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Saturday, 3 January 2009
With apologies for this being late!
We had the joy of hosting Hope, the Travelling Doll in our home in November (actually she arrived just in time for Halloween) and here is a little bit of her Ontario adventure:

Hope arrived just before Halloween. What a lovely girl she is! Rowan (age 3) was immediately smitten with her and set off to make her a Halloween costume. When the time came for Trick or Treating, it was unseasonably warm for Northern Ontario and Hope was decked out as a Fairy Princess~ crown, wand, wings and all! She enjoyed visiting with the neighbours and seeing all the other children in their disguises.

Early the next week, Hope joined Rowan at her Music for Young Children class. Hope clapped and danced and even played the triangle with a little help from Ro. The children enjoyed meeting Hope and they all helped her play London Bridge with them.

Hope arrived at our place with her little suitcase of treasures from her travels and a lovely scrapbook. Hope and Rowan often sat together and enjoyed the chronicle of Hope's journey so far. inspired by photos of Hope's camping trip in the UK, Rowan decided to set up a Canadian camping experience for Hope... in the living room. Tent, sleeping bag, camp chairs, fire, marshmallows and all. The girls played for hours around their makeshift site, including Rowan's best friend Puppy and our real dog, too!

On November 11th, which is marked as Remembrance Day in Canada, Hope joined us for our town's service at the Royal Canadian Legion. We live in a small town, so we all walked to the service where veterans are honoured and sacrifices remembered. A children's choir sang a version of "In Flander's Fields", youth read their own poetry, a roster of names of the war dead from our community were read, the trumpeter played Taps and Reveille and then the bagpipes played Amazing Grace as memorial wreaths were laid by the families of those who had died in the past year. Some of the wreaths represented vets and community members we know and miss. It was a moving service, and many people were curious to meet Hope and welcome her to our community. The mayor even pinned her with a town pin!

Hope is pictured here with the trumpeter/ piper; with the wreaths and with 90+ year old Sam~ local retired principal, active townsman and veteran. Sam was a little befuddled as to why we wanted a 90 year old man to hold a *doll* but he went along with it and Hope was very gracious with him, as she admired his medals.The final visit Hope made with our family was to attend a church service in November. She was introduced to the children during the children's time and went to Sunday School with them. That didn't last very long as Rowan decided they didn't want to stay and during the prayer for the Offering (I am the minister) Rowan and Hope came running up the aisle declaring "we don't WANT to stay in Sunday School Mommy!". After the service Hope received lots of hugs and attention from young and old captivated by her lovely appearance and interesting story.

It was a delight to have Hope visit with us, to share her story and to show her around our small community. We wish her all the best on her continued journey!
We will be following Hope's story on her own personal blog.

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