The Journals of L.M. Montgomery – Author of Anne of Green Gables

L.M. Montgomery, author of Anne of Green Gables (see Part One for the Original Manuscript) kept journals for most of her adult life, starting in 1889 when she was just fifteen until shortly before her death in 1942. She willed them to her younger son Stuart with the express wish that after a suitable time had elapsed, they be published, in accordance with his judgement. Before his death in 1982, he turned over the handwritten journals and a much abridged version which she had typed, as well as her scrapbooks, photographs, and other papers to the University of Guelph. The journals span ten large legal-size volumes of approximately 500 pages each and almost 2 million words.

An often quoted journal entry from a younger Maud….

When Professors of English at the University of Guelph, Mary Rubio and Elizabeth Waterston, first read the journals in the 1980’s, they were surprised by what they found.

But First a Short Biography of Maud’s Life:

Lucy Maud Montgomery was born on Nov. 30 1874 in Clifton, Prince Edward Island.  Her mother died of tuberculosis when she was 2 years old and her father was unable to care for her, so she continued to live with her maternal grandparents in Cavendish, who had been looking after her during her mother’s illness.   Despite a large network of relatives and cousins, she spent much of her childhood alone and resorted to creating imaginary friends to cope with her loneliness.   When she was sixteen, she spent a year out west with her father (they were “chums”) and step-mother (who resented her) but things did not work out so she returned to the island.  During that year she made her father proud by publishing her first poem in a Charlottetown newspaper.  

When she returned to the island, she obtained her teacher’s certificate and taught in Bideford for a year.  Her first story was published in Ladies Journal in July 1895.  She attended Dalhousie College in Halifax for a year (all she could afford), then returned to PEI and did two more teaching stints, until her grandfather MacNeil passed away in 1898 and she felt it her duty to return to Cavendish to care for her grandmother.   During all those years she published many more stories and poems.  Anne of Green Gables was written in 1905, accepted in 1907 and published in 1908.

In 1911 her grandmother died, and Maud, who had been engaged for five years to the Reverend Ewan MacDonald, was married that June.  After a wedding trip to England and Scotland, they moved to Leaksdale Ontario for fifteen years, where her husband was the minister at a church.   In 1926 they moved to a different ministry in Norval Ontario, until they retired to Toronto in 1936.  Maud died in 1942.  

These are the facts of her life, but the journals reveal the stories between the lines.

The Journals:

The two professors had been invited by Dr. Stuart MacDonald, LLM’s youngest son, to edit and publish the journals, which they did in four volumes over the subsequent decade. They were astonished by the dichotomy between the cheerful Anne stories and the troubled and often unhappy life of this famous author.

Maud considered them her “grumble books” and was often quite blunt in her opinions of people, hence the forty year publishing delay ensured no one mentioned in them would still be alive.

Recognizing their historical significance, Maud began to recopy the earlier diaries into legal-sized ledgers in 1919. Of note the page recording her first impression of her future husband was cut out and replaced, and it’s difficult to tell how many other entries were altered from the original. Still they read as honest and real.  As well they stand as a record of what life was like for women in the early half of the century, a century which saw enormous social and technological change, (from horse and buggy to motor cars), a Depression and two world wars.    

It was interesting to see the changes in women’s fashions over the years….

When you read through the journals, especially the first volume from 1889 to 1910, shortly after Anne was published, you can see the seeds of Maud’s stories, in her schooldays and her teaching career.  Although Maud always said Anne was not modeled after a real person, including herself, there is a similarity between their “orphan” status, vivid imagination, love of beauty and “purple prose,” and highly sensitive nature.     

There are many photos in the journals – young Maud reminds me of Anne.

Maud proclaimed Cavendish her favorite place in the world, and it always puzzled me how someone who loved the island so much could stand to leave it?  Could her minister husband not have obtained a placement there, or were his mental problems already apparent?  Perhaps after her grandmother’s death, there were too many ghosts, and she looked forward to a fresh start in a different province?  Although she came back in the summers to visit her cousins it wasn’t the same.

Volume Two – early married life

After her grandmother’s death her uncle inherited the farm, (there is a hint of family politics in one entry where she records that her uncle had not spoken to her grandmother in five years) and then a nine month gap in the journals while Maud is grieving her death and the loss of the only home she has ever known.   When she does resume, the record is a particularly anguish filled one.   With no home left, Maud stayed with her cousins in Park Corner and was married from there in June of 1911 to a minister, Ewan McDonald, to whom she had been engaged for five years, and whom she was ambivalent about marrying. They seemed to have little in common, she was by far the more intelligent, and he did not share her love of literature or nature.

Maud had had several past love interests, including a broken engagement to a distant cousin, but as she writes she wanted companionship and children.  The man she had fallen in love with years earlier, a farm hand she met while she was boarding during one of her teacher placements, was of lower station and education and so she ended the relationship.  He died a few years later of the flu and she was grief-stricken.     

To marry or not to marry – that is the question…..

Even self-supporting authors were expected to marry back then (Maud made $500 off her writing in 1903, a decent amount for the time), but if you describe your wedding day as “I sat at that gay bridal feast, in my white veil and orange blossoms, beside the man I had married and was as unhappy as ever I had been in my life…..the mood passed. By the time I was ready for going away, it had vanished completely and I was again my contented self.” – well there’s really nowhere to go but down.

The marriage was not a happy one.  Ewan suffered from some sort of “religious persecution or melancholia”, where he felt he was dammed to hell, as well as his wife and children.  Frequently he was not well enough to preach, and suffered from “nervous breakdowns.”   At one point he was so severely depressed he signed himself into a mental sanatorium in Guelph.  Several nerve specialists were consulted over the years – although sometimes he had remissions and could appear quite well, at other times he was almost catatonic. It surprised me that “manic-depressive insanity” which was contemplated as a diagnosis by one of the psychiatrists, was known back then.  He also had attacks where he heard voices, had delusions and raved obsessively, so there may have been a schizophrenic component.  As a minister’s wife, it must have been a burden for Maud to act the ever-cheerful minister’s wife, arranging church suppers and socials, and trying to hide his acute mental health problems, as well as deal with her own issues.  She wrote that she regretted marrying him, but divorce would have been scandalous back then and she felt it was her duty as a Christian woman to make her marriage work.    

Maud herself struggled with depression and bouts of anxiety during her life, much of which is made evident in her journals, especially the later volumes.  There were numerous entries of her pacing the floor at night dealing with insomnia over named and unnamed worries.   As a medical person I found the medications prescribed for both of them of historical interest – barbiturates and choral hydrate were still around when I first graduated forty years ago, although fallen out of favor. Perhaps the flip side of having an active imagination, is always imaging the worst, but she often seemed to be in the “depths of despair” as Anne put it.  

There was so little understanding of mental illness then and less to treat it with….
Volume Three

Note: I read these back when they were first published,and although I bought the first three, the latter volumes were so depressing that I borrowed the fourth from the library.

Ewan’s mental problems worsened to the extent they had to change parishes, he was sued in a car accident (cars were in their infancy and he was a reckless driver), he refused to assist with raising the children or the household chores, and her son Chester was causing her much grief.  As an older mother (she was 36 when she married), she had three sons – Chester, Hugh (stillborn) and Stuart, her “good son” who became a respected doctor. Chester was described as a never-do-well, who lied, stole and manipulated. He failed law school several times and got a young girl pregnant whom he hastily married, but could not support their children. It may have been the flapper era but this was scandalous stuff for a minister’s wife.  Maud wrote later that her oldest son had made a mess of his life, and his wife had left him.

Maud was under a lot of pressure and stress, so the cheery Anne sequels, and other novels like Emily of New Moon, must have provided a needed distraction from her everyday life. To shut herself up in her parlor and write for a few hours each day must have been a blessed escape.   Although even there was stress, including several legal disputes with her initial publisher Page and Company, whom she had left for McClelland and Stewart in 1917 when she discovered he was cheating her. (She received seven cents off each copy instead of the 19 cents she was entitled to). Page boasted that he had made millions from the Anne books (including the movie rights in 1919), while she made $100,000, a tidy sum but “it’s a pity it doesn’t buy happiness.” She stood her ground and eventually won her court case in 1928.   

One wonders how she even found time to write, with her motherhood, household and church duties. She also read extensively and there were committee meetings and public speaking engagements, but Maud was good at multi-tasking and had tremendous work ethic and discipline. During her lifetime she wrote 20 novels, (seven with Anne as the central character), 530 short stories, 500 poems, 30 essays, a book of poetry and a short autobiography. In her later years she had tired of writing about Anne and wanted to try something different, not what the publishers and readers expected – she felt “she had never achieved her one ‘great’ book.” I disagree, although it is a juvenile book, Anne of Green Gables is as close to perfection as can be.

Her declining years were plagued by poor health and mental anguish. In a handwritten journal entry dated July 8, 1941, she wrote “Oh, God, such an end to life. Such suffering and wretchedness.” Then on March 23, 1942, she wrote her final entry “since then [July 8, 1941] my life has been hell, hell, hell. My mind is gone — everything in the world I lived for has gone — the world has gone mad. I shall be driven to end my life. Oh God, forgive me. Nobody dreams what my awful position is.” (quoted from The Gift of Wings – 2008 biography written by Mary Rubio, the definitive biography of LMM). (Note: the comment re the world has gone mad could pertain to her political concerns about WW2 and conscription as she had two young sons.)

On April 24 1942 Maud was found dead in her bed, at the age of 67. The primary cause recorded on the death certificate was coronary thrombosis. However in 2008 her granddaughter Kate revealed in a Globe and Mail article that Maud might possibly have taken her own life through a drug overdose. She had become addicted to barbiturates by then having been given them by doctors to treat her depression. A note was found on her bedside table which read,

“This copy is unfinished and never will be. It is in a terrible state because I made it when I had begun to suffer my terrible breakdown of 1940. It must end here. If any publishers wish to publish extracts from it under the terms of my will they must stop here. The tenth volume can never be copied and must not be made public during my lifetime. Parts of it are too terrible and would hurt people. I have lost my mind by spells and I do not dare think what I may do in those spells. May God forgive me and I hope everyone else will forgive me even if they cannot understand. My position is too awful to endure and nobody realizes it. What an end to a life in which I tried always to do my best.”

An alternative suggestion, presented by Professor Mary Rubio in her 2008 biography, is that Maud may have intended it as an entry in part of a journal now lost, rather than a suicide note. There were typed versions of the journals as explained in this article, Accident or Suicide, posted by the L.M. Montgomery Literary Society. (link)

Rubio believes that the number “176,” written at the top of the note, indicates that it was page 176 in a handwritten journal, which Montgomery would have intended to transcribe by typewriter, as was her custom. The missing 175 pages, which have never been found, may have been taken by Montgomery’s eldest son, Chester Macdonald, who was living in the basement of their Riverdale house, and whose dependency and cruelty reportedly exacerbated his mother’s poor mental health. Or perhaps they were destroyed by her husband? Dr. Stuart MacDonald said that in her last few years she had burned quantities of letters and papers she considered unimportant, and others mysteriously disappeared before he was able to have them removed from the house.

I think I prefer Rubio’s version, that the note serves as instruction regarding the journals, and perhaps forgiveness for hurting people with some of the entries. It jibes with my recollection of the latter entries in the fourth volume which were gloomy and sporadic as she knew her life and her mind were waning. Whatever the cause, she was certainly in poor health and troubled by family problems, and her once bright mind was clouded by medication.

No autopsy was performed, and her son who was a medical intern at the time and her family physician disposed of any evidence. The note was handed to Professor Mary Rubio decades later by her son Stuart Macdonald, who died in 1982 and she did not ask for particulars about it at that time. Ewan MacDonald died a year later. They were both buried in Cavendish, P.E.I. Whatever happened, whether it was an accidental or intentional overdose or death from natural causes, it was a sad ending to a life once so full of hope and joy.

L. M. Montgomery tombstone

I found Maud to be a fascinating person. She was extremely intelligent and articulate, and possessed of an extraordinary imagination and memory, but behind the smiling cheerful face she presented to the world, was an anxious tormented soul.

It would be wrong to assess a life solely from journals, but they do provide a window into the soul.  As she had no close confidante, they became a refuge of sorts, a place to air her unhappiness and grievances, but certainly she had more than her fair share of life’s troubles.  In addition, there were two world wars to be gotten through, and other deaths including that of her beloved cousin Frede from the Spanish flu.   Although there are happier entries, including those of her seeking solace in nature and when her children were young, predominantly I remember the journals overall as having a dark tone.  Success doesn’t always guarantee happiness, and she must have looked back on her younger years on the island as the happiest time of her life.    

Prince Edward Island:

In the 1980’s I visited the east coast of Canada, but only spent a couple of days in P.E.I. including an afternoon visiting the Green Gables Heritage Place in Cavendish. I have surprisingly few photos.  Film was 24 per roll and you rationed it as I recall.

Cavendish is to a large extent the Avonlea of the books. Maud’s grandparent’s house was torn down in 1920 by her uncle as he was tired of people traipsing by to see it. The Green Gables of the book was drawn from the old MacNeil/Webb place, “not so much the house itself as the situation and scenery, and the truth of the description of it is attested by the fact that everybody has recognized it,” Maud recorded.

The home’s period furnishings reflect the novel’s late 1800’s setting. Visitors can stroll the grounds, including Lover’s Lane and the Haunted Woods.      

The entrance to the Haunted Woods…..

I was disappointed in the area, as while pretty it just looked like ordinary farmland to me, albeit with red earth and the sea shore nearby.  The Haunted Woods did not exactly look spooky on a bright summer afternoon.  The Lake of Shining Waters looked like a big flat pond.  I did not get a chance to stroll along Lover’s Lane, as it was farther away. Even the remnants of the apple orchard and the famous Snow Queen just looked like gnarled old trees.

Descendants of the Snow Queen?

I’m not sure what I was expecting – the vivid descriptions from the book?  Perhaps that is the difference between books and reality – what you imagine or envision in your mind, very seldom ever matches real life.  Maybe the same can be said of success.  Still it was a nice place to visit if only for a few hours.

PS.  I’ve often wondered that about other famous authors, the more tragic figures like Sylvia Path, the Brontes and Jane Austen. If they could have happiness or lasting fame – which would they choose?  And why does it so often seem that people can’t have both?

66 thoughts on “The Journals of L.M. Montgomery – Author of Anne of Green Gables

    • Debbie says:

      Lovely post, J! It’s fascinating to read the life stories behind the great novelists…why is it that so many suffered great tragedies and sorrows, but make such beautiful work? Melancholy must be one heck of a muse!

      Liked by 2 people

  1. Jo Shafer says:

    What a powerful story! I say “powerful” because the sadness and suffering of this woman hit me smack on the forehead. I never knew any of this and, indeed, like most readers, I suspect, equated Anne with the author herself. Yes, Anne had her troubles, too, but her innate courage and faith saw her through her disappointments.

    One learns a lot from reading journals. Currently, I am re-reading May Sarton’s journals, specifically ENCORE: Journal of the 80th Year. Sarton (1912 – 1995) was an astute observer of human nature, a Belgian-American writer — novelist, poet, essayist, and of course memoir journalist — whose life doesn’t correspond to Montgomery’s at all beyond the fact that both were Northeasterners: one Eastern Canadian, the other from Maine.

    Joni, I enjoyed your essay on L. M. Montgomery immensely, however sad her life from which she could escape only by her imaginative writing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Joni says:

      I’m happy to hear you enjoyed reading it Jo….I enjoyed researching it, and could easily have written another 3000 words. I know that kind of post is not every one’s cup of tea, but it’s the English literature nerd in me who never got to study it beyond high school. I often find writer’s lives just as interesting as their books and read a lot of biographies. Margaret Mitchell is another writer, whose life and biography I found fascinating years ago. Not many people are aware of the LLM backstory as her journals were published without much fanfare other than in Canada, back in the 80’90’s. I have read one May Sarton book, on Solitude?, way back when but it must have made enough of an impression on me to have remembered it. The one on her 80th year sounds interesting too. I’m way behind in my reading lately, have 4 books out of the library and only half way through one….I’m deep into gardening now with the nice weather.

      Like

  2. Ally Bean says:

    You wrote a wonderful article about LMM. I had no idea about the tragedy and angst that seem to have infused her life, despite as she says, she tried to do her best. I cannot imagine how difficult and confusing it would have been to be married to a man who probably was schizophrenic while attempting to put on a good face for the congregation. If she died of a self-administered drug overdose, it would make sense. As would the actions of her son and family doctor. I can see how writing the Anne stories were her salvation from the situation she found herself in. Poor woman

    Liked by 2 people

    • Joni says:

      Thanks Ally…..I know it was a long read. I think the editor wishes she had asked more questions of his son before he died in 1982 – but even then one didn’t discuss suicide or mental illness, and they were so grateful to be even given access to the journals that they didn’t want to pry too much. Different times. Next week I’ll get back to my regularly schedule baking.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. avwalters says:

    Thank you for this. I had no idea–Ann of Green Gables was a favorite book as a kid. How odd to have an inside look to a difficult life.
    When I wrote my first book, I had recently left my marriage and was teetering on an existential crisis. I decided to write, because I’d always wanted to, but my ex somehow always found a way to thwart me. Having left, I felt I had to make good on my intentions–or what was the point? In any event, the book became my happy place to be, in a time when my life was anything but. So I understand the dichotomy with Montgomery–happy books masking a life of quiet desperation.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Joni says:

      I think that is true for many artists, no matter what the creative genre…..it can be a distraction, a retreat or sometimes even a lifeline. Some people create from a happy place and others from a sad one. A brilliantly gifted young artist I know quit painting recently and when I asked her mother why, she said doing a piece took too much out of her, because she paints from a depressive state of mind. She was barely 20, had already won a prestigious art award, and a promise of a spot at a top art college and just quit. But I guess if you don’t enjoy it maybe that’s the best thing.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Anne says:

    Wow, Joni, this has been a marvellous read to begin my day with! Thank you for sharing this back story, of which I was unaware and am now so pleased to know something of.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Joni says:

      Thanks Anne! It’s good to know something about the author of your namesake! I did enjoy researching it and could easily have written another 3000 words. I read the books back in the 1980’s but they didn’t receive much publicity outside of Canada, but it was re-reading the original manuscript of Anne which made me think about posting about them, as her life was not something many are familiar with.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Linda Schaub says:

    It is a good thing she had the Anne series she was writing to immerse herself in and keep her mind steady. I really liked this line in this post Joni: ” Maud considered them her “grumble books” and was often quite blunt in her opinions of people, hence the forty year publishing delay ensured no one mentioned in them would still be alive.” That was considerate – she did not want anyone to know how she felt. 🙂 I am glad I read them as a youngster and enjoyed them as well as the movie. You have done a lot of work here with pictures, the writing, the pictures … the whole two posts were enjoyable.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Joni says:

      Thanks Linda….I thought I had read somewhere that she had specified she didn’t want them published or read for 50 years after her death, (there were unkind comments about one of the DIL’s I recall who everyone said was a lovely person) but couldn’t find the reference….anyway it was 40 years before they were published, probably a bit earlier than planned as her son died shortly after he allowed the professors/editors access to them. I was thinking when I was reading some of the journal excerpts, be careful who you marry, because the signs were there, but I didn’t know how to put that tactfully….and she wondered herself about the possibility of his mental illness being passed on to her sons, so they must have been aware of that genetic link even back then. Despite the fame and money, she had a difficult life. I enjoyed during the research on it.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        As that saying goes … “money doesn’t buy happiness” and look what happened to her with a difficult life, though there was fame and fortune. I know there are things you want to put sometimes but hold back as you worry you might offend someone.

        Liked by 2 people

  6. Linda Schaub says:

    I’m rethinking trying to catch up on Reader … it is like an albatross around my neck and things are already stressful enough at work, plus the threat of nightly storms. I’ve already written notes to people that I’m behind … maybe just let it go or start current and say it was a formidable task. I’ll try and catch up by reading, not commenting – what do you think?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Joni says:

      Yes, just let it go for now and forget trying to catch up or stay caught up or both. Maybe put a note on your next post to that effect, that you’re swamped at work and stressed etc and can’t get caught up. People will understand. When I took the month off when mom was in hospital with the gallbladder, I didn’t post anything about my absence but only a few bloggers noticed and wondered where I was, but you have more of a following than I do so I’d a short note at the end of your next post. Later if you want to scroll back and selectively read certain bloggers posts then you can do so. Will your boss be taking any lengthy summer vacations so you can too?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        I’m going to have to do that Joni – I am just too far behind right now. I’d even consider reading but not commenting or just liking. It is the commenting as you will have comments back, so it becomes a Catch-22 if you’re already behind. I may look like I have a lot of followers, but to be honest, I have a lot of people that followed me and I suspect thinking I’d follow back (which I did in the very beginning until it got out of hand). I probably only interact with about 15-20 people regularly where we’re commenting on another’s posts. The problem is some are posting four times a week, sometimes daily – even multiple times daily. When you were gone for the month when your mom was having the gallbladder issues, you were not posting … so does that make a difference if I continue to post but don’t read posts? Is there a blogging protocol or etiquette for that? I think I should just start current. My boss has not mentioned going away this Summer … they have the cabin in Georgian Bay, but that would depend on whether the border opens on the 21st. I’m thinking it won’t. He always leaves me work … he is in New Orleans today through Sunday morning and left work to do. I stupidly agreed to no vacation time when I was hired back as I am supposedly part-time.

        Like

      • Joni says:

        The border will not be open IMO as we only have 10% fully vaccinated, although 72% with first shot. Tonight I heard that one shot is only 30-40% effective against the Indian variant so we still have to be careful. The India varriant is in the Toronto area. Just start fresh with Reader. I find I am being more selective with reading and liking too. I couldn’t handle multiple daily posts….going to bed…11

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        I heard on the news this morning that someone political figure was going to force the issue because America is losing so much business from Canadians visiting as tourists, but more from them shopping over here to save money. That was the gist of the idea. It was also mentioned that people have not seen family members since the pandemic began. I don’t think it will open either – we’ll soon find out on/around the 21st. I don’t think they’d open it either because of the holiday coming up. I’ve not heard if they’re having the Freedom Festival fireworks display at the River so both sides can celebrate. I would think it’s not a good idea but what do I know? Last year they had it, but no one could attend, but it was broadcast on TV.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joni says:

        Trudeau will not give in to pressure. IMO I think he’s a bit miffed at Biden for not sharing the Pfizer vaccine with us so we could get more people vaccinated, esp. when today Biden announced vaccinating the rest of the world, nice but hey we’re his neighbours. Also he’s miffed about your Michigan governor cutting off the Enbridge pipeline from out west – it’s back in court again. Enbridge has approval to build a new tunnel for it, but she won’t listen, even though tons of people in northern MI are reliant on it for propane, and the states below you use it too for their plants. Plus Biden cancelled the Keystone pipeline from the west down to Texas when it had already been proceeding and billions poured into it. I like Biden but there are plenty of reasons to be annoyed, and Trudeau for all his faults does have a backbone.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        I don’t blame Trudeau for being miffed either because I heard that news conference too and the U.S. seemed to be taking the lead in giving away the vaccine surplus (though I think the U.K. was giving away a lot too). I never understood that whole idea of meeting halfway in the tunnel when you could just as easily have a truck haul them there or fly them there. Now they say the J&J vaccine has a longer shelf life – I hope they’re just not saying that to encourage people to get the shot. I saw a picture of Trudeau today … that “family picture” with the world leaders. I know he grew the goatee to look older, but I thought he looked better clean shaven with short hair (and and longer pants, not showing his unique socks. 🙂 I’m just kidding. At least Biden looks presidential … Trump and Johnson have the same hairstyle. There is much controversy about that Keystone pipeline and her decision. It has brought her popularity ratings down a little.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joni says:

        I think Trudeau looks ugly with that scraggly thing…it’s amazing what a small change can do. My mother keeps saying she wishes he would get rid of it. Hairdressers are still closed here and have been forever so the scraggly locks are to show the public he’s obeying the rules. I thought I heard today that J&J has to throw out 60 million does of their vaccine due to that bad manufacturing plant??? What a waste. I think we bought some of them but they were never approved or used here, just imported, but they held up approval pending the decision, so we’ll probably have to throw ours out too. Biden cancelled the Keystone pipeline on his very first day in office, without talking to Canada/Trudeau first, which was a diplomatic gaffe. Alberta had already invested 1.4 billion into it as Trump had approved it and I believe it had already crossed several northern mid-west US states on the way to Texas. I think the recent oil ransom cyber thing kind of showed how important a reliable source of oil is, as we are nowhere near cleaner energy sources and won’t be for a long time, so he may regret that decision some day. Alberta has since pivoted and today announced 1 billion investment in hydrogen cell development, a major improvement, but again, it will take years. I think that was a smart move they should have done sooner and will eventually replace gas in cars instead of hydro as we won’t have enough electricity or charging stations. As for the Enbridge pipeline, it brings, oil, natural gas and propane to Ontario and down to the states below MI, but it crosses the straits of Mackinac, which is what all the fuss is about, as I think they/Enbridge had a small leak somewhere else in MI and the environmentalists are up in arms about that. But don’t the people in MI need gas and propane etc, and it goes down to refineries in Indiana? But if you block the pipeline and they have to truck all those in via freight train or trucks isn’t that ten times worse for the environment pollution wise than worrying about a potential leak in the Great Lakes that’s had multiple safety checks done etc. I think your governor made an election promise however to block it, even if it will hurt the MI economy too, and she’s sticking to it. I know the more isolated rural areas here who don’t have access to a gas line, have to heat with propane in the winter, so it will affect northern MI more.

        Like

      • Linda Schaub says:

        I wondered if the long hair was due to the shutdown of hair care facilities. He should get the hair gizmo that George Clooney touts; it’s something hat’s been available for years and advertised on infomercials. He looked younger without the grayish goatee and it is scraggly but this style of men’s suits tailored to be tight-fitting and short pants and socks showing with light-colored shoes is a style I just don’t “get” at all. I think the Enron pipeline shutdown will affect a lot of people in northern Michigan and it may be the death knell in Whitmer’s campaign for re-election.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joni says:

        I totally agree re the men’s short tight suits….they look like litte boys who outgrew their clothes, but then I don’t get all those tight dresses the women newscasters on tv wear either?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        One more comment – no, it is a stupid style and that’s exactly what it looks like or it belongs to their little brother. I really hate the tight dresses look and especially hate the look on pregnant women. I’m sorry, but that is not attractive in the least if you’re heavy, let along pregnant. Someone, and I can’t remember who it was, got some negative feedback for wearing tight dresses while very pregnant. I think a woman on the Weather Channel a few years back.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joni says:

        Yes, it’s a strange look, and heavier people don’t seem to care, which is good I guess for them, but bad also as in not a classy look. Years ago clothes were supposed to skim your body and if something was too tight and showed a few stomach rolls that was a fashion no-no. Remember Glamour magazine used to show people on the streets of NY with fashion do’s and don’ts? I don’t like most of the styles which are out anyway not that I’ve looked lately with no stores open. The mall is still closed as they can only open if they have an outside exit/door, but people were lined up outside of Marshalls/Homesense yesterday as those are now at 15% capacity. No way would I stand in a lineup for that.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        I always liked Glamour magazine and I liked their do’s and don’t feature too. Some were a little outlandish, but still you see it and now that it is so hot, what I see at the grocery store is pretty amazing. Clothes which are so skimpy or see-through or exposing the dreaded “rolls” … if people could just look in the mirror and see themselves sometimes. I can remember the pencil-thin skirts or form-fitting capris. Very unforgiving. I think our malls are open – I’ve not been in a long time. Only when I’ve gone to Best Buy and that was for the DSLR camera in 2018 when they had the big sale for Father’s Day. I sure don’t get around there much considering how my mom and I would make a day of shopping back in the day.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joni says:

        PS. Tonight when I went back into two drafts for next weeks Wordless Wednesdays the captions are all off-centre when I had them nicely centered? Not sure what’s up with that, but it’s happened before and then straightened around for awhile, so perhaps they WP are tweaking it?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        Well that’s annoying! So you had to go back and center them again. Annoying.
        Were you in the same browser? I use Firefox now for creating posts (their suggestion) and I’ve been doing that now for about a year, however, I was using Firefox only for writing and uploading photos, not for reading/commenting. The Happiness Engineers said to clear my cache or use a dedicated browser and they suggested Firefox. So I clear my history and was using Firefox just for WP. Then the online banking I do, those two banks no longer supported Internet Explorer and they both recommended Firefox as it’s more secure and now Ron (computer guy) says we have to use Firefox for web-based e-mail, so I hope that is not the cause of the issue, even though I cleared my history. I have four browsers on this Windows 7 laptop and I am not able to create captions on any of them.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joni says:

        I use google chrome, but will occasionally use Firefox if I have a problem with something not working right. I do clear my cache occasionally too. Yes, I had to recentre all the wording on the captions, but if your captions don’t work on 4 browsers it must be something at the WP end. I haven’t checked it tonight to see if it stayed that way. Signing off early as I’m trying to be in bed earlier. I’m caught up on Reader (while watching a travel documentary on tv) and have two WW’s done for Wed, and a Garden blog for the following week, then a book one….gives me a bit more time as the yard is taking up so much time, and we have a busy week ahead with errands and appointments etc.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        I agree with you … after my WW publishes, I will ask them to look at it. I would really like to do captions for my Father’s Day post with the geese and goslings (it will be funny) so hopefully they can figure out the problem. I’ve been better about being in bed earlier and that also has contributed to my falling behind here more. I told myself lights out by 10:00 p.m. I keep reading that the less sleep you get, the more prone to getting dementia in later years. That info prompted me to be more diligent. If I didn’t mention my high school friend to you, and I may not have, Cherie will be 66 in November. On April 15th she had a massive stroke and was paralyzed on one side. Four date later she had a blood clot removed from her brain. She could not talk, swallow, use her left arm or leg. She was discharged on Thursday after 55 days in the hospital, the last few weeks in the rehab part of the hospital. She can now swallow, can read, text using her left hand. She was learning how to use a walker, but was discharged in a wheelchair and now has a ramp to access her home. She retired two years ago from a large hospital where she was the Head Sonographer. She and a doctor set up a small clinic for indigent pregnant women and she did the x-rays several days a week. Also did some substitute teaching (her stepdaughter is a principal in a local elementary school). Her husband is a labor lawyer and knows Robb for many years. The two of the traveled all over … once a year to Europe, once a year on a cruise and many roadtrips and getaways throughout the year. It will be a big adjustment for them.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joni says:

        That’s tragic – she’s lucky they were able to remove it…..it would be a big adjustment after esp. after such an active lifestyle.. I worry about that sometimes. One of the doctors I worked with died last week- he was still working – had an aneurysm in his office and died the same day in hospital. It’s a good thing we don’t know what’s in store for you. You lead such a healthy lifestyle though, both walking and diet wise, but the stress of work is difficult.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        Yes, very tragic. Cherie wrote a post on the one-month anniversary of the stroke. It was the first time she posted anything and explained she had two more weeks in the rehab part of the hospital, then home. Some words had run together, but that was understandable. It will be a huge adjustment. I worry too as I live alone and now the news of this Delta variant has me worried again, despite getting the vaccine.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joni says:

        I worry too. I read one shot of the Pfizer/Moderna is only 30% effective against the Delta variant, and that’s all I have so far, so I am staying close to home until I can get a second one in July.

        Like

      • Linda Schaub says:

        Our Governor gave a little “tease” today that more things will open up for July 1st, but she didn’t say what. I am staying close to home and away from crowds even with both shots under my belt. Dr. Fauci said the Delta variant is more worrisome right now than Covid-19 was. Well that’s not too comforting, especially if it hangs around past the Summer/early Fall.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        You made a valid point the other day and I forgot to respond and just remembered now – it very well could be I have an old theme … that them is 2010 and I read something, perhaps by Hugh one time, that they will retire all these themes eventually and I would not be able to use that 2010 theme if I was creating a new blog. I dread that day and I one time saw my Windows 10 laptop display my blog landing page and it seemed to be stretched out. I’ll write them Wednesday a.m. after my WW post and see what they say … otherwise my next Sunday post will just have words, then pictures. Not the end of the world but a pain … another hot day here and chances for rains and storms all day … hope you get some rain as well.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        I remember when I had all the flowers and it rained I’d feel just like you. Especially a heavy rain, where the flowers and bushes were drenched as it sometimes meant two days’ reprieve.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        I did – went for five miles and enjoyed it immensely. I went to bed early last night as I wanted to leave early and go to three parks along the Detroit River. The first I drive to (Dingell Park), then drive five more miles to Bishop Park and park there and a two-mile round trip to BASF Park. It was beautiful out and I hated to come home. Thinking there is one more coolish day tomorrow to enjoy. Friday we have potential severe storms then a nice weekend, but not as cool as right now unfortunately.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        A fellow blogger mentioned at the end of her post that she couldn’t do captions, so I commented that I couldn’t either. Another blogger who likes captions says she learned the Block Editor no longer supports captions. Are you on the Block Editor or the Hybrid Classic/Block Editor? Interestingly, Anne Mehrling said she typed blindly under the picture and didn’t preview the post, but was surprised it worked. I did a sample and previewed it and it worked … I always preview first, so guess I’ll take a chance on it. Annoying.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joni says:

        As far as I know I’m using the Block Editor. I thought they had phased out the Classic one? My captions show up automatically after I’ve imported the photo when I click on it? I checked tonight and they are still centred, but when I post them on my website they are not, they just run from the left side, but they are centred on Reader. So that’s probably a glitch with my Sela theme.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        Joni – I must have you confused with someone else … there were people who were on the Block Editor but retained some Classic features. Maybe WP phased that out. I remember Shelley had that as she wanted to use slideshows but she self-hosts. I have what is called “The 2010 Theme” and if I try a new theme, I can’t return to it. I have to back up my blog which I’ve never done but there are a lot of glitchy things. I will do it over 4th of July weekend.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        I forgot to add … yes, it’s become too burdensome to go back now. I’ll start tonight, maybe go back one post for each person and not say anything. It’s taken the joy out of blogging as it feels like an albatross around my neck.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joni says:

        I understand totally re taking the joy of blogging away…..and you need that as an escape from the job stress, so just read what you’re interested in and skip the rest for now. Things will settle down hopefully….or you can retire? But even being retired Linda, I can’t keep up on here some weeks.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        Yes, it has taken the joy out of blogging to be honest, as the feeling of responsibility and blogging etiquette weighs me down. I think to myself “I shouldn’t write a post if I can’t read other’s posts” … I do need this outlet because it used to be by Friday night I’d be exasperated, but now it is by Monday. I am taking your advice and not going back. Tomorrow we have storms in the afternoon, but I’ll do a quick post about my Tulip Time 5K and then read the last post and post before if short for about 15 people and that’s it. I hope things settle down soon. I had worried about transitioning to Windows 10 and Office 365, but being thrown into it and Robb with his issues and how Ron has set up everything … it is a nightmare. If you can’t keep up and you’re retired, there is little hope for me!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joni says:

        Part of the reason I can’t keep up is I’m at mom’s so much and she doesn’t have internet so I can’t assess Reader there or do a blog. I will sometimes draft a post in Office Word and then copy and paste, but usually the tv is on and I can’t concentrate. I can edit pics there also, and you know how time consuming that can be. Plus, I like to read, so often at night I’ll be reading a book instead of Reader. Kind of like you enjoy your Mad Men nights. I think people who can keep up are doing so on their devices also, so if they are like waiting or riding the subway or bus etc, they can do Reader etc. Even those short bursts of reading help. But I can’t do that either.

        Like

      • Linda Schaub says:

        Yes that’s true with being at your mom’s house and then getting out of that regular routine like we had in the winter months. I am just doing a short post for Monday and the WW post then go straight to Reader – we have storms this afternoon. I have to pit a dent in Reader as it hangs over my head otherwise. I am like you and only read on the computer. I’m just going to my park this morning to ensure I get back early enough to be productive here at WP. My house is a mess.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joni says:

        Send your storms our way – rain forecast every day 50-60% and then it blows away. We haven’t had rain in two weeks….and I’m tired of having to water every 2nd day all the new stuff I planted. I read this morning that Canada won’t open the border until 75% of the population has received their 2nd shot. Currently it’s at 10%. But the article said the US may open the border on their side to let tourists in, but the catch is for them to come back into Canada they have to be fully vaccinated or quarantine for 14 days, and even if vaccinated they have to a test done and quarantine until the results come back. Here’s the link:

        https://ca.news.yahoo.com/canada-easing-travel-restrictions-heres-080000374.html

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        We were supposed to have a storm this evening and overnight – on the Accuweather website, it looks like we won’t but I already shut off the A/C and going to leave it off because the “live” weather forecast still says several thunderstorms. I am shutting down as I can’t read anymore – I’ve been reading for hours and it’s getting warm in here … I have one more day to catch up on, May 31st – I went in reverse chronological order. I skipped some of the people who post daily as it was just too much. I will catch up tomorrow before I deal with Comments. Whew! Thank you for the story – I had not heard that and I am surprised Canada is doing this and I think they should have vaccine passports or make them go to the Board of Health and get a certified vaccination record. My boss recently went to the Cleveland Clinic for a complete physical and they required him to take a COVID test and also to have a vaccination record that he got from the Wayne County Board of Health with a stamp or certification by them that it was legitimate. That’s interesting. I’m off to bed now, storms or not. That is a relief to have gone thru – I wish I could have finished them all, but only about 3/4s of an hour, then done.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        I surprised myself! When I got here today, I had one day left, May 31st and I did that. Wayne had six or seven posts and there were two others. I just now remembered I didn’t do your second Anne I don’t think. The people who posted twice a day or every day, I just did a few posts and I have a few people I follow that I just “liked” as they were photos. Now I can rest easier. 🙂 I didn’t do today’s Reader though. Going to catch up in Comments first. I did not walk today – I had multiple errands to do and could not get it all done on a day before work and it was so hot and humid that I decided to do them and get it over with. And I drove to the food pantry to pick up my teeshirt and finishing medal as last year, they didn’t mail it for weeks afterward. Got gas and my first car wash since the pandemic began. Reluctant to handle money and the place I went to for decades went out of business. I had to swap the phone – AT&T no longer supports a 3G phone and I could not use the SIM card from the old phone as it was not the same size, so had to go to the phone store to have them do it. I ordered the phone from Amazon as the store could not keep them in – we have “sunset for 3G” in February 2022 so I had some time. And my Medicare comes with a $50.00 health allowance every quarter – you can get $50.00 of “approved” health items for free as part of your Medicare Part B … so first time to use that feature so had to go to CVS Pharmacy. It felt like a wasted weekend morning with no walk, but just too hot. And I just got my car A/C charged last August and it is blowing hot air. I hope there is nothing wrong with the A/C – I noticed it last Saturday but thought it was because I got overheated walking three + hours in the heat.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joni says:

        That’s a relief you got caught up! That Medicare perk sounds nice. It was too hot yesterday, I tried to sit out but came inside to work on a blog, but today had a nice fresh north breeze. We desperately need rain though so I hope we get some tomorrow.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        Yes, I am all caught up with the posts plus the comments. I did not do any from today – going to see how many there are, but maybe just go to bed. I am relieved to be done. My post tomorrow is short, mostly pictures of tulips, which, like your peonies, are long gone.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joni says:

        PS. Today I tried to read outside on the laptop on the deck but too much glare on the computer screen even with sunglasses on. Shame to have to be inside on such a nice day.

        Like

  7. J P says:

    Thanks for a fascinating dive into the life of the author. I think it’s easy to forget that difficulties are the normal state of life and not the exception. We only think that “normal” life is all sunshine and unicorns by reading and viewing fiction that scrubs much of the ugliness from life.

    I also think the valuable lesson is that she endured. She did her best to play the hand she was dealt in a way that exhibited more grace than many of us would be able to muster under those circumstances. Today we are encouraged to live for our own happiness but the result is often to cause more misery and unhappiness in others.

    The author lived a difficult life, but one worthy of respect.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Joni says:

      That’s so true JP, all of your comment. It does seem whenever one problem is solved there’s always another one popping up on the horizon, but that’s life. I think people had more resilience back then and just carried on as a normal course of action and they weren’t brought up with such a focus on self happiness.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply to Ally Bean Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s