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Home at Long Last
The first snow. It’s so beautiful! It brings happiness to everybody, right? Then why am I not happy?
* * *
Adeline sat at her little wooden desk scribbling furiously in a small grey book. It was winter of 1846, and all she could think about was how much she missed home. Home for her was Galway, Ireland. Adeline’s father, Mr. Henley, was a potato farmer on a twenty-acre piece of land; but, the Great Irish Famine had killed many farmers’ crops earlier that year, including the Henleys’. Thankfully, not one of her family members had died, as others’ had. Adeline’s best friend, Claire Ryder, had a nine-year old cousin that died. The Great Famine had brought starvation to the many people of Ireland. Adeline and Claire’s families were two of the few lucky ones remaining, not dead.
The Henleys and Ryders were two of six families on board the ship on which they were traveling. They were sailing to Toronto, Ontario, in search of jobs and food. The trip would take two months, at the least.
Adeline was not excited for the trip. In fact, she was quite uneasy about it. Her ideas of Canadians and anyone from another country were a bit suspicious.
They set sail March 17, aboard the Iolar na Mara, or the “Eagle of the Sea”. About thirteen days into the trip, Adeline started worrying more and more about her new life. She decided to talk to her mother about it.
“Mamai, may I ask you a question?” inquired Adeline. “Yes, Inion (daughter), you may. What is our question, my Adeline?” “Mamai, what will Canada be like? Will we be potato farmers, and live on a feirm (farm), like we did in Galway?” “I do not have an answer for that, my Adeline. But, Addie, wherever we are, whatever it is like, I’m sure we’ll be fine,” answered her mother. Slightly satisfied, Adeline returned to her room.
“Look! It’s Canada! We are here, Mamai!” “Yes, isn’t it beautiful, Addie?” Yes, indeed, Toronto, Ontario, was a truly alainn, or beautiful, place. Maybe Canada isn’t such a bad place after all, thought Adeline.
Their new home was amazing! It was even bigger than their last home. And the best part was that the Ryders lived right next door to them!
Adeline was surprised. She had expected Toronto to be dull and grey. She had expected the people to be unfriendly. But the weather was beautiful, sunny skies. And the people were so kind and generous, like her friends back in Ireland. Adeline loved her new life.
* * *
Guess what? Canada isn’t so bad, after all. Today, when I went for my walk this morning, I saw another girl about my age walking towards me. She was tall, and seemed nice. She said hello and I said hello back, like normal people. But then she asked my name. I said, “Adeline.” “Really?” she said. “My name is Chelsea. Do you live around here?”
I said yes, and she asked if I had any friends around here. I answered, “No, except for my friend, Claire Ryder, who lives next door to me.” And then she asked if we could be friends.
And, of course, I said yes! I think I like my new life so far, Diary.