Kids swim in the ‘big ditch’

From our January 2014 issue

By Dorothy Nichol-HackOliver, B.C.

Each Senior Paper I read from cover to cover and I marvel at the wonderful memories it always brings back to me. Today I recalled that when my brother and I were small we used to take our metal cars and tractors and carve roads into the sides of the dry walls of a dried up pond.

I guess you could say I was a real tomboy, especially since the neighbours across the rood had three boys and we all played together even going on picnics in the bullrushes. (In later years, the oldest boy became a pilot in WWII and was lost at sea. I joined the CWAC.)

Back to our younger years, their father bought a beautiful radio and we kids were allowed to lie in front of it and listen to Amos and Andy. Remember them?

After he died, my father bought the radio. I remember when father bought a secondhand car and he wanted to take me for a ride in it, but I was listening to Myrt and Marge, a serial on the radio and wouldn’t go with him. Sounds like kids, right?

We didn’t have a lake nearby, but we kids would swim in the ‘big ditch’. One day, my brother was supposed to be watching our cows along the roadside but we were having so much fun swimming, the cows wandered away and got into a neighbour’s field of alfalfa. Of course, they bloated. Father was furious and my brother got a spanking. I’ll never forget and neither did he.

In 1933, we didn’t have a car anymore and the winter was long, so mother kept us busy learning this and that. That’s when I learned to knit. We also learned to play cards and bridge.

Summertime was usually always fun. I especially remember the picnics when we also drove to Fort MacLeod to pick Saskatoons. Boy, did we love those berries that eventually were canned.

Dad always seemed to find a certain bush that was so loaded with berries and we wouldn’t tell any of the other picnic friends where it was. Our Swede picnics were so much fun and the mothers always managed to pack wonderful food to eat. One couple had no children, but she always managed to bring her ice cream maker. She must have had a way to pack her ice very well for the jaunt.