By Helen Atkinson – Leduc, Alta.
As little children, my sister and I sat low in the backseat of the car on our way to our grandma’s farm. Our heads were just high enough to peek out the windows.
Grandpa was gone and uncle Howard ran the farm, just as he had toward the end of grandpa’s life. It was always exciting to see the farm and to travel the long lane up to the house. We didn’t stay at the house long though, just long enough to say hello.
We’d then race across the fields to Uncle Roy’s farm, where our two young cousins were ready to play. These relatives, working hard in the fields, entertained us by lifting us up on the horses’ backs. They’d let us climb on the sheaves on the wagons too. We were even allowed to hold the horses’ reins.
We played with the cats in the barns, and were unexpectedly (not really, we were waiting for it) sprayed with fresh milk by our uncles as they leaned up tight against the cows they were milking.
Now, I can reflect on the patience they had with us during our visits. Back at grandma’s, there was a huge pantry. Every shelf was stocked with canned preserves, large tins of flour, rice, and vegetables. The canned meat was so good! I don’t believe I’ve tasted anything better.
Homemade quilts pinned us in place
My sister and I slept in a bed at the top of the narrow stairs. To wash before bedtime, we’d pour water from a pitcher into a basin. We’d brush our teeth with water from a glass. Then we jumped onto, and sank deep into, a feather tick. We were covered with homemade quilts. They pinned us in place they were so heavy.
A chamberpot kept under the bed saved us from any frightening excursions outdoors to the outhouse. We always slept well in that healthy farm air.
Grandma made the best Dutch apple pie. About 20 years later, I was in a restaurant that was selling Dutch apple pie. I bought the whole pie. What a disappointment that was. The flavour didn’t compare to the one made with farm fresh ingredients and grandma’s loving touch.
There are only a few of us still living from that wondrous time, but my memories of will last forever.