructed to pull over and radio for assistance if anything out of the ordinary occurs.

First Day 1987

At one time, my children attended five different schools in various areas in the same year:  the little elementary school in our nearby town (grades JK-5), the middle school in another nearby town (grades 6-8), a high school in a further town, another high school of the fine arts in the city, and Carleton University in Ottawa.  Just imagine Me trying to attend all  the school concerts, interviews, and activities!  My daughter Kristi, was accepted to Canterbury High School for Literary Arts in the city of Ottawa, the only school for the arts (literary, dance, drama) in Eastern Ontario.  My husband would drive her up to the nearest village at 6:45 every morning and pick her up again at 5 p.m every night.  HER school bus ride was an hour and a half each way!  She was definitely committed to the program to endure THAT long bus ride.

Schools have changed over the years too.  At one time, there was only one computer in the entire school for the students to use.  Now there are computers in every classroom, even the Junior Kindergarten.  I’ve seen the school population, in our local elementary school, bloom so they had to bring in ‘portable’ classrooms for a few years.

In the last few years, after the school bus left in the morning, the dog and I would walk along the flower gardens out front, picking out weeds or just checking on things.  I’d come inside and make myself a tea and abit later have breakfast.

Does it mean that my kids are all grown up now?  That my job is ‘done’?   Well at least the job of walking to the school bus, since the job of Mother is for life.

I’ve spent my entire adult life raising my 7 children, from the time I was 22 years old to the present (@ 59 years young).  After today, I’ll have to let a new flow to come into my life.  I’m not quite sure what that will be yet, so I think I’ll just let it happen……

Farewell Schoolbus

http://www.123rf.com/photo_346561_school-bus-back-view.html

DAD

Dad 17 years old

Dad 17 years old

With Fathers’ Day approaching, I wish to honour my Dad’s memory with my recollections of growing up as his daughter.  My Dad was a great Father;  he was a kind and gentle person.  He was born in 1922 in the small east coast town of New Carlisle, Quebec – the third son in a family of 9 children.  They lived right beside the railway tracks with a beautiful view of the ocean, in a 2 story house with no indoor plumbing.  I don’t know alot about my Dad’s childhood except for the notion that HIS Father was very strict……and even mean.   I believe he mentioned that he quit school in grade 8 so he could work to help support his family……… just a child himself but I guess that was standard in the thirties. 

 

At the tender age of 17, he joined the army in 1939 to serve his country in World War II.  Most young guys also saw it as a way to escape the drudgery of their lives and see the world.   He said that he crawled his way through Europe……. as a soldier who tried to identify landmines.  I don’t know if he was also responsible for diffusing them too.   He was there on D-Day as well.   Dad was a decorated War Veteran.  In later years, he went back to France as his Legion’s representative, to commemorate the 25th Anniversary of D-Day.  My Dad didn’t talk about the war much except for  ‘Mutton’:  he would never eat lamb (and neither would we!) since he’d eaten Mutton Stew for months and months during the war in Europe.

After the war ended, my Dad returned home and a few years later, married my Mother.  Around 1950, they moved to Hamilton, Ontario – about 1,000 miles (1600+ kilometers) from home – to start fresh.  He got a job with the Hamilton Board of Education as a custodian – a position which he upgraded to a ‘Mechanical Engineer’ and held until he retired.   Many times, I used to go to my Dad’s  ‘school’ on holidays, and play in the gym or walk the dark halls alone or even help him.  Our Dad was a hard working man.  He always held two jobs and sometimes three.  One time, on his night job at the CP Train station, he lost his wallet with the cash for our upcoming holidays – that was almost tragic.  But it didn’t stop my Dad from taking us on our planned vacation!  I remember quite clearly hearing him say that he worked hard so he could have a decent house to live in for his family, a car, and a vacation every year.  Simple.  Not too complicated.

1950

Our post wartime house in Hamilton, where I grew up as a little child, was awesome.  My Dad built the first “rec room” in the neighbourhood:  a pegboard partition beside the stairs dividing the rec room from the furnace room/workroom.  Back in the day, we also had a coal bin, which stored coal that had to be added to the gigantic furnace… often… all winter long.  My Dad also partitioned off my Mom’s laundry room (well actually a double cement laundry tub – one side for washing the clothes on a washboard and the other side for the rinse – and later a wringer washer)…….with a simple curtain.  Dad was a generous man too, welcoming visitors from down home who came to stay for weeks or months and months.

1958 Mom and Dad

Every winter, my Dad made a neighbourhood skating rink in the empty lot beside our house – I’m guessing about 30′ X 40′.  We had a natural hill out back which became the sliding hill.  My Dad and Mom took turns watering the rink while the neighbourhood boys and Dad shovelled the snow off.   Also out back, my Dad built us a little dance patio.  We used to take the record player outside on the back porch and dance to the tunes of the ’50s, so my Dad installed some bricks for a patio to dance on.  Many parents objected to their kids listening to rock and roll (satan’s music they said) but our Parents respected us and our choices.

1960 Timmins Vacation

It was clear to me, even as a young child, that many families in our neighbourhood didn’t go on vacation – some Dads just sat in a lawn chair with a few beers for their 2 weeks of holidays.  But our Dad always took us somewhere every single year!   We’d make the 3 day drive back down home to New Carlisle to see my Grandparents and cousins, every 2nd or 3rd year.  Those were my favourite holidays.  But it was no vacation for Dad – he’d spend his time bringing in hay (by hand, forked onto a trailer pulled by the horses) or even installing an entire new bathroom.   He always loaded the car with fruit to bring down and we usually brought a neighbour along for the trip too.    Other places he took us include Timmins (we got to see the gold mine), Gatineau Park, the Parliament buildings in Ottawa, a rented cottage on a River in Muskoka, Cape Cod Massachusetts, and one of my favourite places camping at  ‘Lambert’ Park.  I loved the camping trips there, where we could swim all day, walk the hiking trails, and dance to the jukebox on the cement dance pad till 10 p.m.   What a life!

 

When I was 11 years old, we moved to the Mountain when my Parents bought their first house.  My Dad was able to have a vegetable garden finally.  He also tended the gooseberries and raspberries.  My Mom was the flower gardener.  During my teen years, I often went to my Dad’s night job with him cleaning offices.  I was told in no uncertain terms if I was not doing the task to his expectations…….albiet gently.  My Dad took pride in all his work.   I guess it was our bonding time.  We didn’t talk about much, but we got to spend ‘quality’ time together.   Life couldn’t have been easy for my Dad – 3 teenager girls and ONE bathroom!  And he’d know if one of us snuck his razor to shave our legs!

I’ll never forget when I eloped to marry my high school sweetheart when I was 18 years old.  When we came back home to break the news to the family, my Dad didn’t say a word – he just got up and walked out.  We quickly high-tailed it to my sister’s place to give my Parents time to ‘digest’ the news.  I guess my Mom had a heated ‘discussion’ with my Dad because he phoned me and offered to come and get us, then drive us back to Kitchener.  The next weekend, he showed up with a huge box of stuff that he said we’d need to set up house – kitchen utensils, pots, cutlery, plates…..you name it.  I know it was his way of saying that he was sorry for the way he had behaved and he had accepted the fact that his little girl was a married woman now.  I’ll never forget that.

When his own Mother passed away, he travelled to Montreal and “took care” of (i.e. paid for) all the funeral arrangements.

In 1975, my Mom died and my Dad was there for us.  I know now that I’ve experienced the loss of my spouse, how difficult a time it was for him too.  We were all so focused on our own grief that I feel I didn’t support him as much as I could have.

1978 Christmas with Grandchildren

We went to England in 1977 and it just so happened that my Dad was in England for a ‘Legion thing’ as well .  He took the time to come to the small town where we were staying and help me with my two young children (2 yrs and 6 months) for a few days.  It was then that I met his future wife, Dorothy – a lovely lady originally from Yorkshire, England.    My Dad often came to see us and his grandchildren while we lived in Kitchener.  My third son, David Taylor was named after my Dad.   After I moved to the Ottawa area in 1981, his visits became less frequent.  Looking at all the pictures he took while I was growing up, it’s apparent that I (and my children) get our love of photography from him!

My Dad developed lung cancer when he was 67 years old, likely from a lifetime of smoking.  After 6 months of treatment, he passed away in October 1988.  I spent the last week with him in the hospital – a memory I will always cherish.  My Dad had been the “Poppy Chairman” for the ‘golden horseshoe’ area Legions so dozens of Veterans came to his funeral and respectfully placed their poppies on his coffin.  It was a moving tribute to my Dad who had given SO much of his time on behalf of the Royal Canadian Legion.  Another person approached me and told me that Dad had given him his first job, but he hadn’t seen him much since…….20 years ago!

I will always have a lifetime of love and respect for my Dad.

 

Happy Fathers’ Day to all the Dads!

 

 

 

 

The ’98 Ice Storm

One of the reasons that I started my blog was to “share all the greatest things in my journey through this life” (see ‘About’).   One of the most eventful natural disasters I experienced was the great Ice Storm of 1998.  Even today, it’s common to talk about what you did during ‘The Ice Storm’ and how long you were without power.

It all began on the morning of January 5th, 1998 with freezing rain causing a “snow day”.   By the next morning we awoke to a power outage – not unusual in the winter in Canada.  The house was cold and rather dark, so we made a fire in both woodstoves, upstairs and downstairs, and soon we were nice and cozy.  The youngest 3 kids lined up on chairs in front of the fire to warm up while we scurried around locating candles, sitting in the truck to listen to the radio, and making a cold breakfast.   At the end of our laneway, the power line was broken and laying across our driveway.  We telephoned Ontario Hydro and reported the “downed line” and the lady in Toronto alarmingly cautioned us to STAY AWAY from it before we got electrocuted – we reiterated again that there was no power anywhere! Note:  cordless phones didn’t work – luckily we still had a old corded phone.

Ice Storm Day 1

Ice Storm Day 1

We decided that a trip into town was called for, to find out what was going on and get some more news.  When we got to town, there was no power there as well – no gas stations could pump gas;  no banks could dispense money;  some stores were dark, but open.  We had remembered to bring a flashlight and helped shine our light for a while so others could see in the darkest corner of the milk isle.  The poor cashiers had to actually add up the totals with a shared hand calculator and payment was by cash or cheque only.  The news was not good – most of Eastern Ontario, West Quebec, and upper New York State were without electricity.  The freezing rain had taken down power lines and even tall hydro towers crumpled under the weight of the ice.  Arriving home that first day, we decided to make the best of it during the daylight :  the neighbourhood kids came over in the afternoon for board games and playtime since it was too dangerous outside with all the ice falling off the trees.  We went out for dinner that night at a local restaurant which cooked with propane and had a lovely warm fireplace and candles everywhere!  Many of our neighbours were there as well so we discussed the situation and how ‘novel’ it was.  Many of us out in the country have woodstoves, so keeping warm wasn’t a problem. My husband brought in a car battery and wired up some “car” lightbulbs (Battery/DC powered) at the top and bottom of the stairs, so we could see our way to the bathroom through the night – he was SO resourceful!  That evening, we moved all our refrigerator foods out into the mudroom bathroom, which stayed at a cool 5 degrees Celsius (40 F).  And our frozen food was moved to coolers at the north side of house, until we could BBQ or cook it daily.

Day 2:  Same thing – freezing rain and no power.  We cooked a hot breakfast on our woodstove downstairs as it had a better cooking surface.  More games for the kids.  After taking ‘orders’ from neighbours, Chris did a “supplies run” into the city, for items like batteries, candles, and kerosene – it looked like the electricity wasn’t coming on anytime soon.  Surprisingly, the roads were in great shape.

Board Games

Day 3:   After all the mild temperatures, our sump pump pit was rapidly filling with water and I was getting concerned that the downstairs was going to flood if we didn’t pump it out within the next 24 hours.   We baled about sixty 5 gallon buckets of water that day up a flight of stairs.  Well at least we had clean water to flush the toilets and wash up.  I called around to every single store within 100 kms to rent or even buy a generator and was already out of luck.   Just by chance, my husband phoned up an old school chum who owned a Home Hardware Store in his hometown and luckily we got a generator.  THAT saved us from disaster!

That morning, the  Region declared a State of Emergency.

Day 4:  With a generator, life got abit easier.  We kept the sump pit empty and a few lights on. AND WATCHED TV!  It was at this point that we realized how serious this situation was – National news broadcasts were reporting ‘live’, in the dark, from  Montreal.  The pictures of the devastation were breathtaking……in a horrible way.  The media described it as post-apocalyptic.   In town, some gas stations were now pumping gas thanks to generators, but most stores and banks remained closed.  So we were able to keep the genny running outdoors during the day.   Fearful of theft and respectful for the silence, we opted to shut our generator off at night while we slept.

Day 5 :  We heard that the Community Centre in town had opened up as an emergency shelter, so we decided to take the cooped-up kids to check it out.  It was wonderful!  Their school friends were there to play with and all the church ladies had made hot meals right there.  A local plumber even hooked up a shower in a toilet stall!   Huge generators had been brought in to keep the place running and Bell Telephone brought in a bank of phones to use -free long distance.  Many Bell switching stations’ back-up generators were stolen in the early days until they hired security guards – the phone lines were also down.  Our relatives across the province were glad to hear that we were safe and okay since they had been unable to reach us for days knowing what was going on.  A few days later, the army showed up helping with everything from serving meals, to playing with the children, to packing firewood into milk crates (every day, we would get a truckload of “milkcrate firewood” to distribute to our neighbours who didn’t have a winter supply).

We learned that other people were in dire straights with no heat and overflowing sump pump pits.  Every afternoon, my husband would take our generator and go around firing up peoples’ furnaces and emptying their water for one hour per household – with a list of people provided by the town’s emergency headquarters.  And after we went to bed around 9, he would take the genny and do the same thing, helping others all night long.  One night him and our neighbour even got stopped by the police who were asking about “their business in town so late at night” (looters? thieves?) until they explained what they were doing and showed the list from the town……

Day 6 + :  The freezing rain finally stopped and the sun came out!   However, it was still VERY dangerous outside since everything was covered in thick ice.  Trees had been crashing down every 10 seconds all week – one Veteran told us that it was just like Vietnam during the shelling in the war.  We began going to the community center in the middle of the day so the kids could play and we could catch up on the latest developments as to when the power was going to come back on, while we ate a lovely hot meal.  Nobody knew anything, especially the Hydro electricity people – they didn’t even know where the lines ran to-and-from!  Schools remained closed for 2 weeks.

I think we were settling into a new way of life – a new routine  – without electricity.  Neighbours grew closer and looked out for each other.

On January 19th, 1998 at 10:13 a.m. Oakville Power showed up on our road and started to repair the fallen lines!  Soon afterwards our electricity came back on.  We actually didn’t realize it was back since we had turned off the main power breaker.  Power utility companies from all over Ontario and the northeastern United States came to assist in repairing wires and getting the power back up and running.   Honestly, it was actually annoying to hear the humming of all the electric things in the house after weeks of silence.

And all this because two weather fronts, one cold and one warm, collided and locked horns for 5 days right over our heads……..an El Niño year.

Living without electricity for a few weeks was a real eye opener.  It made us realize -immediately and in your face- that it’s smart to prepare for life’s little surprises.  Having a source of heat, food, and water were the most important.  This sudden and unplanned experience was a good wake-up call for us to be more prepared.  The government encourages Canadians to “be prepared to cope on their own for at least the first 72 hours of an emergency” http://www.getprepared.gc.ca/index-eng.aspx .  Clearly, 72 hours isn’t near enough.  Having enough supplies for several weeks or months is the more prudent thing to do. 

Blackout 2003

After the Ice Storm, we replaced the woodstove upstairs with a cookstove that heats the house and cooks the food.  We also invested in a large 10,000 watt generator and wired the house to run off it, if necessary.  In 1999, we prepared for Y2k, just in case.  The 2003 Blackout, which caused a cascading failure in the electrical grid over much of Ontario and the northeastern U.S. putting 55 million people in the dark, didn’t cause alot of panic at this house.  We started up the 10k generator (the little genny went to the new neighbour’s to keep their fridge running and a few lights on) and we continued  with a neighbourhood “patio” party on our back porch, playing guitar and singing under the LED patio umbrella lights!

Ice Storm 1998 *

*http://www2.canada.com/ottawacitizen/features/icestorm/storyimage.html?id=4c9a65d8-502a-4f01-9f8b-fd199d0b7021&img=fd87a7aa-990e-4842-af89-2367b6ce33aa&path=/ottawacitizen/features/icestorm/

P.S.  I will update with some of my Ice Storm Photos……whenever I find my 1998 Photo Album!

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