Dutch Inheritance

Dutch china       It’s a sad fact of modern life that when you receive an inheritance letter in the mail, you automatically assume it’s a scam and throw it away – especially if it’s from someone who promises that if you will only oblige and send your bank account information the money will soon be on it’s way.    But as it turns out not all inheritance letters are scams.

Tulips

          It’s almost tulip season again, which always reminds me of my grandmother.   I have blogged about my Irish Roots (see also A Visit to an Irish Graveyard), but not about my Dutch ancestors.   My maternal grandparents were from Holland but I never knew any relatives from that side of the family because they immigrated to Canada in 1922.   My grandmother was from a family of seven siblings and my grandfather ten, and being from the same village she was friends with some of my grandfather’s sisters.   In this picture, which was taken in front of the family home just before she immigrated, my grandmother is in the back row, second from the right. Gramma's family (2) My grandparents were married the week before Christmas and left on a boat to New York, arriving in Ellis Island on New Year’s Day 1922.    According to the Ellis Island archives, they traveled with two other couples, one of which was my grandfather’s sister and her husband.   Two of his other sisters and their spouses were already here in Canada, a country where things were supposed to be more prosperous, especially after WW1.    My grandmother had grown up on a small farm and my grandfather worked on the boats on the canals, but there wasn’t much farm land available or work to be had, after he put in his mandatory four years of service in the army reserves.   In order to come to Canada, you had to pass a medical and be sponsored by a Canadian farmer for a year, so they decided to settle in a small Ontario town where there was already a small contingent of Dutch people.   

      I used to tease my grandmother that the ocean liner came over on was her honeymoon cruise, as she was just newly married.   She was 24, the baby of the family and a homebody, and I suspect had she known she would never see any of her family again, she never would have left.    Her parents did not want them to go – but ah, the things we do for love.   She boarded the boat with a large wicker trunk containing all her worldly possessions, her trousseau, blankets and household items, and wearing her mother’s brooch.   I suspect her mother knew they would not be coming back.   She was the only one of their party not seasick on the way over, but if you pretended you were and stayed below deck then you got an orange, which was a luxury at the time.  She remembered having a nice turkey dinner on Christmas Day.   When they got through Ellis Island, they were immediately whisked away to a waiting train enroute to Canada.   They got off the train in Niagara Falls, stepping into a foot of snow, with no boots, as they were not used to that much snow back home. 

       Times were not as prosperous as promised.   They worked in the sugar beet fields to meet the sponsorship requirements.   They had to learn how to speak and write English.   My grandmother’s English was good by the time we were kids but she always had a trace of an accent, and certain words were mispronounced, Kalander for calendar and sleep-out for sleep in, and if she was discussing something with my mother that she didn’t want little ears to hear, she spoke in Dutch.   My grandfather was a quiet man, a real Checker fiend who would never let a poor kid win!   After they had been here a few years, they thought about trying their luck in the US (Chicago), and had a family passport picture taken, (my mother is the baby), but changed their plans when the Depression hit in the 1930’s.  

Gramma passport picture (2)

Those were hard years, but my mother said they always had enough food to eat, unlike some families.   An uncle was a butcher and used to supply them with meat.   It was shameful to go on the dole, considered a last resort.  Only if you were sick or starving would you apply for food stamps, otherwise you made do or did without.   It was WW2 which brought them into relative prosperity, as all four of them, including my 16 year old mother and her brother, worked in the war plants, which enabled them to save enough for a down payment on a farm two hours away, (and right across the road from my father, so effectively she married the boy next door).  

It was nice having my grandma right across the road, as we visited frequently, and she would feed us Gouda cheese, homemade root beer and those Dutch ginger windmill cookies which are still available today, plus it meant we didn’t have to travel far at Christmas and holidays.    She was a kind woman, but strong in her opinions and philosophy, could debate any topic, and she raised my mother to be a strong woman.   We were raised to be strong and independent too.   There were no helpless damsels in distress or pampered princess types in my family.    She loved to knit and crochet and tried to teach me once, but I was hopeless.   Her afghans came  in bright colors and I still have a brown/orange/green one she made for me when I was away at school.   She always painted her kitchen farm table an aqua green, where we sat talking many an afternoon, with the white curtains fluttering in the summer breeze and a cat curled up on top of the freezer.   She favored lime green aprons, (it was the sixties), and often wore one even when not cooking, but my mother was by far the better cook.    Emigrating so young she had no one to show her and Canadian food was different from back home.   She had a set of those shallow European soup bowls in her (blue and white) china cabinet long before they were all the rage here.   In her later years, she was starting to lose her vision and hearing, but her mind was still sharp, and she knew everything that was going on in the world and still had an interest in life.    She always told me I was the best of the bunch, because I would go and visit her after she moved into town and bring her cans of lobster, (she had grown up on seafood).   I wish I had visited more often.   You don’t realize what an influence a grandparent has on you until after they are gone.   The last time l was there, she grabbed my hand when I left, her hands were so warm – a few weeks later she was dead from a sudden stroke.  

      I suspect my grandmother always regretted coming to Canada.  She missed her family.   In her old age, she said she was a woman without a country.   When the stairs got to be too much for her she moved into a one floor house in town and hung a photo of her childhood home on the living room wall where she could see it every day.    In this picture are her mother, brother, sister and young niece.

Dutch home

Even if they could have afforded it, my grandpa would probably never have gone home for a visit, as he suspected she wouldn’t have come back, but after the Depression, came the war, and then her parents were dead.   My mother remembers getting the black edged envelopes containing the death notices in the mail and my grandmother dissolving into tears.  Death notice envelope 3 (2)          After my grandfather died, my sister tried to talk her into taking us to Holland on a trip but she said she was too old (she was only in her early 70’s) but I don’t think she wanted to go by then, fifty years had gone by, it had been too long.   But she continued to send airmail letters back and forth to her brothers and sisters over the years.   They sent her a bouquet of tulips for her 80th birthday.   Her siblings all lived well into their 90’s, the last one dying at 95, still riding his bike around town.   They had moved into town by then too, as their farm had been swallowed up by development.   My grandmother herself lived to be 96 in her own home – she was the last of her family and many condolence letters arrived from nieces and nephews in Holland after she died.

       Flash forward to five years ago when my mother received an inheritance letter in the mail.   A cousin had died and she was entitled to 1/17th of her estate, if she would just sign off for the debts of the estate and return said form as soon as possible.   The English was poor, the grammar worse.  Obviously a scam, who would sign for debts for someone they didn’t even know.   Although my mother was aware of this cousin (the young girl in the picture above), we thought it quite strange, and I assumed scammers, ever a resourceful lot, must have been cruising Ancestry.com for single elderly people  and their distant out of country relatives.   I googled the law firm on Facebook – a group of women lawyers, all wearing navy suits and white shirts, and a few testimonials, all in Dutch – this was in the days before google translate was a feature.   I put the letter aside.   A few months went by.   I mentioned it to my brother when he was home, and he decided to email them – no response.    Six months went by and another letter arrived, this one an official looking form.    By then I was beginning to think it might possibly be true.   But why didn’t they just pick up the phone, they had my mother’s address, exactly as it was wrongly printed in the phone book.   I decided to take the official looking form to the library.    One of the new librarians was Dutch and I had commented on her accent one day as it reminded me of my grandmothers.   She informed me it was a tax form from the Dutch government.  She had emigrated many years before but had an overseas phone plan as she still had relatives back home, so she very kindly offered to call the law firm for me and speak to them in Dutch.   It was legitimate – not a scam at all, and there were no debts – the estate taxes had all been paid off.   My mother had only to send her bank account information, and a copy of her passport.   In the meantime, I received an email from the relative in charge of the estate, assuring me it was not a scam, and they were all waiting for her to sign off.    He sent a copy of the obituary which I later asked the librarian to translate.  By then I had gone through my grandmother’s papers and found a condolence letter from a nephew, and called him, as he spoke English.   We emailed a bit, I asked for some stories about the deceased cousin, and he said he would email later, but he never did.   I wish I knew more about her life, I know she took care of the old folks but nothing else about her.   She must have died without a will as the estate was split among all those cousins.  By then my mother was thinking maybe she would just decline her share and let someone who had looked after her have it, but she wasn’t allowed to decline as then it would go to her children and get even more complicated.    Several weeks went by while the euro continued to drop.   The exchange rate is usually fairly stable at 1.5 but it was down to 1.3.    I emailed the law firm when to expect the money so I could keep an eye on the bank account we had opened, and they said there were now 36 people who had to sign off.  I quite  liked the idea that I have 36 relatives I have never met, surely there must be a family genealogist among them.   Eventually, about a year after the first letter, my mom received about $7,000 worth of euros, which she later used for a new air conditioner/furnace.   I wish she had spent it on something extravagant, like a trip to Holland, but my mother is practical, and at 93, her travelling days are over too.  

Luckily, if you are an immigrant now,  you have much better ways to communicate than my grandmother did – email, Skype, Facebook, getting on a cheap economy flight for a visit.    Be grateful for ways to stay in touch.   Remember when you chose a man or a job or a country, you are choosing a lifestyle.  Choose wisely.   If you want to travel, go when you are young – don’t wait until it’s too late.   Eat plenty of Gouda cheese – it’s good for your bones.  When you grow old, make a will.   Stay interested in life.   Be strong but be kind.  Plant or buy some tulips and enjoy! 

PS.    Do you have a relative who especially influenced your life?     

Dutch Inheritance - AMc

 (Next week in Come From Away, I will be tackling the timely topic of immigration from a genealogical point of view…if I’m brave enough.)   

     

 

 

126 thoughts on “Dutch Inheritance

  1. Ally Bean says:

    This is a wonderful story, both about your grandmother as the homebody who immigrated and about the inheritance that was for real. Sweet and insightful. I don’t know too much about the details of any of my ancestors who came to America, but I know some details about the ones who I knew as a child and adult. Nice people, not big influences in my life. Maybe in small ways, but not like your grandmother was for you.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. www.rosesintherainmemoir.wordpress.com says:

    Joni, I’m putting Gouda cheese on my grocery list right now! And a pot of tulips in bloom. Mine are up — yellows in front not even budded, red in English borders in back bright and colorful in afternoon sun, between the showers.

    Seriously, I loved reading your Dutch heritage story! What a lovely family! And the inheritance turned out to be real after all. Your mother was blessed, both to be remembered in this way and to receive this extra bonus for necessary upgrading.

    Yes, my maternal grandmother wielded great and loving influence over me. Even though she died when I was just 18, she still does. I fancy myself much like her, with the dowager’s hump back. I’m devoting a page to her in my memoir blog coming out next week, in fact — a loving, nostalgic tribute to Mama Nedley.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Joni says:

      I am enjoying reading your memoirs Jo….keep them coming. My tulips are up about six inches, but no blooms yet, but I have two bunches of daffodils almost out. Our temperature seems to be up and down, 16 C tomorrow then back down to 5 on Sunday.

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  3. lindasschaub says:

    What a great story this is Joni and so well researched and complete with the family photos. Seeing the Delftware reminds me of my own grandmother, who was not Dutch, but had some on her “plate shelf” that her mother had handed down to her – now that I write this, I wonder what happened to those dishes? We have tulip time in Holland, Michigan which is not close to me but people go there to see all the tulips which bloom in May. The city celebrates its heritage and is supposed to be beautiful to see. How nice that your grandmother lived so close – that made your relationship even more special.

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    • Joni says:

      Thanks Linda! I did enjoy writing it. I remember you had written a bit about your grandmother too. I didn’t have any grandparents on my dad’s side as they had both died before my parents married. I am way behind in my reading tonight. I was working on my blog for next week, where I may tackle the immigration issue, without being too political about it hopefully.

      Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        I enjoyed reading it Joni. Yes, I’ve written about my grandmother many times since I started the blog. Not too much about my grandfather – he was a cantankerous old coot, and, like you, my father’s parents died before he met my mother. The immigration issue post will be interesting too – it is a hot topic over here as you well know. There was something else in the news today stirring up the masses a little.

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      • Joni says:

        Well I plan on approaching it from a general and mostly Canadian point of view. I only have one paragraph about the infamous wall (waste of money in my opinion) but might delete it as I don’t wish to offend any of my American readers, as they might not appreciate an outsider commenting. We do have a steady stream of people walking across the border in Quebec seeking asylum from US deportation, (mostly Haitians and Jamaicans) and that has become a costly problem for the big cities like Montreal and Toronto, but certainly it is nothing like the thousands in Mexico. I can see it from both ways, you want to be humanitarian but also you need rules and laws. On the other hand, most of my paternal great uncles went to Detroit back in 1911 when GM and Ford were looking for workers, as borders were more fluid back then. But I remember my great aunt Bea hesitating about coming to visit the farm in the 1960’s as she did not have any citizenship papers and things had tightened up by then. They used to come visit once a summer and we went there occasionally too, but I am not even sure what part of Detroit they lived in, as they were always moving further out. My dad’s cousin’s husband worked for GM, but their kids were all much older than us, so after the parents died, we lost touch. I am sure the draft will require a lot of editing as I don’t usually wade into political issues, but I was thinking more from a genealogical point of view, as we all came from somewhere.

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      • lindasschaub says:

        I keep my opinions to myself for the most part too Joni, especially because despite living here on a green card since 1966, I am still not an American citizen and have no rights – I cannot vote, so I really don’t feel I have the right to comment/disparage, much as I would like to. I was really put through the mill to renew my green card and being right across the border, living here all these years and in the same house, it was insulting to me. Insulting to have to go back for fingerprints a second time and more insulting to have to go to the police station and get them to certify I’d not been in trouble for the past 10 years and that I’d lived in this City for 10 years. I don’t wade into political issues because I don’t want to be told to go back where I came from. 🙂

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      • Joni says:

        That’s interesting…..I did wonder. I know it isn’t easy to get a green card to go over there initially, but if you’ve lived there for decades you’d think they’d cut you some slack! I remember you telling me long term typing can destroy fingerprints…….I may use that in a murder mystery someday! I bet that’s not a fact many people are aware of.

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      • lindasschaub says:

        I would think so too since I lived here so long and close to the border. It is a real pain and that’s why I thought getting a passport might help out. The guy in the Metrocar was very nice … he was from Switzerland but had become a Canadian citizen and living over here. He had dual citizenship (Switzerland/Canada, but on a green card for over here in the States) … he told me that my problem with renewing the card was that they (Department of Homeland Security) look at me as a person without a country. That makes sense. The green card is up for renewal in 2025 and you can renew six or eight months in advance, no sooner. Also it is costly – by the time I paid for the renewal fee, and sending my paperwork in certified mail/return reciopt requested EACH time I had to meet requirements, the fee at the police station, not to mention the trip in the Metrocar (that was my fault as I don’t want to drive in Winter and we had a massive snow two days before), it was well over $600.00! As to your mystery novel, playing the piano also makes your fingertips smooth.

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      • Joni says:

        Wow that’s a big sum. It’s $160 here to renew a passport for ten years (or $120 for five), and it’s a simple procedure if you’ve already got one, just get a new photo taken ($30) and mail the form in registered. My mom got hers delivered right to her door. If you are starting from scratch you have to have two people vouch for having known you for 2 years. I don’t know why they would consider you a person without a country, as you still are Canadian? Thanks for the tip, maybe my murderer will be a concert pianist, all those hours of practice.

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      • lindasschaub says:

        I have to look at the requirements – wow, they will consider it starting from scratch I am sure – I should have just renewed it years ago, but I stopped traveling and we no longer crossed the border to visit anyone … no one left. I wanted to get a form at the post office a few weeks ago and our City’s post office no longer is a “passport station” … so much for that idea.

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      • Joni says:

        I downloaded the form online, but that was just for renewal, and it turned out to be out of date anyway. I had mom’s photo taken at Walmart, and they had copies of the forms, so you could try there.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joni says:

        Well as they have you on file as having had one, it might not be as bad to start over, as you are not really starting over. I got my mom’s renewed as now that she doesn’t have a driver’s license it is useful for a piece of id. Now that I think of it, she used it as Id to collect her Dutch inheritance!

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      • Joni says:

        No, no fingerprints, just a photo. I’ve never been fingerprinted. It must be interesting. Well Cogeco is hooked up and while I now have internet through them, the new modem means my wireless printer now doesn’t work, and I have no idea how to connect it. I tried setup on the menu, and pushing the WPS button but it can’t seem to find it to reset it with the new password- maybe because the modem is in the basement and the printer is on the 3rd floor???? Which he told me was my only option as I don’t have a phone jack near where my cable is on the main floor, which he couldn’t even figure how how it even came into the house, not that he spend much time looking, just did the easiest for him. I was not impressed – he was maybe 25, wearing shorts, (it’s freezing today), tracked mud all over my stairs, and no help with any of my ?’s. He said he was just the tech guy, he wasn’t allowed to help with disconnecting the old modem or any set-up and he had to go as he had another appointment. . Plus he neglected to tell me he’d programmed a password into my new phone voice mail, just shoved a booklet at me re setup, so I wasted time trying to figure out why I couldn’t get into voice mail. Geez……why doesn’t anything go smoothly. Now, I’ll have to go and ask one of neighbours if I can borrow her son to help me on the weekend. I can’t even remember who set up the wireless for me…..

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      • lindasschaub says:

        What a debacle this whole thing has been, now at least a month, maybe six weeks. Nice that they send someone who was no help at all and you’re left scrambling, and you daren’t call them and get phone tech support as you might reach another country. I share your pain with computer issues.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joni says:

        Yes, it’s certainly depressing…..I may feel more optimistic after a good nights sleep. Thing is I don’t find the cable setup much faster, but then it is traveling up three floors! And I have old dense plaster walls.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        That’s not so good either – I pay for a higher level called “Boost” since I am remoting into work – it is not “gaming speed” but I don’t see that it is all that fast and I’ve had it for about 6 or more years now. Did you get the mud cleaned up – that would have irked me to no end. It is always crummy weather when contractors come in … some of them wear those booties like they wear with scrubs in the hospital. Not all of them though unfortunately. Check tomorrow and see if there is a faster speed (not gaming) to go to.

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      • Joni says:

        No I didn’t get the mud cleaned up, it dried up so I have to take a rag to it tomorrow – it’s on the inside garage stairs. Most workmen would take their boots off below the stairs, not in the house, or wear the booties over their shoes. The speed is certainly not worse, even seems a bit faster tonight, but I wonder with Cogeco if it depends on how many people are on it – like after school and evenings it may slow down with all the kids on it. Now at 11pm it seems faster? I’m beat – its a bath, a brownie and bed for me. Chocolate sure cheer me up!

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      • lindasschaub says:

        They should have the booties be mandatory for inside visits. I wonder if that is the case – more people streaming TV on their devices or gaming too. When the HVAC guys come they put on the booties – if it is a dry day I tell them they don’t have to, especially if it’s for the furnace as they come in the house once and go downstairs and they are done – with the A/C, they are out in the yard with the wet grass, then traipse in the house downstairs and on the landing. I was thinking of seeing if I could buy those booties if someone comes in the house … I’m already thinking of the computer guy coming in the house – hopefully not this week, now rain every day, maybe on Saturday too! I hope he does not call and say he wants to drop it off – he likely won’t take off his shoes either. I was always taught to remove my shoes in someone’s house and I wear slippers in the house to minimize dirt Chocolate is cheery, especially if you didn’t give it up for Lent!

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        Guess what Joni? I went outside this morning and there was a robin building a nest in the coach light. It started to rain and I didn’t want to pull the car out and get it wet (it is on a trickle charger 24/7/365) to get the ladder and besides I had no newspaper or styrofoam handy to stuff the bag with. I was angry … I realized also, that even if I took the broom to it (only a few strands of stuff SO FAR), I am not sure I can hold the broom with my left arm enough to push the nest out once they have mud on it – last year I had no robins at all, just sparrows that built nests. My boss left so I think I’m going to write a post – you suggested to me to repost “Evicted” … I had hoped not to – grrr!

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        Well, I hope you’re right, I included it in today’s blog post. 🙂 I’m sorry they came back too – tomorrow morning I will hate going outside and seeing it – we are having rain again tomorrow morning so likely no walk again.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        It has been an awful Spring and I now think we are doomed with this erratic weather for good now. I did get a short walk in this morning but just in the neighborhood as I had to tear down the robin’s nest … I may write a short post about it if my boss leaves early. I do have a question to ask you if I may. My friend Ilene (a former co-worker) lives in Kingsville, Ontario. She has had AOL e-mail and internet for years and said she received a letter from them that they are no longer going to provide internet service. I mentioned you and your ordeal with AT&T and that you are going to Cogeco. I told her that we had a mutual co-worker years ago who lived in Windsor and had Cogeco and that you just did the switch this week and I mentioned your ordeal. She wrote me an e-mail and said the following:

        I called AOL this morning, but the person I spoke to could not speak good English (of course) so I really didn’t learn anything – will call again tomorrow and hope to reach someone who can speak English. Do you happen to know who your blogger friend contacted to get internet through Cogeco?

        She wrote me this last night and I didn’t see it until about 4:00 p.m. We were busy at work today and I had to do something for my boss this morning before I left on my nest-removal activity and short walk. I thought you might still have the contact info at hand?

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      • Joni says:

        Hi Linda….she has two options. She can try Bell which I did first as AOL was delivered through the Bell phone line, so I though it would be an easy switch. Did I tell you that after I went Cogeco I got 2 phone calls from the Bell Loyalty dept, asking if I would reconsider and finally giving me a better price of $104 for phone and internet, (Cogeco’s of $121 for both plus TV was still better), so I told them it was too late and I had already made up my mind and they should have directed me to the Loyalty Dept at the beginning.. I assume she must have a Bell phone as she has AOl. But if she wants to save herself some grief, then Cogeco has the better price, but then my TV is Cogeco. I’ll give you two numbers. 1-855-701-4881 select the Sales Dept, and Customer Service/Billing which is the number off my TV bill – 1-800-267-9000. She has to listen to the prompts as there are different ones for each service, but ultimately the Sales Dept. and ask for a bundle deal, if she already has tv through them? Some people have satelite dishes now. I’ll check back with you later, going out for dinner, a free dinner as drug company paying, but I will get a chance to see my old colleagues. I hardly know what to wear, I hardly have any dressy clothes now, and do I dress for winter or spring?

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      • lindasschaub says:

        Thank you Joni for your detailed explanation and the follow-up e-mail. I told Ilene I may not find out until later tonight. I don’t know if there was any urgency because she has been in the hospital from March 4th until April 10th – she had a trip-and-fall last November and hit her head on a cement porch step. She had an MRI and was told she was okay then collapsed outside in early March. She lives alone (widowed 10 years ago) and one of her dogs (she was letting it out to relieve itself when she collapsed and the dog laid over her body with its body the two hours before she was discovered by her brother). Two weeks in the hospital and the rest in step down). Thank you again – will give her all the info – I’m glad I reached out. Hope you had fun at dinner … I would not know what to wear either – it’s been so long since I wore anything but shorts or sweats to be honest.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joni says:

        I wore a winter sweater as it was cooler, but it rained on the way home, and I am not used to driving at night anymore esp. in the rain. The restaurant was in a part of town I don’t like to be in at night, so I drove my friend to her car one block over after as she was uneasy too. It was a nice meal, but I wouldn’t have paid $60 for it – beef tenderloin $39, a green salad big enough for two at $12, all kinds of appetizers I couldn’t eat as they are not my kind of think, spicey tacos and shrimp and stuff, creme brulee cheescake which I took home to split with my mom. Glad I wasn’t paying the bill, but it was nice to see 4 of my colleagues. There’s something bizarre about eating a meal like that while listening to a talk about obesity and a new diet pill. I’m beat, don’t think I’ll be Reading tonight. Hope your friend makes out okay.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        It was cool yesterday and this morning when I went out it was 63 – that’s crazy with the weather swings and tonight, after this storm passes around the 5:00 p.m. or 6:00 p.m. hour, it will go back to the 40s at night/overnight. I decided I should drive my car to the Park as I’d not driven it since last Saturday and that was just to get my hair done and when I came out it was 25 to 30 mph winds, so decided to forego the walk. I would have walked like I often do, but we had the issue with the beating that I think I mentioned to you … very scary and right on the main drag where I would be walking, so I took the car. So took the car out, got to the Park and it started to rain. I don’t want to get the car wet as I have to dry it all off to put it back in the garage to attach the trickle charger – it takes a good 20 minutes or so if it got really wet – it is a pain, so I came home. I’m really sick of this weather and still have not signed up for those remaining 5k walks – don’t want to pay in advance and we have crummy weather … still didn’t get the rain walking shoes either … the store where I got shoes since I was a kid, and where I get my walking shoes/moccasins for in the house, announced on 04/01 they are going out of business and the owner is very nice, so I wrote and asked her her recommendation for a walking shoe that was waterproof and she suggested two stores to go to – none of them around here. Sigh. Maybe I’ll just wear my old shoes – luckily I got two new pair of walking shoes when they were on sale. I have not driven at night since I was working and that would have been in 2009 (before April) … since I took the bus and didn’t drive my car enough, I would take it out in Winter if it was a nice evening, no ice or snow for a little spin. So, no reason to go out at night now, so not driven in 10 years and not in crummy weather either. I don’t blame you – I don’t like it either. Now got my letter back for the 4th time to be revised, but at least I caught up a little. I will let you know what I hear from Ilene. Hope we don’t get this weather until later tonight (if at all).

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joni says:

        PS. There was also mention of a discount company called Distrubel in my AOL email, but I did not consider them as although they had a great price, they were located in Quebec and I figured they wouldn’t have decent tech support. I usually find the AOL tech support people good, if I get one I can’t understand I just call back and get another one. I am continuing on with AOL as my email for $4/month tech support, because I like it and don’t want to have to notify everyone of the change. You can also opt for the free AOL service, which allows her to keep her email address, but she has to notify them before month end. It’s kind of like gmail or hotmail then. I wish her luck, but she’s only got two weeks left to do it!

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        I passed both messages along to Ilene – thank you again Joni. I started to mention it yesterday and should have. Ilene has had the paid AOL e-mail for years. She was always happy with it. I am not happy with my Comcast. I am wavering on whether or not to use Gmail. I created an e-mail address a few months ago as I was going to try to learn how to use the camera’s video function over the Winter and would need to upload the videos to Google so needed a Google account. But I thought Google mail had been hacked in the past, so I am reluctant to use it. My Comcast account has been problematic, but I am like you – I have had my Comcast e-mail address since I got my first computer in 2000 (just after Y2K) so reluctant to give it up – I have my WordPress account, Patch.com blog account, Shutterfly for pictures, and Malwarebytes … I would miss that info and I subscribe to other places, too numerous to think about … I downloaded Opera browser about three weeks ago … it has helped and I don’t know if Chrome was corrupt or what happened. I also noticed if I load pictures and put captions underneath on WordPress, if I use Opera browser, I can load them – if I use another browser, they don’t show up. I still have not forgotten about the handyman story – the reason I didn’t put it on my site was I really don’t want to disparage anyone on the internet. My blog is carried in two local newspapers … one is very small, the other one is larger, but local. I just am being prudent. Thank you again for the info. I hope I caught her before she made arrangements, especially if she only has two weeks. I’m guessing her brother, who lives in a farm about a mile ago, likely was collecting her mail after her brain surgery – maybe they stopped the mail. Not sure. I will let you know if she has any luck or if she already made arrangements before I wrote to you. I appreciate your answer.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joni says:

        The AOL message came via email so if she was away for weeks and just getting caught up on her emails she probably read it there. The poor woman, what an ordeal. Lucky she’s okay, and what a devoted pet she has. Yes, I am curious as to how she makes out with Cogeco. I wish I just had the old TV antenna, for what I watch it would be sufficient.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        She came home on a day pass from the hospital – the surgery was 03/04 and I think she sent me an e-mail around 04/01. I don’t have a phone with e-mail, she does not either and she said she would explain later. But she went yesterday to the surgeon, and a follow-up MRI and still has bleeding on the brain. I’d be worried, but she said “I feel fine and the surgeon is not worried – I asked if I could use the riding mower for my grass and he said just don’t fall off.” Me, after her ordeal, I’d be afraid to move. She is on a cane to ensure she does not trip and fall and was on a walker initially. Her dogs are really devoted to her … she has had Golden Retrievers and German Shepherds for years. She was an avid tracker with her own dogs, plus she used to be a judge at dog tracking events. I’m not sure how old Ilene is – she had a “thing” about saying her age, or her birthdate, and I never understood that – didn’t even tell me and we were good friends at work, but she was the person who did all the training of the original police dogs at the Windsor police stations. They got the dogs, and she trained them and the handlers how to track with those dogs. I don’t know when that would have been – it seems like she brought in stories from the newspaper about it. I remember looking at the story to see if it gave her age … 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joni says:

        PS. Yes people make fun of AOL – it’s so vintage, but I got very little spam, it was cheap and it came free with my first laptop in 2000 so I stuck with it.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        I have an AOL account too … when Robb and I moved from the firm and started this firm, we had one client and they got a Barracude Firewall System in place and we could no longer e-mail to him. His computer guy and our computer guy could not figure out the problem. To make matters worse, I had/have the Comcast e-mail account and I have had to send clients e-mails or documents when our system was down and there was a time crunch. But Comcast would not go through to them either – it got blocked at the firewall. So I got a free AOL account. I still have it and you are right – I never get spam. I get it at Comcast, not the nasty kind, mostly insurance types of spam – I will filter it as junk and they they use another name/website and send it again. I have a lot of virus protection because of working from home – don’t want to wipe out my computer and not be able to work, so those spams don’t affect my computer system.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joni says:

        PS I do have a gmail account set up when I started WP, as the student said I had to have one, but think there may have been some security issues in the past. I wouldn’t use it for my main email address though.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        I don’t like the interface for Gmail – I only set it up for Google, and, like you – I remember the security issues, so I’m leery of using it. It looks cluttered to me – I tried tweaking it so it was easier to read, but the biggest issue I have with it is that there is no way to make folders … I have a lot of folders in my Comcast e-mail (I use the web-based e-mail) and I can tuck things away on all kinds of subjects. That I like. I really don’t want to stop using Comcast as it does have features I like, but not being able to access it makes no sense. And, I tried to access it about an hours ago to see if Ilene wrote back – she did not write back, but I could see my e-mail, but could not compose a new e-mail, nor respond to an existing e-mail.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        OK, Ilene just e-mailed me at 9:30 and she read all your info and said to thank you – I’ll put her message below. I am not sure what she means re: the bank and electronic banking … ours is done through the bank site. Hope your dinner was nice and you didn’t get caught in the rain. We have rain and rumbling going on out there. I was hoping Ilene would touch base so I could write back in case I have to shut the computer down – don’t like being on the laptop in a storm. I have not only NOT read Reader but only been here in Comments for you and one other person (Laurie) … I’ll not get far tonight with a storm coming in. Here is what Ilene wrote and thank you for taking the time to give her the info Joni:

        Hi Linda – I do have the Bell phone line, but only use an antenna for my TV – don’t watch enough for a dish. Thanks so much for the phone numbers – I will try them tomorrow. I did not call Distrubel either. Am planning to keep the AOL internet too. My main concern is my online banking and how I transfer that to another provider.

        Please thank your friend for this information. Have to get busy as I don’t have much time left.

        Ilene

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joni says:

        I don’t know what she means by online banking…..maybe you could advise her that she doesn’t have to worry about that, as it has nothing to do with your internet provider, other than if she doesn’t get another provider lined up before the April 30th AOL deadline she won’t be able to pay her bills? But she could pay them using a computer at the library, or someone else’s computer? Cogeco was pretty quick to give a quote and set up a date, so she should be ok to get something done before the deadline.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        Hi Joni – I left here as it was storming and we’re supposed to have storms after 5:00 p.m., so jumping on here now to write back. I didn’t understand that either but what you say makes sense, that she is worrying about no internet access to pay bills … I do mine through the month as they don’t all come at one time, though I know some people can schedule the bills for a certain time. I love online banking. I used to go to the gas station for years – they had a machine where the counter clerk would put in your account number and charge $1.00 to transmit the payment. I did that after our grocery store closed suddenly – they would take payments for all utilities. Then the gas stationer owner got greedy and started charging $3.00 for each transmittal, so I told my mom (since she was adamant that she wanted a receipt) that we would just pay one extra month to ensure there was always a credit balance in the account. Then online banking came along. I now hate to have to write a check for anything as insurance, everything is available online. We can pay the taxes and water bill online but there is a $3.00 surcharge and I always want to have the receipt for the taxes for income tax purposes. I haven’t heard back from Ilene – it started thundering there too and like me she shut down and pulled the computer plug. I have a whole house surge protector and small surge protector but still unplug to be on the safe side.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Joni says:

      PS. I was familiar with Holland Michigan, but have never been there. I’ve never been to Frankenmuth or outlet shopping either. I’m not brave enough to drive in the States and haven’t been across the border in years, although I would go if someone else offered to drive!

      Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        I haven’t crossed the border in years either Joni. My grandmother died in 1986 and my aunt died 5 years later and so the last time we went to Canada would have been in 1991. My mom and I both let our passports lapse years ago – I am going to renew mine again – if that is doable. Maybe I have to start from scratch after all this time. I thought it would be easier to renew my green card if I had a valid passport. I have been to Frankenmuth years ago with my parents and my mom and I went on our own once too, but never been to Holland. It is supposed to be beautiful when all the tulips are out.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joni says:

        One more thing we have in common! I am not a brave driver if I don’t know where I’m going, and find GPS’s annoying. I always keep a current passport, and my mother just recently renewed hers at 93, not for travel plans, but just for ID. Do they ever bother you about renewing your green card, or having lived there so long maybe they don’t. I would like to go to Frankenmuth someday and outlet shopping, but on a bus trip – I sometimes see the 2 day overnight stays advertised.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        Yes – still thinking we were separated at birth! When we moved here in 1966, every January we got three postcards from the post office and each of us had to sign them and put our current address and mail them in to the Immigration and Naturalization Service. That was all that was required. Then, even before 9/11, suddenly the US changed requirements and we had to get a picture ID green card. We had to go to a photo studio to get a photo like a passport photo, and then to the police department to get fingerprinted, all 10 fingers (as opposed to just a thumb print) and take that info to the border where we crossed. There they watched us write our signature and sent the info off to the Department of Homeland Security and we got a card. However, they were not happy with my prints – too many years of typing and my prints were not good, the whorls on my finger tips were not clear. So they re-printed me at the border. The next time we had to renew, ten years later, in 2005, we had to go to a special office and they did electronic captures of our prints, signature and photo – no problem there for my prints but I told the girl was happened and she took backup ink prints for me only just in case of an issue and for their file. When I went in 2015, I told the woman taking my prints that I had issues in the past and she might want to take ink prints and she got snippy with me and said “they didn’t know what they were doing” … I got a letter from the Department of Homeland Security a few months later that I needed to go get re-fingerprinted and by ink. I was mad – it was the dead of Winter and I booked a Metro car limo to pick me up and take me there – not a good part of Detroit and did not want to take two buses to get there anyway. It was two days after a huge snowfall on Super Bowl Sunday and in Detroit, a large snowfall will paralyze the City of Detroit for days – so had to pay an arm and a leg to get down there as they set the appointment, not me and no way to change it as it was set by Washington, D.C.! Then I got the letter to go to the police station to verify I participated in no crime in the past 10 years- finally they sent the card in the mail. I’ve seen a day trip to Holland – it is a long day and you leave around 6:00 a.m. and don’t return until 11:00 and there are two meals involved – a pretty full day, but it is always on a workday.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joni says:

        That’s interesting, but what an ordeal. I knew things had tightened up after 911 but that seems ridiculous. I commented on your fingertip dilemma on other reply – filing it away for future use! Re bus trips – that’s the problem with them they always leave so early in the morning, and come back so late, so it’s too long a day. I’m not really a morning person anymore so getting up early is difficult for me. One of the reasons I don’t like to cross the border is you sometimes get interrogated as if you are a criminal, when you’re only going shopping.

        Liked by 2 people

      • lindasschaub says:

        Yes, and not only do you get interrogated, but sometimes the border agents will pick a car randomly – just any car, whether you look suspicious or not, and flag you for going through the car for drugs, contraband, etc. You could get pulled over into lockup for that even if you are innocent – they even remove the car seats in some instances – I don’t know if that still happens or not, but used to in the past. I would be reluctant to cross the border now – I cannot cross the border at Detroit/Windsor without a passport so it is not an option.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Joni says:

        That happened to me once, in fact the only time I went across shopping by myself, a quick afternoon trip to the mall. (I’m farther north closer to Port Huron than Windsor). I used to go over with girlfriends in high school as the clothes/styles were different and nicer, although I didn’t go very often and only if someone else was driving. My parents would sometimes go over grocery shopping, as turkeys were so much cheaper at Thanksgiving. So one day in the 80’s I decided to go over by myself, just to the local mall. I was uneasy the whole time, and didn’t stay long, just buying a necklace for $5, which I declared when I went back, but I got pulled over and they went through the whole car (I had a Fiero at the time), even pulling out the faded beach towels in the trunk, not the seats however. I found it very disturbing, felt bullied and never went back. I wondered it they flagged me because I was by myself, or maybe I looked nervous, I was nervous about the traffic/driving, and the bridge, and this was in the days before 911 when I could still handle heights. Now I’d probably have to close my eyes to go over the bridge. But my parents also got pulled over one time too, so I know it is random, but it was still upsetting.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        Reading this I don’t think I’d ever go across again – we never had any problems crossing back and forth as we said we were visiting family and had nothing to declare but baked goods … yikes! We always went over on a Thursday morning, very early so we had almost an entire Thursday there, and, just like you, that was long before 9/11 and the Patriot Act and the difficulty in crossing … we did the bridge as my mom did not like going in the tunnel as she felt claustrophobic. Years ago my parents and I would cross over to go to Holiday Beach near Amherstburg and go to the “Boots and Saddle” ranch for horseback riding (my mom did not go riding, just my father and I, she waited in the car). Sometimes the traffic would be backed up on the bridge on the Sunday late afternoon as it was a weekend. We always would return from Toronto on a Sunday afternoon to avoid that long line as I was driving then. Heavy traffic did not bother my father but I didn’t care for it. I really didn’t like sitting on the bridge for long periods of time though.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        My boss and his wife have a Nexus card as she has a family cottage near Wiarton and they go over there from May through October. She will go a week at a time and he will join her if we are slow at work or on a holiday weekend. It makes going back and forth a breeze he said. I think they go at Port Huron to cross though.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Shelley says:

    I adore the story and the photos you shared. I’m slightly smitten with Hygge lately, so reading your post made me feel that for sure! I’m also a fan of gouda cheese and tulips. Thank you for taking the time to share your stories of your family – so wonderful, I hope your 36 relatives take the time to read your post too!! xx

    Liked by 2 people

    • Joni says:

      I did two posts on Hygge in Jan. 2018…after having read the Danish book, because of course there’s always a book! To me Hygge is a winter thing and it looks like we are having spring today, so nice to see green grass again even if it is raining. I hope your snow has melted.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Shelley says:

        Ooo…share the links to your posts, I’ll read them! Yeah, the warm sweaters and blankets part is definitely winter stuff! Still have 6 inches of white stuff on the ground, but, I bet the grass will be green when it melts.

        Like

      • Joni says:

        Here’s the second post, how to make your home hygge. https://thehomeplaceweb.com/2018/01/22/how-to-make-your-home-hygge/ I had only been blogging about 6 months when I wrote them, so I am sure there are misplaced commas and such. My mother is a folkartist, she took up painting again at 87, and now at 93 has had four exhibits, so I try and sprinkle some of her paintings in my posts if they fit the theme, or sometimes I just ask her to paint one for me, like the Irish graveyard post! Have a nice day, it is spring here, so my Reader will have to wait until tonight.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Shelley says:

        Thank you for the link! Your mom’s artwork is so precious – I love how you mix it into the posts! Hope you have a wonderful day. Enjoy the spring weather. We’re still in winter here…so far anyhow! xx

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joni says:

        Thanks Shelley…..she does amazing work for her age and considering she just started painting at 87 again and is mostly self-taught. Spring here, but rain today and all week – at least the grass is green.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Joni says:

        She took a few community college art courses when we all went away to university, she was 50, empty nest syndrome, and then only painted sporadically, maybe one or two paintings a year, some years none, then at 87 when she gave up driving she started painting more, so I guess she had the fundamental basics of mixing colours etc. I entered her into a contest for local artists at age 90 in a provincial gallery, and she was one of 3 winners, and had a one week show and this gallery never shows anyone unless they are famous or dead, so it was quite a coup for an unknown, and opened the door for more exhibits. She’s had two other exhibits since, plus some smaller things. Last summer was very busy, but she doesn’t have anything lined up this year, just one in 2020. I guess you could say being her agent is one of my retirement jobs, as I arrange all the framing and showing etc. As a medical person, I had no exposure to the art world, so am finding it quite interesting. People find her paintings joyful and happy, which is not always the case with art. I find a lot of art depressing to look at, or I just don’t understand it. She certainly would never have expected to have this new career at age 90, so you never know what life holds in store for you. I have zero artistic ability, can’t even draw a straight line.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Shelley says:

        That is so awesome that you’re her agent and you encourage her. Her late blooming into the art world inspires me!! Thank you for sharing more of the background to her world.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joni says:

        Apparently painting is one of those things you can get better at as you age, as long as your hand is steady and tremor-free. I guess it’s that 10,000 hours rule.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. www.rosesintherainmemoir.wordpress.com says:

    Well, now that I think about it, I have Dutch relatives, too. That is, ancestors on my husband’s father’s side. Our son has been gathering research, slowly, over the years. The only information I have is a brief genealogy chart going back to the ancestor who migrated over, arriving through Ellis Island, and settling in Pennsylvania. Just names and a few photographs. Yes, Joni, genealogy becomes quite addictive! I have to block out a dedicated time period to work on various lines.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Joni says:

      I haven’t done any of my mothers side that far back, as we never knew any of them and I didn’t have any stories – it’s the stories that always interested me! Blocking out a time limit is a good idea. I once spent 4 hours going through old microfilms looking for a death certificate and went outside and realized I’d missed a beautiful fall day!

      Like

      • Joni says:

        It’s been a long time since I was on it and can’t remember, I may have to have had the year they came over to start. Good luck with your search. I wasn’t able to find my great grandfather as no records in 1847, but my grandparents in 1922 were there and they showed the actual signatures and log book. I was only in New York once, the year they were renovating the Statue of Liberty back in the early 80’s so didn’t get to see Ellis Island, just from a distance on the circle ferry.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. www.rosesintherainmemoir.wordpress.com says:

    Adding to the discussion between Joni and Linda . . . We’ve not been across the border in years, either, although we used to enjoy taking the three-hour ferry from Seattle up to Victoria, BC. And with no passports, it’s impossible now. We’re supposed to get a more secure driver’s license in Washington state, but we’re waiting until our current ones are due.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Kim of Red Dirt Farm says:

    My goodness, I just hung to every word. I think of my family, that came from Germany, I wish I had asked questions, that I guess I was too young to know to ask. I can not even begin to imagine what it would be like to leave your country and your family. Very relevant to what is happening today – makes you think.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Joni says:

      Thanks Kim. Next week I am going to blog on immigration in general, but hopefully not too politically, and mostly from a Canadian point of view, as we have our own border issues here. I guess I can see both sides, the humanitarian side but balanced with rules and laws. It’s certainly a complex issue.

      Like

  8. www.rosesintherainmemoir.wordpress.com says:

    It was about 1853 for the Irish family; not sure about my husband’s Dutch family. They may have been part of the Pennsylvania Dutch settlements much earlier.

    We saw the Statue of Liberty from Liberty Park on our first visit to our daughter when her own family moved to New Jersey. She’d just had a baby, now on her way to 15 years old in fall!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. J P says:

    A wonderful read. My mother’s family is from Norwegian stock and your story reminds me of people I grew up around. When you talk about a family full of strong, capable women you describe something with which I am well familiar. And have been all the richer for it.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. lindasschaub says:

    Well Joni – I was about ready to leave here- we have another storm rolling in. Waited to see how Ilene fared with Cogeco. I’m a little confused again. I didn’t press it and ask about the banking – she said she was having her brother take her to the bank soon to find out about the online banking – maybe your banks are closed tomorrow for the Good Friday holiday? Anyway, this is the message I got … I’m sorry you gave her all the info and she didn’t choose Cogeco in the end. I’m wondering about the Gmail, but maybe Distribel requires using Gmail? I asked if she just got the notices from AOL.

    Hi Linda – I got two notices from AOL. Today I contacted Cogeco, but got nowhere and I could not find any phone number for gmail so I contacted Distrubel and signed up for it – it is the same price as AOL – will see if it works out.
    Ilene

    Liked by 1 person

    • Joni says:

      That’s very strange. Cogeco answers right away, I’ve never had to wait more than five minutes, and they speak English. They are eager for new customers, whereas Bell is not. Well, she may do ok with Distrubel, but she’ would be paying for cable TV too, which she might like over her old antenna.
      Their bundle price was $99, but the tv package was not something I had ever heard of, so many of those independent tv things now. Distrubel told me they use the existing Cogeco lines, but since she doesn’t have TV cable, I don’t know how that would work? I guess they would have to install them. They hooked up stuff to my existing Cogeco tv cable. I did inquire with Distrubel as they were mentioned in the AOL email, and they almost had me convinced but the main thing was they were in Quebec and Ottawa, and I figured I wouldn’t get any tech support from there (it’s a small company) or service as they are using Cogeco’s lines, so if there was a problem it wouldn’t be a priority for the Cogeco technicians to fix anything. I ran into that problem with Bell, I was AOL through the Bell line, which is why I had to wait 72hrs for a Bell tech to come out when the internet was down. The banking thing is weird too – our banks are closed on Good Friday but open Monday I think. They will probably just reassure her that she doesn’t need to do anything, so that’s probably ok. But I’m wondering if the continuing brain bleed might be affecting her thought processes? She might be confused, as I don’t know what the comment about not finding any number for gmail means either? Oh well, we’ve helped her as best we can Linda. I think Distrubel was a year contract so she can quit it if she doesn’t like it. I had a good afternoon, in that my neighbour’s son fixed my wirepless printer, although it took him over an hour, and he had to carry the printer down two levels to the basement, and make a couple of phone calls to a friend who works for Cogeco. He hit the reset button on the modem, but the way the tech had installed it, half hanging in mid air, tied to a pole, near the fuse box, made the button hard to find. If I ever had to reset it (with a paper clip unfurled), I don’t think I could even see it, as he is 6 feet tall. He also programmed the modem password into my Smart TV so I can get Netflix if I want to sign up. I didn’t realize that feature was wireless too. His mother and I had a lovely visit/talk while he was working away. See all we need is to borrow a teenager for these computer issues! But god, this tech stuff is exhausting…….midnight…..going to bed. Tonight I worked on reediting my Immigration blog again so it’s as bland as toast…..put maybe some will still find it opinionated! I’ll put it up tomorow, when I’m fresh after another read through. Heavy rain all weekend, and for the next week – too depressing to contemplate. But we have missed all of your bad storms.

      Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        I was wondering the same thing about the brain bleed. I didn’t get the Gmail aspect at all – I didn’t want to ask but I didn’t get it. I have cable from long ago so it would just be them turning it on if I wanted to have TV again – I’d get a better rate on the internet if I bundled as my internet is $92.95 just for internet … for the longest time it was just $75.00 and that included TV. I had a modem and a router and then Comcast kept bugging me that I was eligible for an upgraded modem … at Comcast we have to rent the modem each month – it used to be $8.00 and now I think it is $15.00/month. So, I told them they could bring it and I went and got a new router because I asked if the tech could do a new router at the same time (I don’t know how to program it) … Comcast said “sure” and the guy shows up with a combo router/modem and told me I could take my router back to Best Buy. I was not sure about that but he said it was better so I took it back (I even asked Best Buy about it and the guy said he had Comcast and to “go for it”). The router was $149.0 as it has all these antennaes – mission control is in the basement, I’m upstairs (one level). Teenagers know how to do all that tech stuff – I don’t know how to use my phone. I just keep it for emergencies while walking or out – I have OnStar in the car if there was a car emergency. The weather is very ugly and I’m not sure about making my goal if things continue – still haven’t booked those 5K walks, just have the one I booked a month ago for the food pantry. I did order a pair of waterproof walking shoes. I had dragged my feet doing that and finally did it this morning before I started work. Did a short post too. And a short post for tomorrow as well. Going to try and get some housework done – Sunday may be okay, but rain again beginning of the week. Not liking this “new norm” for weather at all.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joni says:

        HA! Mission control is in the basement. I love that! My router/modem is combined and even thought they said there was no rental fee, I’m sure it’s worked into the bill. I wouldn’t have even attempted to walk today, it was so cold and miserable, 6 C and tonight the wind is howling like it’s November. I do think this spring is even worse than last year. I enjoyed todays crayon post. It’s errands and groceries for me tomorrow, even though I hate to go the day before Easter. I spent today (and plan on part of Sunday too) trying to clean out my mom’s storage cupboards so we can store and reorganize some of the art that’s propped up all over the den, but as I had a long nap this afternoon I made little progress……of course tonight I’m wide awake, so I guess I’ll read a book…..I haven’t for awhile. That 3000 word post did me in.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        Glad you liked the crayon post Joni. I decided since I had been on no walks (except two short ones in the neighborhood) and not been to the Park since a week ago Friday, I had to come up with something creative. I hope I get some pics and a walk in tomorrow – it is supposed to be nicer with no rain. The Editor gets a little easier the more you do it. Hugh suggested in that post to have a practice post and set it for a date in the future, and try things out, then view them and see how they look, and that way you feel more comfortable with it … I am constantly previewing it to see how it looks.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        When you do it, set the publish date for past when you need it, so you can practice and not launch it accidentally. The preview button is perilously close to the publish button! And unfortunately some of the enhancements don’t show up in Reader, just on your actual blog for that post. On the blog site, you can see colored text and the color block texts, but none of that is in Reader.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Joni says:

      PS. I see upon re-reading Ilenes message that she has just signed up for the internet part – same price as AOL $45 I think, but they will still have to install cable, although I believe there might have been a Bell phone option too, but that would be slow and out of date, as I remember the Distrubel guy telling me that the Cogeco cable was the best option with Distrubel.

      Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        Well, I was waiting to write back to see if Ilene wrote any more … so, like you I am thinking since she did not have cable, she would not have the cable modem. This was today’s message and she also clarified she has automatic withdrawals taken out but pays Mastercard online (but with auto-withdrawals it would not matter if you had internet or not – I have to do that for healthcare, don’t like it, but that is how they want to do it) … here was today’s message:

        Hi Linda – Yes, I can keep my AOL e-mail address fortunately. AOL recommended contacting Distributel so it should work out. Distributel is forwarding a modem so it should be here by end of the month. Hope everything will be fine.
        Ilene

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joni says:

        So she must have just opted for the internet option through the Bell line. I remember AOL sending me a new router/modem a few times, they are combined now. I hope it works out for here, probably it will be fine, my concern would be tech support if it goes down. Don’t understand the bank thing at all. My friend had a brain bleed some years ago and was in a rehab hospital for 3 months after, relearning everything. It can be like a concussion, and take awhile for the injured brain to recover, and the person may not realize it at all.

        Like

    • Joni says:

      Linda I forgot to mention that the tech who hooked up my internet was not actually from Cocego, but a subcontracted company which works on commission, hence his haste to depart as soon as possible. I hope you are able to get some walks in over the weekend, I’m going to have a lazy day. Finally posted – I hope you’re not offended by my post! It wasn’t referring to people like you who have lived there for decades! Would you be allowed to apply for dual citizenship, or would you have to give up your Canadian?

      Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        We have the same thing with the subcontractors Joni – I don’t think they are as diligent, nor do they care as much as people who work directly for Comcast. The need is so great here for Comcast techs, that they had a job fair here a few weeks ago and the radio ad said no prior tech or computer skills were necessary as they would provide on-the-job training. That surprised me as I assumed you would have to have some tech experience and they said females welcome to apply too. I’ve never had a Comcast tech that was female, and they have to climb up on the pole if there is a problem … I lost internet for four days a few years ago … they had two techs come here and they could not determine the problem. There had been a large snowfall and they in/out of the house, dripping snow on the rug downstairs (area rug that was in the living room, now relegated to downstairs) and they had to get a third guy to climb up on the pole. I am behind in Reader by one day but will check it out – I think we have just rain, no storms tonight on the agenda. I am going to try to get housework done on Saturday with the all-day rain. I did a post for tomorrow for Earth Day and it will launch at 4:00 p.m. I did them this morning – two short posts. I won’t be offended – I am angry that they think they should worry about my presence over here when I’ve lived in the same house since 1966! As I understand it, I can apply for dual citizenship – I have never looked into it because to be honest, I saw samples of the test you have to take and I’m no history buff and I am sure that most American people do not know the answer to a lot of the questions that were posed. My mom and I got a booklet way back in the 90s as they had a course you could take at a local high school. I don’t know how long it was but there was talk at one time about non-citizens not getting social security. My mom and I got the course materials and saw the sample test and decided not to do the class. I think it was a free class, or very cheap amount – we just decided we were not going to memorize all that information. Some we knew, especially my mom as she always read the newspaper cover to cover and listened to the news and talk shows on the AM radio station during the day, but some I did not know – likely still don’t:
        https://www.proprofs.com/quiz-school/story.php?title=could-you-pass-the-united-states-citizenship-test

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joni says:

        That was interesting….I got 7 out of 20, probably could have guessed at a few. My coworker from eastern Europe, said she found the Canadian citizenship hard and really had to study for it, of course we might know some of the US one from grade school, Thomas Jefferson etc. They couldn’t prevent anyone from collecting Social Security who paid taxes all those years – that’s why we pay taxes! You seem to be doing well with the New Editor.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        I don’t remember what questions were in the booklet we picked up, but a lot of items about the Mayflower, original colonies and pilgrims. I said to my mom that two or three years we had American history and they focused on the beginning of the U.S. and when we got to the end of the school year, they merely glossed over it. I don’t remember why the talk was that non-citizens could not receive social security, but my mom was concerned. My mom was collecting social security from Canada, but just barely … she had to have passed her 40th birthday before moving to the U.S. and she had just passed her 40th birthday (February, we moved in July). So she could collect.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        I agree Joni – my mom felt lucky that she just made it. She worked until she had me then didn’t work after that. I thought of your mom and my mom today because Queen Elizabeth’s real birthday is today – she turned 93. They celebrate her birthday publicly with the trooping of the color in June, but not for her real birthday today.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. HappyHauteHome "Home and Lifestyle Inspiration" says:

    Wow Joni, what a powerful story..I couldn’t turn away and read every word. My parents immigrated from Europe as well to Canada back in the 1960s’. I wish I had talked to them more about what that was like. I love that you know so much about your grandparents and really took the time to get to know them. They sound like wonderful people.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Joni says:

      We were both lucky. My grandfather was almost 50 when he married, and my grandmother was 35ish, had her 3 kids at 37, 40 and 41. He was 80 when he died and she was 65 (fell and broke her hip and never recovered, but she’d had a small stroke before that), they both died the year before my parents got married at age 26, considered old then. My mother said she was an old maid, but they were engaged for a long time. After they died, my dad had to pay the hospital bills, so they had a very small wedding. I am enjoying reading your memoir.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. DougD says:

    A great story. Dutch ancestry is a good thing, particularly from a food perspective 🙂
    My parents both came in the post war wave, Dad’s working class family came by ship to Pier 21 in Halifax, and Mom’s middle class family by airplane.
    My Grandmother definitely regretted coming to Canada, she told my mother if she had known how fast things would improve in the Netherlands starting in the late 50’s she never would have agreed to it.
    Luckily my Grandfather was very interested in genealogy, and he researched it back several hundred years (people didn’t move around as much as they do now) and also wrote the memoirs of his life. He’s been gone for 30 years but it’s interesting reading.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Joni says:

      That would be interesting reading. My grandmother was visited by someone in 1992 who had researched my grandfathers side back to 1600, so I know they have very good records over there. Have you ever been there for a trip? When I click on your name/gravatar I can not access your blog? What kind of things do you blog about, or is it private? I don’t remember how I found JP’s blog?

      Like

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