Thursday, February 26, 2015

MY VIEW #10 - SNOW

Snow

Winter scene in Whistler, BC, Canada, 2004

As a child I saw some awful snow storms, when nothing was moving outside, but rabbits, who didn't mind the cold. We lived near a Y junction of roads, with one gas lamp burning there. On a cold, clear night, in the circle of light, you could see 2 or 3 rabbits playing under than lamp. Out in the country, at that time, not much traffic, so the rabbits were safe. Sometimes our front or back door was was impossible to open, until shoveled out.

Nearly every farm on the prairies had a toilet outside, about 40 to 50 feet from the house. All of them would have a "safety line" from house to outhouse, as in winter you could get lost between the houses. These lines could be a fence, a rope, or a big wire and saved many a life. Alice Yarnell, a friend of mine, lost her father about 10 feet from the door. He let go the wire and the wind blew him down. Two month later his body was found. That was a bad winter in 1931...

The mail had to get through and my Dad, being a postal employee, had to go to the trains. Often trains were hours late, we children wouldn't see Dad for days. There was accommodation in the "Dunnage" room to spend a night or two, till the roads were cleared. Once a train was stuck in a snow drift for 8 or 9 days, near Swift Current, Saskatchewan. All the food and water was used up by the time of the rescue. That storm left 10 feet of snow.

Sleigh riding and fort building were lots of fun and we had a ball. You had to be careful as you could freeze and not know it, till you got home and in a warm. place. That was very painful.

There are different kinds of snow. Yes, I know it is all white, but there are different textures, soft, hard, wet and dry... Soft snow comes down slowly, slowly, leaving a layer of flakes on everything, from 1/2 inch to 4 feet deep, and the world is beautiful and still, asking for somebody to photograph it, right now. All your world is muffled in white.

Hard snow is like its name, also white. When you walk on it, in winter boots, it squeaks, is uneven, and can trip you up...  It is a good time for kids to cut this hard packed snow into blocks and build forts. As children we loved making forts in our back yard and had snowball battles.

Wet snow was sloppy to walk in. It froze at night and made great lumpy footprints for playing marbles. Every kid had a bag of marbles,, with a "steely" or two.

Dry snow is the killer, that's what blizzards are made of, dry, hard, small, stinging grains of white snow. Many, many people have died in a blizzards. The sound made is shrill, wild and eerie, those little pellets sliding over the frozen ground, screeching like a lost soul in torment. It is best to stay indoors if a blizzard is on the way.

I like the soft snow the best. It is friendly stuff.

Letty Evans
July 19, 2006

Letty's description of snow is far from scientific, but having experienced all the types she describes, there is certainly some validity to her snow categories.  Since it is mid-winter in much of the continent, some readers may enjoy the comparison with their experience of winter today.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

MY VIEW (unnumbered) - ROAD TRIP IN ENGLAND 1947

Road Trip in England

Letty in her riding outfit. Huddersfield, UK, 1947

Ron had a motorcycle, and after the war ended, we decided to get it back on the road, in 1947. As the petrol ration was better that year, we did the trip he had promised me So the first thing I had to have was suitable clothing, and on sale at the city ex-RAF store, i found an old flying suit, a one-piece outfit with pockets and zippers. I bought it for 10 bob (shillings) and altered it a little. Then I got some sheet leather to make a riding helmet. It was green and fitted perfectly. Ron had his own pre-war leathers so was OK.

So off we went, one morning in late June, our first destination was Birmingham, to meet all my "Brum" cousins, aunts and uncles. I loved riding pillion and we had a good run there, staying one week...  All the war stories, what an education! While we were there we skated at the ice rink, went to Stratford Theatre and saw "Anthony and Cleopatra" on stage, Anne Hathaway's cottage, and to the Art Museum to see the carved statue, in green marble, of "Lucifer." In a circular room, students sitting on all the benches around the edges, drawing pictures of ...that evil-looking statue. I've never seen anything dead look so evil. London museums refused to show it, and so did Edinburgh, so Birmingham took it...

Next day Ron and I were ready to leave. My cousin, Lily and Ron and I were in the kitchen, and Ron shut the door on the dog but the dog was too fast and bit Ron's right hand. So instead of leaving, we went to the hospital. They cleaned his wounds, gave him a shot of something and bandaged his hand, then we set off. As Ron couldn't get his glove on that hand, the wind blew up his sleeve and two days later he had a nasty old. By this time we were near Tintagel in north Cornwall. We walked where King Arthur and the Knights of the round Table lived. What a lot of history here to learn.

Then, as we were staying at B & Bs, we ended up that day at the small Cornish town of Hayle. It was a nice visit and the food great. Only one drawback, the W.C. (toilet) was outside, up 15 steps, so we had a potty that night and laughed. Next day we had a walk and saw Mt. St. Michael in the distance, then headed for cobbled streets and donkey trips down to the sea at Clovelly. I bought a folding sun hat as it was very hot that day...

Next stop was Teignmouth, a lovely spot on the coast. We had a tram ride to the top of the town. It showed where men trained Commandos to climb cliffs. More history....

...From Grimsby to Huddersfield we had rain, all the way home. The three pannier bags with all our possessions were soaked through. Going through Doncaster, having stopped for lunch, Ron saw a tire for sale and he wanted to get it, but how to carry it home? Could I carry it over my head with one arm through? I said, "Sure, it isn't very heavy," so I did, but by the time we got home is was very heavy, and held a lot of water. We were very wet and glad to finish our trip. When we parked the bike, Ron got off, and I fell off... We had ridden 1600 miles on our trip.

Letty Evans
December 11, 2006

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

MY VIEW (UNNUMBERED) - STORMY WEATHER and WHY?

Stormy Weather

Storms are a product of "Mother Nature" and we cannot do a thing to change her mind. Some storms come in very suddenly, show off, and are gone very quickly. These are usually hot summer electrical explosions, very loud. This is "Prairie" weather, until September rolls around, then we got autumn weather, plus Northern Lights displays, so very beautiful, by the time pumpkins are ready.

Winter storms on the prairie are bad, dangerous, and kill people every winter. If you have a warm house you can live well through this time, if your water pipes don't freeze. That is why in the prairies all plumbing pipes are on the inside walls and not the outside. walls. In England, the pipes were on the outside. Winters there were warmer. Here insulation takes care of that.

I live on Vancouver Island, B.C., and have a lovely home. Most storms here are wind and rain storms and believe me, they can be very scary. This fall and winter have been especially bad, making one realise (sic) how defenceless (sic) we are against "Mother Nature." Sometimes she rules with a heavy whip, and later, with her rainbow for her crown, dishes up such beauty we can hardly take it in. I love it here, but don't like the winds. "Prairie chickens," like me, had enough of that in Medicine Hat, Alberta.

Why?

-Why do all continents' names start with the letter A? Try and figure that one out for me. The Arctic, Antarctic, Americas, Africa, Asia, Australia.        What about Europe, Mom?
-Why, who by, and when, were all the continents named?
-Why do cows and horses turn their rear to storms?
-Why do most children fear the dark?
-Why do prickly trees and shrubs grow and prosper more and better than non-prickly ones?
-Where do we find the answers to the above?
-Have you ever noticed that a slow, eastward curve divides Canada in half, by water from north to south?
-Asia is the largest continent, with many countries, like Africa and the Americas.
-In antiquity you live on food and dreams. Yes?

I really wonder about some things. I guess I need to do some more knitting.

Letty
January, 2007
Letty with her first great-grandchild, Riel, in 2007
Letty had an inquisitive mind, certainly, but she lacked the resources to find the answers that are readily at our fingertips through the internet. It is too bad she did not have the opportunity to obtain more education, as I'm sure she would have put it to great use.

Monday, February 23, 2015

MY VIEW #9 - WHAT IS GRATITUDE?

What is Gratitude?

What inspired me to write this article:

A True Story

A young man nearing his goal, only a few  yards to reach the top of Mount Everest, exhausted, sits down, and cannot go on. Many pass him, none stop, they aim for the top, except one. He is fearful the "sitter" is dead, but on stopping to inquire, the "sitter" is alive, just barely. The man who gives up his ambitious trip to tend the "sitter," with oxygen, care and help, to bring him down, saves his life. Days later, the "sitter," now he has a name, speaks of the man with gratitude. How wonderful to know such people do exist, a hero. The human instinct is to help one another. Gratitude is in everyone, some express it, others don't.

F. L. Evans
June 9, 2006

This story may have come from Jon Krakauer's book, "Into Thin Air," which is a devastating tale of  fated climbers on Mt. Everest, and tragedies that happened there while Krakauer himself was one of the climbers. The book was much in the news at the time Letty wrote this.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

MY VIEW #8 - UNTITLED

My vocabulary is small
My body is too
But that won't keep me from
Writing words to you.

                         *

I have seen beauty in a dandelion,
And hope some time so will you.
A tiny, little, yellow bloom,
Filled with sunshine and in tune with nature.
'Tis beautiful. It gets the name from "tooth of the lion," from the shape of its
leaves. Did you know that?

                         *

I have read many books.
They fill a quiet, empty nook, in life,
With visions of a better place in store,
Or maybe a joyous read, after a storm or struggle.
When time hangs heavy, or is a bore, just read, this boring time will pass.

                          *

Too many things pass our way, we don't have time to enjoy, or stay, to look and see their relative good they carry for us. When we see the clouds up there, when storms erupt, or when it's fair, we feel it and pause to say, "Windy today."

                          *

Children's laughter is the nicest sound in life, not bells or river falls, or planes or pianos. It tickles us to know there is life and love and happiness, to spare, and for us to share. It lifts the heart, enhances the soul, to make us realize their joy is whole. God bless the laughter of children.

Letty Evans
May 2006

Mom often mentions boredom and loneliness in her writings. She seems to yearn for the sound of youth and laughter to lift her own heart.

Friday, February 20, 2015

MY VIEW #7- WHAT I'VE LEARNED SINCE I TURNED NINETY

What I've Learned Since I Turned Ninety

Letty at her Ninetieth Birthday Party August 2003
Time is not important, but being on time is very important. Lying is easier than telling the truth, but takes a lot longer.

Your full face picture is very different from your profile picture, and nine times out of ten, don't look as if they belong to one person. Your hair grows exactly as any other person's and you can tell by looking at neck hair, if it is straight or truly, naturally curly. Try it.

You don't need new clothes every year, just because you read the trash paper and they say you do. Phooey! I love my old skirts, sweaters, shoes etc. I've even chucked my bras, wear cotton undies, and if they wear out, they make good dusters.

You can read a hot, sexy novel and think, "So what, we did that 75 years ago!" Now, I read history and do lots of writing myself. My trouble is my glasses need a rest and I'm out of stamps.

My money is safe in the bank. Old people need very little, they are past the spending years, so feel safe. Now the young ones, they are the ones who never seem to have enough. Their lives are in full swing, I love to see this, and love to give them a hand, when I choose to, and know this little bit of love, or help, is appreciated. My funds are there for me, to do with as I wish. I'm not wealthy, pay my bills, go out for a meal (usually chicken strips) and try not to worry about anything.

I've lost most of my life-long friends and I mourn them, but still have many new, younger friends, and I love them all. To be with younger people is so nice. You learn a lot and it puts you on your toes, lots of times, just to find a fitting answer to a question. The best time to have discussions is on a full stomach.

When you are 90+ you know for sure if your kids really love and respect you. I know, yes, my whole family do, and you know why? Because they know I love and respect them. It works both ways and I am so very happy. God bless, dears.

This is my last writing (well, maybe not...). Hang onto this for future reference. I learned a lot over the years.

Mom xxx
May 2006

Letty's comments about money raise a flag for me. She was always generous with her money, and in later years, this turned out to be a problem. She always thought she had plenty, despite several people telling her she didn't, and she gave away far more than she could afford.

This writing of hers illustrates that what she thought, and the reality around her, were often two different things.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

MY VIEW #6: MUSIC

Music


Mom and I singing at the piano, 1975.

My parents were full of music and they passed it on, to all their children. Music has a huge effect, on how you look at life, and how, why and where we live, the way we do. Total mystery.

Mom had a very true voice, not often heard. She was a shy little lady, 4'9" tall and pretty. Dad had a strange life, when young, and was very lucky in meeting a good violin player, Mr. Conacher. He took Dad under his wing and taught him how to play, and Dad did but he couldn't read a note of music, until we children took lessons and he did too. Mary... ended up with her A.T.C.M. "Solo Performer" certificate, at 19 years old. I just loved to hear her practice her scales, chords, arpeggios and octaves. Wonderful things to hear for an hour at a time. That was a thrill to me.

I took violin at 10 years old, my teacher was a young man from Russia, Mr. Paul Knapper, and he was a good teacher. He went away, and at 15 I took lessons from Mr. Joe Leonard, an old man from England, who played in operas in London, England. I loved violin, but sold my instrument in Calgary before we moved to B.C It was my Dad's old violin and I was sad, it had traveled wherever I went.

Charlie, my brother, took flute and piccolo lessons from Johnny Dickinson, also an old man who had played in London (England) Opera House... Johnny, and Gordon Cook, a wizard pianist, had both played at the London Opera House, when they were young. Every night we went to sleep to classical music, flute and piano, lovely.

Eddie my younger brother, took violin. He was 12 years old, a late started, and he did very well. All of us would play together at time, it was fun. He didn't carry on for very long, more interested in sports and planned to join the army, which he did after high school graduation day. He had an excellent feel for the violin.

My own children, and my grandkids, are all musical. It must be inherent in the family. Music can make you laugh and make you cry. I've just listened to a program on radio, "The Vinyl Cafe," its hilarious in words and music and I love it.
Letty with granddaughters Rachel (left) and Melinda (right) singing Christmas Carols in 1999.
Granddaughters Michelle (l) and Rachel (r) around 1995.
Melinda dances Flamenco, circa 2001

Letty Evans
May 13, 2006

ATCM stands for "Associate of the Toronto Conservatory of Music," a precursor to the Royal Conservatory of Music, which has national Canadian standards for music performance and theory from beginners to very advanced students planning to study for a music degree.

Mom never played the violin in my hearing. She had her violin repaired in the 1970s when a visiting friend who was a violinist, gave it a try, and pronounced it, "definitely not a Strad(ivarius.)" Dad confided to me that he'd heard Mom play, but she had lost the knack by then.

Photos show various family members making music at different times. I sing in a choir and have played piano, clarinet, and guitar. Rachel plays flute, keyboard, and sings and writes and records her own music. Michelle sings and played fiddle and guitar. Melinda sings and dances flamenco. My brother, Bob, even sings karaoke at his favorite pub.

Monday, February 16, 2015

MY VIEW #5: WASHING DISHES

Washing Dishes

To me, washing dishes was always a pleasant job. My Mother was a very methodical woman and taught her daughters well. So at eleven, Mary did the drying (at nine Mary learned to wash and Mom dried), so now I had to learn at nine to wash and Mary to dry dishes. We learned a lot.

First, you cleared the table and left it fit and tidy. In the kitchen, you stacked all the dishes in one spot, all the glass together, the cutlery on its own, and pots and pans last. All this had to be done, then you got a big pan of hot soapy water, put an apron on, and got busy.

Glass was always done first, then pottery and the silverware. With cutlery, Mom taught us, for safety's sake, always hold sharp knives by the handle, and the sharp edge away from you. This saves cutting fingers, and wear and tear on tea towels. I still dry knives this way.

We polished glasses too. Now "dishwashers" do all this work. I have a space for one, but never bought one. I like doing dishes, it's time well spent, remembering the past, and meditating on the future. And it is so nice to see all utensils put away, for another meal, clean and tidy.

Thanks Mom.

Letty Evans
May 10, 2006

It was always incomprehensible to me that Mom actually enjoyed doing dishes, but she jealously guarded this job, even when she would have been more than justified in handing it off to someone else.
When I was a child, washing dishes after a special dinner such as Christmas or a birthday, became a great opportunity for the women to talk apart from the menfolk, who remained in the living room and put away the table and chairs.
Although I have a dishwasher, I still use Mom's method of handling sharp knives, and the order in which dishes are hand-washed, when the need arises, such as when I use my good china and silverware. So my thanks are due also. Thanks, Mom.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

MY VIEW #4: PRAYER FOR PEACE

Dear Lord


Let me live where no alarm
Wakes me at dawn, with fear and harm.
Please keep me safe at home,
Dear Lord.

Let me see the Milky Way, and blue skies
All through this day, and sunshine bright,
Dear Lord.

Let me see the grass and trees,
Lots of flowers, birds and bees,
That bring pure joy,
Dear Lord.

Let me see the children grow,
To skip and dance, run to and fron
And live their life free of strife,
Dear Lord.

Let me while away my years,
Safely hidden from war's fears,
That lead to so many tears,
And grief, suspended life, for years,
Dear Lord.

This is my prayer.

F. L. Evans
May 8, 2006
(In memory of V.E. Day 1945)

Letty was in London on VE Day. She saw the shattered buildings and spent time in air raid shelters, listening to "buzz bombs" (V2 rockets).

Thursday, February 12, 2015

MY VIEW #3: GARDENING

Gardening

Letty, on a walk in 1942, Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada

Gardeners are born, not made, some are "early bloomers" and some are 'late bloomers," and some never achieve the goal or rewards at all.

I have a photo of myself and my Father, who is planting a young tree, and I am a keen watcher, at about 3 years old. I believe I was an "early bloomer." Both of our parents loved gardening, but not my sister Mary. I imagine she never pulled a weed in her life. She was always playing the piano. It just wasn't her "cup-of-tea," and my two brothers the same. Charlie retired early, then he took to gardening. He was a "late bloomer."

We moved to an old house, with a big untidy back yard. What a mess, full of grass, weeds and Scotch thistles. So before you do anything you have to decide what to do. All you need are tools, gloves, boots, brute strength and ambition. The latter is the most important. You look and think, "Whoa, why did I take this on?"

The pull of the earth is strong and instinct makes us want to dig and plant, to nourish body and soul. So we "plough on," so to speak. If you had a huge lot you hired a ploughman and horse. So we had to use "shanks mare" on our lot.

Earth itself is different from one region to another. Our earth was formerly river bottom and hence good growing soil. Everything grew like mad. But that came later. Hard work ruled the day.

Dad and I did most of the weed pulling, I pulled and Dad dug. It's hard work, and there revealed some strange little "gifts"- a part ball of string, King of Hearts card, a baby's old rattle, a dime, and an old bottle of scent. We rooted out rubbish, dug, raked and raked again. We were so proud to see smooth dark earth, ready to plant seeds. Dad made a 2 fr wide wooden path down the middle of this yard, and we danced up and down it and were happy.

Decisions, decisions, where to put 2 crab apple trees, 12 raspberry canes, 1 flower bed, and veggies. This my Dad decided and we got busy. In one week this was finished, and that year our garden exceeded our expectations. Every seed and thing we planed did its thing, whoopee! My Dad had a deft had at anything.

F. L. Evans
May 8, 2006

Sadly, the photo Letty mentions has disappeared, so instead I substituted one of my favorites of her in 1942. She was really a beauty at the time. As I read this entry, I wonder if she was also thinking of the garden she and my father made in our yard in Bowness. It was river bottom with rich soil, and the description of the process, Dad digging and her pulling weeds, was identical to how my parents created a garden when I was small.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

MY VIEW #2: TEARS

Tears are a part of everybody's make-up. We are born with tears and we die with tears. So what is their purpose? Tears are almost completely salt and water. We all know that salty water is a purifier and very necessary to our body and lives. Theoretically, there are different kinds of tears and here are a few:

           Hot tears of Anger
           Cold tears of Fear
           Soft warm tears of Regret
           Gushing tears of Joy
           Violent tears of Passion
           Gentle tears of Sympathy,
           and the Sad, soft tears of Parting.

I have shed tears of all kinds. After 92 years of living, tears are a great healing process. No matter your gender, nor your age, remember, your tears she is a relief to the tension, in your head and in your heart. To cry for, or with, a friend is to tell them you really care and understand.

God gave us this "safety-net." Amen.

Letty Evans
May 2, 2006

Monday, February 9, 2015

MY VIEW #1: BOOKS

Letty began the series of "my view" writings in 2006, and continued until 2011. They are by turns funny, prosaic, instructional, philosophical, wistful, and narrative.  This series will be published in order.  Comments welcome!
 
Letty with Setta, our first Old English Sheepdog, 2006


Books

Books come in all sizes and colours. Every nation has its own supply. Books have been the mainspring of my life. From a small child my Dad read to us all, "Billy Whiskers" and "The Wizard of Oz," special verses in the bible, are my early memories of books and the love of reading. Many happy hours were spent in this way.

I learned to read and write very young and have never stopped. A book is a friend, an education, a base for discussions and a beautiful gift. I have gathered many and given many away. There are some I treasure and have read many times, and my family will benefit from these, if they want them. Names are written on the inside cover on some, for special friends and family, all avid readers. So when I go, look inside for your name.

Some books you read once and forget them, others you read and re-read many times. These are the real friend books, you treasure them.

Please read to your children, nothing else is so "eye-opening," it gives them a gift like no other. They can learn so much, and travel the world "on a couch."

Books are like people, they have a beginning and an end, not like trees that can live for hundreds of years. We can make books, yes, but only God can make a tree.

F.L. Evans
April 4, 2006


MOMENTS



Moments

There are moments in our lives, of extreme peace,
These are few and far between,
Of utter joy, that only last a second, 
Leaving us fresh and clean.

Other moments are very sad,
Leaving us with heavy hearts,
Lasting longer, are more profound,
Giving us a new start.

In between are moments
we share with no-one,
The moments of meditating
and contemplating,
on life.

Letty Evans
October 2004

Yes, my mother wrote poetry, too. This is one of her lovelier poems, very peaceful.      

Sunday, February 8, 2015

FAMILIES

Letty with Granddaughter Michelle, 2001

"Families come in every size, color, country, and if they are happy, this is the best type. Happy family, happy children. This is very true, as scientists world-wide, will tell you. So much of this is due to the treatment of the children.

Some people, when planning to marry, openly said, "Oh, we don't want any children." Marriage laws were created so the ones who wanted children, had legal right to go ahead and have them. "If not stay single." If a single woman had a child, and no husband, it was considered a sin. Not anymore, you go ahead and have a child if you want. That spoils the rules of this life called marriage. The main difference is for the Mother: if married - a husband at work, working to support and family well. If not married, not enough money coming in to support a family, and they depend on help from several sources, which leads to poverty. Some people don't care a hang about that, and this is not good. If you get married, pay the fee and live happy.

Never once, do I remember, a time when my parents had an argument of anger in front of us children. It was  a happy home, which we all loved. Happy memories."    Letty, January 2013

Mom's ideas were old-fashioned, many will think. Yet she makes a good point which is actually true, about single mothers living in poverty much more often than married mothers.

SHORT STORY OF A MARRIAGE

2012 "A Bride's Trip in Wartime"

"This all started in Medicine Hat, Canada, in 1943, after Ron and I got married. Ron was in the RAF (Royal Air Force) as an electrician. He was a very happy man and we planned to live in England, when the war ended. We did for nine years, two children later. Then we moved back to Canada and stayed here in Medicine Hat til 1980* and then in Duncan B.C. We were a very happy couple, with two little children, Linda and Bobby. They were 4 and 2 years old, at that time, and enjoyed the trip. We, like everyone else, had our ups and downs, mostly Bobby's chest trouble. he grew out of that, in time, to be a fine man. When we look back, on these times, we learn how hard life can be for people like him, as a baby. Thankfully he grew out of this problem and thrived.

The two children grew up and did well, at School and in life, and Ron got ill, heart trouble in his 40s**, which caused him two serious Open Heart surgeries and lived to be 82 years old and 3 leg surgeries. Not a good time for either of us, and I was very worried for him, especially when Doctors but a whole new vein from hip to ankle in his left leg. Talk about fear, I sure was fearful, but he survived. Now Bless Him, my darling, he has been at peace, 20 years."

*The family never lived in Medicine Hat on their return to Canada. They lived in Bowness, a suburb of Calgary, which was absorbed into the City of Calgary in the mid 1960s. They moved in 1980 to Mill Bay, BC, and then to Duncan, BC around 1990.

** Ron's heart troubles did not occur until he was into his late 50s. He died December 31st, 1996.

The title of this entry, "A Bride's Trip in Wartime," is really a misnomer. Letty has written about her trip to England during World War II, much more extensively. Eventually I will get to that entry.

FORGOTTEN DAYS OF EVERYDAY LIFE

May 26, 2012

"As I sit and write on this bright sunny morning, I think of all the world and its people, and how much I've learned these last 98 years. I am just short of 99, that is long enough to be on this earth, I think. if I live to be 100, oh please, God, let me still be of sound mind.

I don't get out much, because I find it is such a pain to take my walker in a care, it is awkward and heavy to handle. The sun shines, the house is cool. I've finished breakfast, and tidied up. So I don't have much else to do, but write, and knit. It is Sunday and Carol, my dear friend, will come and visit for an hour, after church is done. She came and we had a chatty cup of tea, she looks well.

Today I feel sort of lost for a friend, but I know Bob will be here for a meal on Monday, and Tuesday I see my Doctor.

A few "used-to's:"

  1. When a child, we all wore leather shoes, soles wore out, and had to be resoled at a Shoe Maker's. When "running shoes" came in we used them for summer, for everything. Or we went barefoot, all summer.
  2. Pickle making, September and October, a usual chore.
  3. A lady brought Mum a "sheep fleece" and we had to help clean all ticks out of it, before you could make a comforter of it, hard work.
  4. One day, our milk-supply guy invited Charlie, my brother, to visit for a week. He was sick when he came home, and covered in spots. Mom was furious, and the Dr. said, "It is from eating raw meat." Mom was upset, and gave him something to clear his system. Poor Charlie, he never went to a farm again.
  5. Kenny Coulter, a close friend, 6 at that time and an awful brat. Aunt Norma, very close friends, and Uncle Jim, nice people, and Valeda, Kenny's sister. His Mom very bossy, he called "Cowie-Cowie," I was upset and my Mom didn't like him. But he did grow up.
  6. Eating too many cherries, in B.C. Ugh!"

Friday, February 6, 2015

"FOR THE BIRDS"

September 2012

"Our weather has been so warm this year, it gives you the 'Wander Bug," and for good reason. We have been on three, this year, west, north, and south, so next one will be east. Of course that entails ferry rides, which are a treat also. I'd like to visit Chuck and Jan, they keep asking us to. One day, we will surprize (sic) them.

It always tells on you, though, in sleeping hours, food, and extra people, and sometimes it is hard, to adjust. Two or three days, is now my limit. Getting this old, is for the birds."

(Chuck and Jan are her nephew and niece-in-law who live in Vancouver. Despite Mom's desire to visit Vancouver, she never did again.) 

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

OH, MOM!

September 27, 2012

"Oh Mom! If you were here, now, and see the way things are being done, you would get a shock. I'm so glad I had my two children when I did. Now the majority are off to "child-care centres," at a few months old, so Moms can go out and work. You very seldom see a baby buggy being pushed on the street, anymore. It is sad to me. I guess we live in a different age. The young Mothers don't have the fun with their children, like we did. All work and no play, a very sad state for Mom and Child. I weep for them all. Upset, so I'll sign off, on this subject." 

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

PEONIES AND LONELINESS




 Letty with Art and Ann, 2012

Spring, 2012

"My peonies are in full bloom, red, pink, and white, ones and two new ones on the way. I do love flowers, indoors or outside...

I have two "old" things, I want to give to Bob and her (Linda). One is an old pocket watch, of my own grandpa's, and one a medal, of my Father's, he got from King George VI, as a special P.O. (post office) worker, for 51 years. One will go to one, the medal, and the watch to the other.  That will be decided this weekend, when Linda and Art come to visit. Nice souvenirs and the children should have them. I've had them long enough. I have some other things set aside for everyone in the family...

What do you do when you are lonely and 98 years old? Write! I try to keep up my courage, in a bit, but it is hard, and you are much too old, for other activities. This morning is cool and clear, rather a different kind of June is this year. it seems to me, climate is very different this whole year, so far...

I don't go out much anymore, and I resent that, as I was an avid gardener, and outdoor person. It is not a lot of fun, being over 90 years old, as you lose most of life's pleasures... Maybe I'm an old grouch, I don't enjoy being in the 90s, one bit. The biggest joy at this stage, is my family, boys and girls, all ages, who keep in contact and make life a lot better, and friends, bless them all, I love them."

"WRITING LITTLE STORIES"

Late summer, 2011

"Writing little stories about life, seem to be a natural way, to live peacefully, to me.

It takes me way back, to my own days of a very long happy time. I'll write more tomorrow I am too shaky just now.

Here I am again, two days later, the long hot summer has come to an end, and I need a blanket on my bed, at night now. It is cooler at night now. This afternoon Eva is taking me to town to do a little shopping. I don't get out to do such things, now, too old and I have to take my walker. It is a big pain in the neck, to have to shop this way. Most of my groceries are delivered. More later. Carol has her brother here for a week today and i think his name is "Peter," but I'm not sure. She is so happy he is here for a holiday.

Hoorah it is raining today. All the plants will be happy too. This is the first day of rain, since June 15th. It is cooler, too.

Today I plan to write a bit. Linda and I were on the phone today, a lovely treat. Bob had his IV yesterday, so I hope he comes over today. Yes, he came and took me to the bank. He will have supper here too, I hope. Love to all of you from Mom or Gran. xxxx"

The photo is of Letty in hospital in 2013. She was in a lot of pain with a crack in her hip, so she doesn't look her best here. Her mention of Bob's IV is a reference to his Guillain-Barre syndrome and need for gamma globulin transfusions.