This past weekend was a landmark one at the Manse. Why? Because Raymond’s little grandson, Henry, paid his first visit!
Henry and his parents live in the Eastern Townships of Quebec, which is a long way from Queensborough. And his parents are busy people, working six and sometimes seven days a week. So it’s not often they get a chance for a long road trip, and we’re just so delighted that it finally came.
For me, the best part – aside from getting to spend time with Henry and his folks, of course – was introducing Henry to the part of the Manse that is named for him. That would of course be Henry’s Corner, the sunny nook outside one of the upstairs bedrooms that, when I was a kid growing up at this same Manse, housed the toybox and toys of my siblings and me. In a bit of an hommage to those long-ago days, I’ve devoted the corner to our ever-growing collection of midcentury toys and games, the very things that Melanie, John, Ken and I played with back in the 1960s and ’70s. I am especially proud of the vintage Fisher-Price collection; those toys are hard to beat, especially – as I’ve noted before, in a post here that was devoted to the topic – the original Fisher-Price garage, the absolute best toy ever, in my humble opinion.
Henry took great delight in grabbing my hand several times over the course of his visit and asking me to accompany him upstairs to Henry’s Corner. There he would examine the various vintage toys on display and choose one to bring downstairs for some quality playtime. What a good boy! He helped me relive my own childhood!
In addition to playing with the fun stuff in Henry’s Corner, Henry also enjoyed a walk around Queensborough on Saturday morning – a crystal-clear, crisp, sunny fall day. It was a joy to show him and his family around our pretty little hamlet, and share its history and our own stories about Queensborough life. I thought I’d show you some photos of our tour:
The visit was wonderful, but brief; by midafternoon Saturday, Henry and his folks had to head eastward for another family visit in Ottawa on their way back home. But I want to tell you about the lovely thing that happened just as they were getting into their car to leave.
Our neighbours Chuck and Ruth were coming around the corner in their white pickup truck, heading off for a dump run. They pulled over, of course knowing (having heard many stories from his proud grandfather) that this little boy must be Henry, and Ruth jumped out. And she had a present for Henry! It was a little Matchbox white pickup truck – “just like mine,” she told him. Now, Henry loves trucks, and especially pickup trucks; the fact that there are so many full-size ones in the Queensborough area made the visit especially memorable for him. And to be given one of his own just as he was leaving – what a thrill!
His parents were tickled too. “People are so friendly here!” his dad commented as they were pulling out.
They sure are. Ruth and Chuck weren’t the only ones to go out of their way to make Henry feel at home; our friends Elaine and Lud had also come to greet us on our walk around town and invite us all in for coffee.
I think Henry (and his parents) left with a good impression – as well they should have. Queensborough is a beautiful, friendly place. Come back soon, Henry! Your corner awaits.