From Mom’s Journal: Entry Two

Sleighing and Swimming

My goodness! It’s been two months since I posted the first entry from my mother’s journal. Most recollections are brief, so today I’ll post two of them. Her writing was deteriorating when she wrote of these memories, so she hand-printed her words all in block capitals. Other than that, I have tried to type them as they appear to me.

I am so happy to have these snippets. They’re short but sweet.

A Sunday evening to a friend of my parents was made in a box on a sleigh for Charlie & I. A cold starlit night on a country road (O’Brien St, Cartierville) but a surprise was in store for us. The box we were in fell off the sleigh unknown to Dad. I was all for yelling at Dad but Charlie said “Let’s see how far they go before missing us.” My father was startled, upon looking back, to see the sleigh empty and the box in the middle of the road with us in it. My brother and I had a good chuckle over that.


My father loved to swim. One evening he took C. and I to the beach at the end of our road. I was 6 yrs. old at that time & loved to sit on his back while he swam. All of a sudden he stood up with a cramp in his leg & I fell off. The water was cloudy and yellow. Dad couldn’t see me, but I saw his hand grasping for me. My 2 hands grabbed his wrist, my best chance, and he hauled me out of the water. That was my last swim on my father’s back. People wondered how he could carry me on his back after 8 hrs. at work. I loved the rides.

Note: These memories go back to around 1920. I knew this O’Brien St of the first post from the time when we lived in Montreal. It had changed to a busy street by then: fifty plus years ago but still thirty years after the sleigh incident. I also know the river of which she writes in the second entry.

The following photo would have been taken around the time of these recollections, probably a few years earlier.

Ch 5 Ex 1 Grandparents and Family Adjusted

My mother is squinting on the right. She had a problem with her eyes back then. Charlie is on the left. My grandmother is holding the twin who hadn't died yet, but I guess she died soon after. I don't remember Grandma; she died when I was young. I originally did this photo as an restoration project for a course I was taking. In was in rough shape, but despite trying, I wasn't able to do as much with it as I would have liked.

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10 Responses to From Mom’s Journal: Entry Two

  1. Diana says:

    I’m so glad that you have these little snippets from your mother’s life AC. My mom wrote just a little but wish she would have written more. She may have but if she did I never found it.
    I have been trying to write the highlights and lowlights along with some of my own thoughts on paper. I keep thinking that maybe one day after I’m gone, my kids will get a kick out of reading it.
    It’s nice that you have the photo too. I have many old ones but not many were marked so it’s hard to tell sometimes who, what and where!
    Anyway I’m glad that you have a bit of your mom to look back on.
    Love Di ♥

  2. Tom says:

    Wow… that is great that you have those hand-printed memories written by your mom. That is too special. Thanks for sharing. My dad has done the same and I’m so glad he wrote some of his childhood stories down. He passed away in 2007.. can’t believe its been 4 years already this May. Tom

  3. Mara says:

    I loved that first little story. I can just picture those two children sitting there in that box in the middle of the road, waiting for that sleigh to stop. Even if it did remind me of an old Dutch song about a family travelling on a sleigh along the plains of Russia. One by one the children are thrown off the sleigh to ward off the chasing wolves, until only Mum and Dad are left!

  4. Hilary says:

    How wonderful to have these written memories from your mother. It’s a marvelous way to continue hearing her “voice” for you, your own kids and those darling grands. My own mother had wonderful language skills and impeccable penmanship but I don’t recall seeing any written pieces of any kind. I’m grateful for blogging for what it offers our next generations.

  5. Bernie says:

    I loved reading your mothers memories, you must be thrilled to have her words. I wish my mum had of done something like this, like Hilary’s mother my mum had beautiful penmanship as well. I so enjoy reading stories about families in the past. How they lived, played and worked has always been fascinating to me…..:-)Hugs

  6. Great story telling once again with the best part that it’s about your family so very personal. How nice that you have these glimpses into days past. By the way, we also had pancakes this Tuesday evening – Grenville made strawberry ones.

  7. Doris says:

    I enjoyed reading your Mum’s writings. I am thinking about parents today as my Dad died on this date in 2005. I am so lucky to have many letters from him and his autobiography.
    On a lighter note, I love the new spring lilacs!

  8. Linda Fraser says:

    Keeping stories of the heart and family is a wonderful legacy. No matter how insignificant the story may seem, it is a snippet of our pasts and a cherished insight. Thank you for sharing these life stories here Anvilcloud. I enjoyed them. =D

  9. Lorna says:

    You did a great job restoring the photo—it looks better than some I took last week.

  10. Regenia says:

    We don’t, to my knowledge, have any snippets from either of our parents. But the few personal notes and letters I do have are treasures. Even just having their handwriting warms me inside!

    What a gift not only for you, but for your children as well.

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