This is how you know it’s going to be a great day


How do you know it’s going to be a great day? People, I will tell you how.

You wake up in your very comfortable (nice new from Ikea) bed in your sunny bedroom in the house you grew up in, in Queensborough, Ont. Outside it is perfectly quiet except for the sound of birdsong and cicadas (or, as my mum calls them, heat bugs; it is a pleasantly warm, sunny day). You head downstairs to find that your husband is not around; clearly he has bombed into town (Madoc) to do errands. But since he is the best husband in the world he has left behind a freshly made pot of Tim Horton’s coffee, so you’re already all set.

And then your husband pulls into the driveway. And it turns out that not only has he been to Madoc; he’s gone further south on Highway 62, to the Amish farmers’ market at the hamlet of Ivanhoe, where he’s bought freshly picked sweet corn and green beans for that evening’s supper. And not only that! He’s also headed still farther afield, down the side road that leads to the home-baking stand of one of the Amish families. Where they make honey-dipped doughnuts the likes of which you haven’t had since you were a little kid and the bakery in tiny Minden, Ont. (the nearest town to your family’s ancestral home/farm in Haliburton County, where your childhood Julys were spent) used to make them on Saturday mornings and the whole village would have that heavenly smell as a result.

And your husband has brought a dozen of those doughnuts home. And they are STILL WARM. So you can have them with your coffee. And (I believe I have mentioned this, but it bears repeating) it is a beautiful sunny day.

And you are at the Manse in Queensborough. And the day’s adventures are still in front of you.

And that is how you know it is going to be a wonderful day.

8 thoughts on “This is how you know it’s going to be a great day

  1. Isn’t it great when we realize that most of the really GOOD days are just ordinary days that are made special by simple things done by special people? Or, Raymond, we could say special things done by simple people who simply love us! The picture of Mrs. Miller’s doughnuts made us drool.
    P.S. Thanks for agreeing to be our special guest speaker next year at Hazzard’s Corners Church. You are enabling the dream to go on!

    • What a lovely way to put it, Gayle and Grant. Yes, simple but kind acts do make ordinary days special, and sometimes the sheer goodness of it just catches a person unawares. We need to be mindful of such gifts!

  2. Just dropping a line to let you know how much I’m enjoying reading your posts. I spent every childhood summer at my grandparents farm not far from Queensborough. My aunt Monica Tobin used to take us swimming in Queensborough and also to the old school so we could borrow some of the books to read. Oh how I loved the smell of the old school, with the old wood furniture and the big black cabinet at the back that housed all the books. And every second Sunday, the priest from Madoc would say mass at the church in Queensborough. It was such a treat to go to church there, rather than take that “long” trip into Madoc, LOL! Thanks for bringing back all the fond memories.

    • Hello, Karen! I’m so delighted that you found Meanwhile, at the Manse! And thank you for sharing your memories. Your comment came just as I was working on some text for a walking-tour brochure of Queensborough that some of us are putting together, and I’d been trying to do a little bit of research on St. Henry’s Roman Catholic Church. I had not realized that masses were every second Sunday (I guess toward the end of the time the church was open, anyway), so that is interesting. I have very fond memories of Mrs. Tobin, who was a much-loved teacher at Madoc Township Public School and, before that, at schools in Queensborough. I saw her at the Township School 50th-anniversary even a couple of years ago but didn’t get a chance to speak with her – she was surrounded by former students who wanted to chat. Where did your grandparents live? I wonder if our paths ever crossed back then. That would be cool!

      • My grandparents lived just up the road from the township school, near the Foley’s place. We used to go swimming with the Harris children. Yes, I’m thinking our paths may have crossed way back when. We used to drop into the store in Queensborough after swimming. We probably saw you there!

      • I bet we did, Karen. If we get Queensborough Homecoming Weekend organized one of these times, you must come back and visit! (Or come and visit even if we don’t get the Homecoming organized!)

  3. Hi Katherine,
    Glad to hear that you’ll be the guest preacher at Hazzard’s Corners Church next year. Hope that we’ll be able to be there.
    Bev and I had the privilege last Sunday of attending the annual service at the Ormsby Heritage Church in the community of Ormsby (population 20). It was a great service. The church was filled and about 15 horses were tethered outside. I’m looking forward to the next service there, just before Christmas.
    And thanks to your father who was involved with putting out the history of churches in the Madoc area. Copies of the excellent history are still available for sale in Wilsons of Madoc.
    P.S. The reprinted and somewhat expanded “Historic Hastings” is being unveiled/dedicated by County Council this Thursday morning.

    • Good to hear that the Ormsby pioneer service was a hit, Gerry! While you and Bev were doing that, Raymond and I were at the annual “pilgrimage” at the old Hay Bay Church. So it was heritage Sunday all round!

      Funny you mentioned the history of the churches in Madoc Township, Pilgrimage of Faith. Just this morning I picked up my copy (for some research on a historical walking-tour pamphlet that we’re working on) and read my dad’s introduction to it for the first time in many, many years. It gave me an idea or two for speaking at Hazzard’s next August.

      I hadn’t heard a word about a reprinted and expanded Historic Hastings – this is great news! I’ve been meaning to try to get my hands on the old version, so this should make it a lot easier to get one. Excellent!

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