We fed WWII soldiers home on leave

From our January 2014 issue

By Margaret Albers – Weyburn, Sask.

As I get older, my thoughts go back to the first years ofd married life in the Garville School District near Bengough, Sask. We spent the first year living in the same house as my in-laws from Nov. 16, 1942 to April 26, 1943. Tony and his dad built us a little house in their yard that was 12 x 24. It was small but it was ours.

Tony’s brother, Andy, my brother-in-law, Carl Knutson, and the neighbour’s sons were all in WWII. Andy and Carl spent four years overseas as well as our friends and neighbour men. When anyone had a leave and came home, we all put on a special supper to welcome them home.

There was John and Mabel McCuaig, Fin and Zita McCuaig, the Lillejord family, Bill and Mary Albers, and our house. Our house was small, but Tony and I took a turn to make suppers too.

I was cooking on a two-burner stove that my sister, Jean, gave us. It had a small oven. As I write this, I wonder where I put people and fed them in our little house. We only had six dinner plates, cups, and saucers and very little else. I fed 17 people one night when it was my turn.

Everyone got a piece of ‘edible’ cake

I set the table for six. When they finished I washed all the dishes, then set the table for six more. The third round was set for five after that. We washed the dishes after all three settings and refilled the bowls on the table.

I baked our bread in the little oven and I had one large cake. Everyone had a piece of cake. Tony and I had sugar beets in our little garden and I spent a lot of time cooking the beets. I used the boiled down juice as syrup and made a cake out of it. It was edible. Sugar was rationed in the war and we didn’t have much.

We played cards after supper. Coats were laid on the bed and we had a card table in the bedroom to play cards on. We only had four chairs, so wood apple boxes were used for seating. The boys were never home long and had to get back, but someone always had their supper ready for them every night.

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