This just in: news tidbits from the Manse

One of my "finds" from visiting multiple yard sales in Madoc and area last weekend: a new addition to our collection of vintage board games at the Manse. This is the exact same edition of the Parker Brothers game that my siblings and I played when we were growing up at the Manse, back in the early 1970s. I can't wait to play it!

A vintage-board-game news update: One of my “finds” from visiting multiple yard sales in Madoc and area last weekend was an addition to our collection of games at the Manse: a 1970s edition of Masterpiece. It is the exact same edition of the Parker Brothers game that my siblings and I played when we were growing up in that same house.

It’s a bit of this and a bit of that tonight, dear readers. I thought there were some things I might have left dangling in earlier posts that I should update you on; and then there are little bits of news and developments from Queensborough and area that I wanted to share. Here goes:

How were the blackflies?
After I expended considerable verbiage last week on what the blackfly situation might be when Raymond and I visited Queensborough this past long weekend – there were posts on the subject here and here and here, and lots of good comments from readers – I thought I should let you know what transpired when we got to the Manse. Let me put it this way: my old Queensborough friend Graham, who had issued dire warnings about how bad the blackflies would be, showed up on the front porch on sunny Saturday morning to announce: “I think they’re pretty much past for this year.” And they were. There were blackflies, for sure, and they went straight for Raymond (because he is so sweet, as I’ve mentioned before; the bugs love Raymond), but they truly were no big deal.

Another photo of beautiful lilacs taken on the Victoria Day weekend, though I will confess it was not in Hastings County: this is on a back road between Mott's Mills and Toledo, Ont., taken on our way back to Montreal.

Another photo of beautiful lilacs taken on the Victoria Day weekend, though I will confess it was not in Hastings County: this is on a back road between Mott’s Mills and Toledo, Ont., taken on our way back to Montreal.

A local lilac celebration
I’ve done a couple of posts – here and here – in the past week about how gloriously beautiful the lilacs were last weekend, and I made mention of a Lilac Festival in the village of Warkworth, just over the Hastings/Northumberland county line. And a Lilac Festival is a good thing, but as our Queensborough neighbour Sally has pointed out, there’s also a lilac celebration happening in nearby Madoc this Saturday (i.e today, when you read this): a Lilac Luncheon and Bake Sale at St. Peter’s Presbyterian Church there (which, you can be pretty sure, is one of the very few St. Peter’s Presbyterian Churches in the whole world – I mean really, a Presbyterian church named for the founder of Roman Catholicism? That is kooky!). Anyway, the Lilac Luncheon and Bake Sale runs from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., and if you’re in the Madoc area (which, sadly, Raymond and I are not): Go!

A healthy sign of life at St. Andrew's United: our excellent minister's name is now on the sign at the front of our historic little chuch building!

A healthy sign of life at St. Andrew’s United: our excellent minister’s name is now on the sign at the front of our historic little chuch building!

A step forward at St. Andrew’s United Church
At a recent service at St. Andrew’s in Queensborough I commented to our friend Terry, a stalwart of the church, that it was too bad that the sign on the front of the church (donated by the late Pauline Harris and her brother, Jack McMurray, in honour of their parents, Clayt and Blanche McMurray, who ran one of the general stores in Queensborough and were pillars of the community and church – I remember them well, and fondly) did not include the name of our current (excellent) minister, The Rev. Caroline Giesbrecht. Well, Terry said he thought he could do something about that, and sure enough, this past weekend, there was Caroline’s name! It’s a nice sign of life for our faithful little church and congregation.

The rhubarb plant in our back yard is flourishing, is it not?

The rhubarb plant in our back yard is flourishing, is it not?

And finally…
The rhubarb plant that I first discovered off in a far corner of the Manse’s back yard last early spring is back! (“Last early spring” is, by the way, a Bob Dylan turn of phrase [from If You See Her, Say Hello], and I use it deliberately as an homage on Bob’s 72nd birthday, which is today. Bob Dylan changed my life. And probably yours.) Anyway, the rhubarb plant is flourishing! If you go here you can read my post about how all the kids I grew up with in Queensborough loved to pick rhubarb and eat the sour/sweet stalks (sprinkled with salt) raw. Even though I don’t particularly like rhubarb, I love having this plant growing wild at the Manse. It reminds me of the good old days. And what does that old Carly Simon song say? “These are the good old days.”

Let’s have a listen to Carly, from 1971. The good old days: