Walking ― I’m sure some of you think that’s all I do. My walking route in Bobcaygeon consists of three trips from my house to the Transfer Station (read dump) which totals my daily goal of 10,000 steps. Now we are at my family home in Nova Scotia, and I am trying to settle on two walks each day.
OH GIVE ME A HOME, WHERE THE SHEEP LOVE TO ROAM
Let me tell you about my first walk. I strolled out the driveway, turning left, first passing by the driveway of Caroline and Darius Townsend. Long silent, their hill was a hive of activity for as long as anyone could remember ― baseball and ball hockey came to mind. Did they have a dog? I don’t remember, but they had a tame sheep named Nancy.
ROACHES, MORASHES, AND TOWNSENDS, OH MY
Next, I passed by the home of Les and Mary Morash. I half-expected their old dog, Chub, to thunder down the hill to the road, but no dogs today.
Their neighbours Ira and Helen Morash always had a dog. One dog was named “Trudy.”
I spent hours each day at Glen and Marion Roache’s playing with Sarah Ann, Lillian and Juliette. We used to swing in their Grandfather Lyman’s barn. The barn is no more, but I could hear the squeals of children. Their dog, Flip, had a bark that was worse than his bite.
Every community has at least one eccentric character and West Head’s was a bachelor by the name of Clarence Gaetz. A genius and unrecognized inventor, Clarence belonged with the likes of Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Albert Einstein and Alexander Graham Bell.
Foster and Essie Morash’s home was a favourite of mine. Essie was a natural teacher with patience galore. She let us bake, took us to the beach and taught us how to swim. We had macaroni picnics around an overturned washtub. For many years, they had a dog named Blackie.
Sadly, tragedy struck the family― Foster drowned during lobster season, leaving behind a wife and six children. Every time I see a full moon over the water, my mind goes back to that fateful night.
My brother Myers and his wife Ceinwen lived in the last house before the pavement ended. Ceinwen and I were only daughters in our families and became sisters by choice. We did almost everything together, including making clothing on a treadle sewing machine.
As with so many things in life, the time came when the treadle sewing machine was no longer needed. In this case, it was replaced by a noisy electric machine.
A $59.99 GRADUATION GIFT
It was customary to receive a grading/passing gift at the end of the school year, so I asked for a sewing machine when I passed from Grade 9 to Grade 10. If I remember correctly, it came from the Eatons or Sears catalogue for the exorbitant price of $59.99. Weighing a ton, that sewing machine contained more iron and steel than a modern-day car. Somehow, I carried it back and forth between our homes regularly. I should have had Popeye’s bulging muscles in my right arm. That $59.99 sewing machine chugged along for almost 40 years. I swear it could have had a second life as an anchor for the Queen Mary II.
The first half of my walk was over and it was time to shake off the nostalgia and walk home. On the way, I met up with a couple of others walking for the benefit of their health and gabbed with first person for a minute or two. The second walker, to whom I had not spoken for decades, looked at me as if he should know me. I quickly told him who as I was, to which he added something to the effect of, “You look just like your mother.”
Like my mother, you say? Awwwww, music to my ears.