poetry and prose about place

Posts Tagged ‘telephone

remembering place: a gift on a spring day

with 8 comments

swing chair voyages.png


When I was a teenager, my family lived in Lower Sackville in Nova Scotia.  I went to Junior High and Senior High there and began my university days.


I have many great memories of living in our house … of spending time with friends and family.  I remember painting the kitchen cupboards with my Dad, painting a huge seascape on the living room wall, decorating the Christmas tree with the ‘help’ of our dog Snoopy, and doing homework and learning to sew while watching Audie Murphy movies.  One of my earliest ‘projects’ was raising wild violets from seed along the back fence.  I can remember spending hours on the phone with my friend Donna, pulling the long telephone cord down the basement stairs so I could sit and giggle in privacy.


On that same phone, my sister and I practiced for days how we would be the tenth caller to win tickets to see Elvis Presley in Halifax.  When the moment came, we counted the time just as we had carefully calculated.  Then I dialed in, at the precise moment.  They answered!  And, in my excitement, I HUNG UP.  My sister was so put out at me.  And we will never know if we were the lucky tenth caller!  We never did see Elvis in person.


As an exercise for a writing class I am taking, I wrote a little about attending my best friend’s wedding after graduation in 1972.  I walked to the church which was just at the bottom of our street.  As I wrote the story, I thought how I would like to see that street, to better remember the walk I took.  So, I went to Street View (Google Earth).  I began at the top of the hill and virtually ‘walked ‘ along the street where I had lived.  At the first of the walk, I saw our house in July of 2012, when the Street View image was taken.  I was amazed to see how the trees we planted had grown …  the house is hard to see !


Lower Scackville house 1

the house where we used to live, the trees all grown


A few more ‘steps’ and Street View switched to an image taken in May of 2009.  I turned back to ‘see’ the house.  And this is what I saw …


Lower Scackville house 2

Forsythia in bloom in front of the house where I used to live


My Mom loved the big Forsythia that grew in our front yard.  She always said it reminded her of my grandmother (her mother).  And there it was, in full bloom and grown huge over the 40 years since we lived there.  What a lovely gift on a spring day!


Copyright  2014  Jane Tims

Written by jane tims

May 21, 2014 at 7:06 am

from the pages of an old diary – technology

with 12 comments

The 1950’s were changing times.  Families in North America were experiencing a post-war boom and the first influx of new technology.  My great-aunt records some of this change in her diary. 

Here are some of the entries for 1957:

Jan. 3              ‘car wouldn’t start’

Feb. 23           ‘I got my electric egg beater to-day’

March 10        ‘went over to A.J. in evening to see T.V.’  

                          (her diary has several references to going to friend’s homes to watch T.V.)

May 1             ‘Electric men here from Pictou grounding the telephone. 

                          will be safe from lightning.’

May 7           ‘… our T.V. came to Drug store through Simpson’s. $269.95′

May 11           ‘ B. [and] A. set the T.V. up.  K., J. [and] I went to Forbes [a store] 

                           they stayed til after 11 to see T.V.’   –  after this, friends come regularly to watch

                          ‘the fights’ (Aug. 3, 1957) or ‘wrestling’ (Sept. 21, 1957)

Aug 31           ‘…car not working…’

Sept. 3             ‘…took the car to a garage.’

Sept. 4              ‘…car not working…’

Sept.5             ‘…Dad [her husband] took car up to L.S. to fix…’

Oct. 13           ‘…Our T.V. went on the blink’  ( after this she has several entries where her nephew,

                           my uncle, drops in to fix the T.V., for example Oct. 20, 1957)

Oct. 27           ‘…were home alone all eve. listening to T.V.’  

                            (note the used of the word ‘listening’ – they had listened to the radio)


A couple of entries for 1954 caught my eye:

Jan 4.                ‘…lights were out a lot in eve.’

Aug. 16             ‘Did a big wash. wringer not working right…’

Sept. 27            ‘… did a small wash by hand…’

Oct. 4                 ‘… S.M. came in eve [and] put new roller in washer.’


Today, our innovations come fast and furious.  I sometimes wonder what the next really ‘new’ technology will be and how my great-aunt would have recorded it in her diary.

What are your technology milestones?


Copyright  Jane Tims 2012

Written by jane tims

February 13, 2012 at 6:37 am

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