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Author, Eleanor Joy McDonald

 

Eleanor driftwooding on BonaireEncouragement from a visiting aunty over the tale I wrote as an eight-year-old, Lilypad Tea, proved to be a non-stop blessing.

The mixed dairy farm I grew up on near Hickson ON was edged by a woods and creek. Each spring, Mom took me and my four siblings on exciting wildflower hunts. She taught us their names and those of the birds and trees. Beauty was everywhere--palm trees and ferns were etched onto my bedroom window by the frost, clam shells on the sandbar shimmered with pearl, tiny dots of gold were on the shoulder of a Monarch butterfly's powder-green chrysalis hanging under a milkweed leaf!

Our famiy upon arrival on Bonaire in 1973: Lloyd, Eleanor, John, Joanna, DanielIn Grade Three social studies, I fell in love with Holland, its red balls of Gouda cheese, wooden shoes, tulips, windmills and its blue and white Delft, not knowing what this was preparing me for.

High-schooled at WCI in Woodstock, I received amazing encouragement from my typing and shorthand teacher which bloomed into an interesting career in the courtroom, recording proceedings in shorthand and typing transcripts of evidence.

In 1961, I married Lloyd McDonald who also attended WCI. Our three children, John, Daniel and Joanna, were born in Woodstock. We moved to London to avoid the half-hour commutes Lloyd made for work and bought a bungalow in the country, surrounded by farmer's fields, a pond and meadow.

A year-and-a-half after being called to serve with the missionary radio station of TWR on Bonaire, Netherlands Antilles (chapters 1 and 2 of Little Dutch Isle), we arrived in July, 1973 (pages 68 and 73). Bonaire is a semi-desert island, but one of the world's best shore diving spots (pages 471& 478). It is home to flamingos, mountains of salt and lopsided trees. Our children were educated solely in the Dutch language.

Eleanor at the fruit boat on BonaireWe returned to Canada in 1984 and settled in Kitchener ON. Lloyd found himself outdated in electronics due to technologies which came in during our absence abroad. He was able to find satisfaction in building maintenance, in Bible teaching (see closerlook.ca) and in creating several unique sculptures.

Shortly after returning, I switched from being proficient on an electric typewriter to navigating the exasperating challenge of computers. Working in various clerical jobs and administrative work at a church's seniors' complex, I was able to get back to my first love, court reporting.

Retirement allowed me to continue creating and offering oil and watercolour paintings online and to harvest years of scrapbooking, journalling and photography in order to share, in a transparent manner, Little Dutch Isle.

Divi divi tree on Bonaire

 

Books by Eleanor Joy McDonald

Colour the ABCs

Little Dutch Isle
Little Dutch Isle

Mrs. Twigadoon
Mrs Twigadoon

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