You Haven't Lived Here if You Haven't . . .

You haven't lived in Grand Falls if you haven't gone sugaring-off. It's a unique experience, one that our children yearn for even now. It was our ritual, a yearly tradition. There's a smell of spring in the air; a fresh snowy smell that makes you stop in your tracks. The little ones watch as you sniff the air like a bear. You all laugh, and tramp on, booted feet suddenly digging deep, up to your knees.  You drag them up, and help one of the children get their feet out, returning to dig for their missing boot. It's sugaring- off time, and you're on your way to a maple sugar camp in the woods. A maple tree grove, sometimes a mile or two from the country road. It's what people do in the greater Grand Falls area. The rough camps are set up to receive them. The smell of the sweet syrup grows strong as you near the site.You can see steam rising into the air as they cook the sap in huge boilers over a hot stove. Snow is spread out on boards to make it easier to get to the candy. It looks like stringy taffy as it thickens from the cold. Twigs are ready to wrap the candy around, and you taste the delicious treat as it melts on your tongue. It's sooooo good! A  promise of things to come.  -- Marie Toner Godbout


I still live in New Brunswick but Saint John isn't much like the Miramichi. I could spend all day telling you what I miss. Here are a few: a Ben's hamburger, the Bushville Drive-In, riding back and forth on the Romeo and Juliet, the exibition, Friday night's at the Ambassador, Leonard Hachey shoe repair, watching Cuffy hit a home run, the Smith sister's Marjorie and Marlene, and all the rest of the great people on the river. God bless you all.  -- Ron W.

You haven't lived in Miramichi if you don't remember the Morrisey Bridge opening for ships to pass and breaking down nearly everytime it did that . . . If you don't remember the Big D and The Pop Shop . . . If you never saw a movie at the Uptown . . . If you don't remember Stedman's basement of toys!  -- Dartboy

You haven't lived in Grand Falls if you haven't watched the rainbow over the misty falls. It happens every spring, early in the morning, just as the frigid waters roar over the falls, and the warm sun filters through the mist it creates. The thunder of the water; the heat of the light; the tranquility of the rainbow. You haven't lived at all until you've lived such hope! -- Marie Toner Godbout

You haven't lived in Newcastle if you don't remember all the guys "hanging out" on Stothart's corner, either sitting on the front steps or leaning against the building. Do you suppose that's where the inspiration came from for that old song "Standing On The Corner Watching All The Girls Go By?" A Miramichi memory. -- IK (born and raised on the Mighty River)

You haven't lived in Grand Falls if you haven't walked out into the cold on an early fall day, and watched the sun come up over a field of potatoes sitting on the freshly dug earth waiting to be picked. You stake out your "section," drop to your knees and start throwing the spuds into your basket, dragging it by the handle as it fills. Grabbing a barrel, you mark it with your ticket number, heft your heavy basket, and start filling the barrel. You see the digger coming as you hurry to keep up, two new rows to be picked. Water, a quick bite, and you see more barrels come as the others are taken to storage. The sun cools and your back is tired. You want to go home . . . Just one hour before the digger stops. It's almost a love-hate relationship, this harvest thing! But those potatoes will make the difference in the new clothes you wear to school, and the supplies they will buy once the farmer forks over the pay for your labour. The fields are empty. You feel relieved, yet somehow proud. Your work is done...Until next year! -- Marie Toner Godbout

You’ll know my roots are on the Miramichi when I tell you that I’ve had cold pork, molasses and home-made bread for a snack, well almost home-made in that it is a good Portuguese loaf. Boy was it good. -- jclloyd

You havent' lived in Miramichi if you can't remember the old Quarryville bridge. You had to pull your car over to the side, wait for the other car to go over the bridge, then if nothing else was coming, it was your turn to drive across. - Jason & Jennifer Keenan 

You haven't lived on the Miramichi if you haven't  frozen your butt off at the Lord Beaverbrook arena watching a Tommies game.  -- K. Ryan
You haven't lived on the Miramichi unless you can remember the swinging foot
bridge in Halcomb, N.B. The things I really look forward to doing are going down the Little Southwest River on a tube, attending a demolition derby at the Miramichi City Speedway, enjoying the hospitality of all the friendly people, and eating the delicious cooking prepared by the wonderful cooks on the
Miramichi. I live in Whitby, Ontario, but try to go home once a year. -- Betty Huider (Chambers)
Smelled cod fish boiling. Back in the days when Catholics ate fish on Friday and school children went home for lunch, one was always reminded of what day of the week it was by the familiar aroma of boiled cod fish emanating from every open window along the route home. A Miramichi memory! -- IK (born and raised on the Mighty River)

Enjoyed a fresh slice of homemade bread slathered in fancy molasses with a plate of homemade beans and fried sausage.

Watched the sky come alive with millions of shooting stars during a meteor shower while laying on your back in a field during the dead of night.

What is it that makes living in Atlantic Canada a unique experience for you? If you no longer live here, what is the first thing you long to do when you return for a visit? What do you miss the most? Email your suggestions or essays to Type You Haven't Lived in the subject line.

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All Articles 2004 by Author
ISSN 1708-8836