Sunday, November 15, 2015

My View #150 - My Houses

I have lived in a variety of houses in my long life. Every one was a challenge, to make it a home, to enjoy and raise a family, in the sometimes limited space.

The first house was 110 - 8th Street, Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada. It had a parlour, dining room, kitchen, pantry, 3 bedrooms and a big bathroom in the basement, and a wide veranda across the front of the house, also a big back yard and room for kids to play. I was born at 110 - 8th Street. I am unsure if this is the correct house, but it fits Letty's description.

For seven years we lived there happily, then the Great Depression started, and we lost our house and were forced to move. A terrible seven years of drought, dirt, and depression followed and my parents were so upset and worried. Both of them worked very, very hard to fix up this old farm house, we called "Weather Beaten," at 92 Third Street, Medicine Hat. It had a living room, bedrooms, a greenhouse, and an attic. There was a big old barn and an old chicken house, phew!! And one tap in the greenhouse and an outside toilet. So I know, first hand, what "roughing it" mans. Hundreds of people n Canada were in the same fix, and we were lucky as my Dad was  a carpenter, and had a job.

It took many years to make it a very nice home, and my dear parents will always be my love and mentors for the whole of my life. They taught us not to look down on the poor, you never know what hardships they have had. I and Mary, my older sister, were both married from this house. My Mom died from this house, a terrible loss to me. She was 62 years old, poor Mummy.

The next house I lived in, for ten months, was in England. I was a War Bride and Mrs. Livingston, a friend of Ron's, gave us a home during the war. So I kept looking and finally found a house to live in, for me and Ron when he came home from the war. I was so glad. It was a "side by side, back to back" row house, 26 Cross Lane, Primrose Hill, Huddersfield, Yorkshire, UK, 4 floors and 3 sets of stairs. I liked that old house and we spent 8 happy years in it, and had Linda and Bob there. We didn't have much money, so I did sewing for years, which helped a lot. Our children were 4 and 2 years old when we came back to Canada.

It was June 1953 when we went to live in a wee house in Bowness, Alberta, at 326 Victoria Avenue, (later changed to 6128 Bowwood Drive, after Calgary took over.) At that time houses were very scarce, we were lucky to get one. A very small house we rented for 2 years, then we bought it. Ron said it had "good potential." Wow! What a time, so again we started, repairing and enlarging it, until we had three bedrooms, living and dining room, kitchen and bathroom, and then built a garage and for years we were happy to be in it. We stayed there until we moved to BC after 27 years.If you click the link, the house is only partially visible. It is to the right center of the page, with a large window facing to the right of the photographer. The angled property on the left is where my father's garage used to be.
6128 Bowwood Drive when we lived there. Letty is just visible between the two bushes, which are now 20 ft tall.

This move to BC was to be our last move, to Mill Bay (Morris place, no house # there) on Vancouver Island, a lovely place. Our new house to be built by Christmas, this was July 1, 1980. We have landed. Ron was a sick, heart-troubled man, but it was fun to see the house being built. I had designed the house myself, the plan was taken to Duncan for approval and it passed, with good comments. Norman Bibby was the builder. For 11 years we lived there. One day Dr. Gallagher said "it would be better to move to Duncan, to be nearer the hospital," as Ron's heart was so bad.

So for our last move we came to Duncan, to live in a senior's complex, "Holmes Creek Estate," on Sherman Road, #24, 3144, in September 1991. It is a very nice house and I am still in it. My love, Ronnie, died in 1996, he is ever in my heart and mind. So this is the end of moving, until that great day comes, and I join Ronnie again.
Letty outside her Sherman Road home

To my family, a little more history. Love you,
Mom xxxxx
March 2009

PS: Five moves is enough. (This is my final story I am going to write. Hope you enjoyed them. Mom.)

As it turned out, Letty had two more moves. In September 2013, two weeks after her 100th birthday, she was moved to a nursing home, because the doctor was unwilling to discharge her home after a series of falls. She remained in a nursing home for 5 months, but Bob took her to his home in Chemainus, where she lived until her death in December, 2014.

And as you'll see, this is far from her final story.... to be continued.

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