Friday, July 17, 2020

One Spectacular Firework of a Sister!

Let me make it clear right up front.
I have four spectacular fireworks as siblings:
three sisters and one brother.
Shoot those fireworks into the sky, and the display
would bedazzle with sparkling, brilliant, shooting colors.

Pixabay ~ Nixon-Ruiz ~ License 

Okay, maybe I'm a little biased, but I am so proud of my siblings,
and I couldn't possibly pick a favorite.  I love each of them with everything in me.

Most Recent Photo Together
Barb, Bertie, Roy, Me (Louise), and Donnie
Smith's Cove
Nova Scotia, Canada
August 7, 2019
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved

First Photo Together
Donnie, Barb, Me (Louise) holding Bertie, and Roy with Gretchen
Margaretsville, Nova Scotia, Canada
April, 1959
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved

Recently something special happened,
something that would have thrilled my parents,
bringing tears of pride and joy to them.
Their primary goal when we were growing up
was for all five of us to graduate from university.
We all did and went on to earn multiple degrees in multiple universities.
However, this special event has its origins in the beginnings of our family.

My mother was the first person in her family to go to university,
unless you trace a through-marriage branch on the family tree.
She came from a poor family and achieved her dream of going to university
because of serving in the Royal Canadian Air Force during World War II.
My father followed in his parents' footsteps and went to his mother's alma mater.
My parents met when the music stopped during a Paul Jones dance 
at Acadia University, and we five were the result.

Our Parents (Dad in a Bowtie) at a Dance
Acadia University
Smith's Cove
Wolfville, Nova Scotia, Canada
circa 1948
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved

Graduating from university meant one thing in our family:
graduating from Acadia University in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, Canada.
By the time I entered kindergarten I already knew
that after kindergarten came school and after school came Acadia.
A photograph of University Hall at Acadia hung above my father's desk in the den,
and I can't remember a time that I didn't know what and where that photo represented.

University Hall, Acadia University, Wolfville, Nova Scotia

My parents' Acadia yearbooks and issues of the Acadia Bulletin
were always stacked on a coffee table shelf or in a bookcase,
and I followed my parents' example of pouring through them avidly.
The Acadia Bulletin is the Acadia Alumni Association's publication,
and my parents would point out news about their university friends and events to me.
From my kindergarten childhood until this day, I've read this magazine from cover to cover.

The latest Acadia Bulletin, the Spring 2020 issue, 
landed on our kitchen counter when Terry brought the mail in a few days ago.
I ripped it out of its plastic cover with great anticipation
and immediately turned to the page I was looking for.

There she was, my spectacular firework of a sister,
the new President of the Acadia Alumni Association,
Sara Donalda MacBeath, Class of 1975!

Forget my parents' tears of pride and joy.
My own were streaming down my face.
Do you see the sparkle in Donnie's eyes and the joy on her face?
She's thrilled!

In this difficult Covid time,
I can't think of a better leader for the Alumni Association
or a more capable person to sit on Acadia's Board of Governors.
Am I a proud sister?  You bet!

I could detail Donnie's other notable accomplishments
like paying her way through law school by working three jobs,
passing the bar and articling to practice law,
rising through the ranks of legal, corporate,
and public companies to serve as upper management,
and raising three amazing children,
but I won't.

Donnie with her "Children"
Lisa, Krista, and Gavin
(All of whom graduated from Acadia) 
August 2, 2017
Photo by Martin Mundry ~ Husband and Father
© S. Donalda MacBeath
All Rights Reserved

Donnie and Martin
Ad Deir ("The Monastery"), Petra, Jordan
November 28, 2019
© S. Donalda MacBeath
All Rights Reserved

No, I'm going to share some favorite photos of my favorite childhood roommate.
I often laugh when watching HGTV (Home & Garden Television),
because parents are always looking for homes with a bedroom for each child.
I shared a bedroom, and often a bed, with Donnie
from the time she was born until I left for Acadia.
I wouldn't have missed that for the world!

The Earliest Photo I Have of Donnie
Me (Louise), Roy, and Mom (pregnant with Barbie) holding Donnie
Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada
Christmastime 1954
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved

Enjoying the Snow
Roy, Me (Louise), and Donnie (on the toboggan) 
Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada
Winter 1954-55
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved

Donnie with Her Dolly
Atholville, New Brunswick, Canada
Circa Summer 1955
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved

One of My Most Favorite Photos Ever!
Roy and Donnie
Perhaps Atholville, New Brunswick, Canada
Circa Summer 1955
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved

Donnie, Me, and Roy
Atholville, New Brunswick, Canada
Circa Summer 1956
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved

Barbie, Roy, Me, and Donnie with Gretchen
Margaretsville, Nova Scotia, Canada
Christmas Eve 1958
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved

Donnie's Kindergarten Photo
Greenwood, Nova Scotia, Canada
Fall 1959
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved

Donnie (holding Bertie) and Barbie
Smith's Cove, Nova Scotia, Canada
Summer 1960
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved

Donnie's Grade One Photo
Smith's Cove, Nova Scotia, Canada
Fall 1960
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved

Donnie Graduates from Acadia
Me, Barb, Donnie, and Mom
Wolfville, Nova Scotia, Canada
Spring 1975
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved

I have hundreds of photos of my sister Donnie,
but it's these early ones that melt my heart.
This sweet, shy child grew up to become an amazing adult with a huge heart
and a powerful intellect, someone who continues to accomplish so much.

How I wish my parents had lived to see her become
President of Acadia's Alumni Association and a member of Acadia's Board of Governors!
I am beyond proud of this spectacular firework of a sister whom I love dearly.

Till next time ~
Fundy Blue

On Margaret's Justice
between Freeport, Long Island
and Westport, Brier island
Nova Scotia, Canada
July 31, 2019
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved


1.  Donnie's First Alumni Bulletin Message

Acadia Alumni Bulletin
Spring 2020

For Map Lovers Like Me:
Location of Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia, Canada

Location of Acadia University


  1. What a happy proud family of siblings you must be, and how proud your mother would be. Such wonderful photo's to brighten the lives who see them. Thanks Louise for sharing this post.
    Have a great weekend..... if you can.
    Take care.

    1. Thanks, Yvonne! The photos always brighten my life when I look at them. I will do my best to have a great weekend. I'm doing better emotionally and mentally, even as things deteriorate here. I've made peace with the fact that I must self-isolate, and I'm finding fulfillment in what I can do at home. I'll be making another batch of homemade bread and more biscotti. I've created a monster ~ Terry doesn't want to eat store-bought bread or biscotti anymore! You have the best possible weekend! Stay safe and healthy, my friend! Hugs to you!

  2. Congratulations to Donnie!!
    I can feel your pride, Louise, coming through the screen. It is very heartwarming indeed.
    Yes, your parents would be very proud.

    1. Thank you, Jim! It's wonderful to see you! I am beyond sad that I can't go to Nova Scotia this summer. I long to see you and Ron! Please take care, my friend. Sending you a big hug!!! 🥰

  3. Wonderful words from Donnie, in both the papers, and the family achievements, you can be overjoyed, so proud, and YES, your Mum and Dad would be more so.Hunker down, here we are having positive cases from those in isolation after returning to NZ, no outside public contact ones, and I am SO hoping we do not open our border to anyone from a country where the controls have been so loose, that the virus has taken over normal living to the greatest extent. I,too, would be staying home, making everything I could in the food department, and hoping that the isolation would not creep into my heart. Yes, travel is out for so many, but we have our blogs, Facebook, Instagram, and friends worldwide to share and care all news with. Stay put, Louise. keep safe, and with your family, celebrate another wonderful event.XXXX

    1. Thank you for your wonderful comment, Jean! You have a smart Prime Minister, and I have a feeling she will stand firm regarding Covid-19. I am so thankful and grateful for friends like you, Jean. My blogging buddies mean so much to me. And FaceTime ~ I can see my family even if I can't visit them. It is a big comfort to me. Please continue to take it easy. And have a happy birthday this weekend! Big hugs to you!

  4. WOW...WOW...WOW! Congratulations!!! 😃

    I gotta cute is Roy with Gretchen in the second photo? He's helping her pose!

    1. Pretty cool, isn't it, Sandi? Roy was really cute! I didn't appreciate it growing up. We were 14 months apart in age, so we often butted heads ~ LOL. Now it's all about the love between us. He calls me constantly to make sure I am okay during this tough time. Any time there is a blip in the Colorado stats he's contacting me. He's a ~ LOL, he just FaceTimed me! ~ numbers guy, and he's always keeping an eye on Colorado. Please take care, Sandi! Sending you a big hug!

  5. President of the Acadia Alumni Association - that is fantastic! Your sister did well. All of you did. I originally wanted to go to college, but my free college tuition was nixed in 1980 when Reagan took office and all my mother could afford - and was willing to pay for - was community college for a degree in accounting. I excelled at that, but I just never wanted to be stuck behind a desk, so I never pursued it.

    Ironically, where am I now? Stuck behind a desk!!!

    1. LOL! At least you aren't stuck behind a desk in a cubical in a huge workspace, Diane! And, at least you can manage your own time. I'm sorry that you had to change your college plans, but look what you have accomplished. I am in awe of you, my friend! Have a wonderful weekend, and stay healthy!

  6. President of the Acadia Alumni Association is an awesome accomplishment indeed. Congrats to her. This covid crap makes everything harder but she sure sounds up to the challenge.

    1. Thanks, Pat! You're a Bluenoser, so you understand how special and important our Nova Scotian universities are. We have amazing places to study. All the best to you my friend.

  7. These are beautiful pics of the family, and how lovely the appointment of your sister is. I love looking back in time with all the old pics I have, and even though I only had my dad for eleven years before he sadly died, those eleven years were worth more than a lifetime that some have, sadly. You have a lovely family.

    1. I just found your comment, Brenda! I'm so sorry! The older we get, the more precious our family photos seem. What a wonderful father you must have had. Hopefully you will be together again!

  8. Hi Louise :) Your pride shows! Congratulations to Donnie. What great photos you shared too. A trip down memory lane! :)

    1. Thanks, Rain. Memory Lane is always a special stroll for me!

  9. I actually don't know how I got to your blog, but...
    all I can say is I wish my three older brothers felt about me the way you feel about your sisters. You have such a lovely family. Thank you for sharing them with all of us. Stay safe!

  10. Wow, you all went to the same school (we all went to different schools). However, I see one downside. With your sister in charge of the Alumni, that means she gets to call you for donations, right! Congratulations to her and it sounds like you have delightful siblings.

  11. I feel your pride, Louise! Congratulations to Donnie and to all of you, as well! Donnie wouldn't be where she is today if it weren't for her loving family. Each of you should pat yourself on the back for supporting each other as you all grew into wonderful adult human beings! I would love to have met your parents because they seemed to have had just the right stuff to propel their children to excel while having fun along the way.

  12. Congratulations to Donnie on all of her successes. You are such a wonderful, lovely sister, Louise. It makes me smile that you champion your sister and delight in her accomplishments. Here's to many more great things for all of your firework siblings in the years to come, pandemic or not ♥

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