Get social on social media

Monday, January 15, 2018

Exploring the Masonic Temple: Full of Masonic secrets and ghosts!

Just try to find out what the Masonic password is or how to do the handshake.
You’ll never get it from a Mason, they are sworn to secrecy. With initiation rituals that include a noose and their worship of the sun, it all seems a bit archaic. Yet they still thrive. Their symbol, the All-Seeing Eye, is on the US dollar bill, above the pyramid. The Latin underneath is a Freemason motto, meaning “new world order”.

I saw the All-Seeing Eye up close when I toured the old Masonic Temple, 6 Cathedral Street, St. John’s with one of the owners, Kathie Hicks. For the past ten years, the building has been owned by Spirit of Newfoundland, who saved it from becoming condominiums when it went up for sale. It is now a theatre for the arts.
The building is a treasure trove of Masonic symbols and an explorer’s dream. This Temple is the only fraternal brick structure in the province. On the outside of the building you can see the time capsule embedded in the cornerstone. There's a double time capsule inside this concrete vault. The capsule from the Masons previous location, which burned down, was taken and put inside a newer time capsule.

I could wander around its beautiful rooms all day and marvel at the high ceilings, elegant staircase, and stunning ornamental plaster work. There is a piano in every room and it is home to the only Bluthner Parlour Grand Piano in the province. The Bluthner piano was favored by Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninov because of an extra string on most keys. But, the stunning Victorian architecture takes a backseat to the secrets this enchanting building holds.

Kathie and her co-owner, Peter Halley are working hard to maintain the historic
integrity of each room. Visitors there to see a Spirit of Newfoundland production will be seated in the main floor banquet area and before the show, can wander around the bar or Screech Room. They don’t see the upstairs because it is not open to the public yet.

Upstairs, is the Lodge Room which was the general assembly area for Masons. It is laid out East to West and North to South. In its original state it would have had seating along the walls of all sides. In the middle of the room is a rectangular black and white tessellated pavement along with a five-point red star, an object central to the moral teachings of Freemasonry. This room has a beautiful August Gern ornate pipe organ that is one of only two in the world. The other is in a cloistered nunnery in Nottingham. On the ceiling is
the All-Seeing Eye. It is symbolic of the Eye of God. It is the symbol of His Divine watchfulness and His ever-present care of the universe.

Off the Lodge room is the Chapter room and was only accessible to Masons who have a certain number of degrees. But the most interesting room of all is the dungeon or Chamber of Reflection which was used for those secret Masonic ceremonies.

Kathie took me into this small room on the second floor. There is a trap door in the floor with a wooden plug in the center. She lifted the door to reveal the Chamber of Reflection. A small darkened, concrete room. It is a somber
place of meditation and reflection for candidates for initiation into Freemasonry, and is sometimes used in higher degrees. As the Masons attain more degrees, there is a ceremony that
takes place before one enters in the dungeon. A person writes in a big book on a small desk outside, essentially spilling all their secrets before he goes to the dungeon, the trap door is closed, and he is deprived of light. The plug is removed when the person is ready to emerge marking his readiness to rise to a higher degree. The plug may be out to allow a small amount of light and then put back in for total darkness. There is a ceremony with the Grand Master before he can come to the surface. It takes as much time as the person in the dungeon requires to clear his conscience before entering the higher level of the brotherhood.

I descended the small wooden staircase down to the dungeon to look around. The room is not for the claustrophobic and the ceiling was very low. I can’t imagine being in there for days. It could certainly make a person go mad.

According to Wikipedia: Before the ceremony of initiation, the candidate is placed for a time in the Chamber of Reflection, in order to meditate and consider how Freemasonry is about to change his life. He is given a series of questions to answer. Typically, he is asked his duties to God, his fellow men, and himself. In some lodges he is also asked to make a will. At the end of this time, he is led to the Temple for initiation.

So where did all those books filled with the secrets of each Mason go? Well, the
Temple has a large vault on the first floor which was presumably used to protect the organization’s secret files, money and ceremonial tools.

The building also carries its share of ghost stories. There is even one man who visits the upper rooms at times to visit what he calls “his friends”. Staff have two clear ghost stories that involved old fashioned music. On one occasion, the general manager popped in on a warm summer evening and heard the band practicing up in the main Lodge room. When he went inside, there was no one. Just the music. Old fashioned music with lots of brass.

On another occasion, it was extremely cold winter morning around 7:00 when the kitchen staff were cooking turkeys, the chef could hear the band in the main dining area. When she went out to see what was on the go, again, no one there but the old-fashioned music lingered. In terror, she tried to call Kathie, three times. On each occasion the only sound on the line was heavy static and garbled language. Both say that at the time of the ghostly occurrence, they could feel it in your soul. They felt they knew what was happening.

The Masonic Temple was built in 1894 and the owners have been continuously
renovating it, desperately trying to maintain its former glory. Almost half of the space in the Temple cannot be used until certain safety issues are addressed. The restrictive building codes of the City of St. John’s requires the renovations to cut into walls and reshape rooms to accommodate fire exits and washrooms. It is a shame that the city planners are requiring the owners to make these changes that will take away from the original plan of the Temple.


With each passing season, the exterior erodes more and is in desperate need of repair. This is not your average building. It needs another $500,000 work on the outside. The intensity of the brick, stone and copper puts the cost of restoration in a league that is not feasible for a small theatre company like the Spirit of Newfoundland. In 2008, they started a fundraising project to help restore the outside of this magnificent structure.

The Masonic Temple is a registered heritage building and the owners believe it is worth saving. After touring all the floors, I truly understand how they fell in love with this building. If you would like to help restore it, you can contribute to their efforts by donating at http://www.masonictemplerestoration.com


This grand structure is a jewel in the crown of the City of St. John’s, the oldest
city in North America. The next time you go to a Spirit of Newfoundland show, get there early and take a few moments to stand in the grand foyer and look around at this beautiful old Masonic Temple. 

#masonictemple #spiritofnewfoundland #ghosts # Mason #stjohns

Monday, January 8, 2018

Filling the Good jar

When midnight struck on New Year’s Eve I couldn’t wait to kick 2017 to the
Our Good Jar sits on the counter
in my kitchen so I don't forget to fill it. 
curb and plant a big, wet one on the lips of 2018.

2017 was one of the crappiest years I’ve ever had. And believe me, I’ve had some crappy years! The past twelve months was just one continuous bad luck spell. I didn’t realize until New Years Eve started approaching that a lot of my Facebook friends were posting comments on how glad they were to see this year end. Apparently, we all had a crappy year.

Hubby swears that odd years are not good to us. We do better during even number years. I tend to agree with him. Then I opened our “Good jar.”

About two years ago, I saw this picture on Facebook. It was a picture of a jar and some advice. It said: On January first, start the year with an empty jar. Every time something good happens to you, write it down and place the piece of paper in the jar. On the last day of the year, empty the jar and see how many gifts life has given you.

So, I did. Every time something good happened to me, hubby or one of our kids, I wrote it down and put it in the jar. On New Years Day, I opened the jar and read them out loud at our family supper. Some of them we forgot about, some we still talked about, but one thing was certain; 2017 wasn’t that crappy after all!

As it turns out, 2017 was actually a great year! 

Our grandson turned one and our granddaughter turned four. We went to Alberta for Easter and spent a week spoiling them rotten. We have been blessed with the most amazing daughter-in-law who happens to be the world’s greatest mother and our son has a fantastic job at a company he loves.

By the end of 2017, I helped nineteen teens finish the Duke of Edinburgh program. Including my own son and daughter who achieved their Gold!

My son finished his Business Degree at Memorial University and won two major scholarships for entrepreneurship. He started his own E-sports company is doing great.

My daughter, who is an Air Cadet, was given a staff position at CFB Gagetown teaching the Air Rifle Marksmanship Instructor course where she won the Top Shot on the C7 range for staff cadets in her platoon and Top Staff for her platoon during one week of the course. She also received the Top Drill award, a Bronze medal at the provincial drill competition and a gold medal for biathlon. Then she was promoted to Warrant Officer 2.

I was awarded the C.L.B.’s Governor and Commandants Medallion in recognition for my volunteer support of the CLB and their programs throughout the years.

We did some great travel. My daughter and I went to New York to see some Broadway shows including We Come From Away, which was awesome! My son, went to conferences in Toronto, Halifax and Montreal. Hubby and I went to Florida and I visited Ernest Hemingway’s house and petted several of his six-toed cats. Hubby drove a race car at the Daytona Race Track. He was like a kid on Christmas day.

The last two notes in the jar were: Celebrated 23 years of marriage and thankful for this amazing family.

So, what the hell was I complaining about? Obviously, I got caught up in what’s going on around me and I forgot to look at the big picture. I tend to focus on the negative things happening in my life and not pay enough attention to the positive.

As it turns out, while I was whining about the inconveniences that happened to me over the past year, I wasn’t paying attention to some of the really great stuff.

I realized that in 2017: we kept our marriage strong, out kids achieved great things, although I have some significant health issues, I am not dying of cancer, my kids are healthy, we have a great group of friends, there’s a roof over our heads, heat in the house, and food in the cupboard.

Apparently, the only thing that sucked in 2017 was my attitude. My New Year’s resolution is to change it and focus on the positive things going on in our lives and stop worrying about things that never seem to happen anyway. 

How was your year?

Happy New Years!

Friday, November 3, 2017

The Brookfield Drive-In: Corn dogs & popcorn – It is the end of an era


The old ticket booth barely stands
My sister and her husband had a car. This was rare in my family. My Mother didn’t drive so we depended on buses, taxis or walking. Back then, the bigger the car the cooler you were. I can’t remember what she drove but I know it had to be as big as a dory to fit our family. On the weekend, my sister, her husband, their three boys, my mother and I piled into that car and went to the Brookfield Drive-In to see a movie.

It was a real treat! I was ten years old when it opened in 1973. The parking lot could hold over 600 cars and many nights it was filled to capacity.
The cash register has rusted in the weather.
The cost of a movie was $1.75 - $3.50 a person and many will tell you they hid in the trunk of their friend’s car to avoid the cost of a ticket. The drive-in management also had $5.00 a car load night. Which was probably when we went with our boat load of people.

When they stopped using the hook-on window speaker in the 80s and switched to a radio dial, the cheap people would park outside the drive-in fence and tune in, peering through the trees and fence to see the screen. 

I remember driving up to the speaker
A speak pole still stands surrounded by garbage.
pole and pulling the old-fashioned speaker head inside the widow. We watched movies dressed in our pajamas, cuddled under a big old blanket while gnawing on hot buttered popcorn and corn dogs.
The canteen was the hub of excitement at the drive-in. You would never know who you would see there. It really was the place for families to see and be seen. They served popcorn in huge buckets, delicious corn dogs, cotton candy and pop. The food was the best part.

Debbie Abbott was 16 years old when she started working at the drive-in and Karen (Bishop) Murphy was 15. They both worked at the drive-in
The field has now become a place for dumping
garbage. The back seat of a car rusts in the
open air.
canteen and various other duties.

Karen reminisced about the intermission when people would pile out of the cars and pour into the lobby of the cafeteria. “Pogo sticks was the big seller on the list” she laughed. “I remember one guy came in with two broken arms holding his money in his hand. He placed a big order then loaded it up on each of his casts. I tired to hand him back his change and he just looked down at his casts and said, ‘no thanks.’ I hoped he wasn’t the driver!”

Debbie Abbott remembers how the staff went all out for kids. At the end of the
The canteen was burned and the debris of
the drive- is all around it.  
school year if a kid brought their report card in they would get a free drink for one “A”, a hot dog for two “A’s and so on.  Her favourite memory was when Herbie the Love Bug played at the drive-in.  Debbie and a few of the other employees decided to surprise the kids during the matinee performance of Herbie. They dressed up as clowns and found an old Volkswagen bug but it wasn’t in great working condition. One of the employees, who was dressed up as a clown, was driving the Volkswagen bug to the drive-in when it broke down on Topsail road. Debbie laughs, “So here he was in a clown’s costume, with a broken-down Volkswagen bug and had to walk to the nearest gas station to get a tow truck!" They had to get it towed right in to the front of the drive-in screen. Once it arrived the kids went crazy thinking it was the real Herbie the Love Bug!”

A speaker pole lays on the ground.
Abbott recalls how they would greet the cars that had kids and hand out candy to them. “The police would come and direct traffic because it would be so busy on those nights.”

Those days are gone now. Buried under Alder Bushes and abandoned in a large field, the Brookfield Drive-in is no more. The large screen blew down during a major winter storm in 1992. By that time every family had a VCR and a video store membership.

The remains are still behind the Old Mill Night Club on Brookfield Road. You turn onto Tobin’s Road and drive to the top. You’ll see big boulders to stop you from driving in. Look for the old road and you will have to walk a short distance to see the remains of the ticket booth. Once inside you’ll have to use your imagination or your memories to put everything back in place.

Debbie Abbott was sad when the drive-in closed. “I often say to my husband, I
wish there was a drive-in to take the kids to.” Karen Murphy agreed “It was the end of an era.”

An electrical panel from the main
building
The day I explored the old Brookfield Drive-In, I stood on the concrete platform that was once the canteen and looked out over the overgrown field. When I closed my eyes I could still smell the hot buttered popcorn and corn dogs. I could hear my mother calling “Come on the movie is about to start.” We would run across the lot, in the cool night air, lost, looking for the car. My brother-in-law would flash the lights to remind us where we were parked and we would run towards it laughing, spilling popcorn all along the way.

The loss of the drive-in truly is the end of an era.
#drive-in #drivein #Brookfield #popcorn

Monday, October 30, 2017

Urban Exploring: Naval and Air Station Argentia, NL

Joyce and AG3 John Ehlich at the
American Naval and Air Station Argentia.
Joyce Ehlich was only 19 years old and newly married when she boarded a plane from New York and landed in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador. With no idea what she was in for, she wore her prettiest beige mini-dress to impress her husband of two months, who was serving at the American Naval and Air Station Argentia. It was 1969, AG3 John Ehlich had been posted there a year earlier.

John picked her up at the airport in a Volkswagen and told her “It’s not far. It’s only 90 miles to the base and we’ll stay in the B.O.Q.” The B.O.Q. was a ten-story barracks for officers often referred to as the “Argentia Hilton” and was once the tallest building in the province.

AG3 John Ehlich catching fish in Argentia
Ehlich had already taken a ten-hour plane ride from New York to Montreal in a jet and from Montreal to St. John’s in a prop plane that had eight stops along the way. A good portion of the ride to Argentia was on a bumpy dirt road and the Volkswagen began to fill with dust. By the time they arrived she had been travelling for almost 14 hours. She laughs remembering, “I went into the B.O.Q. washroom to freshen up only to discover my face was covered in dust and dirt from her bumpy ride down the Argentia Access Road.” It was a hard introduction to military life for a 19-year-old, newly married wife of a soldier.

AG3 Ehlich was an aerographer with the United States Navy. He was a member of the Atlantic Weather and Ice patrols at the base. His unit updated weather conditions on the North Atlantic, while the Ice Patrols reported on the position of icebergs.

Naval and Air Station Argentia was a former base of the United States Navy, it
The barracks - Photographer Joyce Ehlich
operated from 1941-1994 in the community of Argentia which today, would be about an hour drive from St. John’s. The United States government spent approximately $53 million dollars on building the base. A staggering amount for 1940. In 2017, that amount would equal $926,689,857. At the time of its construction it brought welcomed economic prosperity to the area but it also brought immense hardship and resentment for the residents of Argentia and Marquise.

These families were ordered to hand their land and homes over to the Americans. Eviction notices were delivered and many residents were only given a month to leave. They received as little as $3,000 and $6,000 in compensation. Keep in mind these families had to walk away from the homes they grew up in, farmland that was their livelihoods and that had been passed down through generations.

The abandoned school as it stands today
In 1940 when the deal to build Argentia was done Newfoundland was not part of Canada and was still a British colony.  The land was given as part of the “Destroyers for Bases Agreement” between the United States and the United Kingdom which was signed on September 2, 1940. In the agreement fifty mothballed Caldwell, Wickes, and Clemson class US Navy destroyers were transferred to the Royal Navy from the United States Navy in exchange for land rights on British possessions. Newfoundlanders were told to move starting in December 1940. They did not blame the
Tiny footprints lead to the front door of the school
Americans and welcomed the much-needed work. They did blame the non-elected Commission of Government who consisted of seven people appointed by the British government. Locals accused them of not representing the residents properly in the deal. In the end, about 200 properties were burnt or torn down to make way for the base.

An abandoned building on base
The American service men and their families knew very little about the homes and history that were lost. Ehlich and her husband were housed off base in Freshwater at Kelly’s Alley. They lived in a small, very rugged house and at one point the landlord wanted to rent the space next to theirs to another military family. He asked if they would mind sharing a bathroom. Ehlich said “Absolutely not” and the landlord turned a small woodpile room into a bathroom for them.

She recalls with fondness how they would go to the base and pay a quarter to play ten-pin bowling and go to the B.O.Q. Mess once a month to dine at the beefeater’s carving station.  At 19 she was one of the youngest military wives and found the move from her home town of Long Island to Argentia like going back in time. “We couldn’t buy bread so I
The doors to the abandoned gymnasium
had to make my own” she recollected “There was no ice cream and we could only get powdered milk.”

At one point, approximately 12,000 American military personnel were stationed at the Argentia base. It closed in 1994. There is rumoured to be an active submarine base still there today and urban explorers have great fun trying to find it. Urban explorers like to seek out abandoned man-made structures or ruins to photograph and document it as a hobby.  Nowadays the base has been taken over as an industrial site. Many of the original buildings are still standing but abandoned. Most of the housing and the main hall have been demolished. You can drive or walk around the base, look through the windows and imagine its former glory. There is also a walking trail that takes you through the wooded area
The anchor is still there
around the base.

February 1942 saw the Argentia base at the centre of one of the worst disasters in the US Navy's history when USS Pollux and USS Truxtun were wrecked 75 mi (121 km) southwest of the base. Over 100 victims are buried in Argentia's military cemetery.

First World War, World War two and Cold war sites are popular with tourists and lots of them have been turned into museums. For example, the “Diefenbunker” formally known as Canadian Forces Station Carp is an underground complex that was built during the Cold War. Its main purpose was to be an emergency shelter for government officials including the Prime Minister of Canada, John Diefenbaker, in the event of a
The buildings are left to decay
nuclear attack. Now it is a museum offering tours to visitors.

Ehlich says it is a crime that the once glorious 53 million-dollar U.S. Naval and Air Station has been left to decay. Her and John left Argentia in 1970 and shortly afterwards John left the Navy to join the Nassau County Police Department. They have been married for 49 years and reside in Islip, Long Island, New York. She did leave with the best souvenir “I was pregnant with my first daughter when we left” she laughed “I would love to go back and see the base again.”

Naval and Air Station Argentia can be easily found on Google maps and is free to explore. Keep in mind that urban exploring has risks. Due to the dilapidation of the base exploring can be dangerous. The buildings are owned privately and entering them is illegal. If caught you may face arrest and punishment. There are also areas that are restricted by government and trespassing in those may violate Federal laws.

If you like exploring military history, you must visit Navel and Air Base
The windows have long been broken out
Argentia.

A few tidbits on the history of Naval and Air Station Argentia:
On August 7, 1941 the heavy cruiser USS Augusta carrying U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt arrived in the anchorage at Little Placentia Bay off the base. Roosevelt inspected the construction progress and did some fishing from the Augusta over the next two days. The Augusta was joined by the British warship HMS Prince of Wales carrying British Prime Minister Winston Churchill on August 9, 1941. While in the Argentia anchorage from August 9–12, the chiefs of staff of Britain and the U.S. met to discuss war strategies and logistics once the U.S.
The doors are locked. You can only photograph
from the window
joined in the war. The two leaders and their aides also negotiated the wording of a press release that they called a "joint statement". That press release was issued on August 14, 1941 in Washington, D.C. and simultaneously in London, England. Several days later the Daily Herald would characterize the public statement as being the Atlantic Charter. However, there never was a signed, legal document called the "Atlantic Charter". Neither Roosevelt nor Churchill signed it. The conference concluded the evening of August 12, 1941 with the British and American warships and their escorts passing in review before departing the area for their home ports. The joint declaration was publicly announced on August 14, presumably after Prince of Wales had returned to UK waters.
AG3 John Ehlich's Argentia troup

An ex-marine claims nuclear weapons were stored at the Argentia Base in the 1960s according to a CBC story. http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/ex-marine-claims-nuclear-weapons-stored-at-nfld-base-1.519885



Combined Bachelor Quarters Implosion https://www.youtube.com/watch? v=082XIVIlro
#NavalandAirStationArgentia #urbanexploring #NewfoundlandandLabrador #Argentia

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Dancing in the Fairy Circle of Harbour Grace

I was blueberry picking around Tors Cove with my mother when I was a small child. The bushes had been picked over by people who were there before us so we had to wade deep into the brush to find the good ones. With a bucket each, our nimble fingers would pluck the berries from their stems. She noticed me wondering off toward a wooded area and yelled, “Don’t go near the woods, the fairies will take you away.”

Those horrible little fairies ruled my childhood.

“Put a crust of bread in your coat pocket” my mother advised another time when I told her I was walking to my friend’s house near a big field, “The fairies will leave you alone that way.”  It wasn’t unusual to find a religious medal pinned to my night dress to ward off the fairies while I slept. My mother was big into the fairies

Why were the fairies afraid of bread? No one seems to know.

Recently I heard of a Fairy Circle located somewhere in Harbour Grace. My husband and I made the hour-long drive one Saturday afternoon. I was able to find a few pictures on the internet but no one was saying exactly where the fairies kept their circle.

We stopped so I could ask a gentleman walking on Water Street. He told me the circle is unlucky and wouldn’t tell me where it was. “If you find it, get out before it’s dark and don’t dare bring any children near it. You don’t want the fairies to take them.” I wasn’t sure if he was pulling my leg or not. So, we stopped into a bed and breakfast in the area and asked the owner if he knew where the Fairy Circle was. “It’s in a big field behind a farm. If you can’t find it, follow the music” he whispered. “The fairy music that supposedly lures children in to the woods?” I chuckled. “No, the Irish music from the band playing in the soccer field.” Apparently, there was a music festival on that day.


We found the edge of a big wooded field and decided to start walking until we found the circle or the fairies took us away. We ran into a group of three young girls and I asked them if they knew where the Fairy Circle was. “No” said one, “I wouldn’t look for that.” Her friend said, “Be careful you can only find it if the fairies allow you to see it.” Looking back I think these were teenaged fairies sent to scare us away.

But I was even more intrigued. About twenty minutes later hubby says, “Look on top of those tall trees over there. They are beech trees!” We started to run and to my utter joy we stumbled upon where the fairies dance.  It was a circle of extremely tall beech trees. I didn’t know trees grew that tall in Newfoundland.

The ground surrounding it was baron as nothing can grow on fairy ground and the branches stretched out like thick arms with smaller branches with boney fingers reaching out and touching the ground forming a protective cage all around the circle. No one knows where the Fairy Circle came from, who planted it or how long it has been there. Locals believe it is where fairies have their meetings and dance in the pale moonlight. I was told by one elder the reason some people can’t find it is because it disappears from time
to time. I could go back next week and it will be gone.

Someone else told me the trees were planted in a circle to protect the grave of a powerful witch. Stepping into the circle and carefully walking on the eerie ground that covers the witch’s bones sent shivers down my spine. I could feel her cold, boney fingers reaching up from the grave and pulling me down with her.

Now I had wished I put my underwear on backwards to ward the fairies and witches off. When I stood in the center of the circle my first instinct was to dance. Not the Hokey Pokey but a Gaelic Irish river dance. The urge was uncontrollable and I could feel a strange energy coming over me like a soft fog lifting from the dirt. The wind picked up and blew the fallen leaves on the ground into a small tornado around my body. I closed my eyes and it felt like I
was lifting off the ground. I tried to walk outside the circle to see it from a distance but there was a small gravitational pull keeping me in the centre. It wasn’t a feeling of fear or dread but peace and joy. Maybe this was why the people never came back once the fairies took them. My friend Dee warned me to “Keep some pages from the bible and coins in your pocket so the little people don't get you!” I wished I had listened. Hearing the faint trace of Irish music playing in the distance made it all the creepier. Or was it a concert? Maybe the inn keeper himself was a fairy and pointing me towards the woods because he knew my mother saved me years before and now they were getting their revenge! These are not Disney fairies.

Newfoundlanders and Labradorians don’t fool around when it comes to fairies. ALL of our grandparents know someone who was taken away by fairies never to return again. It’s nothing to laugh at! They all know someone who had been exchanged for a changeling too. That is when fairies might swap a perfectly good baby for a changeling, which is a sickly being, not entirely human. I am pretty sure my first child was a changeling.

Everyone in the province has roots going back to Ireland, England or Scotland and with Gaelic roots come leprechauns and little people.  My mother warned me they come in different shapes and are not always little cherub children. Some are adults, glowing lights and even animals.

If you dare to head out to Harbour Grace to find the Fairy Circle remember you can’t tell anyone where it is or the fairies will come get your children. If you do decide to take your life in your own hands, remember to keep a crust of bread in you pocket, your underwear on backwards, and make sure you have a few coins in your pocket or pin a silver coin to your clothing or a religious medal and if your taking infants put coins inside their baby carriage.

Don’t talk to the locals as they could be adult fairies who are trying to point you
in the direction of the wrong woods just so they can take you away. (No one seems to know where they take you to.) It must be like some big fairy Bermuda Triangle.

I will tell you that when we were leaving I could still hear the Irish music coming down over the hill and a few times I caught something out of the corner of my eye. 

It was just a glimpse of something traveling quickly through the woods. Hiding in shadows.  

I turned back toward the fairy Circle but it was gone. We could no longer see the tall beech trees towering above the forest. The fairies had closed it down.  

Do you believe in fairies?

*** Update: I never gave out the location of the Fairy Circle but thought this was just a field. I was contacted by the owner of the land and he says: "The land is all private property, and we are trying to keep it that way. We have had multiple breakens and damage to the property. We have to lock the front entrance and now people are entering through the back. Your story is written, but could you pass on that it is private property and not a abandoned farm, if anyone asks."