wild prairie crocus
deep in its furry coat
I still remember seeing some of these in pastures when I was a girl. Sad to say, the neat little crocus that once bloomed all across the prairies in early spring have been pretty much eradicated by the farmers’ plows.
Our daughter and son-in-law have gotten interested in Ancestry.com, which revives my interest in my family. I googled my Mom’s grandfather, Leith Lyall Falconer and happened to find a record of his marriage. then my daughter did a census search and came up with more information.
So if there are any other Falconer or Harmon descendants out there doing research on this family, I’ll post this bit of information I’ve discovered:
Minnesota Census, May 1875, shows the family of John Falconer and his wife Jemimah, both born in Scotland:
W.W. ……………….. 6
Leith Lyall………….. 2
Leith Lyall married Rebecca Working in 1893
Agnes Pearl………. Mar 12, 1897
Thelma Lenora….. ? , 1899
James Welcome Harmon was born in Elk River, Minnesota, married Mary Wilson, and homesteaded at St Brieux, Saskatchewan.
Agnes married Jesse Lyn Harmon, son James W Harmon
Children: Glen, Aleitha, Olive, Jesse Jr.
Agnes died in 1950
Thelma married his brother Floyd on Oct 18, 1918
Rebecca, Louise Agnes, James, Ruby, Leith
Thelma died of cancer in 1937
Louise Agnes was my mother; she married Allen Vance in June 1951
During National Poetry Month I’ve been thinking about various types of poems and the history of poetry in the English language. So many poets have enriched our world by their verses, and I’m trying to pay them a little tribute this month.
You may be familiar with the poem, Abou Ben Adhem (may his tribe increase!) who told the angel that he loved his fellow-men. The following poem, which also tells an interesting tale, was penned by the same writer. I’ve smoothed out a few spots to make it easier reading.
The Glove And The Lions
by English poet Leigh Hunt
1784 – 1859
King Francis was a hearty king and loved a royal sport,
and one day, as his lions fought, sat looking on the court.
The nobles filled the benches, with the ladies in their pride—
amongst them sat the Count de Lorge with one for whom he sighed—
and truly ’twas a gallant thing to see that crowning show:
valor and love, and a king above, and the royal beasts below.
Ramped and roared the lions, with horrid laughing jaws
they bit, they glared, gave blows like beams, a wind went with their paws.
With wallowing might and stifled roar they rolled on one another
’til all the pit with sand and mane was in a thunderous smother.
The bloody foam above the bars came whisking through the air;
said Francis then, “Faith, gentlemen, we’re better here than there.”
De Lorge’s love o’erheard the King, a beauteous lively dame
with smiling lips and sharp bright eyes, which always seemed the same.
She thought, The Count, my lover, is brave as brave can be;
he surely would do wondrous things to show his love of me.
King, ladies, lovers, all look on; the occasion is divine;
I’ll drop my glove, to prove his love; great glory will be mine.
She dropped her glove, to prove his love, then looked at him and smiled;
he bowed, and in a moment leaped among the lions wild.
The leap was quick, return was quick; he had regained his place,
then threw the glove, but not with love, right in the lady’s face.
“By heaven,” said Francis, “rightly done!” and rose from where he sat.
“No love,” quoth he, “but vanity, sets love a task like that.”
Disclaimer: I deplore violent so-called sport, especially when it involves cruelty to animals. I found that part disgusting, but it couldn’t be omitted.
Squirreled away under our flooring: A Royal Wedding
Back when we lived in Ontario we bought a home in the small village of Fullarton. This house was old, lived in by an old couple before us, and nothing had been done to repair it for years. We got it cheap and did a lot of renovations over the years.
The flooring, for example. In the small dining room and kitchen we had that old “battleship green linoleum” which was cracked in places — and there was one odd rectangular lump in the dining room. We assumed someone had tried to patch a hole with a thin board or something of that nature, but we soon got tired of walking over it and bumping the table casters over it.
One tribute I could pay to that linoleum: it was tough. It never cracked around that lump, though you’d think in time it would have. Nevertheless, the flooring was in pretty sad shape by the time we decided to replace it. Bob bought tiles one day and we started slicing and rolling up that old flooring. Good riddance!
And we finally found out what that lump was.
We found an old Star Weekly magazine, a souvenir issue with Queen Elizabeth II’s upcoming wedding details. There were pictures of the Bride-to-be and her Groom, all their attendants and a brief write-up about each one. There were also pictures and details of her dress, a write-up about the celebrant, Archbishop ? and photos of the cathedral, etc. A real treasure! Why on earth would someone stick it under the flooring about a metre in from the wall?
The magazine was fairly large, maybe 12″ x 18″ and half an inch thick — but for some reason whoever put it there folded it in half. Which would have originally made quite a lump! It wasn’t covering any hole, just stuck there for anyhow, as near as we could figure. Another of our house’s mysteries! I still have that magazine; it’s in fairly good shape for all that.
Sammi Cox has posted another weekend writing challenge.
I’m taking a break from editing this morning and feel inspired by the thought of furrows and wind, so I’ll offer this response:
The everlasting wind
sweeps over the furrowed fields
brushing the topsoil
—what’s left of it —
into the grooves
left by the plough last fall
before the farmer —
weary of everlasting wind,
of watching the snowless fields drift,
— left for good.
I’ve heard enough about the “dustbowl years”
that they blow through my writing at times. 🙂