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Gwen Tuinman

Novelist Speaker Advocate

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nostalgia

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”

Feeling Nostalgic — Knit, Crochet, Tat, Write

lady knitting on her porch

I’ve always been fascinated by handcrafts. Crocheting. Knitting. Tatting. At one time or another, I’ve known how to do all of these things, at least in a very basic way.

My maternal grandmother shared her love of crocheting by teaching me to create circles and squares with a hook and yarn. My paternal grandmother taught me to knit and to tat. The tatting shuttle took a great deal of patience to operate. Her pillowcases and handkerchiefs were trimmed in lace created by her shuttle. I remember that she had an ivory shuttle that once been her mothers, my great-grandmother. Continue reading “Feeling Nostalgic — Knit, Crochet, Tat, Write”

Feeling Nostalgic — About Children

Our Children P1020006

As I write this afternoon, I periodically glance up to take stock of the room. It’s so quiet I forget that I’m not alone. My husband is leafing through a gardening magazine. It’s a very Canadian thing, this longing for planting season while snow is still in the forecast. Continue reading “Feeling Nostalgic — About Children”

Curating Wonder — “Knockers-Up”: A Vintage Wake Up Call

db9600aa6338542a3887a51beb091087 Continue reading “Curating Wonder — “Knockers-Up”: A Vintage Wake Up Call”

Feeling Nostalgic — Canning Applesauce

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I feel a strong kinship to this woman. A few weeks ago, I sat amongst heaps of apples waiting to be cored, quartered, simmered, and mashed.  It was all part of transforming a bushel of apples into apple sauce which I then canned in Mason jars.  Why would I go to all that trouble when applesauce comes ready made in cute little jars at the grocery store.? The answer is simple enough — nostalgia. Continue reading “Feeling Nostalgic — Canning Applesauce”

Postal Service: The History of Mail

My great-aunt and uncle delivered mail together on a rural route. My uncle drove his own car down the side of the road and my aunt rode along next to him, with the window rolled down. Mail would have been piled on the seat between them. She opened the mailboxes, placed the letters and packages inside, then flipped the red flag up.
Continue reading “Postal Service: The History of Mail”

Curating Wonder — Laughter

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Feeling Nostalgic — A Year of Firsts

woman on rocks

When is the last time you did something for the first time? It’s been months since I saw this question posed on Twitter, but it’s never left me. Around two o’clock this morning, I found myself reflecting on many of the firsts that I’ve experienced in the last year. Some of them were fruits of labour, some were the seeds that came before the fruit, and some of them were pure synchronicity. Continue reading “Feeling Nostalgic — A Year of Firsts”

Curating Wonder — School Days of Yore

432f22b89ff3266b932484bf8ec94b22 Continue reading “Curating Wonder — School Days of Yore”

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