I also learned all about
guns, how to clean them and how to hit a target. I learned the names of trees and birds and how to find their nests. I also
learned where the water springs were, how to make a birch bark cup to get a nice cool drink, and how to swing from a tree
on a tire out over the water. I would sail the little river behind the pump house on a catamaran. I guess I must have looked
like Tom Sawyer, as people from the States, who were touring the dams, wanted to take my picture.
A trip to Cleland’s
farm on the hill was exciting at haying time. Did you ever ride under a railroad track bridge, and through the fields, high
up on a wagon filled with bundles of hay and hauled by a team of horses? Exhilarating!
Grandfather was a card shark—the
best cheater ever, when we gathered around the dining room table for a game of cards. He loved to sing the old folks songs
with so many verses. Each song would go on and on.
Grandmother was a great cook.
She would make what she called "A Hard Time Stew." It was delicious. It seemed she could make a meal fit for a king with next
to nothing. She made the best brown sugar buns ever. I've tried to match them over the years with no success. Grandfather
would jokingly tell us a story about how, when Mom and her brothers and sisters were young, they were so poor they would hang
a herring from the ceiling and rub their potato over it.
Picking wild raspberries,
strawberries and blueberries was a seasonal event that brings back a funny memory. We were always afraid of being stung by
bees so grandfather, not wanting us to be afraid, made up a story about what to do so a bumblebee wouldn’t sting us.
He told us to press our tongues on the roof of our mouths. I often wondered if he ever had a laugh about this story he told
us and how it backfired on him. One day he got into a bees nest while picking berries over the side of the bank. He came screaming
up the bank grabbing at his pant legs, being chased by bees. We children, in all our innocence, yelled out to him, "Papa,
put your tongue on the roof of your mouth!”
Grandfather could sure shuck
oysters and slurp them down, to our disgust. Every spring there was an exciting time as Grandfather lit the large brick chimney
next to the pump house. The sky would blacken with birds as they flew out the chimney.
There was a bridge across
the little river connecting to the highway, and up on the bank was a beautiful large fir tree where I would sit and read.
I also had a view of all the traffic coming up the highway, and the boys too.
Being people of little means,
it was wonderful when pictures were in black and white. When I was around 13 I wanted to get my picture taken, and wondered
what I could wear. Then it dawned on me that I didn’t have to match my clothes, as the picture would be in black and
white anyway. I put on a red jacket, yellow belt, grey pants and a hat I can’t remember what colour.
While living at Morrison
Milk and butter were kept
in a hole in the ground where it was cool.
Vegetables were kept in the
shed where it was cool.
When you made fudge it took
a lot of beating, as you had to beat it by hand, and it didn't go in the fridge to set. It also went in the shed.
The homemade dandelion wine
was kept in the closet.
night was in a galvanised tub.
Robin Hood flour sacks were
used for a number of things around the house.
Washing was done on an old
crank washer and roller. It was an exciting day when it arrived.
The bus picked us up at the
top of the hill where we cuddled close together behind a large stone hedge to keep out of the wind in winter. On the really
cold mornings a neighbour would bring us in till the bus came.
We had to pay to take the
bus at that time.
It was an exciting day when
the whale beached on the shore under the bridge.
So many memories of life
at Morrison Cove over 50 years ago!