Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Yes Virginia, I am Reposting This One

I was going through the notes on my iPhone and found a copy of this one that I posted this one 5 years ago on December 3rd, 2010 when the boys were in middle school. 

It still annoys me that we had to deal with this at all. I hope that there have been changes since then. 

Regardless, it's timely and a good excuse to have the Virginia story posted in my blog again. 

December 3, 2010

Yes, Virginia, You Will Make Smart Choices

In my mind the most important part of our job as a parent is to try and teach our kids how to make smart choices and direct them to the resources to help them do so.

I’m certainly not one that has made only smart choices in my life but I would like to think that I’ve learned something from the questionable ones I have made. I try to pass this education on to my kids whenever I can.

I think that a major factor of happiness and success is the ability to make smart choices and learn from not-so-smart ones.

We trust our educators to use their expertise and fill the minds of our children with many things that we can’t teach them in their family life. Hopefully, with everything that they learn, the kids will be able to make the smartest choices that they possibly can.

In doing so, we trust that the educators have the ability to make smart choices themselves.

Unfortunately, I don’t think this is always the case.

Yesterday afternoon I received a cc to an email from my wife to the vice-principal of our sons’ school expressing great dissatisfaction and concern of a poem that was read to the Grade 7 English classes. These are 11 and 12 year olds.

The details that I gathered which are only one (two?) sides of actual events are as follows.

The English class temporarily has an intern working with it under the guidance of the teacher. I mention this because the teacher was present the entire time.

According to my son the intern asked the class how many believe in Santa Claus to which the great majority raised their hands stating that they do.

She proceeded to read a poem titled "The Death of Santa Claus" to the class. This made my son and other kids quite upset.

At some point a remark was apparently made by the intern or the teacher that when the kids get older they’ll know more and will understand that there is no Santa.

The poem is about Santa having a heart attack and dying. It’s told by an 8 year old boy to his mother who has some terrible news to tell him. I’m assuming that the boy’s father has passed away. The boy’s friends at school have been telling him that Santa is fake.

I’m not even going to bother pasting a copy of the poem here but if you want to read it try here http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/the-death-of-santa-claus . Have fun with that.

Maybe it’s just me but isn’t that horribly inappropriate to tell to a bunch of kids during the Christmas season? Or any time really.

If they are trying to teach the kids about poetry and metaphors and symbolism or make a statement about staying healthy or the health care system they failed.

That’s not the message that my kids took away.

And if this crap must be read to them do it at another time of the year! Not during the Christmas season!

Something like this is not for kids the age of my sons. I don’t give a damn if anyone disagrees with me. I know my kids.

I guess you can figure out that I was pretty angry when I found out especially upon hearing that it had upset the kids. 

I'll make this part of the long story short and say that I left a message and email for the provincial Minister of Education, Superintendent of District 18 education and the school principal and vice-principal to get back to me. 
In it I included the above link to the poem. 

I would think that the board was a busy place this morning with various people trying to get to the bottom of it. 
Eventually I called the school and ended up chatting with the principal. 
As expected, he had received numerous calls and emails from parents who were as upset about this as we were. 

He told me that The Death of Santa Claus is indeed included in the list of materials and stories for teachers to choose to read to the class. 
Some international expert on middle school material named Nanci Atwell had made the wise decision that this is a good thing to read to kids of this age and school boards have snapped it up because no one thought to say "Uh Nance? Excuse me? I don't mean to question your great expertise but that poem isn't a great choice and quite frankly sucks anyway."
The principal said that it isn't a poem that he would have chosen and will suggest to teachers that they skip over that page of Nanci's material list in the future. 

He mentioned that another parent had suggested that they read "Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus" to the kids to counter the awful poem. 
He asked my opinion and I told him this is a great idea. They will be doing so next week. 
Later this afternoon we received the following email from the English teacher. 
It turns out this was copied and pasted and emailed to the other parents who had complained as well so the personal touch isn't really there as it appears to be. 
It's better than nothing. 

Here it is:

 Mr and Mrs Scammell
I apologize for this upsetting experience. This poem comes from an anthology by Nanci Atwell, a highly regarded and well published middle school teacher. In the past I've shared this poem with my class because it is a great example of metaphor. This year I passed it on to Mlle P------(the intern) to use because it linked to our memoir theme. The purpose was to demonstrate that memoirs convey emotion and reflect on personal experiences. The poem describes a classic childhood experience everyone can relate to; the 'quintessential moment' as described in the text.  In the past I have read this poem in the spring as part of a poetry unit and although the Christmas link seemed like a good idea at the time, in hindsight perhaps it was not good timing. I am sorry. I understand your position and concerns and I will certainly take these into consideration in the future.

What "quintessential moment" is she talking about? Is she referring to a moment when a child stops believing in Santa Claus? 
They had already established that most of the kids had not experienced that "quintessential moment" before they read it to them. How could the kids reflect on that personal experience? 

In this case this teacher did not made a smart choice and made a bad one. This resulted in a flurry of activity as people struggled to figure out a way to undo the damage that had been done. 

I'm hoping that this teacher stands by what she has written and really will take more into consideration in the future assuring smarter choices. 

I didn't want to waste space with the awful poem however, I am going to tell the Virginia story.

In 1897 an 8 year old girl named Virginia O’Hanlon asked her father Dr. Philip O’Hanlon if Santa Claus really existed. She had started to doubt if there was a Santa Claus, because her friends had told her that he didn’t exist.

Her father suggested that she write to the The Sun, a New York City newspaper at the time, telling her that "If you see it in The Sun, it's so."

In doing this he gave one of the editors, Francis Pharcellus Church, an opportunity to rise above the simple question, address philosophical issues behind it and become immortal with his reply.

Her letter:

DEAR EDITOR: I am 8 years old. 
Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. 
Papa says, 'If you see it in THE SUN it's so.' 
Please tell me the truth; is there a Santa Claus?


Mr. Church replied to Virginia with the most famous reply ever printed.

“VIRGINIA, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except [what] they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men's or children's, are little. In this great universe of ours man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

Yes, VIRGINIA, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus. It would be as dreary as if there were no VIRGINIAS. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies! You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas Eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if they did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that's no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.

You may tear apart the baby's rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, VIRGINIA, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding. 

No Santa Claus! Thank God! he lives, and he lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.”

Great job Mr. Church. What a masterpiece. 
Is there a Santa Claus? You’re darn right there is! 

Questioning his existence is not a very smart thing to do. Not a good choice. 
Trying to tell a child that Santa isn't real is a very bad choice. 

Every choice results in a lesson. Let's learn from them shall we?

Stay well, 

Saturday, October 17, 2015

No Harm, No Foul

Yesterday started out as a pretty average day.
I drove the boys to school then went to the office. I had plenty to do so I got started.

Then, about an hour later, everything changed. My day suddenly became a day that every parent has nightmares about.
I received a text message from one of my sons that Fredericton High School was in lockdown.
A man with a gun had been spotted in the vicinity of the school. I jumped onto the internet immediately to find whatever information I could.

The Fredericton Police had posted a photo taken from a surveillance camera showing what appears to be a man carrying a long gun in what appears to be a gun sock.

It wasn't much to go on but it looked pretty convincing to me that this was indeed a weapon of some type being carried by a man who almost seemed to be trying to conceal his identity with a hat and hoodie.
This scared the hell out of Cheryl and I and every other parent I was hearing from.
The thought of our kids being in danger and us being unable to do anything about it is almost too intense to describe. We've seen far too many stories of situations like this where lives were taken away and no-one could stop it.

Most of all, this made me very angry. How DARE some crazy bastard with a weapon threaten the things I value most in my life! How DARE he??
I'm pretty sure that I was not alone in feeling this.
All we could do was wait and watch as news developed and hope for a good ending to the story.

Photo taken by Ray Borgeois of the Daily Gleaner

You can imagine some of the rumours that were flying around on social media as time went on. I won't even bother saying some of what I heard.
Fortunately, both of my boys and those around them were safe and lying under tables in darkened, locked classrooms. All they could do was stay where they were and wait it out.
At times like this I am extremely grateful that our kids have smartphones and stay in touch with us. I realize there are some folks who don't approve of this but to them I say blow it out your hat. In times like this when nothing is known as fact, the knowledge that our kids are safe is the only thing I want to know and if a smartphone is how I hear it then that's just fine with me.

However, the tension and anger are still there until it's over.

Finally, about 2 hours after it started I received word that the lockdown had been lifted and classes were returning to normal. Both of the boys messaged me and all was well.

And then, something happened and everything changed for me.

A photo was posted of an umbrella that was mistaken for a weapon and triggered the panic.

I certainly understand how it could have been seen as a weapon. It's actually a very cool umbrella to tell you the truth.

It turns out that someone spotted the man with it and a manager at the Canadian Tire store (where my sons both work) captured the above images from the cameras outside the front of the store.

But Sean is what happened that changed things for me.

The Gleaner sent out a Breaking News email alert and everything became very clear.
Sean is a young Fredericton man who just happens to be autistic. He is involved with a wonderful organization called Jobs Unlimited which is located just opposite Fredericton High School. They provide employment and care services to adults with intellectual disabilities. Their website is www.jobsunlimited.nb.ca .
Yesterday morning, Sean was on his way to work at the Giant Tiger store in the mall at the opposite end from Canadian Tire. It turns out that his mother had given him that cool umbrella for his birthday and was the ideal item to have with him on this day. Rain was forecast for the afternoon.

Here is Sean with his cool umbrella.
Photo taken by Ray Borgeois of the Daily Gleaner

When Sean got to work he and the other staff were told to remain safely inside the store. His mother Frances was following the events and was very scared. In the article she tells that her family has always been opposed to firearms. Sean didn't even have a toy gun as a child.
At some point yesterday morning Sean realized that he may be the person the police were seeking. He realized that they were looking for someone walking from Priestman Street and that's where he had been. When he saw the video from the surveillance camera he knew it was him. The police were contacted and everything was cleared up.

This is where the story broke my heart.

The article talked about the concern for stress that Sean is going through over the event and the image that may be transmitted in the city about him. He was anxious at work all morning. He didn't realize that the umbrella could be mistaken for a firearm when he carried it at his side as he did. I wouldn't have thought of this either.
His mother decided that it would be in Sean's best interest if they shared more about him with the public. She says that "If he's recognizable it makes the world safer for him.""Sean is the sweetest, kindest most loving person".

My god. I had been angry at this person. Someone with absolutely no intention of causing any harm to anyone had made me terrified and angry! Sean wasn't concealing himself with his hoodie. He was trying to stay warm! It was cold yesterday morning. I'm sure that Sean kissed his mother goodbye and took off with the goal of doing the best damn job that he could of whatever was asked of him that day.
Then tears came to my eyes. They still do as I write this actually.
I felt ashamed at my thoughts and so sad at the idea that anyone could ever think badly of Sean.

. So, I went to the phone book to looked up their phone number and called his house. I wanted him to know something from me.
A lady answered and I asked if she was Sean's mom. She said yes she is. I introduced myself and asked her to please give him a message.
"Please tell him no harm, no foul. Carry on, my friend. You've done nothing wrong at all".
She said "Aww. Thank you Tim. How do you know Sean?"
I said "I don't, but when the article said you are worried about what people may think of him, I wanted to call and say that I think he's great and not to worry."
She said "Aww" again and we said goodbye.

I felt a lump in my throat for most of the conversation.

I hope that my phone message helped him, even if just a little bit.

Carry on, my friend....

Stay well,

Wednesday, April 29, 2015


Over 30 years ago a terrible tragic event occurred. My good friend Bill lost both of his parents in an awful car accident.
I had never experienced this degree of tragedy so closely before and wasn’t sure what my friends and I were supposed to do to help.
All we knew is that we had to rally around Bill and his sisters to help them get through the difficult days that were coming.
I remember spending most of my spare time over at their house for quite a while.

Bill had four fantastic sisters. Cyndy, Leslie and Lorie were all older than Bill and Lisa was the youngest. Lisa and my sister Hayley were in the same grade.
I knew the girls from school but not really well. They were all in different years than I was.
I did go to Bill’s house on numerous occasions but didn’t spend time with the girls. I was there to hang out with Bill.

If there could ever possibly be anything even remotely positive about what was going on, it was that I spent a lot of time with Bill, the girls and their family and got to know them much better than I had before.
Through that awful time I came to really admire and love that family and enjoyed being around them.

Over the days many other friends, neighbours and families dropped in at Bill’s house to offer condolences and drop off items of food and drinks.
I know all too well that during these times the last thing on someone’s mind is preparing food for themselves, even though keeping themselves nourished and strong is critical.

I wanted to contribute as well but what could I do? I was a young guy who hadn’t had to prepare a meal for myself very often.
However, I had an idea.

One thing that I really enjoyed was baking. I had made cookies on a few occasions. This was a good time to do it again.
I decided to make a pile of chocolate chip cookies from scratch and take them to Bill and the girls.
I am proud to say that they were a hit. They were very appreciative.
This was a huge comfort to me. It was good to know that in this time of sadness that I was able to provide something that gave them a little pleasure.

For years after that whenever I would run into Bill’s sisters it was almost guaranteed that my cookies would be mentioned along with the question of when I would be making some again.
I believe it was for Bill’s 25th birthday I decided to make a mega pile of the cookies and stuff them into a big Tupperware container to surprise them.

We had a big party at his house in Markham. It was a wonderful event.
I had not seen most of the people there for quite a while. I was living with my father out in Caledon while going to college in Etobicoke so I didn’t get out to the old neighbourhood too often anymore.
It was great to see Bill and the girls and catch up on things. I always loved being around those girls and their families.
Bill always has been and always will be a fun goofy guy. That’s why we’ve always gotten along so well. I admit that we’ve toned down a little as we’ve become older and gained responsibilities but deep down we’re the same as we were back then.
His sisters are all just as fun but in a classier way. I loved being around them. I wish it were more often though.

When the time came for Bill to open his gifts everyone gathered around to watch.
When he got to my gift he called out to make sure that Cyndy, Leslie, Lorie and Lisa could all hear that the gift was from me.
When he was done unwrapping it he opened the lid and called out “It’s chocolate chip cookies!”
It was so funny when all of the girls cheered.

As the years have gone by I have drifted away from making the cookies. It wasn’t a conscious thing. I guess I just haven’t had a lot of time for them.
I also haven’t seen the girls in a very long time.

I have a thought about these types of friends though. I don't think that years apart diminishes the way I feel about them. We may not be together very often but when do get together it's wonderful, and the friends are out there for the next time we do meet again.
Life happens. People move away. We have kids and lives get busier and busier. Nothing takes away from the way I feel about an old friend.
The warm feelings are just sitting inside waiting for us while new feelings of new people are building inside.

With Bill and his sisters I still feel the warmth for them that I had 30 years ago. Perhaps more so because it's been so long and I miss them.
But I know that they are out there and hope that they know I am here too.

I am in touch with Bill on a fairly regular basis and saw him when Hayley and mom passed away.
Bill knew Hayley quite well.

A couple of days ago I saw Bill’s Facebook status and it was like a kick to the stomach.
Leslie was very sick and was diagnosed about 6 weeks ago.
I messaged Bill as soon as I read it.
I told him to tell Leslie that if she gets better I will send her chocolate chip cookies. As many as she wants.
I knew from his reply that the getting better part was a long shot.

The next day I went to the grocery store and loaded up my supplies to make my cookies. It had been more than 20 years since I had made them but I wasn't worried.
On Saturday night I made a batch and they came out wonderfully. Not a single burned cookie in the bunch.

I contacted Bill and a plan was set that I would send as many of the cookies as I could by mail to his house and he would get them to Leslie for me.

I stuffed as many of them as I could into a large Costco margarine container and put them inside 2 bubble envelopes.

I wrote a note to Leslie that I made those cookies for her, every one of them. But if she isn't up to eating them all then it was okay for her to share with others. I would make more for her.
I was also sorry that I have not seen her in such a long time.

Early Sunday morning I went to the post office in the New Maryland Irving station but was told that I had to wait for noon when the post office would open.
I returned at noon.
The clerk asked how I wanted to send my package. I chose Expresspost and they guaranteed that it would be there in a couple of business days. That would be Wednesday afternoon.
And off they went. I let Bill know that they were coming. He would do the rest.
I told Cheryl that I wish I could see Leslie's face when she got the cookies.

This morning after I had helped the boys make breakfast I reached for my IPhone and opened Facebook. My heart broke.

Bill had posted...

"It is with a heavy heart that I must report that my lovely sister Leslie has lost her battle with Cancer. Her family at her side, she passed quietly early this morning."

I wish that I could be there back in Ontario with Bill and his sisters and Leslie's family but I know that at this moment they are surrounded by love just as they were over 30 years ago.

I hope that they enjoy the cookies.

Today I was in touch with Alex, another old friend of ours. I had not spoken to him in a while. Alex had heard the news of Leslie.

His letter affected me.

"Terrible and very sad. As you know, cancer is shit. Just the other day I was showing my wife the picture of you and Hayley posted on Facebook. As our favourite band said: We’re only immortal for a limited time. Be well, keep in touch, and hug your family extra hard tonight."


We are young, wandering the face of the earth
Wondering what our dreams might be worth
Learning that we're only immortal for a limited time

Time is a gypsy caravan steals away in the night
To leave you stranded in dreamland
Distance is a long-range filter
Memory, a flickering light left behind in the heartland

We travel in the dark of the new moon
A starry highway traced on the map of the sky
Like lovers and heroes, lonely as eagle's cry
We're only at home when we're on the fly, on the fly

When we are young, wandering the face of the earth
Wondering what our dreams might be worth
Learning that we're only immortal for a limited time

We travel on the road to adventure
On a desert highway, straight to the heart of the sun
Like lovers and hereos, and the restless part of everyone
We're only at home when we're on the run, on the run.


Stay well,

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Sometimes the Future Looks Brighter

It's 12:40 am right now on Sunday. I just got back from picking up the boys from the movies. 
A blizzard is on its way and the snow has started. The roads are slick and will be dangerous before long. 
As we were driving along New Maryland Highway and almost at our street we saw a guy staggering along right on the shoulder of the road eating chips or something and clearly not focused on where he was or how he was walking. 
There are minimal streetlights to speak of and this did not look like a good scenario. 
We turned up our street and all agreed that we should go back and check that this guy was okay. Actually, the boys spoke and suggested this before I did. 
So we turned around and headed back to the highway. 
It's a good thing we did. When we got back to him he was on a dark section of the snowy highway but now staggering along in the middle of the road. 
Again, the boys and I immediately agreed that this guy needs our help. 
We pulled up beside him and asked if we could give him a ride. He said sure so I opened the side van door and he climbed in. 
Thankfully, he wasn't too drunk to remember his address in the Applewood subdivision and we headed to his house. 
There is no way this guy would have made it all the way to his house safely tonight in this weather. 
It was very far from where we met him to his home and with his state factored in I don't believe he could have made it. 
One of the boys asked him if he had been at the pub in New Maryland and he said he had been. 
Shouldn't the pub staff have seen what was going on when he got up to leave and started staggering along the highway? Perhaps call a cab for him or something?
We dropped him off at his place and he thanked us. 
The boys and I agree that we did the right thing tonight and even though he was a stranger he needed help. 
Calling the RCMP wouldn't have made sense since they would have taken so long to arrive. 
I just want to say that I'm proud of my boys for speaking the suggestion that we help this man before I said anything. 
I feel good about the future sometimes. 

Stay well,

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Wait! Don’t leave yet please…

Happy New Year.

When Cheryl and I and the boys moved out here to New Brunswick about 12 years ago it was quite full of our Scammell family.
We were moving to a place that actually had a whole bunch of us in reasonably close proximity to each other, give or take 50 kilometers.

My grandmother Annie was living in her house in Fredericton on Hansen Street near the University of New Brunswick. She was entering her 90’s and still getting around and living quite independently.
Her house was, and still is, the one that I associated with Fredericton for my whole life.
As I was growing up, whenever my family travelled here this house was our destination.
When I think about Christmas I will always think about Fredericton and being at Granny’s house.

I always hated that drive from Ontario to Fredericton but man did I love it when we got here! I have so many wonderful memories of the Christmas season in Fredericton I could fill pages of a separate entry on that topic alone.

I’ve mentioned this before but throughout my life I always felt more at home when I was in Fredericton than anywhere else in the world. When we decided to move out here it was quite easy for me.

Of course when we were in Fredericton we drove across the Saint John River to Devon to visit two of my favourite people in the whole world, Uncle Maurice and Aunt Dorie. They were actually my great-uncle and great-aunt, my father’s uncle and aunt. It was always such a fantastic treat when we went to visit.
Sadly, Dorie passed away a few years before we moved here but Uncle Maurice still lived alone on School Street in Devon.
Just prior to our moving here Maurice was moved into a home in Oromocto but the house sat empty.

My dad’s older brother, my Uncle Jim and Aunt Margie had moved back to New Brunswick when Jim retired and bought a house in Beaverdam. Beaverdam is about 5 minutes further out of Fredericton than New Maryland is. Uncle Jim also passed away a few years before we moved here but Aunt Margie stayed in the house in Beaverdam.

My lovely cousin Megan and her husband Peter lived in a great place just outside of Stanley. It was a hobby farm where they had all sorts of different animals such as horses, dogs, cats, chickens and whatever else roamed around the place.
It was a bit of a drive and lousy during bad weather but we loved visiting them. The boys loved interacting with the assorted creatures and would help with whatever needed to be done.
We would have a delicious dinner then head out to the back for a bonfire when it became dark.

Peter worked for Fundy National Park in a little place called Alma which was down on the Bay of Fundy. During the week he would stay at a cottage that they had bought on Mechanic Lake just outside the park. This saved him driving many hours every day to and from home to work.

Many times in the summers Peter and Megan would let us use their cottage during the weekend and our family would have a Fundy weekend in the park and surrounding area.
These trips were priceless with the beautiful scenery and trails to explore.
On one of the trips the boys rented kayaks as Cheryl and I watched from the shore. While they were on the water a mother and two young moose came to the water’s edge for a drink and look around! The boys were able to get within 30 feet of them!
That’s a valuable rare opportunity for certain.

Very shortly after moving to New Brunswick Uncle Maurice passed away and we were robbed of the opportunity to spend more time with a great man.
Their little house on School Street was sold and the “SCAMMELL” letters that Uncle Maurice had put up beside the front door were taken down.
One of my thoughts when we were coming to live here was that the boys would get to spend time with Maurice and enjoy being around him as I had growing up. I think they only saw him 2 or 3 times in their lives. And that sucks.

In late 2013 Megan was taken away from us. Another huge hole was punched into the family that could never be filled again.
Understandably, it was difficult for Peter to remain in the home and life that they had made together without her. Peter sold the place at Mechanic Lake and in the end of 2014 sold the house near Stanley and moved to Toronto to take a great job.

A few days before my birthday in June we lost my grandmother. She was 102 years old!
I thought that perhaps she would make a run for a few more years but she decided that she had done well enough. She used to tell people that she wanted to beat her sister who had passed away in her 90’s.
Now that she had done so she was okay to go any time.
It may have been okay for her but it still hurt like hell for the rest of us. One thing I am very thankful of is that we were able to spend a lot of time with her while living here.
I think that I met my great-grandmothers once or twice before they died but I don't remember them at all. My sons saw Granny quite a but and are old enough to always have clear memories of her.
But it’s a strange feeling when we realize that someone that has been here for our whole lives is now gone.

Granny’s house had sat empty for several years when she moved into the home. My dad told me that even though it was empty, nothing would be changed as long as Granny was alive.
As of this moment, her house on Hansen Street is up for sale.

A few months ago it was decided that my Aunt Margie would sell the house in Beaverdam and move into a place in Ottawa to be closer to my cousin Jamie. The house was put up for sale and sold just a little while ago. The deal actually closes today.

So, in a few short months New Brunswick has gone from having our Scammells in many areas to only two. My father and step-mother in Lower Queensbury and ourselves in New Maryland.

It would be great if someone in the family would move back to New Brunswick someday but in the meantime let’s not get any smaller, okay?

I don’t like goodbyes and don’t want to say any more.

Stay well,