Missed Opportunity

Back in the fall of 1977 when I began going to school at NDSU, I was in a room at the Commons with other InterVarsity Christian Fellowship members when a young Arabic man came in, drawn by our singing about God. He began to discuss how he was a Muslim, and as a Muslim, he also respected and loved Jesus. He mentioned some other things and at that time, I was unable to say anything useful or loving, and I have regretted it ever since. But he left us saying as his main message, that we had more in common than we may have realized. I can see now looking back, he was trying to start a discussion, a healthy discussion, but none of us were prepared to engage in such a discussion, which is sad...


Simple, Hard Work

If only it was that simple.

I used to shell peas with my folks as well as Grandma. I miss that. 

I have tried growing a garden all my life and have never had much luck. I have found it to be a LOT of hard work and evidently Mother Nature has it in for me! But I have wonderful memories of our large family garden. 

Mom and Dad made it look so easy...


The Pot

I grew using a chamber pot.  But we just called it 'the pot'.  In fact, once I got a certain age, I was responsible for preparing it for the night, taking it upstairs, and then taking it downstairs and cleaning it in the morning, for re-use that following night.

My mom had me put in chlorine bleach mixed with water every night before taking it upstairs.  You may wonder why we did this. Well, we had no upstairs' bathroom for one thing.  The second thing is I had a lot of problems with my urinary tract system when I was a little girl growing up, plus I was a bed wetter on top of it all. I think Mom may have thought if I had a place to go to the bathroom close to me (right outside my bedroom door.

Eventually, I stopped wetting the bed, and I had years of respite from urinary tract problems (to return later in life, but that's another story).  Mom and Dad built on and had a new downstairs' bedroom.  I was upstairs alone, a teen...no more pot.

But I have never forgotten sitting way down on the cold rim of that old iron/porcelain pot many a night those many years ago.  At the time, it seemed perfectly normal.  It was the way it was...


Sewing Machine Magic

I don't remember a time when someone in my home wasn't sewing either by hand or by machine. Needlework was integral to our daily lives - making new clothing or other useful household items, repairing them, or adorning them with embroidery.  Needlework extended towards crochet and knitting, as well as quilting.

Part of using a sewing machine was knowing your machine.  My mother taught me how to clean it, and (very importantly) how to oil the machine. Part of that meant knowing how to take the bobbin/shuttle assembly apart and back together again when thread became entangled in that mechanism.

The bobbin/shuttle assembly was always such a mysterious part of the machine, with several interlocking parts.  There is a special way you must thread it, so it will then be picked up by the top needle and brought through the feed, ready to begin sewing a new seam once again.  I had never seen a visual demonstration on how the assembly in action, actually worked...until now.



Radio Interview

Tonight, Christian Cassidy of the West End Dumplings - The Radio Edition, will be interviewing me about the St. Vincent Memories history blog.

In his own words...
...my guests are: Trish Short Lewis of the blog St. Vincent Memories; U of W history prof Dr. Jody Perrun and Susan Algie of the Winnipeg Architecture Foundation. Join me at 7 pm on 101.5 UMFM. Only three episodes left! If you want to listen: Since UMFM can be heard in Winnipeg at 101.5 UMFM but it doesn't go much beyond city limits, people can listen online or, tomorrow there will be a podcast generated. the link will be in a companion post on a blog for this episode.


She has Grandpa's Blue Eyes...

My beautiful daughter Eva, who is so beautiful inside and out. I know I probably vex you on a daily basis, but what's new? I am a very vexing person, although I don't mean to be. I love you deeply, am so proud of you, and continue to wish the very best for you in life...

Compassion, empathy, and love are written on your face. I saw them in you as a little girl, and your capacity for them has only grown as time has passed.


2016 Family Reunion

In anticipation of next year's Fitzpatrick Family Reunion (and associated St. Vincent Town Reunion II), I wanted to post information regarding lodging, etc. so if people need to make reservations, they will have that information well in advance.  I've also included area attractions and historical sites for those that want to explore beyond the reunion itself while in the area...

Family Reunion Info:
(July 15-17, 2016)


Red Roost Hotel (Pembina) - (701)825-6254
Budget Host Caribou Inn (Hallock) - (218)843-3702
Valley Motel (Hallock) - (218)843-2828
Gateway Motel (Hallock) - (218)843-2032


Caribou Bar & Grill (Hallock) - (218)843-3740
North Branch Bowl & Grill (Hallock) - (218)843-8868
Gastrak (Pembina) - (701)825-6275 [NOTE:  Deli/Fast Food only]
Corner Lounge (Pembina) - (701)825-6581
LaMoure Memorial Golf Course (Pembina) - (701)825-6619

Places to Gather

Pembina State Museum (meeting room) - (701)825-6840
Pembina Community Center (meeting room/kitchen) - (701)825-6326

Sites to See

805 ND-59
Pembina, ND

332 E Main St
Lake Bronson, MN

Fort Dufferin (Emerson, west side of the Red River)
Established in 1873 by the North West Mounted Police (later the Royal Canadian Mounted Police), Fort Dufferin was the headquarters and winter home to the British-Canadian contingent of the International Boundary Commission from 1872 to 1874. A few of the buildings that once sat at the site still exist there today (Officer Quarters, stables, etc.)

A monument at the entrance to the site bears two plaques. One plaque, erected in 1997 by the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, describes the westward march of the North West Mounted Police. The other plaque commemorates two constables in the force, W. C. Brown and A. McIntosh, who died in 1874 at Fort Dufferin and are buried in unmarked graves near the site.

Travel Manitoba (Information Centre, Emerson)