from The Red Duo-Tang ~Friday June 27th, 1975:
*Really enjoyed the trip to Midland, she was really good. L (lil sis) bothered her a lot. Very interested in Huron Village. Enjoyed staying in the Motel. – got a lot out of Nancy Island. Asked a lot of questions.
*Little nervous at the Scenic Caves. Can’t say as I blame her…I was too. Got a beaded purse and necklace at the Scenic Caves. Both had fun on the playground equipment there.
*Was in Shark Class in swimming with the school over at the pool. Awfully cold for swimming in the morning.
*Last day of school today. Mrs. Stead told her yesterday she would be in her class next year, but would be in Grade 3. Told her it was a secret & just to tell her Mommy. Paula was so pleased & excited.
*Likes Mrs. Stead so much!!! She gave Mrs. Stead a beige & chocolate hand towel & wash cloth today. Thought Mrs. Stead would really like it. Looking forward to summer holidays.
I remember that trip to Nancy Island so vividly – but for years I had no idea where the place was. Something about the whole experience stayed with me all these years. That trip sparked something in me, and thus began my love of History.
It wasn’t until a few years ago that Tim and I for a day trip visited Wasaga Beach, and there I saw the sign for Nancy Island.
This is the story of the Nancy, a schooner which sailed the Upper Great Lakes as a private cargo vessel in the fur trade. During the War of 1812, the HMS Nancy was pressed into service as a British supply ship. While in this service, the schooner was destroyed in the Nottawasaga River by American Forces.
The sunken hull of the Nancy formed an obstruction in the river and an island was established by the resultant deposition of silt and sand. The remains of the hull now rest in a museum on the island to mark the site of the Nancy’s demise and to commemorate her gallant defense. ~ Wasaga Beach Park
We’d just covered the War of 1812 in school, and this trip made the events, the dates, and the characters come to life. More than that, the idea of the wrecked schooner is an image that haunts my imagination. Old shipwrecks litter the floor of the Great Lakes, and this old hull of the HMS Nancy sparked a love of these old vessels.
Every summer Mom tried to take us somewhere she thought we’d enjoy; something educational, or just plain fun. We didn’t have a great deal of money, but even so, Mom and Dad managed to atleast take a weekend trip somewhere every summer.
Mothers Day is this Sunday, and it is these small, seemingly insignificant things, that made Mom special. Within the sphere of those things she had control, she was concerned. That she could introduce us to something about our past, or something concerning who we may be in our future, she dedicated herself. It was why she said she loved being a Mom. It was the element of guidance, patience, and pride that stirred her motherly soul.
Which is why she started that duo-tang to begin with, to let us know what our childhood looked like, felt like, and now that she’s gone, it’s her voice across time teaching me things, even still.
Written for the Weekly Writing Challenge