1,001 Nights at the Manse

Katherine in blog position

This is the view of me that Raymond has had for many and many an evening – 1,001 evenings, in fact – as I’ve worked in the blue glow of my MacBook Pro to churn our yet another yarn about life at the Manse. It’s time to move away from the blue glow, just a bit. (Photo by Raymond Brassard)

Tonight we are celebrating here at Meanwhile, at the Manse. Why? Because we have reached our 1,001st post!

Celebratory Manhattans

A thousand and one posts? Hey, that calls for a Friday-night Manhattan at the Manse!

Yes, just like Scheherazade, that legendary young woman of the Arabian Nights who held off a cruel king’s bloodthirsty urges by telling him stories every night for 1,001 nights – featuring Aladdin and the lamp, and Ali Baba, and Sinbad the Sailor, and all that stuff – I have recounted a yarn for you every single night (minus Sundays, because a minister‘s daughter shouldn’t work on Sundays, right?) 1,001 times, as of this very night. Now if that doesn’t call for a little celebration, what does? It being Friday night and all, I think I’ll have a Manhattan – minister’s daughter or no.

I’m in a bit of a celebratory mood for another reason too. It’s this: I decided a while back that with my 1,001st post I’d cut myself a bit of slack and lift the daily deadline that I imposed when I started this blog, on Jan. 30, 2012 – the day that Raymond and I became the owners of the Manse, the house that I grew up in. I do this with mixed feelings; I know from many years of practising journalism that deadlines are what force writers to produce, and without them, they… well, they often don’t produce. My daily deadline has been very helpful in giving me both focus and an imperative to get the job done.

But writing a post every day takes an extraordinary amount of time, and I am finding that I need some of that time – time being, along with health, the most precious commodity that any of us has – for other things. I have community work to do; I have St. Andrew’s United Church work to do. (I am the church secretary.) Also, spending a bit more time with my mum and the rest of my family couldn’t possibly hurt. Having more time to spend with Raymond would be a very good thing; he has been unendingly patient as dinner has been delayed night after night after night as I have hunched over this laptop, writing like mad about Avocado Green and Freshie and antimacassars and crokinole and the like. I’d like to stop dipping into his huge well of patience. And hey, the timing is good too: two days from now (April 12) is our seventh wedding anniversary, and maybe giving more of my time to my excellent husband and less to producing words on my laptop is a good anniversary gift.

Also: I could use a bit of a rest. Since I started this blog I haven’t taken a break from it, even when on vacation. I need a vacation.

Now, this doesn’t mean that Meanwhile at the Manse is going to go dark. Far, far, far from it! I promise I’ll still post with great regularity. Because, you know, there is just so darn much going on in Queensborough to tell you about! And there are so many interesting bits of local history to be dug up and reported on! So much artistic activity to investigate! Why, just last night as I was going through my photo files to find a picture I took a year ago of a crumbling shed on the road to town (to use in last night’s post, which is here), I realized that I have a lot of photos and ideas for posts kicking around. And then of course there are all those memories of my childhood here at the Manse in the 1960s and ’70s still to be mined – along with pictures of vintage finds from auctions and flea markets and yard sales to complement those memories, and take us all back to those happy midcentury times.

So yeah, there’ll continue to be Meanwhile, at the Manse stories. And if I give myself a little more time to produce them, I should be able to do some deeper research when it’s warranted, which it often is. Like: doing an interview with one of the people who was on the scene shortly after the UFOs landed in Cooper. (I am not making that up.) Or: checking out a hand-painted mural of a Queensborough scene that exists in a local house, a wonder that I only recently learned about. Or collecting still more reportage about Queensborough’s first and only (to date) rock festival.

Remember that old line about there being “a million stories in the naked city”? (In researching it just now, by the way, I discovered that the line is actually that there are eight million stories in the naked city.) Well, I am pretty sure there are a million stories in Queensborough alone – or, for that matter, in any place on this good planet. Every place, no matter how small, has history, and art, and interesting human beings, and anecdotes, and oddities, and slices of life both ordinary and extraordinary. All that’s needed is someone – a Scheherazade-type character – to find and tell those stories.

As of this post I’ve told 1,001 stories about life in Queensborough, and life at the Manse. And I’m rather proud of that accomplishment. Well, proud, and – ready for a bit of a rest.

I hope you’ve enjoyed the stories so far. I hope you don’t mind if it’s a bit longer in between them from now on. Most of all, I hope you’ll stay tuned. There are many more stories to come. I can’t wait!

14 thoughts on “1,001 Nights at the Manse

  1. I’ve wondered how on earth you have kept up. You are a wonderful writer and it is obvious you’re not just throwing a bunch of words together. I’ve not been following you for long, but I’m going to miss my daily fix! So glad you will still be sharing tales of the far-away land of exotic Queensborough (and environs!)

    Have a great time with your other interests; see you soon.


    • Thanks, Jane! Yes indeed, I have much still to say about all the good and interesting things connected with life in Queensborough – but I’m just going to say them a tiny bit less frequently. Partly in the interest of contributing more of my time to the kinds of projects that make life in Queensborough good and interesting!

  2. Just think of those 1001 blogs multiplied by the many people who follow Meanwhile at the Manse. I reckon you have provided 1,325,000,000 smiles and 576,000 warm fuzzy feelings . Thanks
    P.S. 46.7 percent of all statistics are made up.. Keep on boosting the land north of seven

  3. It’s a wonderful plan! You have an interesting upbeat attitude on paper, Katherine. I am looking forward to seeing your observations again on days that permit. You and Raymond come out winners here. Happy Anniversary tomorrow! Sharon.

    • Thank you so much, Sharon! I will continue make as many observations as I possibly can here at Meanwhile at the Manse, while seizing a bit more time than I have previously allowed myself to do other things that need doing. Of which there are many!

  4. Katherine, I will miss my morning coffee read as you know your blog was always my first check in the morning. However, I did often wonder how and where you came up with all the very interesting and informative findings, and how you found the time, with working full time, to do it all. You know I am attached to Queensborough and what goes on as you are and we will keep in touch. Thank you for all the memories.


    • And thank you for your kind words, Barbara, and for all that you have contributed to Meanwhile, at the Manse since its inception – memories, artifacts, and perhaps most of all support and good wishes. And hey, don’t worry – there’ll be lots more posts to come! Why, just a Saturday-morning drive around the back roads of Huntingdon and Hungerford townships yesterday gave me a ton of ideas. But I am going to enjoy not having to write every single day. Because, you know, there is so much else to do when one lives in Queensborough!

  5. Happy Anniversary. Raymond and Katherine. I will miss your daily blog, but look forward to other interesting stories of my home town and area. THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES.

    • Thank you so much, Betty! I promise I will write many, many more posts, and I hope that at least some of them will bring back lots more memories. The Queensborough area is so incredibly rich in history – and in many other things. But I know you know that!

  6. Hi Katherine, we really enjoyed your daily blog about Queensborough and area, particularly anything old or historic, and also blogs about anything turquoise…..will miss your daily writings, but do realize it takes a large commitment and large amount of time when home and away to keep it up…..look forward to any future postings…..Charlene and Bob McKeown Stirling ON…..thanks

    • Thanks so much, Bob and Charlene! It was terrific to see you out at the Ham Supper at St. Andrew’s. We in Queensborough really appreciate your ongoing visits and support, not to mention your historic ties to our village.

  7. Congratulations on achieving 1001 Queensborough tales, Katherine, and enjoy the extra time that you’ll now have. Like other readers, I have often wondered how you managed to fit in the daily writing, with a challenging job, long commute, time with Raymond and all the busy details of life in Q’boro. No doubt you’ll miss the research, and the feedback – and it will likely take a long time before you get over the habit of thinking “that would make a post!” whenever something piques your curiosity. Enjoy Spring!

    • I am very much enjoying spring without the daily deadline, Lindi! But now, after a week’s rest, am pushing myself to get back into regular (though not daily) posting mode. Hey, once a reporter, always a reporter – and there is so much to report on!

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