Montreal

Quarantine diaries: Uncovering history while cleaning out a spare room

Kathy Mercier discovered new parts of her family’s history as she organized her home while in self-isolation.

While 'coronagizing,' Kathy Mercier discovered new parts of her family's history

Kathy Mercier, a federal public servant, is allowing herself to get lost in newly discovered pieces of her family history while in self-isolation. (Submitted by Kathy Mercier)

CBC Montreal wants to know how you are living these days. What are you doing differently? Have you learned, realized or observed anything? 

Here is our next instalment of our series, Quarantine diaries: Life in the time of COVID-19, written by Kathy Mercier.


I am actually enjoying the time at home. I have started "coronagizing," a term I invented for organizing while in self-isolation. My pantry is pristine; I've chipped away at the mountain of laundry, and I am working on cleaning out the spare room. In doing so, I have found a trove of old photos and letters.

My husband and I purchased the house that he grew up in, and it contains a lot of his parents' history, as well as his maternal grandmother's history. There are many boxes tucked away that we are still discovering.

A time like this is actually wonderful for this kind of discovery. I can take my time and flip through photos, books, letters and objects. There is no rush. I can allow myself to get lost in the past.

Above are some letters to my husband’s grandmother and an autograph book.
This is an embroidered handkerchief and pressed holly leaves gifted to my husband’s grandmother in March 1924.
Here are some photos, plus the wedding announcement and invitation for my in-laws’ wedding.
Remember this, anyone? It’s the one-dollar bill issued for Canada’s centennial year in 1967.
My mother-in-law was a nurse at the Sherbrooke Hospital. Here is a picture of her at work, the Sherbrooke Hospital Centennial album and a nurse’s dictionary, published around 1957.
My husband’s grandmother used this tiny pair of embroidery scissors.

Add some “good” to your morning and evening.

A variety of newsletters you'll love, delivered straight to you.

Sign up now

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

now