Another writer passes

Those with a passion to write love their craft.

The majority of writers will never win a Pulitzer, nor will they claim space on a shelf holding the best seller’s list. But, their efforts are appreciated by family and friends, often forming an important part of the family history we all grow to appreciate more as the final chapters of our own lives are written.

Writing is about who we are.

Our personal office at the Advertiser would qualify as an interior designer’s nightmare, featuring a blend of political photos, a toy tractor collection, leather-bound digests, plus plenty of current Newspapers, magazines and releases. Stuck on a corkboard is a photocopy passed on from family friends that appeared in Our Canada magazine back in 2008.

Its author reminisces about a threshing bee held at the farm across from where we reside today. While the story is great in and of itself, the imagery is made all that much more vivid because the subjects in the story include our grandmother, great aunt, great uncle and great grandfather on the Buckland side of the family.

Great Aunt Alice, author of A Threshing We Will Go, passed away this past Monday, early in the morning.

In addition to raising a solid family and seeing grandchildren married and great grandchildren born, Aunt Alice leaves behind a treasure of writing, from poems to rhymes and short stories. Her daughter Joyce helped type it out and put much of it in binders for family members. Earlier this year Aunt Alice shared some writing with Stone United Church members on the church’s 150th anniversary.

Her passing brings back many memories of her sister, our grandmother, who also enjoyed writing. While neither had the benefit of formal training, they both wrote considerable works.

We recall as a kid seeing pages of foolscap dedicated to one subject or another with not one word crossed out, or spelling mistake made. That suggests to us that they wrote much the same way they lived their lives – with good purpose and deliberation.

Both sisters enjoyed quilting and embroidery too. Even in her late 80s, Aunt Alice made it a point to embroider pillows for our two youngest children, as she had done for the twins in her 70s.

Oddly, Chloe, who just turned three years old, cherishes this pillow so much that it even goes along with her to day care. It remains her special sleep pillow, which was neither encouraged nor suggested; it just held a special meaning to her that is hard to explain. These are now keepsakes that along with her writing form the last connection to a generation of our immediate family.

She unwittingly left us with another remembrance too. This past August she’d been up to mom and dad’s farm for dinner. The freshly mown hay was very fragrant that evening and she drew in an extended breath and let out a sigh as if she had just smelled the largest bouquet of the finest flowers ever produced. Parting with a chuckle as she was known to do, she had to say no more.

Sometimes, the simplest things in life, like some fresh cut hay, have more value than the riches and fortune many of us chase today. Thanks for the reminder Aunt Alice.