Now a Damsel in Distress; After, At Long Last, Finally Feeling at Peace and At Home; Damsel in Distress From Earlier Blogs; The Alberta Legislative Building was Plastered by my Great Uncle William Dryburgh; Trip to Get Mail Proves Disastrous; Guffaw Defined; M.A.N. and my Emails; I Could Never Be Rapunzel; Only the Good Die Young; Great Photography

As this blog will later attest, complete with fine photography, I was feeling that I was finally at home (after so many years). I had roots, I had connections, everything and everyone of importance was close at hand and accessible. I was in control. Then, quite suddenly,  I was not. I had become a damsel is distress. 

 I went to the now finally functioning search engine of my blog to find that I had discussed this concept before, some time ago. Again, I quote myself, this time discussing the concept of damsel in distress.:

“That is a concept which does not entirely fit me, mostly because I am old. The damsel-in-distress, persecuted maiden, or princess in jeopardy is a classic theme in world literature, art, film and video games; most notably in those that have a lot of action. This trope usually involves beautiful, innocent, or helpless young female leads, placed in a dire predicament by a villain, monster or alien, and who requires a male hero to achieve her rescue. Often these young women are stereotyped as very physically weak and almost completely dependent on the male lead. After rescuing her, the hero often obtains her hand in marriage. She has become a stock character of fiction, particularly of melodrama. Though she is usually human, she can also be of any other species, including fictional or folkloric species; and even divine figures such as an angel, spirit, or deity.” (The Alexis of October 30, 2019). 

The concept is also discussed on July 19,2019. Credit is given to Wikipedia, readers being told that they should look it up for themselves. “It goes on and is most interesting. Read the entry in its entirety. It is fascinating. What would you do without me? Defining words for you, giving you concepts and entertaining you. And all for nothing but you do get what you pay for. Hahaha” 

Another entry popped up but the concept merely mentioned in passing but it was interesting to look back to see former blogs, littered with men. Their real names not mentioned, all have nicknames, and for the life of me I cannot recall who they are (or were). Do remember, in the past that ‘My Song’ was Too Many Men. Too Little Time.” That was before the Islamic faith came into my life. Now ‘My Song’ is Too Few Men, So Much Time

But onto why I suddenly went from feeling at home to being a Damsel in Distress. Yesterday, I , as usual, woke up very early, in time for Fajr prayer. Knew the Alberta Legislative Building was brilliant with Christmas lights, knew photography of this sight was mandatory. So, prior to sunrise, was out there, my iPhone in hand. I captured some fine shots which shall be revealed at the conclusion of this blog. Then to the Legislative Cafeteria for breakfast. A habit of old, which was revived,  the day before. 

The photographs were taken to illustrate a story which will now be told. I leased my fabulous apartment in June of 2022 shortly after my arrival in Edmonton. I am so happy here, for many reasons, It seems a gift from Allah. I dimly recalled an ancestral story – something about my paternal Grandfather George Dryburgh’s brother doing the plaster work on the next door Alberta Legislative Building. The Legislative Library staff was so helpful, recovering the public records of each of those years but individual names were not mentioned, only the companies and the monies received. In all fairness my faithful cousin had supplied this information in the past but I could not find it. I asked again and she swiftly responded with this: 

THE DRYBURGHS OF KIRKCALDY AT THE TURN OF THE CENTURY 1900. William, the ‘culprit’ appears and the questioning is over. 

WILLIAM:        Was born in Kirkcaldy in 1885.  He arrived in Canada in 1910 on the “Ionian” and settled in Edmonton as a plasterer.  He joined the Over-Seas Expeditionary Force in 1915 spending time in London & France.  He was discharged in 1919 & returned to Canada in 1920 onboard the Saturnia.  He left Canada via Rochester NY in November, 1922, lived in Chicago, Ill, USA and sailed to Scotland in December, 1931 with his wife (Jean McDowell).

So now I have it , now I know and it is so meaningful to me. My Great Uncle William did come to Edmonton at the age of 25, leaving here five years later to become a soldier in WWI. He came back to Canada after the war. We know the boat but not where he settled. But then he left to live in the United States in 1922. Somewhere along the line he got married, sailing back to Scotland with his wife in December of 1931. 

I think, he did not have children (otherwise they would have been mentioned.) I recall that he died in Edinburgh, but again this is not confirmed. 

I found myself identifying with my long lost relative. Venturing from his native land at 25. I left Canada for the US when I was 24. Then he later went to live in the US. But back to Scotland, the land of his birth when he was 46. I back in Canada at the age of 79. 

Yesterday I proudly took photographs of the building my Great Uncle William Dryburgh help construct and felt very at home here. Alexis (Dryburgh) McBride living next door to my Great Uncle’s building. I guess I would be his Grand Niece Alexis (how fitting,). Hahahaha

Was having a great day. Decided to go and get my mail. So in slippers, no coat, no phone  and only my keys went down to the lobby to collect my mail. Only one elevator was working – the other under repair by the Otis people for a couple of days. Met W.O.M. A.N. and the Security Guard on the elevator – they went to P4. Finding no mail went to get the elevator back up to the sixteenth floor. It did not come, it did not come, it did not come. Talked to two fellow tenants. Eventually one fellow tenant, a man originally from India, escorted me around the corner to the office entrance of the building which has a separate set of elevators that goes only to the tenth floor. W.O.M.A.N. was there. Eventually (and I do mean eventually) she and I went to the tenth floor. Then eventually, and I do mean eventually, we were able to gain access to the stairway. I cannot ‘do’ stairs because of my knee problem but laughingly we did them. Stopping on the way to rest and giggle and guffaw.

Gaffaw is the perfect word to describe the situation. A noun, its meaning is a loud and boisterous laugh. The synonyms will make you lol: loud laugh, roar of laughter, hoot of laughter, shriek of laughter, peal of laughter, belly laugh. That describes us. I am not exactly sure what we were laughing about. There was nothing actually funny about the entire situation. 

This morning I emailed M.A.N. The subject line was: To Make You Laugh. 

Me:  I am sure you are having a difficult day what with the elevator problems and all. Your wife and I had the very best of times coming up to the 16th floor. I laughed and said I was going to write you and ask for an apartment on the 11th floor so we would not have to go through this again. I am not. I love my apartment here and am praying that the elevators will work. Allah does listen to my prayers.

He: I am glad you have beautiful journey to take stairs with my wife.  No matter what we are here to help you. (He then said I was special, but some special words can be private). As you know for you all the doors are open you could stay in my office and wait, go for wine or dance party at Jasper Ave with my wife. Ha Ha Ha I’m kidding. Thank you for reaching out this morning. 

Me: You are absolutely wonderful as usual. I feel so blessed to be here and to be treated so perfectly (which I am). I shall always strive to be worthy of such attention. The next time the elevators malfunction your wife and I shall be out carousing on Jasper Avenue. What fun we shall have. If we had fun stumbling up to the 16th floor think of what we could do in a dance venue?!?!. Could you please do something about the fog? I cannot see a thing out my window. Thank you very much. Best regards, Alexis

I am going no where today. I do not want to get stuck again. I shall just stay in and grow my hair like Rapunzel.  Rapunzel is a Brothers Grimm story about a girl with long hair who uses it to give the prince access to the castle in which she was being held prisoner. The story originated in Germany.

I may be here for a long time if I am relying on long hair. The disadvantage of living in the ‘penthouse suite.’ Hahahaha. No prince for me I guess.  

Another entry of the Dryburgh family. This my grandfather George Dryburgh. 

GEORGE:  Was born in Kirkcaldy in 1887.  He married Janet Baxter in 1908 with son David born later that year and Robert Baxter in 1910. He arrived in Canada in 1911 on the Cassandra, Janet followed in 1912 aboard the Empress of Ireland with David & Robert.  Robert Baxter died of scarlet fever soon after their arrival.  Son John was born in 1913 in Regina.  In 1914 George & the family returned to Scotland as George joined the Army.  Son George was born in 1915, followed by James in 1917 and William in 1919.  The Family returned to Canada in 1920 aboard the Melita to settle in Regina.   Alexander was born in 1921 followed by Garnet in 1923. Janet died in 1932, George in 1973.  David  died in 1948, James in 1986, George in 1993, Garnet in 1997John & William in 1999.  Alexander will turn 100 in March, 1921.

That is my father, Alexander. Do not know if he is living or dead. I have no contact with family members, my helpful cousin does not know. . Recently I attempted to discover whether he was alive or dead. I would have to obtain and  pay for a death certificate. If he was dead, I would get it, if not I would get my money back. It seemed most complicated, most time consuming and painful. 

I do remember that phrase; only the good die young. It is a proverb: Well-regarded people who are morally upright, kind, and beneficent tend to die at a younger age than do most people. “The origin of ‘only the good die young’ dates back to Greece, circa 445 BC. It actually is a song by Billy Joel. It is catchy, listen to it after, not before, you look at the stunning photos I took of the Legislative Building yesterday 

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