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Gwen Tuinman

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Ancestors

Essie

Essie was born in 1884. She was my great grandmother and a source of fascination for me as a child.

When visited her home as a young girl, I marvelled at the glass prisms lining her windows and the rainbows cast along her walls. Essie served sultanas and pink marshmallow cookies sprinkled with coconut. She’d sit patiently, eyes closed behind her wire-rimmed glasses, while I brushed her hair. I was nine years old and she was ninety. Continue reading “Essie”

Locating Land Farmed by My Irish Ancestors

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Coddiwomple is a word recently added to my lexicon. It best describes the process by which I found the land farmed by my Irish ancestors. Coddiwomple is an English slang meaning to travel purposefully toward an as-yet-unknown destination. Gratitude and emotion fill me when I reflect on the kindness of strangers who helped me to that end. Continue reading “Locating Land Farmed by My Irish Ancestors”

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