Category Archives: Behind the Scenes

Christmas in the country 1949

Christmas is one of my fondest memories

Until my Mother remarried when I was six, we spent Christmas at my grandparents’ home one hundred miles out of the city. Christmas in the country was magical to me.

On Christmas Eve day, my Grampa would harness the horse to the logging sled, the one used for pulling cord wood in the winter. This was not a job for the shiny black ‘going to church sleigh’. Back in the woods, he had acreage where he cut wood for heating the house and this is where he went for our Christmas tree. He would head out that morning with one of his grandsons who lived in the village. They would cut the tree, haul it back, shake off the snow, trim the stump and set it up in the parlor.

After supper, we would spend the evening decorating the tree, the children anticipating the reward of milk and cookies that always came when we completed the job and sat around admiring our work. In those days there were no strings of electric lights for Christmas trees, we decorated our tree with small candles for lights and made strings of popcorn and little red fox berries to add to the finished product. The few precious glass ornaments were placed carefully, up high on the tree well out of reach of curious children. The final touches were silver tinsel and “angel hair”. The shimmer of the tinsel and angel hair was enhanced by the soft light of the candles.

I remember being totally enthralled by the fully decked Christmas tree. If I close my eyes I can see it still and feel the warmth and love that surrounded us, as if I was there in the parlor with them all again.

If you would like to share I would love to hear your fond memories of Christmas.

The Characters of He’s Not Your Daddy

All the characters except Tom, Anna and Jo Ann were named during a contest, in which readers chose from a list of appropriate names for the era and personal characteristics.

Tom – a short good-looking man, who had an eye for the ladies. He was in his 30th year in 1941 when he married his 1st wife Anna, who was eight years younger.

Anna – the beautiful country girl who carved out a career for herself in the city, teaching – typing and general book-keeping – to injured veterans to rehabilitate them back into the work force.

Jo Ann– the author and Tom’s daughter from his 1st marriage to Anna.

Ethel – Tom’s 2nd wife who he married in 1953, who had no interest in his previous relationships. She chose to ignore his life before her.

Maude – Anna’s older sister, whose sweetheart was lost during the war. She never married, teaching 7-9th grade until she retired. The sisters lived together for the duration of WWII and were never far from each other throughout their lives.

 Laura – Tom’s mother, a quiet soft-spoken woman who loved her son and would do anything for him. Even to the extent of not seeing her grandchildren.

Herbert – Tom’s father who was no longer able to hold down a job and as a result he was not the man of the house. His family did not respect him.

 Jack – Tom’s younger brother, a pilot in WWII, who left home to escape the unhappy relationship that defined his parents’ life. The two brothers remained close until Tom remarried.

Sara – The beautiful and very young Scottish girl who was the mother of Tom’s Scottish daughter.

FernTom’s daughter born to the beautiful young Scottish girl at the end of the war.

Janice –  Tom’s 3rd daughter from his second marriage. She followed her mother’s lead in that she also refused to acknowledge any of Tom’s children who were not her mothers’.

Characters of He’s Not Your Daddy

Tom, known before and during the war as a happy, fun-loving man who loved to dance, hike and travel.  But he couldn’t manage his personal life.

Laura, Tom’s mother.

Herbert, Tom’s father.

Jack, Tom’s younger brother, who distanced himself from the family after the war.

Mary, Tom’s younger sister, all most half his age. She lived her life following very much in Tom’s footsteps.

Anna, the young woman who became Tom’s first wife, marrying him in 1941 after knowing him for less than a year. Within 3 months he shipped out to become a part of the WWII support team in the UK. They were apart for almost five years.

Maude,  Anna’s older sister, whose sweetheart was lost during the war. She never married.  The sisters lived together for the duration of WWII and were never far from each other throughout their lives.

Logan, Tom’s unknown male child born in the UK to a woman in the Lake District during WWII who we believe came home to Canada with his father.

Jo Ann, Anna and Tom’s only child.

Sara, the beautiful young Scottish girl Tom loved.

Fern,  Sara and Tom’s daughter.

Ethel, Tom’s 2nd wife who he married in 1953, and devoted herself to ignoring Tom’s life before her.

Janice, the first child of Tom and Ethel.

William, the second child of Tom and Ethel.

Living Their Lie

Searching for My Biological Father

It starts in a small fishing village in Nova Scotia where two young people fall in love and marry before his unit ships out to join the forces in WWII. The six months of courtship followed by four months of basic training, where he lived in barracks and she lived in a boarding house with other wives, was not a good start to the marriage. “Absence makes the heart grow fonder” didn’t prove to be the case. At least not in my father’s case.