Friday, December 19, 2014

The Lansdowne Letters: Word Pictures on an Inclement Day


Friday again!
Sometimes, especially in 
this busy holiday season, 
I’d love to have a lazy, inside day
with nothing intruding from outside.

No computer, no TV, no phone ~
curled up on the couch 
with a good book:  

My father's world moved at a slower pace
a half a century ago, as he showed
on Saturday, October 1, 1960 
when he wrote from Lansdowne House:

Evening Folks:
Today was 
sort of 
a lost cause 
as days go.  
It rained, 
or snowed, 
or tried to do one 
or the other 
most of the day.  

All in all, 
the weather was inclement.

Sunset over
Northern Ontario.
On route to Iceland
May 2014

Uno and I spent the morning in bed 
trying to persuade ourselves 
that we should get up 
and get our housecleaning done.  

We finally made it up for dinner, 
but not before we were fifteen minutes late.
The reason we were so reluctant, 
or perhaps I should say reasons, 
were first it was very cold, and second, 
we had been up very late last night.  

We didn’t get home from MacRaes' 
till about two o’clock in the morning.  
I am getting to be an awful 
early-to-bed, early-to-rise boy 
and can’t take these late nights like I used to.

Brian Booth

          We played bridge till 
          about eleven o’clock, 
          and then Brian, the clerk 
          at Hudson’s Bay, 
          dropped in.  

          After that we didn’t know 
          what to do 
          because only four 
          can play bridge.

Then I introduced those poor 
uninformed upper Canadians 
to Auction Forty-Five.  
They were quite taken with the game 
and insisted on playing it into the wee small hours. 


It’s funny about that game.  
I never found anyone 
outside the Maritimes 
who plays the game.  
Must be a Maritime game exclusively.

I hope that something happens 
to perk up the letter this week, 
for so far it strikes me as being very humdrum.  
However, if I can stand living it, 
I guess you can stand hearing about it.

We finally got around to doing 
our house cleaning this afternoon, 
and then I finished answering my mail, 
something I had started this morning in bed.  

After that, Uno slept, 
and I read some more of a book 
that I am engrossed in.  
The name of the book is Advise and Consent 
by Allen Drury. 


It is a novel about 
Washington politics, 
and it is absolutely fascinating.  
If you have a chance to beg, borrow, 
or steal the book do so.  

It is quite long, about 600 pages, 
but I feel that once you get into it, 
you will find it difficult to put down.  

It starts off kind of slowly, 
but it rapidly picks up interest.  
Actually, there is no great suspense 
like one encounters in a detective novel.  

It is just a novel about the machinations 
necessary to get a controversial bill 
or appointment through the U. S. Senate.  

What makes it so utterly fascinating 
is the exquisite word pictures 
of the various Senators and other assorted characters.  
The author makes them seem so human.

This evening Uno and Brian 
went up to the show at the hall1
and I typed this 
and wrote a few other letters, 
private ones to Sara, 
and some official correspondence.

Well, that brings us to the end of a very uninteresting day.  
The bridge game was cancelled 
because Bill Mitchell was down with a cold.

Bye for now,
Love, Don

Notes (FB): 
                   hall1 ~ Father Ouimet showed movies
                   in the rec hall on Wednesday and Saturday nights
                   for anyone in the community who wished to come.
                   The Three Stooges and Western movies
                   were very popular with the Indians.

I'll be taking a brief break 
from my Friday Northern posts
during Christmas week.
My next Northern post will be on
Friday, January 2, 2015 
Happy Holidays Everyone! Fundy Blue.


  1. These are truly fascinating vignettes into life in the north a half century ago. Chronologically, it's a blink away, but as a sociological record, it has a historical feel to it that belies its recent occurrence. I am sure that having this kind of family record, so complete, and so resonant with personal meaning, is a great source of joy for you.

  2. I've never heard of Auction Forty-five either! Have a wonderful Christmas holiday season, Fundy Blue!

  3. Beautiful sunset photo! Even when your father thought his letter was dull.. it wasn't. And, add yet another never-heard-of-auction-45 to the list :) Love that the Brian Booth photograph wasn't posed. I wonder if you ever read the book. It sounds long but interesting. Maybe a bit heavy for holiday reading, but i hope you get at least one perfect curl-up-with-a-good-book day :)

  4. I play forty fives sometimes, not sure if auction forty five is the same thing or not.

  5. Again Lansdowne! I have fallen in love with your dad. And I look forward to every installment of his letters. You are so generous to share these with us. What a treasure. Enjoy your holiday.

  6. Playing bridge! Such wild times. Happy Christmas!


  7. Wonderful post, as always, and I have never played bridge. Merry Christmas and I hope it will be filled with love, peace and joy.

  8. Auction forty-five...nope, I've never heard of it either! Wonderful post once again. They are so much fun to read. Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones, and I wish you all a blessed and happy New Year.

  9. There's something very peaceful about reading of humdrum days...
    Happy Holidays to you too Fundy!!

  10. Hello Fundy!
    You have picked great photos to illustrate your point about your father father's writings :)
    I wish you a wonderful holiday, a warm and merry Xmas, and a great new year :)
    Much love from France!

  11. I had one of those days last week - due to illness. But it was definitely a no computer, no TV, no phone day! I'll take them any way I can get them. :)

    Your dad's letter is precious (as are they all). I love the phrase "if I can stand living it, I guess you can stand hearing about it."

    A very Merry Christmas to you and the E-P! :)

  12. Another great letter from your Dad, Louise! Small things are sometimes the most interesting I to day stuff is what we do.
    Now to AUCTION 45!! I used to play that all the time with my grandmother. I LOVED that game. Haven't played it in a long one way to remedy that,eh?

  13. Enjoy your Christmas festivities at the inlaws Louise ~~ oh all that food, joy and love.

    Isn't it interesting how a humdrum day can captivate us all!!

    Cheers to you and Terry!

  14. Fundy - check out Facebook for photos of Dad's painting for you to use (SD & BM) Cheers Barb

    1. Found the FB posts before I found this! LOL! I've heard that how you start your new year is how your year will go. I've been chasing my tail since the year turned, not to mention that Terry trounced me twice at crib! Not looking good! LOL! Now check that basement for more of Dad's paintings! This tail chaser is going to shake the bushes until every family photo, painting, and letter falls out! Love and hugs!

  15. Thanks for all your kind and encouraging comments, everyone! I so appreciated them!


Thank you for your comments! I appreciate them very much.