March 18, 2007 at 10:24 pm (Home Sweet Home, Photographs)
Have you ever done some research on your genealogy? Lately, I’ve been working on such a project for one of my school assignments. It took a while before the fire started burning, but now I can’t seem to let it go. My father had done some work several years ago and managed to go back to the 1600s in the Gauthier (Gonthier ?) lineage in France (Poitou). So, with all that work done, I wondered how else I could add to this work in progress.
Little did I know that you can access census records and many church registries online. Thanks to an amazing project by the Institut Généalogique Drouin in Québec, many of these have been scanned and are available for viewing. Although it’s time consuming to pore over these records, I find it fascinating when I come up with a “find” and see information about who lived where, when, and with whom. Having purchased a year’s membership with www.ancestry.ca has made the work easier. As I enter information about a person, their service automatically provides links to documents or other people’s tree that may link to the person in question.
Now that my family back home is aware of this little project, they are scanning old photos that I didn’t know existed and send them to me. The stories I am told that go along with these photographs are also interesting. I learned many little details that either were never told to me before, or I just never payed enough attention to retain the information.
When reading these registries and thinking about these people who are my ancestors , all of whom have now passed, it makes me think about the ephemeral quality of life. Looking at the year 1906 written in my great-grandfather’s marriage record (on my mother’s side) reminds me of how, throughout all of 2006, the year was written on documents everywhere, and in a hundred years from now, someone somewhere will be poring over those records perhaps thinking the same thing.
Here are a couple of old photographs that were sent to me (I have yet to touch them up):
Aldéric Vendette et Yvonne (Lahaie) Vendette, maternal great-grandparents
Albert Gauthier and Yvonne Audet, paternal great-grandparents, wedding Aug 18, 1915
Théophile & Marie (Tremblay) Gauthier, parents of Albert Gauthier
Damas Rancourt & Eleonore Sylvain, parents of Desneiges (Rancourt) Guillemette, my great-great grandparents
March 12, 2007 at 2:23 pm (Livin' North of 60°, Talk of the Town)
Okay, I know I’ve made my opinion clear about the CWG hiring of outside musicians, but after a conversation about this with an acquaintance, I realized there was an aspect that I hadn’t considered. First, let me say that after seeing the entertainment during the games at the ATCO tent and the First Nations tent, there was no shortage of local talent. My hats off to organizers!
Second, the final concert was for the volunteers, and most of these volunteers are locals. So, it only makes sense to bring a Canadian band from outside the Yukon. Why? Because most people in town have already seen all the local talent. Not that local musicians aren’t good enough; local groups really are a treat. However, it seems to make more sense to bring in someone new, a group that we normally wouldn’t have the privilege of seeing in the Yukon. Most bands that do come up are 80s bands that are “has beens,” as a friend of mine put it. That said, the choice of bringing in Great Big Sea was an excellent one.
Yes, I was there, and it was a blast! I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many people assembled in one place in Whitehorse. I do think that there should be a universal rule, though, where tall people must stand at the back (sorry guys)! I had a perfect view until a couple of tall fellows weasled their way in front of me. Still, it didn’t ruin the fun. I had a great time.
Another nice aspect of the concert was that it was dry, which allowed younger ones to take part in the event. One air cadet that I know of, Braiden, put in more hours than most volunteers. He did an outstanding job at medal presentations, and it would’ve been a shame had he not been able to attend his very first concert as part of a thanks to him and other volunteers.
Now that Whitehorse has hosted an event on such a scale (the Games and the concert), I wonder what will come next.
March 11, 2007 at 9:24 am (Livin' North of 60°)
Sunlight is flowing in from the windowpane in front of me, illuminating the tiny dust particles that flitter and flutter in its path. They glisten like magic dust from a storybook fairy as they flicker about. On the thick wooden windowsill stand three small antique-looking picture frames next to a curled bamboo stick, its green stalk curling upward toward a fountain of green leaves.
One portrait is of my beautiful sister with her hazel eyes and extra-long trademark eyelashes. Her perfectly styled auburn hair frames her smiling face. Looking at it reminds me of home and memories only sisters can share. The second snapshot is one that makes me grin every time I glance at it. It is of my eager-to-please five-year-old dog, Smidgen. Her huge black paws are over the top of a rust-coloured wooden picket fence. Her tongue hangs from her mouth while her chocolate-brown eyes stare out from the darkness of her fur as if to say, “Will you come and play with me?”
Finally, the last photograph, the one closest to me, is of my beau, my soul mate, the love of my life, Dave. His 6’6” frame seems tiny compared to the Yukon scenery before him; valley and mountains dwarf him. His elbow resting on his bent knee, he gives off an air of contentment with his hiker’s hat and boots. Behind these photos, gazing out my own window, a large flat field of mixed grasses extends beyond me, making its way to snow-covered mountains in the distance.
A simple wooden desk, placed at an angle to the window, serves as a writing surface in moments of enlightenment or work. A practical office chair tucked neatly beside it allows me to peer out the window while working away. In the small space between the other side of the desk and the window is a stuffed black Ikea chair with a matching ottoman. This area is reserved for reading, reflection, and relaxation. The chair sits close enough to the old wooden desk that I can reach for a pen in the green marble holder if I feel the need to jot something down.
While reading or writing next to the window, I can hear the crackling of the fire nearby, filling the air with warmth. This cozy nook is open to the rest of the second floor of this spectacular log home. The fireplace is smack in the middle, with the stone chimney extending below to the kitchen and above to the rooftop. The thick wooden floorboards feel solid underneath my feet. The log walls around me remind me of old totem poles lying on their side, waiting for the master carver to work his magic.
Dreaming of a log home tucked away in the wilderness of the Yukon as I sit here, sipping on a cup of steaming coffee. The scent of spring is in the air with a bright blue sky above. I look forward to spring and summer with their long sunlit days, but I also enjoy the cosiness of winter days. Bundled up and cuddled up with a good read on a Sunday morning.
March 8, 2007 at 11:33 am (Jumbled Jabbering)
I HATE JUNK MAIL!!! So when I get a new piece of junk mail offering a subscription, a chance to win something, or whatever else, I usually contact the company to find out:
a) Where they got my personal info (subsequently, I contact that company also)
b) How to get my name off their mailing list
Also, I don’t leave a valid address when registering on websites, and when I do subscribe to something, I always contact the company to tell them of my wishes relating to customer privacy.
So, I’ve had this envelope from a magazine company sitting on my desk for a couple of weeks now. Thinking it was junk mail, I planned on contacting them to do the above, but, surprise! it wasn’t junk mail at all! My aunt bought a gift-subscription for me. Wow! How nice to open mail that isn’t a bill or junk. So, of course I still contacted them to ensure my privacy; nevertheless, it put a smile on this girl’s face.
March 2, 2007 at 7:47 pm (Livin' North of 60°, Photographs, Talk of the Town)
We finally got our favourite sporting event in: short-track speed skating relay race. We got there about 45 minutes early, were told at the information kiosk that they still hadn’t finished the previous races, and then there would be a 15-minute break before the relay would start on time at 4:50. We went upstairs to find a seat and realized that the relay races were just getting underway. Well, at least we did get to see them; thank goodness we were early.
Quebec took the gold, Ontario the silver, and New Brunswick the bronze for both male and female races.
After these races, I went down to see the performers in the tents on Second Avenue, and it was all free! The smaller tent held performances from First Nations people all over the north for the Gathering of Northern Nations. A real treat were the Deh Cho Drummers from NWT. In fact, they were so good that I returned later in the evening to see them perform again in the Atco tent. There were also throat singers and our very own Tlingit dancers from Teslin. Between performances, I enjoyed browsing the tables filled with beautiful moccasins, beadwork, and tools made by First Nations elders and others.
Another treat in the evening at the Atco tent was a performance by Serena Ryder. What a powerful voice this woman has. I truly felt that the events and displays in the two tents were the hightlights of the Games, and they appeared to be well organized to boot! Here are some pictures:
March 1, 2007 at 8:27 am (Talk of the Town)
Okay, so I bit the bullet and purchased two passes for the first week of the Canada Winter Games. Both my partner and I wanted to see the speed skating short-track relay race and maybe catch another event or two. As soon as we arrived in town after our house-sitting stint on Tuesday, we checked the on-line schedules to find that we could see some of the races on Wednesday evening at 7:30pm. We got there at 7:00pm only to discover that it was all over. Apparently they started early, finished early, and didn’t bother to let anyone know through their website. I was soooo disappointed. I’m hoping that today’s events will start on time. Since I can’t rely on the Games’ website for scheduling changes (except for hockey), I’ll have to try to get through by telephone and speak to a live person.