By Hilda Born – Abbotsford, B.C.
I grew up in Blumenort village, south of Swift Current, Sask., during the Depression. The long cold winters often gave me chilblains because I didn’t have good shoes or boots.
Although my parents worked hard to provide for each of us, our growing needs were hard to meet. So my feet hurt and itched. I could hardly wait for the snowdrifts to melt and spring to finally appear.
With warmer weather came our first trek across the village’s common pasture. Mom took her gardening tools in our little wagon and headed out to the cemetery to restore her mother’s grave. Her name was Katarina Zacharias Martens.
On our way there, we children wandered around searching for a crocus blossom or a meadowlark nest. Finding and bringing the first spring crocus to school brought a nickel reward from our teacher, Mr. Greenwood.
However, a greater reward was to suddenly spot brown-speckled eggs in a tidy nest before stepping on it. Usually an anxious mother bird sat on a fencepost not far away.
“Don’t touch! Don’t touch!” we were warned for fear of ruining mama meadowlark’s precious brood.
Finally we’d follow mom to the winter-weathered sunken dirt plot. Grandma’s grave was marked by a purple prairie fieldstone. That was all our Grandpa and parents could afford.
There were no headstones, only a few wooden cross markers. Mom planted some yellow iris and hoped the gophers wouldn’t chew them up. I fondly recall this annual spring family outing.