Yesterday was a day that just flew by. Sleeping most of the day will do that. Vi, bless her heart, lets me sleep until I wake up on my own. I am going to have to ask her to start waking me up after about 2 hours. I am literally sleeping my life away and I really don’t want to do that.
Yesterday, I received a very nice surprise when I received comments from Carol, Lori and Ken all cousins of mine. It brought back into mind the importance of keeping in contact or reestablishing contact with those dear to you. I can’t really remember with any certainty but I think I have written about maintaining contact or reestablishing contact with those dear to you. Here I find myself guilty of not doing that very thing.
Most of my early years, well up until the end of grade 4 I grew up on a farm just outside of Swan River. My 3 uncles also had farms very close by. So I think there was quite a strong connection between all of the kids (cousins). That was back in the days of the one room school house. Each district had its own little one room school house for grades 1 – 8 after that you were taken by bus into Swan River for high school.
Lancaster was the name of our little school. Based on numbers, the Howdle clan dominated the school. I am sure it must have been about 3/4 of the entire student body were my cousins. Mind you the entire student body was maybe about 30 kids, but I was always related to most of them. You never really had a problem at any time that there wasn’t an older and bigger cousin there ready to step in and help. The camaraderie seemed to extend beyond the family ties. Everyone irregardless of the grade level always seemed willing to help each other. Of course there were the little spats etc that will happen anywhere but things seemed to always work themselves out.
I have to marvel at the teachers in those little one room school houses. Now I am not trying to take anything away from the teachers today. They face a very challenging job under very challenging conditions and do an excellent job. I admire and applaud everyone of them.
I think of those teachers back then everyday teaching every subject to 8 different classes. For me that was an experience I wouldn’t trade for anything. It did have what I considered to be disadvantages at the time. When the teacher got to my grade I was it. I was the entire grade one and then grade two, three and four class. There was no trying to hide behind another student hoping her questions would go to someone else. I was it.
Then there was always the walk to and from school. My walk was relatively short compared to many. I suppose mine walk must have been close to 2/3 of a mile. Ray and Bev, their walks must have been something in the area of 3 miles. Obviously there was no bus service, walking was just an accepted fact. I think back to some of those cold Canadian winters and just sort of shake my head. It is strange or I suppose good how things have changed, at least for some parts of the world. Today even just the walk to school would be considered so harsh and unfair. Back then it was just accepted as the way things were. Here is more information than anyone really wants to know. Back then everyone used an unheated outdoor biffy (outhouse) both at home and at school. Believe me when you had to do some business and the temperature is about -35, you do it quickly.
I just realized I have some of those “old timer” stories I can tell my kids and grandchildren. You know the type of stories every parent likes to tell their kids. Naturally, I will have to embellish it a little, it will be something like.
You kids today don’t know how lucky you have it. When I was a kid I had to walk to and from school. The walk was atleast 5 miles each way and uphile both ways. I waded through snow up to my waist bare foot and wearing nothing but my fathers pajamas.