B. Hidden in the Closet

"Where did you ever get these letters?" This is the question I am often asked when I describe my project of organizing the family archives and transcribing the letters Aunt Bess brought when she emigrated from Ireland. The experience of touching these fragile sheets of paper containing messages written over a hundred and fifty years…

10. The Whole Turkey

As mentioned in a previous episode, after Gramp stopped being a Presbyterian minister and became a hearing aid salesman, life changed for Nan. Around 1963, Irving and Jean Kaine, my maternal grandparents, rented out their home in Toronto and moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania for a time where Gramp got a job at Gimbels Department store.…

9. Disasters Averted

No one makes it through childhood unscathed but sometimes I wonder how me and my brothers made it through alive! As I feel the first hint of summer this year, I am filled with visceral and indelible images of my grandmother’s cottage at Waubaushene, Ontario, a small town on Georgian Bay about one hundred miles…

7. God Save the King

Jean and Irving Kaine, my maternal grandparents moved with their two daughters Doris and Helen to Dunnville, Ontario from Grimsby just before the outbreak of the Second World War. These quiet rural towns were located on the Niagara Peninsula about an hour and a half west of Toronto however life in this bucolic area was…

3b. A Trip to Bermuda 1920

Journey Down the Rabbit Hole The other day, as I delved once again into the many disorganized boxes of family photographs, letters and papers, I was pleasantly surprised to come across a document that my grandmother, Jean Wilhelmine Inglis Kaine had written about her trip with a friend to Bermuda in 1920. Based on the…

6. Life Goes On

Like all young couples, Jean and Irving Kaine wanted children but had to wait for five years after their marriage for their first daughter, Doris Marilyn (my mother) to arrive followed two years later by Helen Jean. The girls were born in 1932 and 1934 during the time of the Great Depression in Canada when…

5. A Minister’s Wife

After their wedding in 1926, the Reverend I. B. Kaine and his wife Jean W. Kaine, my grandmother, launched their life together in Orangeville, Ontario.  Jean must have enjoyed setting up her new household  for hosting church functions and entertaining out of towners. I still have and cherish the lovely French walnut bedroom set made…

4. Jean Gets a New Job

  After travelling and working as a teacher in the Canadian West in the early 1920’s, my grandmother Jean Wilhelmine Inglis made her way back to Ontario and took a position in Timmins, a town in Northeastern Ontario that was thriving with mining and forestry industries. By this time, Jean had been working for almost…

2. Thoroughly Modern Jean

Jean Wilhelmine Hastings Inglis, my maternal grandmother, had a lifelong passion for travelling to see new places. In the seven years between graduation from teachers college in North Bay and her marriage to the Reverend Irving Brigham Pentland Kaine in 1924 (when at the age of 27 she was almost an old maid for that…