A Pieceful Life

A Pieceful Life


I'm so glad that you stopped by, and hope that you enjoy your visit. Here you will find pieces of my life - quilting, cross-stitch, family, travel, friends.
My name is Peg - I am a 60ish wife, mother, daughter, sister, aunt, cousin, friend - and if we're not already related or friends, hope to become your friend too.
We live in the eastern end of the beautiful Fraser Valley, about 1.5 hours east of Vancouver, BC. Empty nesters, we have one son living just a few minutes away, our other son and daughter live in Alberta.
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Friday, September 28, 2012


I’m a taphophile – not a bad thing, just a person who loves to visit cemeteries.

On our cross-country trip, there were lots and lots to visit, but I only took time for a few.

First, near Hudson NY, this old cemetery looked like it honored veterans, and looked old enough to have civil war-era headstones, and sure enough:


Whenever I visit a cemetery, I wish I could learn the stories behind some of these folks.  I also ache for the loss of infants and children, one of the most heart-breaking aspects of life in the past.  And here, I had to wonder ‘whose mother and father?’


At Iona, Cape Breton Island, NS, we visited the cemetery where some of my ancestors are buried.  The last time we were here, we simply looked for the ones we knew about – this time, I searched a little further, looking for older generations, names from the family tree.  Sadly, I didn’t find what I was seeking.

But my great-grandparents, and two great uncles are buried together:


It’s sad to note that there were no immediate family members near-by to erect a headstone for Great-uncle Murdoch  - I think I want to talk to my family about rectifying that somehow.

While wandering through, I found a series of headstones, all alike, and one that told a little bit of the story:


Mother, aged 46 and six children aged 22, 14, 13, 11, 8 and 6 all died on the same day in 1958.  The father appears to have been the lone survivor and lived another43 years.  The family name is MacNeil, which is one of my ancestral names, so my curiosity is even more heightened.  In doing some vital statistics/genealogy searches, I found the death record of the mother – apparently her death was accidental, ‘car ran off dock’ resulting in drowning. 

In St. James ON, we came across this cemetery, at an old church that’s been converted to a funeral home.  Around the building, banks of old gravestones were set up – we wondered if they’d been moved from somewhere else, and if so for what reason.  No explanation was forthcoming from signage around the building:50.St. James, ON51

Also in Ontario, we came across an Amish cemetery, and were struck by the same-ness and simplicity of their headstones:


At Rushes cemetery not far away, the most intriguing story is told of a man who buried two wives, both very young, in 1865 and 1867, and engraved the headstone with a cryptic message:


It was 80 years before the message was deciphered, by two different people.  Dr. Samuel Bean went on to marry a third time, this marriage lasting 34 years, ending with his death at sea in 1904.

I’ll leave you to puzzle this out for a bit, if you’re so inclined and post the answer in a few days.

In Iowa, at Amana Colonies, the cemetery had some similarity to the Amish resting places.  A sign at the gate stated that there are no family plots, that burial is purely chronological by date:


At Bannack MT (ghost town) there were two cemeteries, both closed up so a real crawl wasn’t possible.  Near the town, a steep walk up the hill from the gallows:


And outside town a little drive:


It’s sad to see cemeteries so sadly neglected, no matter that there are no survivors remembering the deceased any longer.  As we looked at these gravestones, we talked about the adage ‘as long as somebody is alive who remembers me, I’m still here’.  It occurs to us that, at the time of death, the youngest person among family and friends who will probably have an active memory of the deceased will be about 5 years old – so that means that as long as that person lives, assuming they live an average life span, the deceased will be ‘here’ for probably 75 years or more after their actual death.  Kind of nice to think that we don’t just disappear when we die.

These crawls were just for you, sis, wish you could have been right along with me.  Maybe someday we’ll do another crawl together.

Happy crawls.                   Blessings, Peg

Churches Across America

Shortly into our trip, I discovered that I was taking pictures of churches almost everywhere, and then began to plan out a quilt using some of the pictures.   I took most of the pictures on the fly, as often there wasn’t an opportunity to pull over, so don’t have any history, but here’s a few of the ones that I found most intriguing.

Wisconsin – the stained glass here was incredible:


New York:


New Hampshire:


Prince Edward Island:



Nova Scotia – Cape Breton Island, the church that my ancestors attended:


New Brunswick:




The first church here is in a little town along the St. Laurence, and was used as a refuge for locals during Indian uprisings, is more then 150 years old.

The second picture is of another church along the St. Laurence.  We were looking for a place to have a rest stop, and spotted the church parking lot.  When we drove in, there was a picnic table, and a sign welcoming travelers.  We so appreciate the efforts of so many out there who help weary tourists.



Amish meeting house, Ontario:

96.Amish meeting house








Kansas, this one was constructed by German immigrants, who not only contributed financially, but also were committed to each hauling six wagonloads of the 100-lb stones used in construction:






We noticed that throughout Utah, Montana and Alberta, the LDS churches all were made of brick, and most had tall tall steeples that could be seen from miles away, similar to most Catholic churches we saw wherever we were.





This is St. Henry’s church near Pincher Creek.  Built in 1907, it functioned as a parish center until about 6 or 7 years ago.  Now closed, it is being maintained by local folk as a historic site, along with the cemetery behind it.  There’s some controversy about it as the bishop would like to sell it, but the property is entirely designated cemetery land and by law must be maintained as a cemetery.  It’s perched on top of a hill, with 360 degree view, and of course visibility. 126.St. Henry historic church


I’ll keep you all updated as I work out the quilt that’s brewing at the back of my mind.

Happy inspiration!              Blessings, Peg

It’s a Wild World

At least that’s what we think, and one of the things we watch for when we travel – anywhere – is the wild animals along the way.  It was disappointing for us that we had very few sightings on this trip.

But finally, at Waterton Parks, these two hunks met us on the road:


They weren’t too anxious to get out of the way, either.

Around Waterton village, we spotted these deer resting in the shade:

31.Deer in town

And later they came visiting at the campground:

33.Campsite visitors36

So nice to see these wild animals, so secure in their environment, and unafraid of the humans around.  One man tried to get close enough to touch them, but they just calmly kept walking away.  There was warning out that they could attack, though.

And talking of animals visiting campgrounds – at Kalispell, the petting zoo animals were released to graze, and they obviously thought the whole campground belonged to them:


While at Waterton, we drove through the buffalo paddock.  These buffalo are apparently descendants of the original herds of southern Alberta:

37.Buffalo paddock394945


Happy fauna sightings!    Blessings, Peg