Category Archives: Hamilton

Sunrise in Hamilton, Ontario

Yesterday morning I was lucky enough (insert sarcasm) to drive my eldest daughter to work which meant I had to rise out of bed by 6 a.m. so we could leave by 6:40 a.m. Okay, I really did not have to rise forty minutes early except if you want me to function I need to have a minimum of one coffee in me, and since I was driving, coffee was mandatory. As it turned out, I had just enough time to make a second cup for my thermos.

It was still somewhat dark out when we left the house, but by the time I dropped her off, the sun was rising and it was beautiful. I don’t often get to see the sun rise, since I’m sleeping, so I stopped at our local park on the mountain brow. The view from Sam Lawrence can be breathtaking, you have a panoramic view of the city, the harbour, the Skyway Bridge, the Niagara escarpment, and on a clear day you can see the CN Tower in Toronto.

Canoeing with dogs is not easy

The dogs in different canoes

Cocoa is with the teenage boy and I, Bear is with middle child and my husband.

On Sunday I had this wonderful idea that we would all go canoeing and this time we would bring our dogs with us. Now Cocoa who is over nine years old, weighs around fifty pounds, loves to swim (hates baths, must be the clean water) but has never been in our canoe before. Bear, middle child’s dog is two years old and weighs about eighty pounds has also never been in a canoe. At first we thought it would be best to have one dog in each canoe because of their weight. Just before we headed further out onto the water, Bear actually jumped out of the canoe he was in, then proceeded to jump back in, how he didn’t topple everyone was very surprisingly.

As we started to paddle, Cocoa was not at all happy being in a canoe without Bear, my husband and middle child, who spoils both dogs. So there we were trying to keep the two canoes aligned so Cocoa could jump from one to the other. Again, how we didn’t topple from the weight of the dogs. Cocoa finally stopped barking but was not completely sure about this canoeing thing, Bear on the other hand, just seemed to stand and look around. With the added weight of both dogs, my husband did find it difficult to paddle, middle child could not give him a hand because they were unsure if Cocoa would jump out, so she basically had to hold him for most of the ride. After a while the dogs did calm down and we were able to have a lovely afternoon of canoeing. The even nicer thing about Princess Point, it is only a fifteen minute drive from home.

Bear standing in canoe

Bear standing in the canoe, and with his shifting weight, made it difficult at times to paddle.

The eldest and her kayak

The eldest and her kayak

The teenage boy and I

The teenage boy and I.

The teenage boy and I further out  on the water.

The teenage boy and I further out on the water at Princess Point, fifteen minutes from home.

DH & middle child & the dogs who are finally sitting.

Both dogs finally sitting in the canoe.

The eldest was in charge of pictures.

The eldest was in charge of snapping pictures. You can just see the name Belugavieve (her nickname) on her kayak.

All the ducks are in a row.

Seven ducks all lined up on a log near the shore.

Princess Point is a gem in Hamilton, Ontario and on Sunday there were many paddlers out on the water.

The day they thought I had disappeared

After my mother married my father, the two of them moved to Hamilton, Ontario to start a new life. They had only been married a year, when I came along, then my brother the next year, and my other brother the following year, my sister then came five years later. To say the least my mom was pretty burned out and lonely since my father worked three shifts and most weekends. To ease her pain, my dad would take all of us to her mom’s most Sundays. I believe the only Sunday we would miss, would be when he worked afternoons.

I loved going to my grandmother’s house, and I was given the added bonus of being taken over to my Great Aunt Teddie’s (short for Theodora) house two blocks away, where I could comb my two older cousin’s hair over and over again. My grandmother was an amazing women, she worked six days a week and on Sundays would always have a huge dinner with a minimum of two pies for dessert (my mom’s two brothers were also there, with one brother being married with four kids). I honestly don’t know how she did it, but then again, she had a great work ethic. When my mother was growing up, to support her and her two brothers, grandma worked at the Right House (a higher end department store now defunct) Monday to Friday doing various jobs, one where she operated the hand-cranked elevator, before moving to the stock room. On Saturdays, she worked long hours picking Tobacco. My grandfather had a gambling problem, so it was mainly up to my grandmother to support the family of five.

My grandmother lived on Ninth Ave in Brantford, Ontario, in an area that was considered to be the “wrong side of the tracks – Eagle Place”. It may have been a war-time house but till this day, I loved that house because it brings back wonderful memories, except for the one day they thought I had disappeared or worse yet taken by someone. As I remember it was a lovely Sunday and everyone was over at my Great Aunt Teddie’s house for a change. I remember my grandmother, mom, Aunt Teddie, and Aunt Barb were all sitting in the living room with their fingers on a Ouija Board. The idea behind a Ouija board is you have your fingers on the planchette, questions are asked, and the planchette is moved by spirits to either a yes or no answers or towards letters to spell out words. Now I don’t remember how old I was at the time, but that Ouija board scared the hell out of me, so without telling anyone I walked the two blocks back to my grandmother’s house.

When I arrived back at grandma’s house, my grandfather asked if I wanted to go for a ride with him, apparently to give bones to a friend’s dog. Now, that was partly true, but he was also most likely placing a bet on the horses. Either way, I happily agreed to go along with him, and I remember saying we should tell my mom, but he said we wouldn’t be gone for long so all would be okay. The next image I remember is him telling me to stay in the car while he dropped the bones off at his friend’s house, then taking me to the fair where he bought me some cotton candy. Once we were at home again, my grandfather was yelled at by his wife and my parents were yelling at me for wandering off.

Now all of this happened at least forty-five years ago but the images are still very clear in my mind. I have also never gone near a Ouija board again, since it caused me to disappear for a few hours.