When You Lose Security

What makes you most anxious?

Since the pandemic, I have sensed such a shift away from kindness and respect. Some people often seem to be angry all the time, or they feel as though they are entitled to behave in certain ways. Just this week I experienced this attitude twice in my everyday life. First, before I got my cold, yes my students got me again..lol..I went to my local YMCA to do water aerobics. The therapy pool was packed, but it had a place in the corner where I could work out. I had been working out for at least ten minutes when this lady who had been working out at the other end of the pool came swimming toward me. Her friend told her that she was about to plow into me, and her response was, “I don’t care. I was here first.”

My second occurrence happened while I was at home and resting. I felt awful. I had someone start knocking loudly on my door. The guy even tried opening my front door! When I didn’t respond, he went around to the side of the house and started banging on the garage door, and he tried opening it too. By then this granny had enough. I went to the door, told him I had called the sheriff, gave them his vehicle description and license plates, and the sheriff was on their way. He started screaming at me when I told him I called the sheriff’s department, and I told him this was his cue to leave. When he tried to intimidate me, I told him to go before I called my crazy neighbor that had an arsenal and years of combat training. That got his attention, and he finally left my property.

I hate living in a time when I no longer even feel safe in my own home. I hate that I feel uncomfortable when I go on road trips or “glamping” because I never know if I will meet a crazy person on the road. It has happened twice before on my travels. But now in my home, this latest incident has me troubled. Not sure what the answer is in a situation like this. Friends and family want me to get a handgun or at the very least a stun gun, but I don’t like that answer either. In the meantime, I am adding some security measures to my home, and I am hoping that it will provide some peace. I just want my home to feel like my haven once again.

America’s Mountain

Name an attraction or town close to home that you still haven’t got around to visiting.

O beautiful for spacious skies, for amber waves of grain

For purple mountain majesties, above the fruited plain

America, America, God shed His grace on thee

And crown thy good with brotherhood, from sea to shining sea.

America’s Mountain regally stands north of my home, so I often sit on my porch and admire its beauty. The blueish-purple outline rests among clear blue Colorado skies with billowing clouds that nestle close to its peak. Fresh untouched snow lingers at the summit, even at times, during summer months. Then, when the sun slowly sets, dusky skies shower viewers with a stunning light show. Pike’s Peak never disappoints. 

Pike’s Peak inspired many to explore its valleys and peaks. This mountain encouraged writers and poets, artists, and dreamers. It beckoned explorers and scientists and provided refuge for wildlife and adventurers who desired outdoor havens. It provided breathtaking beauty and endless vast views of Colorado lands.

Pike’s Peak was named for an early explorer and has been nicknamed America’s Mountian. She found her way into our hearts with her amazing views and filled us with pride when we sang “America the Beautiful.” Yep, this same mountain inspired Katherine Lee Bates to write the poem “Pike’s Peak.” Later, Samuel A. Ward transformed the poem into the song we know and love today.

So why haven’t I visited this beauty since returning to Colorado over forty years ago? Good question. I was two months old when my dad was stationed at Fort Carson. We lived in the area for two years. During that time, my parents explored this mountain and drove to the summit with a baby in tow. So technically, I visited this mountain, but the older version of me would like to take away some memories and photos.

So I did a quick research. I can drive to the top or take the Cog Railway, a mode of transportation with a long history of transporting visitors to the top of this mountain. Plus, I could make a day of it and spend time in Manitou Springs, Garden of the Gods, or have dinner at the Flying W Ranch. Hmm, I foresee a road trip in the future!


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All for the King

This great grandmother, Marie Jeanne Toussaint, blazed a new trail in the New World, and her name survived throughout the generations as one of the founding mothers of North America.

The last known member of her family line, this King’s Daughter, came to New France alone. Her origins, her parents, and even her exact age vanished from history. Still, this great grandmother, Marie Jeanne Toussaint, blazed a new trail in the New World, and her name survived throughout the generations as one of the founding mothers of North America.

While little information on this 9th great grandmother existed, her impact on North America could not be forgotten. My grandmother, along with around 800 “sisters,” traveled to the French colonies to help balance gender inequality. To enhance the population in New France, King Louis XIV sent the King’s Daughters, the Filles du Roi, to the wilderness frontier between 1663 and 1773.

Once they arrived, most married the French immigrants and helped settle the king’s lands. The king also gave the women a dowry and a trousseau to help them establish their homes. Once they landed, they were provided with housing until they married. During their stay at their temporary quarters, the nuns taught them the necessary skills required to face the challenges of this strange new world. Most were not prepared or suited for the demanding lifestyle that awaited them. Yet, they stayed, and boldly met the challenges set before them.

Many of the women married within a few months after a suitable marriage was arranged. Fulfilling the king’s hopes, a decade later, the French colonies doubled in size. These women helped populate North America, for their descendants spread across this continent, and currently, most French Canadians have descended from at least one of the King’s Daughters.

Historically, these voyages often took as long as two to three months, and the young women faced hardships while traveling across the Atlantic Ocean. Some perished on their journey, and others suffered from malnutrition and disease. Although some records were lost, Jeanne arrived in Quebec in 1670, and historians believed she was about eighteen years old. That year eighty-seven women immigrated to the continent.

Unlike many of her contemporaries, Jeanne did not marry right away. Instead, she contracted for one year of service with a native of Quebec, Madeleine de Chavigny, at Cap-de-la-Madeleine.

Jeanne’s future husband, Noel Carpentier, arrived in 1665 and worked as a servant for a time. On 22 Jun 1669, Noel accepted about 35 acres of land from Nicholas Crevier dit Belleviue, and a few years later, he decided to settle down and start a family.

About 1672, Noel Carpentier and Jeanne Toussaint married in Cap-de-la-Madeleine. While her paper trail grew cold, Jeanne helped her family thrive in the new land. While living in this town, the couple had two children, Marie Madeleine (1673), and Marie Jeanne (25 Nov 1676). Around 1678, the family moved to Quebec. Their son, Etienne was born in 1678.

Sometime after the birth of their son, the family moved again to Champlain. The family settled in this town and remained in this settlement. The couple had seven more children, Medard (2 Aug 1681), Marie Marguerite (4 Mar 1684), Marie Antoinette (11 Jan 1686), Marie Therese (3 Jul 1689), Marie Celeste Anne (18 Jun 1691), Jacques (14 Apr 1694), and Noel (5 Nov 1703).

According to the 1681 Census, the family was listed twice, in Cap-de-la-Madeleine and Champlain. Most genealogists and historians believed the couple owned land in both places. The information stated the couple held nine head of cattle and about 30 acres of land.

Tragedy did strike the family, for the census did not list Jacques, and many believed he died as a child. Years later, on the 5 Nov 1703, Noel and Jeanne lost their oldest daughter, Marie Madeleine, in Champlain. 

Five years later, on 11 Dec 1708, Jeanne’s last will and testament were notarized by Normandin. Five days later, she died, and on the 17 Dec 1708, she was buried in Champlain. She was about fifty-two years old.

Noel lived until he was eighty-five years old. He died 26 Jan 1728, and he was buried next to Jeanne. Four of their children settled at Ile-Dupas; two children moved to Becancour, one daughter, Marie Jeanne, became a nun at Notre Dame in Montreal. She took the name Sister Sainte-Genevieve. The rest of their children stayed in their original parish.  

Life as a King’s Daughter required strength and courage to survive the rugged wilderness of the French Colonies. These women not only coped with frontier life but also raised children amidst all their duties. They conquered their surroundings and left a legacy for their children and grandchildren. What a revelation and an honor to know that the women in my family were resilient, valiant, and capable, even when faced with enormous obstacles and reservations.

Painting by The Arrival of the French Girls at Quebec, 1667. Watercolour by Charles William Jefferys.

The King’s Daughters


  • Gagné Peter J. King’s Daughters and Founding Mothers: the Filles Du Roi, 1663-1673. Quintin.
  • Gale Research. U.S. and Canada, Passenger and Immigration Lists Index, 1500s-1900s, Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2010, search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=7486.
  • Genealogical Research Library, Ontario, Canada. U.S., Department of Veterans Affairs BIRLS Death File, 1850-2010, Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2005, search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=7920.
  • Laforest, Thomas John., and Jeffrey M. LaRochelle. Our French-Canadian Ancestors. LISI Press, 1989.
  • PRDH, Drouin Institute, http://www.prdh-igd.com.
  • “Quebec, Genealogical Dictionary of Canadian Families (Tanguay Collection), 1608-1890.” 1920 Census | 1920 US Federal Census Records | Ancestry.com, Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2011, search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=2177.
  • Quebec, Canada, Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1968. Online Publication – Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2008.Original Data – Gabriel Drouin, Comp. Drouin Collection. Montreal, Quebec, Canada: Institut Généalogique Drouin.Original Data: Gabriel Drouin, Comp. Drouin Collection. Montreal, Quebec, search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=1091.

Stop the Press!

In order to hereunto, the Publisher will take what pains he can to obtain a Faithful Relation of all such things: and will particularly make himself beholden to such Persons in Boston whom he knows to have been for their own use the diligent Observers of such matters.

Benjamin Harris


Home for me has several implications. It is doused in memories of the people and places that offer sweet memories of the past, joy in the moment, and all the promises for the future.  Life was not perfect, by any stretch of the imagination.  It was sometimes uneasy, and painful and raw; still, love found its way into my life and tangled my heart with many that I hold so dear.  Deep within, I know I have been blessed with the love and companionship of family and friends.  I have cherished them all.

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