Category Archives: Personal Stories

Memorable Moments Down Wedding Day Lane

Memorable Moments Down Wedding Day Lane

On Saturday, October 13, 1956, my parents tied the knot.

Wow! Sixty years ago today.

To mark the occasion of their sixtieth wedding anniversary, hubby and I presented them with a congratulatory certificate from the Prime Minister of Canada this past Thanksgiving Sunday.

wedding-congratulations-from-the-prime-minister-of-canada

Last week, while chatting with my mom on the phone, I asked if she’d share a memorable moment of her wedding.

Mom chuckled. “Do you really want to know?”

“I wouldn’t have asked if I didn’t want to know,” I said with pen poised.

My pen barely kept up with the memories that tumbled out. (I didn’t include them all. Grin)

Mom’s Memorable Moments – The Wedding Ceremony

Dad and I were married at the Finnish Lutheran Church in Timmins, Ontario. I believe the ceremony was at one or two in the afternoon.

One memorable moment that struck me was the mural at the front of the church. It was of Jesus, knocking at a door—much like he knocks at our heart’s door.

Wedding ceremonies sure have changed. The minister didn’t even ask the guests to sit down while he performed the ceremony. I felt especially bad for my father-in-law. He was not well. He had Silicosis.

It was an unusually hot, October Saturday. It was so hot that right after the ceremony our female guests had to go home to change out of their knit dresses (which were in vogue at the time) before returning to the reception at the Airport Hotel in South Porcupine.

Mom’s Memorable Moments – The Honeymoon

After our reception, we drove to New Liskeard, Ontario. My brother, Martti, was kind enough to lend us his new 1955 Pontiac. We didn’t have much money back then.

And the only clothing I owned that was suitable to pack for our honeymoon was a sleeveless, black and white dress with a matching, patterned bolero jacket, a skirt, sweater, bobby socks and saddle shoes.

martti-marita-kohtala-for-blog-post-oct-13-2016

My late, uncle Martti with my mom in 1954.

Later that night, after throwing open the door of our motel room, your dad and I laughed.

Our sleeping accommodations consisted of two twin beds.

The next morning, we headed to Niagara Falls (the honeymoon capital).

Our first stop, though, was Crystal Beach. Your dad wanted to visit his cousins. That second night, his cousins kept knocking on our motel window.

* * *
Dad’s Memorable Moments

“Mom, please ask Dad to come to the phone. I want to hear all about his memorable moments.”

Dad wouldn’t come to the phone. He was far too busy unloading the dishwasher.

So Mom relayed my dad’s profound memorable moment.

He said, “I got married.”

I heard a muffled chuckle come through the phone.

* * *

Well, on that note I’ll end with . . .

60th-wedding-anniversary-dad-mom-jpeg

May God grant you many more memorable moments.

“The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” Genesis 2:18 (NIV)

Sixty years of marriage is truly a memorable moment!

 

Until next time,

 

Tracy

 

P.S. How long have your parents been married?

DO YOU TAKE YOUR LIFE FOR GRANTED?

DO YOU TAKE YOUR LIFE FOR GRANTED?

Before I retire for the night, I take for granted that I’ll wake up in the morning and go about my ordinary life—my sleeping, eating, working, and walking-around-life.

But today, I’m reminded of my mortality.

The First Reason

A neighbor and friend, Orville Hughes, passed away on Sunday morning (God granted him 95 years on this earth).

Seven years ago, he was the first neighbor to rap his knuckles on our farmhouse screen door.

After gingerly opening the door, I thought, I’m definitely in farm country.

The elderly farmer pressed his thumbs into the back of his denim overalls. “Welcome to the neighborhood,” he said.

My hubby and I will always remember Orville as the neighbor, farmer, and the friend who showed love with his simple act of kindness.

The Second Reason

Shortly after 8:00 a.m., on a frigid February 2nd morning in 1945, sixteen miners stepped into a lift cage.

With helmet beams lit, they began their descent into the pit of darkness—just another ordinary day to dig for gold in muck and clay.

My grandfather, Eero Kohtala, is in the middle.

My grandfather, Eero Kohtala, is in the middle.

The cage was outfitted with an emergency stop system called “dogs”. The “dogs” job was to grip the timbers on the sides of the shaft should the cables ever break.

Snap!

The “dogs” malfunctioned, sending the cage to plummet 1,500 feet. My grandfather and fifteen other miners lost their lives that day.

An earlier photo of The Paymaster Mine Site taken in 1938. My grandfather is in the second row, fourth from the right.

An earlier photo of The Paymaster Mine Site taken in 1938. My grandfather is in the second row, fourth from the right.

The Paymaster Mine Tragedy was reported to be the greatest mining disaster in Northern Ontario, Canada.

Today is the 71st anniversary of my maternal grandfather’s death—a grandfather I never got to hug. And my mom was only seven-years-old when he died.

All that remains are newspaper clippings, family stories, and the book I compiled and wrote for my mom for Mother’s Day, May 11th, 2014—The Kohtala & Hakala Legacy.

Here’s one of those entries. (Sorry, this WordPress site wouldn’t allow me to insert lines between each stanza).

SIXTEEN MINERS

Tracy Campbell

Down, down, down,

Men toil all day,

Dig for gold

In muck and clay.

Down, down, down,

No time for play,

Miners sweat

For meager pay.

Down, down, down,

Write on this page—

Sixteen miners

Step in a cage.

Down, down, down,

Men, weary worn,

Cage door creaks

One frigid morn.

Down, down, down,

Torn cables snap,

Gloomy thoughts,

We’re in a trap! 

Down, down, down,

Lift cage drops,

Plummets fast,

Blasting stops.

Down, down, down,

Shriek, old and young,

“Help us!” heard

In mother tongue.

Down, down, down,

Torches lit,

Crowbars bend,

Friends don’t quit.

Down, down, down,

No helmet beams,

Loss of breath,

Ends miners’ dreams.

Up, up, up,

Prayers of strife,

Mother, child,

Plead for life.

Up, up, up,

Sirens blare,

Bodies rise to

Greet despair.

Up, up, up,

God knew why,

Eased each painful,

Desperate cry.

Up, up, up,

Cast in bronze,

Miners’ shrine

Gleams like dawn.

Down, down, down,

Tears freely flow,

Lives endure,

As memories glow.

Porcupine Miners Memorial

Porcupine Miners Memorial

The ten-foot bronze statue was erected in 2008 in remembrance of miners who lost their lives over the past 100 years.

The inscription reads:

A…memorial to those who died

A…monument to the families who survived

A…tribute to those who continue.

Before typing this post, I read the following verse in my trusty guidebook—a reminder for me to thank God for each new day.

“So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him.” Romans 12:1, MSG

Do you embrace each day like there’s no tomorrow?

Blessings,

 

Tracy

P.S. Send a card or give a gift to those you love. Visit My Whimsical Shop for ideas.

DO YOU TAKE YOUR LIFE FOR GRANTED? first appeared on Tracy Campbell’s blog.

Do You Feel Like You Need Validation from Others?

Do You Feel Like You Need Validation from Others?
Validation

Photo courtesy of Photopin.com

Have you presented a gift (better yet, a handmade one) to someone you loved, but you didn’t receive the praise or validation you thought you deserved?

I tend to seek out validation from others. My hubby says I need to stop worrying about what others think. He’s right. Gulp. And I’m not the only one who struggles with this. 

A good friend shared the following story. You’ll to have to read to the end to find out what life lesson she gleaned. Continue reading “Do You Feel Like You Need Validation from Others?” »

Week 7 – Summer Short & Sweets Challenge – A Birthday Present

Week 7 – Summer Short & Sweets Challenge – A Birthday Present

Fall is in the air. Adios, hot and hazy summer days. But I’m thankful for photos to remind me of sweet memories spent with my hubby’s family. A perfect lead into Susanna Leonard Hill’s, Summer Short & Sweet Challenge.

Continue reading “Week 7 – Summer Short & Sweets Challenge – A Birthday Present” »

Week 4 – Summer Short & Sweets Challenge – West of Wimple Willow Way

Week 4 – Summer Short & Sweets Challenge – West of Wimple Willow Way

Phew! Week 4. I`m half-way to the finish line when I realize I’m supposed to say something about sweets. I’m on a continual diet. Sorry, no sweets for me. Continue reading “Week 4 – Summer Short & Sweets Challenge – West of Wimple Willow Way” »