Today I am 60-Part 1

June5

I started this post last Saturday and after a world wind of celebrations, I have finally had a chance to come back to it.

I am reflective today, thinking back on all the years and memories of friends I have known and drifted away from. Some I have lost to heaven and others I keep as tight as I can around me, sharing my joys and my sorrows. One such friend has gotten on an airplane to be with me this weekend. The backyard will be filled with merry-makers, sharing this landmark with me. I am grateful and blessed.

Our kids, my sisters and sisters-in-law have all contributed in some way to the success of the upcoming party. Thank you. Doug has been single-minded in his efforts to make everything perfect, showing me in his way, how he cherishes me.

When you get to be 60, it is hard to define one year from the next, but I thought that the decades might be easier, so here goes:

From birth to age 10, I lived in two houses with my Mom, Dad and two adoring older brothers. One was on the 300 block of Linden Ave. which I have no memory of at all. The other was two blocks to the east in a neighbourhood where homes were being built for the growing families of post-war. Ours was very much like the rest of the houses on the street: practical and well-built without evidence of lavishness or luxury. The house on Linden remained our home until this time last year when we emptied and spruced it up for a new family. I wrote a blog post entitled Good-Bye to Our Family Home.

I went to Mrs. Dyer’s kindergarten, directly across the street. I couldn’t pronounce Aurelia’s name so I called my teacher “Ridja” as she was my Mom’s best friend. But out of respect, I didn’t do so  in front of the other students, all a year older than I. You see, at three my twin sister and brother were born and my Mom “had her hands full” as was said, so Ridja agreed to have me join her classroom every morning. Her daughter Debbie who was my best friend was also in the class.

Neil Campbell, a half block away became my longest school home. I LOVED school or most of it. I loved reading, art, social studies and choir. Math and phys ed, not so much. My best friends at school were Linda Gouriluk, Carol Chomiak, Cindy Kowal, Barb Schmidt, Sherry Wallis and Craig Sangster. I remember Helene Schewell and Chris Telenco too. We all lived within about six blocks of each other. I learned to skate at three and loved to hang out at Melrose Community Club. I was never a great swimmer, but diligently tried to be, with lessons at the EK YMCA.

We spent our holidays by driving to my grandparents in southern Saskatchewan and summers at Grand Beach. We had a “Mother’s Helper” that would take us to the beach while my Mom enjoyed a much-needed break because when I was 8, my youngest sister was born.

During this time there was sadness, when we unexpectedly lost my Moms’ two brothers, both to heart: one at 27 and the other in his early 30s. My Mom’s grief was crippling and I remember escaping my world in Nancy Drew books. I read the entire series over a couple of summers.

To be continued…..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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